“All Boys Aren’t Blue”

I’m not a wine consumer but I do enjoy a good book!

During the doldrums of the winter season, with outdoor temperatures hovering below the “comfort zone,” the scene above epitomizes the notion of reading for leisure. Sitting in a comfortable chair, bare and relaxed, indoors and immune from the rigors of winter weather with a soothing beverage in one hand and a good book in the other. Why not smile and savor the moment?

At the university where I teach, our winter holiday ended on Monday, January 11, 2021, and a new semester began. As commonly experienced for most, new beginnings are frequently accompanied by the all-time favorites: chaos and confusion. Especially now that the coronavirus COVID-19 is in a major rebound. Such is life!

Returning to work renewed my “need to read” in order to retain my sanity from one day into the next. My first selection was the contemporary memoir, All Boys Aren’t Blue by George Matthew Johnson. This book, identified by it’s author as a “memoir-manifesto,” was published April 28, 2020.

George M. Johnson (left) and the cover of his book “All Boys Aren’t Blue.”

I like George M. Johnson’s choice of “memoir-manifesto” as a term of description for his book. “Memoir” lets us all know that it is a factual recounting of his youth (childhood, teenager and young adult) as seen through his eyes and in his thoughts. “Manifesto” informs us that his work “…is an exploration of two of my identities – Black and queer – and how I became aware of their intersections within myself and in society.”

He writes of the antics, challenges and incidents of growing up in a family (immediate and extended) in a community (middle-class USA) in a country struggling to find it’s way towards true equality for all persons (African-American, Asian, Hispanic, White, bisexual, gay, heterosexual, lesbian, transgender and an endless number of belief systems).

The author was born in 1985. This indeed places his developing years within the timeline of US society’s turmoil over conflicting dynamics and issues – many continuing into the present. As he notes throughout his pages, resolving these differences may take an entire lifetime.

Three teen muses!

Mr. Johnson enlightens and entertains through the recounting of incidents from his early life in New Jersey, USA, and the impact on his development and growth as a same gender loving man of color. Despite the often applied perception of African Americans as being excessively homophobic, he uses his own extended family to discredit this misconception. Through laughter and love, his acceptance and respect from his own family is constant.

As the author matures through his life, the tales expand from his interactions with his numerous cousins to his growing comfort with solitude as he faces the reality that he is different in not only his personality but also in his outlook on life and his worldview. His uniqueness is expanded as he encounters others beyond his extended family and outside his racial community. He retreats into himself even further upon adolescence and subsequent years.

It isn’t until he begins living at university that he discovers the confidence, courage and pride in being himself. This awareness leads him to the truth that sharing his life with others may help them in their journey to becoming who they are.

None of our lives are identical or even vaguely similar. George Matthew Johnson’s book, “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” gives us examples of his life, with the lessons they installed, in the goal that readers may recognize the unfolding message that their own experiences may harbor some valuable truth.

In the end of his book, Mr. Johnson summarizes the title and explains the meaning. That conclusion is offered to everyone now.

When I say I am not “blue,” I mean so much more than a color traditionally designated to represent boy. When I say I’m not “blue,” I’m referring to the blue on the police uniform my father wore. How I’ve watched too many times in that same blue harm Black and brown people. I know for myself that although I respect my father with all my heart, it is my duty to fight against how that institution has harmed us.

When I say I’m not blue, I’m referring to the first time I saw the movie “Moonlight” and how my heart raced with the little boy Chiron, who was being chased by the others because he, too, was different.

Most importantly, when I say that I am not blue, I mean that I have no regrets about how this all turned out. Whether this book is a bestseller or a flop, if one person is helped by my story, then it was all worth it.”

Take care and stay bare!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Monday, April 12, 2021, and the proposed topic is “Daffodils.”

One Year Later!

Face-mask wearing!

One year ago, we were blindly being led into a strange situation that the overwhelming majority of us had never before travelled. Quarantine was upon us and most hadn’t even a vague idea of what that entailed. Unfortunately, there are many, one year later, still unable to grasp the concept.

I have, since renewing publication here, received several emails asking why I was not able to continue publishing here last year. The basic and simple answers are the commitment and the time factors. Those two are the major reasons that I had to pause and adopt a “wait and see” timeframe.

One of the online inquisitors responded to my reply with his own assessment that as an educator and with classes suspended, I had plenty of time to devote to ReNude Pride. As if there were no other issues demanding my concentration and time!

Lounging!

