Last week, as an afterthought, I was sent to the my state’s conference on HIV/AIDS which is held annually throughout the state. It has been a number of years since I’ve attended one and I was anxious to see what, if any, personnel changes had occurred since the last time I was present at one. The convocation was sponsored by the state-wide health department and featured a number of guest presenters from across the southeastern region of the USA.
This post will stray somewhat from my usual “end-of-the-month” review of the state of this blog and any accomplishments relating to this site, nudity and/or same gender loving (gay) concerns. Instead, it is a posting of a noteworthy event in commemoration of Black History Month here in the USA. I’m sure that some of you reading here may ask yourselves, “why is he writing about Black history month? He’s not Black.” True, I’m not black-skinned. However, my husband is African-American and if I am to respect both him and his heritage, then I need to acknowledge and address issues that not only concern him but us both.
Occasionally, I somehow manage to stumble upon a particular inspiring piece of wisdom that seems appropriate to a particular action or event in my life, either past or present. I realize that I am probably not the best man for being considered “typical,” however, I also know that my own life isn’t all that far removed from humanity as to be deemed anything other than average. When I saw this observation several weeks ago, it reminded me of an incident from my past and inspired this post.
Often, we see many professional athletes, who are paid enormous and outrageous amounts of money get physical with one another to reward a job-well-done. In both the National Basketball Association (NBA) and in the National Football Association (NFL), countless team-mates give each other a pat or a slap on their buttocks in a congratulatory gesture of goodwill and friendship. Even coaches do the same as a show of support to their players and a way of offering encouragement. No one complains of bodily harm, excessive violence, sexual harassment or indecency.
To the best of my knowledge, there is no official government proclamation in any country designating today as Gay Nudists Day (also known as Gay Naturists Day) . For almost as long as I’m able to remember, that’s just what today is: a date to celebrate being a same gender loving man who prefers clothes-freedom. To be honest, I’m uncertain as to who informed me of this observance. One instance does remain set in my mind. I was once a member of a gay nude social club in the Washington, D.C. area, Lambda Soleil (since inactive). It was the oldest club of gay naturists/nudists in the Washington region (organized in the early 1980’s) and every year they communally observed this occasion.
The same gender loving (gay) community is often criticized as being racist and elitist. Unfortunately, I can think of numerous instances where this is indeed true and have experienced this myself as a Deaf man and as a man who is married to another man of a different race. Aaron, my husband, has seen many cases where this was true both before we met and since we’ve been together. In the interest of fairness, we remind ourselves that the gay community is merely a reflection of the broader mainstream culture and not an exclusively homocentric (gay-focused) attribute.