Interview: The Nubian-Ikigai!

Rohan, Nubian-Ikigai!

A General Introduction:

On the behalf of ReNude Pride, it is a distinct honour that I introduce to all of you, Rohan, the Nubian-Ikigai! He informs me that the Nubian-Ikigai is colourful nickname of sorts that references his spirit. Any more detailed explanation will have to come directly from him! Rohan is his given name.

He is from the priceless jewel of the Caribbean Sea, Jamaica! He openly identified himself to me as a proud bare practitioner – a man after my own heart! That is precisely how he introduced himself!

I first noticed Rohan, the Nubian-Ikigai in September of this year when he posted a comment on my announcement of the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. He wrote that she was also the Queen of Jamaica as part of the Commonwealth. We have since become blood brothers! As a fellow subject of the Commonwealth, my Canadian spouse, Aaron, has a fondness for him!

Rohan currently lives in France with his partner. He is employed as an English language coach/tutor. His ambition is to compose his autobiography!

Rohan from Jamaica!

Rohan, the Nubian-Ikigai on being gay:

Growing up, what were you taught about being gay?

This is a tough and tricky question to answer. I don’t know what angle to take on this, so I’ll take a human approach…What was I taught about being gay? Nothing…It’s funny, some boys can say that they learned about being a man, shooting a rifle or hunting and some girls learned about being a good wife. I picked up stuff along the way. I observed human behaviour and I listened attentively to what was said.

I understood early on that being gay was a disgrace, punishable by death, hell and damnation. I learned you’d be better off having Stage 4 cancer than being gay. I was taught that I’d better hide and stay hidden otherwise there’s gonna be gunshots and a lynching for my “batty-boy” (Jamaican derogatory term for gay man) head! Besides, who would want to be guilty of teaching anyone about being gay? I took the burden upon myself.

To your knowledge, were any members of your family gay?

My first gay experience was with a close cousin who happened to be a year younger than me. This happened during my formative years, I was about 8 or 9 years old. It went on for 2 years during the summer holidays when he’d come to visit from the USA. Let’s call him Kevin. Irony of this is I don’t know if he’s gay as we’ve lost contact. Who knows, it may have been his fault why I am gay today. I think there’s another distant cousin who could be gay.

Did you have any friends who were bisexual or gay?

Yes and not only. As an adult, my friends were gay and bisexual and also female. As a matter of fact, I’ve been in love with quite a few females. I do fantasize and have wet dreams about women (laughs).

At what age did you begin to realize that you are gay?

Another tricky question (laughs)! If I refer go back to question #2. I’d say, I was born this way (laughs). My relationship with my cousin was a natural progression. We were cousins, by blood; we met then became friends and ended up being lovers. It was beautiful. I wasn’t raped, traumatized nor shocked at what happened or at what was happening to me. I didn’t fight him off, I didn’t push him away. I didn’t look at him any differently. Nothing changed between us. I never put a label on it. I was too young.

Growing up, I categorically refused to label myself. Even to this day. The adults around me made me realize that I was gay.

When I was a teenager I had erections whenever I saw men in swimsuits. I remember my reaction the first time I saw a TV commercial and there was a guy wearing a red speedo, but prior to that, I remember always being fascinated by male nudity. I would sneak around to peek at naked men whenever I could. The male anatomy is the most beautiful thing in creation. I still believe so today. I remember being teased in school for being effeminate. So to this question there is no fixed answer as I have always been “gay.”

When exploring your sexuality, did you have anyone (family or friend) that you could ask or use as a resource?

No…I’m a self-taught, self-made individual (laughs). I was a resource for my friends. They came to me for advice especially when it came to sex and sexuality.

Does the gay social life in Jamaica help or hinder your involvement in the gay community?

No. I was determined to live. I especially loved cruising, despite the many risks and dangers. I couldn’t help it. At the time, I was a predator, I loved to hunt, I like to collect trophies (laughs). I took guys out on dates, I hung out with my friends and I went to parties. We learned that we had to be discrete about it. Keep it on the DL (down low) or under cover. It’s strange but I like being “out there.” I felt alive, I felt excited. In a way it was my form of passive resistance and rebellion.

