In America the term “Sexual Offender” is used to classify anyone who has ever been convicted of any sex related crime.
Everyone from pedophiles and serial rapists to 18 year old persons who have sex with someone who is 17 or less even if the sex is consensual but the parents press charges.
Somehow this blanket classification seems wrong to me. These so called “Sexual Offenders” are required to register in the community in which they live with the Police Dept and have their name and address listed in an online registry that is public.
They are required to inform any prospective employers or landlords. This has the effect of preventing them from gainful employment or housing.
Even pedophiles need jobs and housing. I can understand families with children not wanting any pedophiles living near their children. The problem is what does society do with these pariahs? Create a “Ghetto” for them and just cordon them off from the rest of us?
Serial rapists are a threat to women (and sometimes men) so what should be done to keep them from continuing to harm others? The same ghetto as the pedophiles?
How is this problem handled elsewhere?
Last year a case here in Georgia involved an 18 year old who had sex with his girlfriend who happened to be 16. They were in high school together. Her parents found out and pressed charges against him. An eager prosecutor foaming at the mouth over such an easy case and to make a name for himself helped convict the young man and he was sentenced to 5 years in prison. He was turned down for early release but finally got out last year.
When I was in high school seniors and sophomores routinely dated and I’m sure had sex. The quarterback and the cheerleader, so to speak. No one was ever charged with a sex crime. I don’t know when it became a crime for high school students to have sex
I’m sure everyone has heard the argument that prostitution is the oldest profession. The comparisons made of a quid pro quo “date” and the financial arrangement between a sex worker (hookers and hustlers) and their customer.
In America prostitution is illegal except at a few locations in Nevada (how can one state have legal prostitution and the other 49 not jump on the gravy train?).
In my opinion prostitution should be legal, regulated, taxed and the workers should be tested, protected from abuse and paid a high wage. This is just another service industry. If we set all the moral arguments aside and look at the benefits legalizing would bring then we would probably all agree.
Reduced transmission of STD’s, reduced crimes of assault on the workers, increased revenue from taxes and savings on jails, court costs and the healthcare system plus the stigma associated with the profession would eventually lessen.
I have never paid for sex. I don’t understand the need to have sex with a stranger. I guess I might be a prude, lol. Intimacy requires a certain amount of familiarity with the other person – for me anyway. Considering the number of arrests annually a lot of people do pay for sex. Why not make if safer for everyone? It appears that prostitution will never be stopped since it is the “Oldest Profession”.
I don’t want to offend anyone by this next statement so don’t be getting all made at me, lol – The comparison of spending money on a date with the hope of having an intimate connection or the money spent wooing a future spouse is analogous to prostitution – really – you spend money with the hopes of having sex.
There are couples who never spent money on each other for dates or expensive jewelry or anything else – they meet each other and it is love at first sight – no need for the preliminaries – you know you are meant to be together.
This was the case for me and my partner. I’ll spare you the sordid details and simply say this:
I was standing in a hotel lobby when a man walked past me. My head turned to follow him, my jaw dropped open and just then he turned and looked back at me – I knew at that moment who he was – my partner. We have been together for 30 years and I can’t imagine being with any one else.
I must admit I do love to admire the beauty of men. I like all types, lol. There is something about each one of them that is beautiful in one way or another. My brothers all say the very same thing about women, lol.
I do believe many people are not interested in Long Term Relationships and just want to have sex. They are willing to pay someone for sex (or as I’ve heard it said “You don’t pay them for sex, you pay them to leave afterward”).
If you see someone, be it a friend or a stranger, who is being attacked would you come to their assistance or look the other way?
In 1985 an incident occurred that forced me to answer this question. My partner and I were going out on a Saturday night. We were planning to go to a Country & Western bar on Colfax Ave. in Denver called “Charlie’s”. As we drove up Broadway and past the SouthTowne Lumber Company (another bar) a man came running across the street in front of us as he was being chased by 3 men with baseball bats. My partner locked the brakes and we stopped. I opened the front door and slid over to the middle of the seat so the terrified man could get in.
His face was bloodied and his arm looked broken because it appeared a bone was trying to poke through the skin. As we drove him to Denver General Hospital he recounted what happened.