While that may appear to indeed be the case, it was very far from reality. Although the majority of our on-site classes were suspended, online classes were not! I am one of the very first to readily admit that my experience with online education is very minimal. Before the quarantine, I had virtually no reason to even consider anything besides my usual classroom instruction.

One year ago, I faced an unimaginable dilemma. Either “get with the times” (in other words, adapt to what’s needed) or else fail to meet the expectations and needs of my students – as well as my department’s and my university’s reputation. It was either “sink” or “swim.” I chose to swim.

Swimming in a skyline pool!

It wasn’t easy and my own learning was a major challenge, but somehow, with patience, persistence and much help from my spouse, Aaron, I was able to achieve my goal in completing the semester online. My students were understanding of my predicament and very cooperative in tolerating my many mistakes and shortcomings. Almost every student was supportive.

We all emitted a “sigh of relief” when the curriculum ended in May and final examinations completed. Knowing that the coronavirus COVID-19 was in no way completely eradicated, I undertook my summer freedom to prepare for this year as much as possible in advance.

Camera and posing!

I managed to anticipate an entire year of quarantine and was able to create “student handbooks” to afford every student with a prepared guide based on lesson plans and experiences from the past instruction. Having already become familiar with the issues and complications surrounding quarantining circumstances and the special problems that are associated with that situation, the summer allowed me to focus on revising my plans accordingly for the classroom, either “live” or online.

My paying job is my responsibility to maintain. My students are mine to educate and enlighten. They take a priority over the composing of this site. Not to detract from the importance of ReNude Pride. It gives me both pleasure and satisfaction. However, it does take time and energy and in the quarantine situation that we all faced last year and presently, I give more importance to professional obligations over all other concerns.

Bare hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next posting entry for here is planned for Friday, April 9, 2021, and the proposed topic is “It’s Almost Time!”

Happy Western Easter!

Have a fun and happy Easter!

Easter, among other religious holidays, are usually observed on two different dates on the calendars of the Christians throughout the world. The “western” believers are the ones of the Roman Catholic and other Protestant faiths. The Orthodox churches and the ones from the area of the Holy Land follow the traditional observances.

This year, Western Easter is today, April 4, 2021. Those of us of the Orthodox traditions, our Holy Easter for this year, 2021, is celebrated on Sunday, May 2.

To those who are experiencing Easter today: Happy Easter!

Your Easter mascot: the Bunny!

Bare hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next planned posting entry for here is tomorrow, April 5, 2021, and the proposed topic is: “One Year Later.”

April is Here!

Birthday greetings!

The month of April brings special joy to my spouse, Aaron and myself. We both celebrate our birthdays within the very first week of this month! This year is especially notable as Aaron, a Roman Catholic, observes his Easter holiday within the same timeline!

So, instead of an April Fool’s Day posting on this new month, I decided to honor our birthdays as well as Aaron’s Easter occasion. Hopefully, the remainder of the month will be memorable and pleasant for everyone reading here!

Cake and a birthday candle!

Take care and stay bare!

Bare hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next planned posting entry here is for Sunday, April 4, 2021, and the topic proposed is “Western Easter!”

Bottoms-Up! March, 2021

Eager buttocks!

Saluting the official arrival of the Spring season here in the Northern Hemisphere is the justification for opening with featured Bottoms-Up! .gif above. The bare practitioner duo are unable to hide their eagerness for the approaching warmer temperatures outside. Personally, I can hardly wait to join them in baring my buttocks for all of nature!

Decorated buttocks!

This upcoming weekend marks the western Easter holiday and there is no other appropriate welcome to the occasion than to add the celebritory and colorful image above. Kalos paska (happy Easter) in Greek – using the western alphabet! Author’s Note: Holy Easter (in the Eastern Orthodox Churches, is observed on May 2, 2021.

Our man (above) strips and gives us a view!

Soon, we’ll have the freedom to “bare-our-bottoms” outside in the rainfall or in the sunshine. We’ll no longer be restricted to simply stripping off our pants indoors! (Imaginary musical accompaniment: Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus!”

Southern Hemisphere stripping inside!

Unfortunately, our bare practitioner brothers inhabiting the Southern Hemisphere now must surrender their multiple choice options for stripping inside or outside. Sorry, guys! Six more months and then the decision returns to you!

Bedroom dancing!

Shake your booty with joy and pride!

Take care and stay bare!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next posting entry here is planned for Thursday, April 1, 2021, and the proposed topic is: “April is Here.”

Patriot Day

An ancient Greek warrior!

Thursday, March 25, 2021, is the anniversary of the beginning of the fight for the freedom of Greece from the oppression of the Ottoman Empire (modern-day Turkey). The clergy of the Greek Orthodox Church encouraged the faithful to engage in the struggle to attain their freedom and restore self-determination of their homeland from the subservience of the Ottoman Turks. 