When socializing with gay friends, what activities are especially enjoyable?

For me, nothing beats having great sex. Second, it’s the being together, sharing stories and laughing. The good times don’t last very long. I really enjoyed having my friends over to my house despite my mom’s strong disapproval. If not, I’d go to my friend’s houses. I miss having my friends.

Any special advice or thoughts to share with anyone who is thinking about “coming out” as gay?

This may sound harsh or blunt, but your sexuality is your own business. You don’t owe it to anyone to come out. Come out only if it frees you from pain and suffering. I’ve only officially come out to my mom: it became necessary. I didn’t come out to my brothers and sisters, they already knew or they simply figured it out. I haven’t come out to my dad, I don’t see the need. He left when I was ten years old, now I’m almost 45 and I don’t see how it matters.

Gay men deserve as much respect as anyone else on this planet. We shouldn’t be apologizing or giving thanks or getting down on our knees to any other human being. We all have the right to live our lives the way we choose. Coming out should never be forced or felt like a rite of passage. That’s nonsense! Being gay is neither a mistake nor a punishment that can be erased or prayed away.

Rohan’s gravatar here at ReNude Pride!

Rohan the Nubian-Ikigai on nudity:

Growing up, what were you taught about nudity and being seen naked around other people?

Well, to answer this question in all honesty it might be necessary for me to point out that in my country “social nudity” does not exist. People don’t just get naked and go walking around outside in nature or hang out together for the fun of it. This concept is reserved for the North Americans and the Europeans; as such those foreign notions are usually seen with an evil eye.

On the other hand, nudity wasn’t a subject. Nudity is or let me say baring skin was not a taboo. We live on a hot tropical island, my city was built on a beach, Dance Hall and Carnival are a mainstay of our culture. Being poor meant you bathed outdoors or in a river and if you like the rain, it’s a great time to take a rain shower.

But ironically though, we are also very religious, so modesty and clothing meant you were closer to God. So a constant clash between Christian and non-Christian, all in good fun of course.

Once youth reach adolescence, they become very body-conscious and modest. Was this ever the case for you?

Absolutely! Even to this day, I am still very body conscious. But I am taking it in stride. I work out regularly to gain a bit more confidence and overcome that shyness.

Have you ever skinny-dipped (swim naked) with others?

No, which is sad because I lived near a river and a beach…and I’ve seen so many men skinny-dipping in the nearby river as a child growing up (laughter). I think I may be hydrophobic. I don’t really take to water that much. I never really liked swimming, and to make things worse, with my extreme shyness and body-consciousness, skinny-dipping was a definite nono!

Any awkward or interesting experience being socially nude (naked in the company of others) that you’re comfortable to share with us?

I have a few experiences with being nude in public; the most hilarious was when my best friend – who is also straight (opposite gender loving) took me to a topless bar. It was so shocking for me to see a woman topless in public. I remember being so nervous that my hands kept trembling like a leaf. My friend ordered us some sodas. I couldn’t take my eyes off her breasts though (laughs). She served us our sodas, but I was too mesmerized to see that she had put the bottle right in front of me. As I reached for my drink, I ended up spilling it all over the bar counter. She was very sweet; she simply smiled while my friend laughed his head off!

Any advice for anyone considering social nudity for the first time?

Go ahead. There is a lot to gain. Remove the shackles that enslave and the chains that bind. If it feels weird or awkward at first, it’s normal. Living in a society where covering up is the mainstream; we rarely ever get to see ourselves and others for who we really are. Before joining a crowd, though, make sure you’re comfortable being naked with yourself first. Social nudity may be like jumping off the deep end of the pool.