He said he walked out the front door of the bar when he was approached by 3 guys who were verbally abusive with name calling and threatening body movements. As he walked toward his car behind the building the men began to chase him. He was knocked down and beaten with the bats. He got to his feet and they allowed him to have a head start so they could have the fun of chasing him down again. This is when he ran out in front of our car. The bat-wielding men struck our car’s rear fender as we fled.
When we arrived at the Hospital Emergency Room there was a Policeman stationed there. While the victim was taken back and examined we spoke with the officer and told him what had happened. The officer’s reaction was predictable but shocking non the less.
The officer said we could not lodge a complaint because we had not been harmed. We tried to get him to come out to look at our car. He refused and said the damage could have been done anytime before any attack. He asked us why we wanted to stir up a can of worms by making wild accusations. He said our “friend” was getting the medical attention he needed and we should be happy he wasn’t more seriously injured. We told him we had never met the man before that night and even though we helped him he wasn’t our friend before this incident. He said it would be better if we just took our friend home and not try to make any trouble. I became very irritated and started demanding the officer call a supervisor to come settle the dispute. He asked me “Are you really SURE you want to do that?” At this point my partner pulled me back and we went outside where he calmed me down and reminded me we couldn’t win every battle and we had to choose which ones we fought wisely and obviously this officer was warning us this was one fight we couldn’t win.
I capitulated and went to wait in the car. Some time much later my partner and the injured man returned. We took him back to the bar and I drove his car home for him. He lived only a few blocks from where this all happened. His name was James and he was a very beautiful man. His face was lacerated from the pavement he had been pushed down on. His left arm was in a cast and his eyes were starting to swell and soon he would have both eyes blackened by bruises.
He disappeared out of our lives a few days later. He never reported the attack. No one was ever charged with the attack. The officer was never charged with dereliction of duty because I was too afraid to force the issue.
“Brush With Greatness”
Believe it or not there was a time before the internet, cell phones or even CNN. It was Christmas season of 1977. My partner at the time, Casey, my younger brother and I drove from Atlanta to Aspen, Colorado for a ski holiday. One of my older brothers, David, lived near Denver with his new wife and they had rented a chalet on the slopes for us to spend a week.
It’s important for you to know that my older brother was in his mid 30’s, 6′ 4″ tall and built like a brick s**thouse (former marine) who looked very much like Tom Sellek from “Magnum P.I.” – women fell at his feet, LOL. My younger brother was 17 at the time 5′ 10″ and had the body of a Greek God – again all the women within 100 yards (or meters depending on your preference) of him were mesmerized. They were both chick magnets. I was 5′ 10″ and had my own physical attributes (it’s difficult for me to boast about myself – modesty will not permit it, LOL) and I’m not aware of any women that might have been drawn to me because my attention was centered squarely on the men and I must say I could turn some heads, lol.
Casey and I were not expert skiers by any means but both my brothers were. After a couple of days trying to keep up with them on the black diamond runs (near death experiences for us) we decided to take some bunny runs where we could sip wine and indulge in some spliffs as we slowly made our way down the mountain.
Each day we would ski different slopes. On the day we were to ski Aspen Highlands (very intimidating for me and Casey) my brothers took off on their own to spend the day on the sheer cliff trails trying to kill themselves, lol. My sisters, sister-in-law, Casey and I took a different approach. We did a lot of boy-watching and shopping and then took lunch at a slope side restaurant. When we were seated next to a very large table with about 15 or more people who had obviously had too much wine and were in the middle of a lot of laughter and generally having a great time we first thought “Oh Boy” a bunch of loud revelers to watch. As we sat there having a laugh along with the goings on a familiar celebrity face arrived to join the party at the other table – it was Ted Kennedy! That’s when we began to check the other people out more closely. Ethel Kennedy along with some of her children, several other unidentified people plus one other notable – Phil Donahue!
This was turning out to be a great day!!!
We sat there for about an hour eating and watching the American Royal Family – The Kennedy’s – enjoying themselves the same as we were.
