Well, this prompt is a good way to catch up with what I started last spring!
Provincetown is home, for now. I love it. I intend to stay as long as it feels right. I’m trying not to hold on too tightly to any ideas about what that means.
Why does it feel important not to hold on too tightly? Well, for starters, Cape Cod as a whole is mostly just a giant sandbar. And Ptown is way, way out on the tip and most of it is not very high. Then there’s the building my apartment is in, which is right on the water, and not very high above it. So, you know. Now that I live here, I see that I (unlike most of the seasonal workers or people who have Ptown-based jobs) do have options for other places to live, but it’s still a very tight and expensive housing market.
But back to the good parts of that windswept beach (which is *right* behind my building): it’s a big part of why I’m happy here. I can’t see it from my apartment, but I can hear the water when there are waves (often there aren’t), and if I go out my front door, turn right, and walk 30 feet I can stand at the deck railing and just let the wide open sky and the water sink in.
It’s so much brighter here than in a city, even when it’s not summer. The buildings are lower and sometimes farther apart, and there’s lots of reflected light.
And finally, the fact that there are lots and lots of gay people here is deeply wonderful. Also plenty of restaurants and bars with a wide variety of food and beverages. During the off-season, of course, there are not as many options, but the variety is still good. I do miss Indian and Korean food, though. A lot.
But hope springs eternal. My friend Heather has provided 30 prompts, mostly drawn from a Facebook post I made on National Coming Out Day, to encourage me to write. I’ll do my best to keep up (and it remains to be seen if what I write in response to some of these will be something I want to share publicly).
Home, for now: A windswept beach, with brilliant open skies overhead and welcoming restaurants and bars nearby
I came out as a gay man slightly over 40 years ago (that’s 2/3 of my life).
In those years I’ve known joy and heartbreak.
I’ve loved men deeply and only a couple of times come to regret being involved with them.
I’ve accompanied some friends who’ve died and grieved many more (including housemates and coworkers).
I helped support the production of the first safer-sex pamphlet in San Francisco as part of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
I’ve supported people doing hospice work and traveled in the Quaker ministry with a concern to get Friends to talk about AIDS.
I’ve had personal conversations with Evangelical and African Quakers about being gay.
I’ve been the occasion for a disagreement between private school administrators and ill-informed parents.
I’ve been attacked on the street on my way home from a bar with my lover.
I spent a year or so when my father wouldn’t speak to me.
I’ve experienced the rewards of rebuilding a relationship with my father.
I’ve been charged by police on horseback while protesting government inaction on AIDS.
I survived living in San Francisco during the beginning years of the AIDS epidemic.
I’m still often uncomfortable holding hands in public.
I’ve had sex with women, but do not consider myself bi or queer.
I marvel at how the world has changed in 40 years and sometimes struggle to keep up.
I struggle with the conflict between conforming to majority culture and being myself.
I wonder if I should present as “more gay” at work.
I have a boyfriend who has a husband, and everything about that feels great except for the distance away he lives ( ❤️❤️❤️ ).
It’s National Coming Out Day, and these thoughts reflect my belief that social change often comes as a result of suffering. I celebrate with those who do not suffer for coming out, and with those who do not regret coming out even if they have suffered. I mourn and am angry with those who do not have a choice about coming out (or staying in) and with those who involuntarily suffer. I grieve the thousands who were outed in death and all those who are not alive to enjoy the changes that are happening around us. I’m committed to expanding the freedom and dignity afforded me to include those who have not benefited. I’m committed to continuing the struggle for full recognition of basic human rights for all people. I dream of a world where we can all flourish.
Experienced spiritual practitioner.
Survivor of the plague years.
I wear a fairy crown but dress in denim and t‑shirts.
As I review what I have written this month about my past, I notice that . . .
As I read what I have written this month about my life right now, I see that . . .
As I read what I have written the past month, I imagine this about the remaining years of my life.
As I consider all of my writing this month, these are the things I plan to do.