Compare your body type to that of others; this allows you to see that all body types are natural and there isn’t one unique body type. My personal technique is to watch a lot of porn. I also enjoy watching porn. Porn allows me to see lots of naked people without running the risk of being called a pervert. Plus, porn shows men, of so many varying body types and what’s more they are so comfortable. And that’s the key. Being comfortable and being around other people who are also naked and comfortable. You want to be around as much positive energy as possible.

And finally don’t be too critical. Avoid judging others: you may be surprised at how quickly you stop judging yourself in the process!

Rohan, the Nubian-Ikigai!

*************************

One of the many amazing aspects of Rohan, the Nubian-Ikigai is his candor and honesty – not to forget his willingness – in sharing his true self with others! Alex, my identical twin brother, and I had one another to rely on when we began to openly acknowledge our same gender love (gay) and our nudity. His solo acceptance of both who and what he really is isn’t just just brace and courageous but is also exemplary and inspiring!

In the words of Aaron, my spouse, “Fantastic job, Rohan! Congratulations on being you and proud of it! Welcome to our natural world!”

Taking into account the laughs that Rohan, the Nubian-Ikigai shared with is in his interview, we’re all pleased to have him as an optimistic fellow bare practitioner! You’ve earned our admiration and respect, my friend! I am grateful for your participation in this interview on ReNude Pride!

It is a true honour for ReNude Pride and for myself to feature Rohan, the Nubian-Ikigai here today. He’s a remarkable man and an awesome bare practitioner extraordinaire! We have to all make our distinct beginning in our own way and it is refreshing to see Rohan’s initiation into our community and culture in progress! Great job!

Rohan will visit here as a guest co-author on December 1, 2022, for World AIDS Day! Plan to join with us then!

Naked hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Wednesday, November 30, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Bottoms-Up! November, 2022!”

Friday Footnote: Bullying!

Friday footnote!

This Friday Footnote is related to the recent posting for stopping gay bullying.

Reference post entry link:

Spirit Day, 2022!

The minority is clothed in a swimsuit!

Bullying and/or intimidation?

The guy above wearing a swimsuit is the only textile man at this pool party. All of his buddies are eager to skinny dip (swim naked). Was this situation planned in advance? Did someone forget to inform our “minority” that this was a skinny-dipping event?

If that were the case, then all the suited guy needs to do is simply remove his swimsuit and join in the fun! Unless, of course, he is extremely modest or totally discomforted by his nakedness – or the nudity of others.

Was this entire gathering designed to intimidate?

Comfort or discomfort?

As bare practitioners, we all need to make certain that we are not engaged in bullying and/or intimidating others. Many of us have experienced this ourselves because of our same gender loving ability or our preference for nudity when possible.

We understand the feeling it can create.

Two wrongs do not make anything right, fair or proper.

Be honest. Be equal. Do the correct thing! No bullying allowed!

Naked hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry for here is planned for Monday, November 21, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Bare Embrace!”

Vote Tomorrow!

USA election day!

If you have not already voted, please remember to do so tomorrow, Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

All 435 members of the House of Representatives face voting and 35 members of the Senate are in competition. Various state and municipal elected positions are also on ballots. Make your decision!

Before casting your decision, please explore all options on candidates and proposed agendas. Align your electoral choices to ensure they are comparable to our communities and our culture!

Hopefully, this will someday be an election option!

Naked hugs!

Aaron Peterson-Poladopoulos/Roger Peterson-Poladopoulos

ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next posting entry for here is planned for Friday, November 11, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Armistice Day, 2022!”

My Leaves Legacy!

Posing for photography class!

AKA: “Hey, I’m Gay And Bare For Pay!”

Background:

Now that I’ve captured your undivided attention and curiosity with my AKA (also known as) alternate title for today’s posting, Modelling Legacy. Growing up, I’d never even considered modelling while bare as a job option. Our parents always emphasized education, specifically university, which, for a Deaf gay adolescent eliminated posing clothes free as a lifetime career. The sole focus was knowledge, then employment.

While studying to earn my baccalaureate degree, I learned the both the fine art program and the photography art program at my university employed post-graduate students to pose as naked models for respective under-graduate (baccalaureate) classes. An ideal job for me to begin after being awarded my inaugural degree! Perfect for my bare practitioner (gay nudist) self! I could now be paid to be clothes free all day long on campus!