This moment was just to good to let end so soon. As they finished and started to leave we decided to sort of “tag along” and see where they went. The teenagers took off in one direction while the adults went another (just like an average family). The youngsters were headed for the death defying black diamond runs while the elders were going to the lifts for the bunny trails. My sisters and sister-in-law stayed at the bottom while Casey and I grabbed our skis from the rack and followed Phil and company to the lift. We stood in line just behind him and within a couple of minutes he turned with a smile on his face and a little laughter in his voice and asked us “Are you guys following me?” we said in unison “YES!”. Of course we didn’t ask for an autograph or to take a picture with him – that was just to crass and common. I think he really appreciated that. We talked about The Kennedy Family briefly and we told him how much we loved his show. After that we only talked about the different runs we had tried on the 4 mountains there. We told him about my brothers and how they had missed the whole adventure in the restaurant. He told us he was only in Aspen for 2 days and had to get back to Chicago the next day. We rode the lift up in the chair behind him chatting off an on. When we got to the top I don’t know what caused me to fall flat on my face as I got of the lift! LOL.
We let Phil go his merry way so as not to pester him on his only day to ski. When we got back down to the bottom my sisters told us they had seen Ethel again and spoke briefly with her – she was very friendly (too much wine, lol) and they too had their own “Brush With Greatness”.
I have a few other stories but they can wait…
ps – for those who might be unfamiliar with Phil Donahue here is a Wikipedia Link about him:
Do You Remember Your First Kiss?
I certainly do! His name was Greg Lake (no – not the Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, lol).
He had medium brown hair cut in a boyish mop top style. His eyes were a deep green and nestled beneath eyelashes that were full and luxuriously long. His lips were perfectly shaped and formed in a pout. His breath smelled of bubblegum and his skin was lily white with the fragrance of Ivory Soap.
We were friends that spent all our time together. It was not unusual for us to go to the bathroom together. We shared everything. The day came when we were so close we knew each others thoughts. I leaned in towards him and he mirrored my movements. At first we touched lips gently. Then we embraced each other for a much longer kiss. It was my first time to kiss a boy. It was his first time, too.
No one saw us. Somehow we knew it was taboo and if caught there would be consequences. We had never seen other boys kissing. The only kisses we had ever seen were couples with a boy and a girl but we wanted to kiss each other. I have never forgotten that moment. I have never forgotten Greg.
This is a true story. I’ve often said I have always known I was different. In my early years the term “Gay” wasn’t used to describe homosexuals. The only terms used were “Queer” or “Faggot” and probably some other even more derogatory terms, lol.
This “Kiss” happened when we were 5 years old. We both knew it was forbidden but we often practiced our kissing in private. We would hold hands sometimes when no one was around. There was a tree house on the back of our property that my older brothers had built where we would hang out. We played house and I pretended to stay home and wait for him to come in from work. It is a lovely memory and such a revealing one.
Greg’s father was in the Army and one day he told me his family was moving to Germany because his father was to be stationed there. It broke both our hearts and we exchanged pen pal letters. We were always careful what we said. Our signatures always included two plus marks as a sign of our connection.
At some point after about a year the letters stopped and I never knew why. My mother kept the letters that I had long forgotten. After she passed away they surfaced during the clearing out of her things. I have them in my safe.
There are many different “Coming Out” stories. The accounts of Coming Out to your family, friends and co-workers. I think I’ll start off with a story about Coming Out to my best friend in high school.
I was 15 and a sophomore in a very small school in my hometown. There were about 40 members of my graduating class and about 120 students enrolled at the school altogether. As I said – small. At the time our community was rural and mostly farms and dairies. All of those wholesome country boys everywhere I looked. It was difficult at times to contain myself. It wasn’t a good idea to be openly gay during my days there. The reasons must be obvious to everyone.
I had spent the first 15 years of my life growing up in the city and our family moved out when the neighborhood began to change. So there I was – a “Big City” boy plopped down in the middle of a very small rural town. I had no trouble making friends. The popular girls were all trying to befriend the new guy (little did they know I wanted the popular guys attentions instead, lol). I was a center of attention and I made the most of it. I knew that all of the jocks and popular guys would flock to the girls and if I happened to be there too my chances of being accepted increased. So, I played it up big time.
