Monday, March 31, 2008

Reactivating Blog

Who said "I'm baaaaaack"? Well, after a long hibernation, I've reactivated my personal blog. I've changed the name to "Retired In Delaware" to more accurately reflect my station in the world at this time of my life. Is anyone interested? I doubt it. However, I am interested and I make no apologies for that. To me this is a form of therapy. Most if not all of us, if we're honest with ourselves, will admit that our primary interest in our life is us. Of course there has to be a balance. Excessive interest in ourselves is narcissism. Little or no self interest in ourselves is low self-esteem, which is also a problem. At this time in my life I feel the need to leave a history of myself that I existed. Why? Because there may be someone like me in the future who is interested in genealogy like me and wants to know more about the person behind the name and dates. I feel like I'm rambling here but be that as it may. I feel the need to keep a blog of my life as a retired gay man in lower Delaware (Sussex County). If you're reading this and don't like it, go to the next blog. However, if find my blog of interest, come back again. Lots going on in my life. Soon to be a movie!


dinesh said...

There are literally hundreds of us volunteers who work various events and fundraisers sponsored by CAMP and it all goes back to the community. Whether or not you choose to take advantage of the rewards is up to you, but don't paint with such a broad brush.
What you and your partner are enjoying is the direct result of the groundwork laid many years ago when you were still in the closet. You really should learn more for yourself and evaluate CAMP on its merits.

Delaware Drug Treatment

Ron said...