The summer after my university graduation seemed to me as endless. I was anxious and eager to begin my “career” as a nude model. I wasn’t an art student at university and had almost no interaction with any of those who had posed clothes free prior to me.

Leafy posing!

As the September of my post-graduate student life arrived, my limited (non-existent) contact with the university’s “model” team was solely with a member of the adjunct art faculty also served as the academic advisor to the school’s Lavender Club (at that time, the bisexual, gay and lesbian student group). As the club’s advisor, he knew that I was same gender loving but only aware of my nudist preference upon receipt of my application for the modelling programme.

He immediately acknowledged my enthusiasm for any and all opportunities to pose naked. He inquired of my knowledge of and/or interest in Washington, D.C.’s gay nudist social group, Lambda Soleil. He later introduced me to the organization and sponsored my membership therein.

Leafy prostration!

The Leaf Incident:

My first working day as a bare model was a “double” engagement. In the late morning, I posed inside one of the art studios for a class of first year art students. It wasn’t a surprise job as all it entailed was sitting on a stool in front of the class – totally naked. The major task was remaining still (lifeless) for ninety minutes.

Later that afternoon, with two other nude models, we posed outdoors in a massive pile of leaves for a photography class. This assignment, as explained by our model coordinator, involved us interacting with one another and, of course, with the leaves. The students were expected to capture on film a series of photos depicting autumn play.

Once the class assembled, I realized that all five of the students were gay. Our model advisor had not shared this to any of us before we agreed to this session. As an openly gay man myself, it was no problem for me. None of the other models seemed bothered by this. While the class was taking pictures, it was revealed by our modelling “boss” that the purpose of this photo-shoot was to show gay men in autumn play!

The two others that were modelling with me on this project were both several years older than me and with previous modelling experience at the university. One – whom I recognized – had been a member of the Lavender Club and identified as a bisexual man. The other one I never knew his sexuality.

Our “boss-man” appeared on site just as we were about to start our modelling exercise. He was introduced to the class by the instructor and as he reviewed the university’s guidelines for working with bare models (no personal or intimate contact allowed) he began stripping off his clothes! He was present to “supervise” our photo-shoot!

Receiving directions for a photo-shoot session!

I immediately began asking myself: did he need to be naked in order to supervise us posing nude? Was he going to be at every photo-shoot clothes free? Given all the attention he had given me during the last couple of weeks, the other models let me know that he obviously had an ulterior motive for stripping off his garments!

Once the photography instructor signaled “commence” we became active with our pile (mountain) of leaves. We took dives into leaves, we rolled in the leaves, we buried ourselves in leaves and gave each other leaf “showers!” There were only a small number of activities that we didn’t attempt to engage in. Cameras captured our images as we caroused ourselves in leaves!

After an hour of “playing” and posing in the leaves, I became light-headed and had trouble breathing. Suddenly, I fainted! Down on the ground! The next thing that I was aware was lying on my back after being revived by a nurse from the university clinic. A few minutes later, a mobile trauma unit arrived to transport me to the GWU (George Washington University) hospital. My face and neck were flushed (red) and heavily swollen, I continued to have shortness of breath and a severe bruise and laceration on the back of my head. I was kept overnight in hospital for monitoring and test results.

I have a severe allergy to leaf mold. It had never affected me previously. However, I never remember being that involved with that amount of moldy leaves before for that amount of time – almost 90 minutes.

Shortly after I returned to campus, a notice was displayed on the message board adjacent to the administration offices of the School of Art, Photography and Media:

“Roger does not play well with leaves!”

Naked hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry for here is planned for Sunday, November 6, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Clocks Back!”

Bottoms-Up! Happy Halloween!

Serving a Halloween tasty treat!

This year, Bottoms-Up! and Halloween both occur on the exact same day! Therefore, today’s posting entry here will feature both occasions in harmony! Beware of the ghosts and the goblins!