There were the blond bimbos who were really kind of slutty, lol. There were the conservative “Nice” girls who would make someone a good wife someday. Then, there was Trudy. She was so beautiful with her bright blue eyes, luscious lips, full breasts and hips and a lovely complexion. Her hair was like a waterfall cascading over her shoulders. She was arguably the most beautiful girl in the whole county. I decided that she would be the best possible friend to have.
At first we studied together, sat near each other during class and took lunch together. We spent the afternoons together doing homework and snacking while listening to rock & roll. She was so intelligent and didn’t really fit in with any of the cliques in school any more than I would have. What I began as a scheme to better my chances of acceptance within the peer group was turning into a “Best Friends Forever” situation.
That first summer I spent working at a local dairy farm milking cows, bailing hay and gathering silage for the cows during winter. The family who owned the dairy had a set of fraternal twins who were in my same class. The parents were Swiss immigrants and they spoke mostly German. I developed a heavy crush on one of the twins – Charles – he was quite the tall, dark handsome young man. His twin – Michael – was a little shorter than me with gorgeous brown hair and eyes of emerald green. Both were very intelligent and highly motivated to succeed in school to earn scholarships for college. We were together in almost every class – the four of us – Trudy, Charles, Michael and I.
When school began for our Junior year the talk was already about the Junior/Senior Prom the next spring. Charles was already involved with a girl from another school he met through his Catholic church. I got over my feelings for him as I grew ever more drawn to Michael. Mike knew Trudy and I were best friends and he asked if I would help him to become friends with her too. Of course I agreed albeit begrudgingly. I didn’t want to be the third party in the triangle of friends as I knew I would end up. By this time I was completely taken with Michael. He knew, I’m sure he knew but that is a different story.
Trudy began dating Mike and all was well until Christmas Break. We were all in the High School Band together – Trudy on French Horn – Michael and Charles on Trumpet and I was on Clarinet. We spent loads of time practicing and going to football games and concerts. It was Thanksgiving week-end when Michael’s older brother decided to turn us on to some pot – I had never smoked pot before and I didn’t even get off that first night. They were all laughing and having a great time and told me to just wait and the next time we smoked it I would feel it too. The next night that is exactly what happened – I got stoned as shit!
Trudy and I left the party in my little 1961 VW bug (the rear window was a small opera window and it had no gas gauge but instead a 1 gallon reserve tank to use when you ran out – and of course no heat to speak of because it was a VW, lol). We went to her house because her father was away and her older sister was cool.
We munched out and played some music and then I opened my big mouth, lol.
I told Trudy that I needed to tell her a secret but only if she promised to never tell. Of course she agreed. I told her about my attraction to guys and that I was completely in love with Michael. I realized as the words came out of my mouth what a mistake I was making but it was too late – the deed was done. I had to suffer an eternity of silence as I waited for her to respond. She burst into a deep laughter that woke her sister, Charlotte. We were sitting on her bed with incense burning and Cheezit crumbs everywhere when Charlotte came through the door. She was grinning from ear to ear.
Apparently, Trudy and Charlotte had already surmised my attraction to Michael and had discussed how long it would be before I said something. At first I was kind of hurt by the laughter and the idea they had figured me out. But within a few seconds I was so relieved that I began to laugh to the point of tears. We all three hugged there on her bed and made a pact to be friends forever.
My fear of rejection by everyone had taught me to try to disguise my difference from them. I was so certain that I had made a mistake in telling Trudy. I risked everything in order to have one friend to trust with my secret. These were the first people I ever came out to – well, besides my older sister who knew before I did, lol.
We continued to be friends throughout high school. We went on double dates together, Trudy and Michael with Dawn and me. We went everywhere together. Trudy was there when I needed her most. She died of brain cancer in 1996 and I miss her. Re-telling this story brought back some very fond memories.
As I said, there are many “Coming Out” stories. This was just one.
I hope some of you will be brave enough and open enough to share some of your own “Coming Out” stories or what it is that keeps you from “Coming Out”. If I can do it so can you. Just post a reply to this thread and let’s become friends who share a little bit of what it is that makes us the people we are.