Please don't take a holier than thou attitude with me when justifying your chosen social activities. You chose to get involved in various events and fund raisers sponsored by CAMP. That is your choice. Your comment "whether or not you choose to take advantage of the 'rewards' is up to you" - what exactly are the "rewards?" Please spell that out to me. Is it to participate in reinforcing gay stereotypes like slave auctions, drag shows, and general flaunting the so called gay lifestyle in straight people's faces? You are very presumptuous in saying "what you and your partner are enjoying is the direct result of the groundwork laid many years ago when you were still in the closet." I understand this is one of the talking points of the CAMP Rehoboth founder but how do you know if I was ever in the closet? How do you know how I have reconciled my sexual orientation to the straight world? This is another example of the thoughtless and arrogant attitude of some gays that I, in my in artful way, was trying to bring to the attention of others in my blog posting. My partner and I have endured much discrimination during the 44 years we have been together; from straights but mostly from gays because we don't participate in "camp". We're both men and prefer to act and be seen as men. If others prefer to flit, swish and carry on as the stereotypical gay male, that is their business. Ironically the last place I expected hostility and discrimination was from a bunch of D C, wine glass holding queens, with their unnaturally white teeth pontificating about how others who don't join their endless fund raising efforts should feel guilty. I've asked a friend who was involved what does CAMP do (besides the fund raising which will never end as far as I can tell). His immediate reaction was to get all huffy and puffy that I would even dare to ask, such a sacred cow has CAMP Rehoboth morphed into being, before he told me that they provide "sensitivity training" for the local police force. Why is it necessary for an outside agency to provide sensitivity training? Aren't police trained now to treat all members of the community with equal justice and compassion? I'm told that CAMP Rehoboth also passes out condoms to the local gay bars. For this you want a community center with an auditorium that cost $375,000? Give me a break. Some people go to great lengths to justify their good times and partying ways. I'm sure there are many people who are involved in CAMP activities who are sincere and well meaning. Jimm and Tammy Faye Bakker also had many people working and contributing to their fund raising activities but that doesn't change the fact that the Bakkers were the ultimate beneficiaries from all the money raised from the Great Unwashed. It is not my intention to denigrate those who are sincere in their volunteer efforts for CAMP but only to call attention to the fact that CAMP Rehoboth is not the reason I live in my neighborhood free from the fear of homophobic neighbors or police. I have several friends who I highly respect who are involved in CAMP. Not for a second would I question their sincerity. However, what CAMP activities does or does not do, does not affect my day to day life. And that, my friend, is a fact of life for you to digest. Don't you paint me with such a broad brush. We can respectfully agree to disagree. That said, it would have been nice if, when we moved here in November of 2006 that we received a welcome from CAMP Rehoboth. Of course that didn't happen. A friend said "You have to go to them." What? And bow in subservience and thank the Great Mammon for making the Rehoboth Beach area a gay friendly place to live? Herbert Avenue in Pennsauken, New Jersey, Naudain Street in Philadelphia, PA, Ridge Avenue in Roxborough, PA, Roup Street in Pittsburgh, PA, Crawford Road in Downingtown, PA and, finally, Whitehall Drive in Milton, DE are all places we have lived in harmony with our neighbors without the benefit of CAMP Rehoboth laying the groundwork for me and my partner to "enjoy" our life (as you put it). Our home in Downingtown, PA was the only exception. That was corrected when I called the police (again, without the benefit of a CAMP Rehoboth type of organization) and complained about my neighbors' kids standing on the border of our property yelling "Faggots get out!" The police chief of the township personally took it upon himself to inform my neighbor to stop harassing us or else they would be charged with a Hate Crimes violation. She did. We received a letter of apology from the four teenagers and there were no further incidents. All this took place without the intervention of an organization like CAMP Rehoboth to "protect" me and my partner. There are laws now on the books to protect me and my partner. I don't have to contribute to an organization like CAMP Rehoboth to exercise my rights as a citizen of this country. Social activities are find and whatever justification one can find for them are normal. But please, don't throw a guilt trip out to those who choose not to participate. You don't know our life experience nor will you ever. I have evaluated CAMP Rehoboth and found that it has no bearing on my day to day life. And, my friend, I am the expert on my life, not you. Friends, co-workers, and all others we interact with during our life activities, gay or straight or in between, judge me and my partner on whom we are and not what we are. We do not asked to be treated as "special" or apart from other just because of our sexual orientation. On the positive side I do enjoy your publication Letters. Most of the columns are interesting and informative. Faye Jacobs is a true talent that should be nationally recognized. However, the Camp Shots of many of the same old faces holding their half empty wine glasses aloft has worn out its welcome. How many times do we want to see Chris without his shirt, Marvin's smiling face with his goggle eyes and Mowry and John attending another art gallery opening? Again, all this does is reinforce old stereotypes of an exclusive local gay clique. I participate and give to causes that I see a direct result. One such organization is the American Legion Post 28 of Millsboro. They provide van service to the Wilmington VA for veterans. My partner and I are veterans who use this service. The van driver has an envelope and veterans who wish to donate to help alleviate the expense of the van. The van driver volunteers his time for the long and strenuous trip. There are no guilt trips and statements like "You wouldn't be enjoying the quality of life you enjoy if it wasn't for our van service." American Legion Post 28 is a social organization and proudly declares it. They do have fund raising activities which my partner and I contribute to generously. Why? Because we see a direct result. They make no bones about being a social organization and they provide much needed services for veterans. When my partner and I moved here we received information about the American Legion Post. They reached out to us. They offered to help. I did even know that a van service existed until they told me about it. The American Legion Post 28 also has goals and fund raising activities, albeit more modest than CAMP Rehoboth. Perhaps the main difference between the American Legion is that my partner and I pay $35.00 a year for membership and receive a membership card with all the benefits that accrue to us. Even though we're gay, we don't flaunt it. We're veterans who just happen to be gay. The VA and the van drivers know we're gay because I introduce my partner as "my life partner." I have yet to encounter any hostility or homophobia. Does CAMP Rehoboth want to take credit for that also by saying they "laid the groundwork?" There are other members of the gay community who take advantage of the American Legion van service to Wilmington. The van service has a more direct benefit to the quality of the life that they "enjoy" than the next Sundance Festival. The American Legion Post 28 has a weekly karaoke night. You should come sometime. We're allowed to bring guests. You might be surprised. There is a life outside of the CAMP Rehoboth bubble.