Buttocks in disguise: Sandy!

For everyone able to attend their local beach today, sand offers an economical and natural costume for everyone’s buttocks. Don’t forget the glue to prevent to grains of sand from falling off!

Buttocks unfurled in Rainbow flag Pride!

October, the home month of Halloween, is also GLBTQ+ History Month! A good day to show our history, pride and our happy Halloween best!

An energetic pumpkin adorned buttocks!

The tradition of pumpkins for Halloween is beyond my imagination but the use of body-painting stimulates my interest!

Colourful buttocks!

Decorations for the icing on the cake are also exciting for our very own “cake” of full and delicious buttocks!

Taken hostage for his buttocks!

Halloween frequently involves “tricks or treats!” Being seized as a hostage is quite a trick to undertake – Halloween or not!

A buttocks treat!

These buttocks offer a “hot” treat guaranteed to melt all your butter!

Happy Halloween to all!

Naked hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry planned for here is Friday, November 4, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “My Leaves Legacy!”

Felipe: Tattoo Costume!

Felipe Ferreira and his tattoo!

Brazilian-born fashion and bare practitioner model Felipe Ferreira is very proud of his pride tattoo and has no qualms about his same gender loving sexuality nor his preference for nudity. As his career has progressed, he is increasingly comfortable about both of those aspects of his private life.

Felipe Ferreira

Unfortunately, sometimes the photography captures the tattoo in reverse but that doesn’t stop our model from continuing to flaunt his pride in being himself! edirP (Pride spelled backwards) is not a recognizable word (spoken or text) in any human language that I am aware.

Felipe adjusting his purple underwear briefs!

Felipe initially attracted my attention in 2017, when his employment as a model for men’s underwear launched. At the time, he garnered celebrity status as a bold and honest openly bisexual man with his pride tattoo proclaiming his sexuality.

Two years later, in 2019, Felipe publicly announced himself as an exclusively same gender loving (gay) man. In his interview, he credited his bisexual “cover” as the work of a modeling agency’s public relations expert intent on advancement in his career.

Underwear and GLBTQ+ Rainbow flag!

At that time, the publicity person’s deception was labelled a falsehood with the goal of keeping Felipe as appealing to both men and women. He readily admitted to his discomfort and regret with the duplicity regarding his sexual nature. In his interview he stated:

“The reason for my having the pride tattoo is my confidence in being a same gender loving man! We all know that pride in who we are is not just limited to the month of June. A tattoo is one way to show our pride to all 365 days every year.” ~ Felipe Ferreira ~ gay model, 2019

Of course, we all know that the wearing of a pride tattoo is no guarantee that we automatically experience the confidence we desire. The tattoo itself doesn’t bestow pride – it is merely symbolic of what we achieve through self-acceptance, effort and hard work. Ferreira understands this and by his example – the pride tattoo and being the man he truly is – is showing others his self-acceptance and reminding us all of his pride!

Modeling his jock-strap (athletic supporter)!

Aside from his modelling men’s underwear, his professional engagements have expanded into music as well. He is a professional DJ promoting popular and progressive house, hip-hop and reggae. In this industrial field, being clothes free and same gender loving is not a concern or a problem.

Felipe’s pride isn’t restricted to just his sexuality. Some of his more recent photography assignments openly depict his confidence and self-acceptance of his nakedness. He’s never personally felt any conflict or discomfort whenever he privately engaged in a social nudity situation although with his modelling career he has been “encouraged” by industry publicists to pursue – at the very least – appearing underwear.

Felipe Ferreira (buttocks) with openly gay Raphael Horst!

Clarification:

Felipe Ferreira does not publicly self-identify with the label: bare practitioner. Probably because many people misunderstand the distinction. He does openly acknowledge himself as a gay nudist – which qualifies himself for that identity.