The Ottoman Empire, for over two centuries, had periodically focused on the eventual absorption and subjugation of the Byzantine (Greek) Empire. The fall of Constantinople (the imperial Greek capital) through a siege that lasted from April 6, 1453 until May 29, 1453, rewarded the Ottomans as the Middle and Near Eastern superior power, economically, militarily and naval.

The political dominance of the Turkish government provided a grave and serious threat to the Greek Orthodox Church. The religious and spiritual head of all Orthodox believers , the patriarch (pope) of Orthodoxy resided in Constantinople and his official title is: Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church and Archbishop of Constantinople. This situation fostered the unsubstantiated belief and rumors in the Western churches (Roman Catholic, Anglican and protestant) that the Eastern churches (Bulgarian, Greek, Roumanian, Russian, Serbian and Syrian) were under the manipulation of the Turkish occupiers.

Multiple Greek warriors!

On this date, March 25, in 1821, the Greeks rose up against the oppression of Ottoman Turkey in a protracted civil war that ultimately involved France, the Russian Empire and the United Kingdom joining with the Greeks in their quest for independence. March 25 is also the date of the feast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos (Virgin Many, Mother of God) in the Eastern Orthodox Church. The organizers of the uprising selected this feast day to initiate the insurrection. Bishop Germanus hoisted the flag of revolt over the Monastery of Agia Lavra in the Pelopannese with the cry, “Freedom or Death” which was adopted as the motto of the for Greek liberation.

The government of the newly liberated Haiti was the very first country in the world to recognize the revolution – and therefore, Greek independence. This diplomatic recognition happened is 1821, barely 6 months after the struggle began and long before the war was actually over.

The Ottoman Turks were supported during the Greek rebellion by the North African Turkish dependent states of Algeria, Egypt, Tripolitania and Tunis. These auxiliary troops were frequently defeated by the Greek locals who were often armed with only their inferior personal weapons, primarily rifles.

Greek warrior artistic image.

After seven years of fighting, the Ottoman Turks grew weary of the Greek uprising. At an international conference held in London, a document called the London Protocol was signed by representatives from Greece, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the Ottoman Empire that recognized the independent sovereign Kingdom of Greece in 1830. The rebellion was over. In 1832, the Treaty of Constantinople was enforced between the Greeks and the Turks which defined the borders of Greece and established Prince Otto of Bavaria as the first King of Greece.

Above is the image of the original Greek flag that was recognized when independence was achieved. The double-headed eagle in the upper left corner was the emblem of the Byzantine Empire.

The .gif below is the current flag of Greece shown billowing in the breeze. The cross of St. George is in the upper left corner. The Greek Orthodox Church is the state religion of Greece.

The above explains the symbolism of the modern Greek flag.

The modern Greek flag was adopted during the 20th Century as the current state matured. Based on the current design, it is now universally accepted and recognized everywhere. During the last decade of the 20th Century, there were some grumblings that the two colors of the flag represented the “haves” and the “have nots” although there was never any agreement over what those two categories entailed.

Outline map of Greece (flag design).

Above is the image of a map of modern Greece, in the same design of the current Greek flag. Greece is located in south-eastern Europe at the bottom of the Balkan peninsula. The capital city is Athens.

Both of my parents and my oldest brother were born in Greece. They emigrated to this country just before the birth of my second oldest brother. Neither of my parents nor my oldest brother were ever naturalized here (became citizens). After our births, my father had all of our births enrolled at the Greek consulate, which made the remainder of my brothers and myself Greek subjects (we have dual citizenship).

Avoiding any implications of inaccuracy, before closing todays post, I want to remind everyone that the ancient Greeks most definitely did not engage in war while bare. Men were aware that any type of action involving swords and other forms of weapons could inflict major, if not debilitating, damage to themselves. Even the simplest girding of protection was valued above nudity in this case.

Wishing everyone the happiest of Patriot Day!

Bare hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/Renude Pride

Author’s Note: The next posting entry planned for here is for Wednesday, March 31, 2021, and the proposed topic is : “Bottoms-Up! March, 2021”

The unusually long delay is due to an educational conference.

It’s Almost Time!

Lounging indoors!

Now that the springtime is officially arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, many of us are anxiously counting away the days until we can strip and bare in nature again! No one is as eager for this to happen as we are: my spouse, Aaron, and myself!

