Monday, February 18, 2013

The 40th Anniversary of my own "Second Coming"; anti-gay video surfaces in suburban MD public schools

Today, President’s Day, Monday February 18, 2013, is the 40th anniversary of “My Second Coming”, as I explained it in the third chapter of my first “Do Ask Do Tell” book. 
The original date was Sunday, February 18, 1973, a bitterly cold late winter day during a season that had been unusually mild.
On that day, I boarded a bus on a  Bloomfield Ave hilltop,. near my apartment in Caldwell, NJ, and rode to the George Washington Bridge terminal, and took a subway (the Number 1 train, I think) down to an apartment in an old high-rise building around W 96th Street, for my first “gay talk group” at 3 in the afternoon.
A flame-guy named Eric ran it. There were six people, all in winter sweaters.  And one or two of them said that they actually preferred “older” men.  That was reassuring as, at 29, I was already going bald.  One of them wanted to invite me to the Everard Baths the next Tuesday night. The "Baths" were part of male gay life in the bic cities until the AIDS crisis in the mid 1980s (the first mandatory closing would happen in San Francisco in the fall of 1984).  
I had a business trip (with Univac) to Princeton that week, though.  I rode back home, quickly picked up my already packed suitcase and drove down 287 to Pirnceton for a week’s training.  But I felt liberated.  The following weekend, I would do a “beginners” downhill run from Killington Summit in Vermont. In those days, I wasn’t home much, living in the burbs.
On “this day”, I have to pass along a rather negative story by Will Sommer in the Washington City Paper, ‘”Same-sex, lies, and videotape: How the ‘ex-gay’ movement got into local middle schools”, link here. The story concerns one Richard A. Cohen and his introduction of the video “Acception” from Cohen’s “International Health Foundation” into a few Prince Georges County MD middle school classrooms. 
When I subbed, in the middle of the previous decade (2004-2007) in northern Virginia, the matter really was treated with neutrality, even though I once heard an administrator mention that debate on ‘gay marriage” was surely coming to the classroom soon.
The word “acception” suggests another word from psychology, “apperception”, as with the “thematic apperception test”.  

Pictures:  The first one is actually in Montclair, NJ, near where I worked;  the second is "my" apartment complex in Caldwell (photos, 2011). 

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