Now, as his celebrity and professionalism has increased and soared, his recognition and his same gender loving status is no longer considered a major issue. He now appears in male only scenes on camera and video with other openly gay and bare entertainers (soft pornography). In the image directly above with Raphael Horst and below with Shabazz, he promotes his bare practitioner comfort and pride!

Felipe kissing Shabazz with pride!

“Gay and naked is who and what I am as a man. It is not a problem or a reason for shame. It is me and my tattoo!” ~ Felipe Ferreira ~ gay model, 2021

Obviously, he needs no more for a Halloween costume than his pride tattoo! As a bare practitioner, do we require any better endorsement? In my humble opinion, Felipe Ferreira’s company is enough example and recommendation!

Happy Halloween!

Naked hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry for here is planned for Monday, October 31, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Bottoms-Up! Happy Halloween!”

Purpose?

Heartfelt!

There have been times in our lives when we have looked upon a picture and wondered: What is the meaning of this? Either the subject or the actual photographer (or perhaps both) are communicating but…what is the message?

Is he bidding farewell?

Is he expressing sorrow?

Gratitude?

Remorse?

Humility?

Sometimes, communicating using body language (expressions, body positioning) is very similar to using sign language (the communication language for us Deaf persons). Body language may not have the grammar and syntax that sign language does but both are visual instead of hearing.

Task:

With the popularity of today’s “selfie” photography, think of a message that you would like to convey to others. Consider your options for posing and then capture your pose in a photo. Share your images with friends – fellow bare practitioners if you posed naked – and ask if they understand your meaning or purpose.

Have fun engaging in your body language assignment!

Naked hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Friday, October 28, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Felipe: Tattoo Costume!”

Breaking Bare-iers! Part 3!

Interracial posing and touching!

GLBTQ+ Bare History Month: Breaking Bare-iers! Part 3!

Reference:

To view the previous two postings referred to with this being number three, please click onto the titles listed below:

Breaking Bare-iers! Part 1!

Breaking Bare-iers! Part 2!

Explanation:

In everyday vernacular “barrier” is often interpreted as a blockage, an impediment and/or a challenge that must be overcome. In today’s title, bare-ier, is intended to imply that we are breaking (destroying, eliminating, eradicating, removing) the perceived challenge to being bare (clothes free, naked, nude). ReNude Pride is truly one “safe space” for body and clothes freedom!

In the early days of photography, especially here in the USA, the segregation (legal separation) of the population by racial identity was not only widely practiced but in many states (especially in the south) was mandated (required) by law. This was based on the philosophy that prevailed throughout the southern states of “separate but equal.” In reality, the separation was strictly enforced and the equality was nonexistent.

All men, vintage and together!

Photographs from the early days to the latter third of the 20th Century rarely depicted interracial individuals in contact and congeniality with one another. The laws and traditions of the American society were observed and strictly followed. Few photographers and/or models had the courage to ignore the constraints and restrictions imposed by the mainstream population. The capture of these few people all together was extremely rare, and especially if they were completely clothes free and visibly engaged as legitimate equals!

However, after the end of World War II, the executive order of then-President Harry Truman, decreed the end of enforced segregation of the entire U.S.A. military, naval and air forces. Times were changing and a few photographers and their subjects came forward to celebrate this bold progressive measure. A significant number of those brave souls were from our “closeted” (secretive) community of same gender loving men.

Bare and unashamed!

The post-war world delivered everyone into a changing life situation. Allies during the war became enemies. Enemies during the war became comrades and the regimented structure of society began to lose some of the class-consciousness that held different people apart. Gradually, familiarity replaced judgment in personal interactions. The military abandoning the racial segregation – long considered a stalwart among the majority – opened the eyes of some with foresight into a glimmer of new possibilities.

The ideal of “it is our tradition” began to weaken as the notion of “let’s see what else we can do” grew in importance. Custom and habit no longer kept individuals tied to a repressive and restricted environment.

Bare boxing!

As the walls that divided different classes (socio-economic groups) of people began to slowly disperse, the eradication of separation between persons of differing ethnic, cultural and racial backgrounds began to decline also. This change didn’t occur suddenly – it was an eventual shifting of bias, distrust and prejudices as the general society embarked on the slow, incremental process of enlightenment and evolution in a changing world order.