We know that patience is a remarkable virtue. That has been drilled into our minds since we were mere infants without any notion of seasons or weather. Yet even as we mature, the anticipation of the evolution of the Spring is too much to endure. The ravages of the winter are often unendurable and are gladly dismissed!

These final days of the uncomfortable weather are tolerated – barely. While we must remain inside, our minds and thoughts are frequently focused on the upcoming days of wonderment as we rally ourselves for the approaching “natural” freedom in nature! Author’s Note: being totally bare (naked, nude) outside of our home!

It is a well known fact that once a new season is upon us, the weather doesn’t have an immediate change. The differences in outdoor temperatures and the weather is gradual. There is no sense in trying to “rush” Mother Nature!

As the countdown begins, let us all promise ourselves to remain as healthy and as safe as possible. We all need to think of not only ourselves but also other people around us, especially children, persons with differing abilities and the elderly. Everyone has the inalienable right to enjoy every day of their life!

Take care and stay bare: indoors or outside!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next planned posting entry here is scheduled for Thursday, March 25, 2021, and the proposed topic is “Patriot Day!”

Springtime, 2021!

Growing in the field!

Springtime, 2021, is here!

All are invited to stand and welcome with a grand cheer!

Instinctively, the majority of us feel the urgent need to rush outside, strip off all of our clothing – if we are wearing any at all – and dance, unashamedly nude! Those among the ReNude Pride audience living in close proximity to the Equator have no problem engaging in this comfortably. Fortunately for them, they’re free to share their nakedness practically all year long!

Greeting the new season with open arms!

Whereas those of us residing further away know from experience and habit that the same isn’t applicable to us. The seasonable outdoor temperature change doesn’t happen suddenly overnight. The transition is gradual and requires patience. Our “glad tidings” are just the reality that globally the event is now official! It is now Spring!

Farewell!

Simultaneously, our bare brethren in the Southern Hemisphere confront the demise of their outdoor clothes-freedom. Our conciliatory wish for them is the fact that we survived our period of hibernation and humbly request that they do the same!

Take care and stay bare!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next posting entry for here is planned for Monday, March 22, 2021, and the proposed topic is “It’s Almost Time!”

St. Patrick’s Day

A shot glass of Irish whiskey!

To everyone reading here today, no matter the amount of Irish blood flowing within your body’s veins, best wishes from ReNude Pride for a very happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day!

A pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

Like many worldwide viewing this celebratory St. Patrick’s Day posting, I have no relationship with Ireland myself, but I do honor and salute all those of you who do!

An Irishman posing in front of ivy!

Here’s a congratulatory toast to our fortunate leprechaun skinny-dipping inside the shot glass who generously opened today’s posting!

Bare hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next posting entry planned for here is Saturday, March 20, 2021, and the proposed topic is “Springtime, 2021!”

Spring Forward!

Resetting the giant clock!

A welcome prologue to the arrival of Spring each year is the “official” change to daylight savings time! In 2021, this occurs today, March 14, at exactly 2:00 a.m. When the clock reaches the “anointed” hour, it needs to be reset (automatically, digitally or manually) to the new time of 3:00 a.m. – in other words, advance the time precisely one full hour (hence the post title: “Spring Forward.”)

Adjusting time!

As both my spouse, Aaron, and I had endless commitments yesterday, last night, before crawling into bed at midnight – old style time – we reset our clocks and watches ahead for one hour before falling asleep. This enabled us to wake-up this morning without confusion, Why interrupt a dream needlessly at 2:00 a.m.?

No matter where you wear your watch, reset the time!

Typically for most bare practitioners, we welcome this seasonal debut with open arms. The time change affords us the opportunity to adapt to this routine before the official arrival of Spring on March 20, 2021. Theoretically, this “extra” hour of daylight gives us additional time, daily, to spend “natural in nature” together as well as with our bare practitioner acquaintances and friends!

A well deserved relief and respite from being home-bound for the entire winter!

Contemplating the time change!

The initiation of the daylight savings time principle began in the early 20th Century. During the Great War (World War I, 1914 – 1918) the production of armaments created shortages and necessitated the conservation of energy resources through to expansion of daylight. Once this concept was introduced, it was undertaken in all the belligerent nations, irregardless of their alliances. Twenty years later, the commencement of World War II (1939 – 1945) reintroduced the same need and solution. Following that conflict, the hostile “Cold War” (1949 – 1989) mentality led to the annual incorporation of daylight savings time throughout much of the world.

Daylight savings time (DLT) = Bare Practitioner time (BPT)

Happy BPT!

Bare hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next posting entry is planned for here on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 and the proposed topic is St. Patrick’s Day.