The late 1940’s soon became the 1950’s and economic, political and social change lost the incredibility and novelty it once generated. Colonial states moved towards independence and traditional authority concepts began to recede into obscurity. The long accepted practice of unquestioned following to the “status quo” declined.

Interracial embrace!

While these opinion and outlook shifts happened in the broader society, subtle opportunities appeared in the same gender loving world as well. Still largely illegal and isolated, small groups of “homosexual” (bisexual, gay and lesbian) persons carefully and cautiously emerged into the larger urban areas – still discreet and secretive but no longer totally isolated.

The 1960’s introduced public protests and general boycotts into the social change movement. African-Americans, women, immigrant farm workers and other minorities usually overlooked by the powered-few (white males) started their own campaigns for social acceptance and equality. The momentum for change gained strength and attention. In 1961, the state of Illinois repealed the illegality of the “homosexuals” – the first political jurisdiction in the country to outlaw the banishment and shame normally and universally thrown against the “social deviants.”

The seeds of change and progress were planted. By the end of the decade, on June 28, 1969, the lion started to roar and the march for equality and freedom for all same gender loving peoples launched itself!

Naked hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

The next post entry here is planned for Monday, October 17, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Autumn Arrival!”

Coming Out Day!

Artwork: Keith Haring

National Coming Out Day is a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer+ (GLBTQ+) awareness day that is observed annually on October 11. Since the inception in 1988, it encourages all GLBTQ+ to take steps on this occasion to “come out” of the closet and not to be ashamed of who and what you are. The original concept was to make the personal acknowledgement into a political statement in support of GLBTQ+ civil rights.

The emphasis of this day is on the basic form of activism which is being openly and proudly who you are and sharing this reality with family, friends and colleagues. The goal is to live your life as a confident bisexual, gay or lesbian person without any guilt or retribution. Those of us who are bare practitioners have supplemented this qualification with being an “out” naturist/nudist.

The term “in the closet” refers to the custom or habit of life before the Stonewall Inn riots of 1969, when practically all GLBTQ+ people lived “in the closet” (secretive) lives in order to keep their jobs, the love of their family and their social place in general society.

Brock Bradley: openly “out” – gay and naked!

What inspired the first observation of Coming Out Day is the fact that homophobia thrives in an atmosphere of bigotry, ignorance and silence. Once people realize that they have a loved one or an acquaintance who is bisexual, gay or lesbian, they are less willing to remain with homophobic or repressive inclinations. That’s reason for encouraging people to “come out of the closet” and let the world know your true identity. There is simply “no shame” in being who we are!

The October 11, date was selected because it was the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. This was the first national gathering in support of GLBTQ+ equality observed in the USA.

National Coming Out Day!

The early events of Coming Out Day often coincided with celebrities and/or other persons of note openly and publicly acknowledging their GLBTQ+ identity. Later, the practice of the tabloid media disclosing a person as being bisexual, gay or lesbian – often without their permission. This publicly “outing” someone was very controversial and usually accompanied by negative attacks on the disclosing media.

The involuntary coming out process was short-lived as the rapidly expanding HIV/AIDS crisis soon replaced the newsworthiness of sexual orientation exposure. For many, an AIDS diagnosis was synonymous with the the coming out announcement.

Today, the observance is another day of proudly reminding others of both what and who we essentially are. There is no longer the absolute necessity to remain “closeted” throughout much of the world.

Naked hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Friday, October 14, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Breaking Bare-iers #3!”

Unfurled Above Us!

Flying bold and bravely!

The headline photograph is the current Progress version of the GLBTQ+ pride flag that represents our community and our culture. Despite our novelty among the numerous movements in the civil rights world, we do have a history of different banners and what they symbolize waving above us. This “first Friday” of the 2022 GLBTQ+ History Month will examine and share images of these and briefly offer a story of the respective flag.

The Pink Triangle Flag:

The Pink Triangle flag!

The downward-pointing pink triangle was used by Nazi Germany as a badge of shame. It was sewn onto the shirts of homosexual (gay) men in concentration camps to identify and dehumanize them.

Homosexuality was made illegal in Germany in 1871, but it was rarely enforced. When the Nazi Party assumed control in 1933, it was made a priority in order to culturally and racially “purify” Germany. The Nazis arrested tens of thousands of GLBTQ+ individuals, the majority whom were homosexual men, whom they viewed as degenerate.

The early 1970s was when the gay rights movement began to emerge worldwide (after the 1969 Stonewall Inn riots) and various organizations reclaimed the pink triangle as an empowering symbol. It also serves as a reminder to remember the past – and to recognize the persecution GLBTQ+ people continue to suffer around the world.

The Lambda Flag:

Greek letter Lambda flag!

The Greek letter, lambda, was first chosen as a gay symbol when, in 1970, for the first anniversary of the Stonewall Inn Riots (SIR), it was adopted by New York City’s local chapter of Gay Activist Alliance as the emblem of their growing movement of gay liberation. Some identified the Greek letter with the representation of the word “liberation.”

In 1974, lambda was subsequently adopted by the International Gay Rights Congress meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, as their official symbol designating gay, bisexual and lesbian civil rights. Following this selection, lambda became internationally popular and recognized as representing the growing movement for civil rights for all people, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.

Lambda was first designated in December, 1969, as representative of the new gay liberation movement by the graphic artist and one of the Gay Activist Alliance’s founding members, Tom Doerr. Doerr chose the letter because in chemistry it was a sign for catalyst. Others argue that lambda denoted the synergy of the growing gay movement: the idea of the whole being greater than the sum of all its parts.

Some view the lambda as being synonymous with males exclusively.

The Rainbow Flag:

The Rainbow flag!

First publicly raised on June 25, 1978, in San Francisco, California, USA, the flag flew over the United Nations Plaza in honour of then-gay pride at the 1978 San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. The original flag consisted of eight coloured stripes and was designed by Gilbert Baker and hand-stitched and dyed with the help of friends and volunteers Lynn Segerblom, James McNamara, Glenne McElhinney, Joe Duran, and Paul Langlotz.

The eight-stripe original rainbow flag was soon revised to six stripes with pink (symbolizing “sex”) and turquoise (symbolizing “art and magic”) eliminated as the colours and dyes were unavailable in flag fabric. Baker conceived the flag would empower his “tribe” and a “rainbow of humanity” motif would represent the movement’s diversity.

The six stripes and what the colours represent:

Rainbow flag and symbolic colours!

The six stripes on the revised rainbow flag symbolize values held dear and not the various people comprising the community and culture.

The Progress Pride Flag:

The Progress Pride flag!

The Progress Pride flag was developed by non-binary artist and designer Daniel Quasar in 2018. Based on Gilbert Baker’s 1978 Rainbow flag, Quasar’s redesign celebrates the diversity of the GLBTQ+ community and culture worldwide and encourages a more inclusive general society. The redesigned banner has increased the representation of discriminated minority identities covered by the GLBTQ+ umbrella.

Quasar’s creation placed black and brown stripes (emblems representing peoples of colour) and light blue, pink and white stripes (representing transgender, non-binary and intersex persons) in the shape of an arrow on the left of the Progress Pride flag. In Daniel Quasar’s words “…the arrow points to the right to show forward movement and illustrates that progress towards inclusivity still needs to be made.”

The black stripe has a double meaning as it is also intended for “those living with HIV/AIDS and the stigma and prejudice surrounding them and those who have died from the disease.”

Progress Pride body painted design!

The Progress Pride flag has been immediately an international success. On the evening of June 6, 2018, Quasar posted the design on social media and woke up the next morning to find that it had gone viral. It has been enthusiastically received by the GLBTQ+ community and culture all around the globe!

Naked hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Monday, October 10, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Coming Out Day!”