Saturday, November 3, 2012


1980....In a suburban cul-de-sac in Northern California, The sounds of Devo's "Whip It" echo off the houses as children play in the street. Riding bikes with playing cards taped to the spokes to make a motor sound, we all pretend to be on motorcycles or...if your me...X-wing fighters. As some bigger kids in their Kristy McNichol iron on Tshirsts sit by the radio and heckle us,  Devo encourages us to "whip it good". A painfully skinny stood on a skate board and held on to a rope as a friend riding a bike tows me as fast as he can peddle. Only problem is...Cul-de-sacs aren't that big, especially when you feel like you're going a million miles an hour AND your riding a skateboard for the first time in your life...EVER. The exhilaration of speed quickly gave way to the realization of fast approaching curb, and rather than plow into a mailbox at speed, I elected to hop off the board instead, hitting the ground like a meteor on reentry least, that's how it felt. Now, it was a warm day and I was wearing  a Tshirt and those super high 70's shorts that made miniskirts look prudish. So it was all skin on  asphalt till I came to a complete stop. I discovered the definition of "road rash" on that day as I limped home, pissed at my friends as everyone laughed their heads off. Devo had made cracking the whip seem like so much fun, but as I gimped my way around the block home to complain to my mom, Picking rocks out of my legs, it sure didn't feel that way. Nor, on this average day, did it feel like the world would ever change. It didn't really feel as if the 70's were over. There was no canon blast to mark the end of one world and the begining of another....but it did change all the same. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since that day. Tomorrow will be 40 years of it, in fact.

Today I would like to take a moment to reflect on what this birthday means to me and what my hopes are for the future. So have a slice of birthday cake, pull up a chair, and feel free to talk about being a getting older but not growing up.

I was born in November, 1972. That makes me a scorpio for anyone who follows that. I have never been one of those people to freak out on my birthday...unlike my mom who has been turning twenty nine since the late 80's. by contrast, my Grandmother would always say that your only as old as you feel and always made getting older look easy. I took that to heart and determined from a young age that I was going to be a Toy-R-Us kid no matter how old I was...and so far I have kept my promise.

I remember being about 9 years old and feeling like turning 18 was so fare away I couldn't imagine what it would feel like. Now, 18 is so far in the rear view mirror that I can't see it anymore. Being a "grown up" was just something I could never visualize for myself. I knew that, one day, I wanted to get married and to be a father but the rest of life was just one big question mark I had no idea what to do with. And on that day in 1980, my only concerns were playing at my friends house and dreaming about Star Wars. I could not fathom that my life would take the changes it did. The 80's hit like an atom bomb and with it brought the divorce of my parents and an utter upheaval of life as I knew it. Years of dealing with my parents rancor and bitter battles with each other and trying to survive school, though bullies would always be a part of making my life hell....If I'd have known that was coming I never would have got out of bed again. Those were years when I fell into a lot of depression and self hatred that felt like it never had an end.

I watched my classmates as they got older and began to be interested in each other. Boys who before ran from girls...and girls who thought boys were gross began passing notes to each other that read, "check-the-box: Do you like me? yes or no?" The popular kids paired off pretty fast and that left kids like me, that still wanted to play Star Wars and swing on the monkey bars, out in the cold. So I started to wonder why, and to invent my own crushes that would never actually become real. It would take me many years of chasing love in all the wrong places to figure out why it never worked.

I finally turned 13 and decided it would be good to have a new start and move in with my dad. I would move back to my childhood home town...pick up my friendships where I left off...and no longer be the kid everyone loved to hate. What actually happened was years of trying to survive my fathers alcoholism and verbal abuse. It also meant finding out that no matter how far I ran from myself...there I was. I could not start a new life, because I was still the same person. The only thing I could do to get by was be as invisible as possible to everyone including  my family..and that's became a way of life from then on. Being invisible is a part of what got me kicked out of high school and into a last chance continuation school.

I found religion..became a real jerk because of it. I tried too hard to be "good" at any cost including in my thoughts. I tortured myself on the inside over things no one else would, and it is from this point that I recognize the onset of OCD. I managed to work hard and graduate from high school. It was a really big deal considering how close I came to dropping out completely and how much hard work it took to come back from that edge. I had wanted to hide being a smart kid who got A's because it singled me out and instead, my hiding what I could do meant I had ruined my chances for the future. I was ashamed at the thought and worked hard not only to graduate...but to come to terms with the fact that I was a nerd who likes to learn and there was nothing....nothing at be gained by hiding that fact from others. Even if it meant they made my life hell...which they often did. I pulled it together and my family was all there on graduation day. The picture I have of myself on this day is one of the biggest smiles I have ever had..and that's because, for the first time I had believed in myself and had accomplished something I didn't think I could.

I had a job,  a diploma, a car, and I was going part time to collage. Being of legal age made me think of the possibilities. I continued to date women and had my first sexual encounter. And of course, this meant I fell head over heals in love with her. she was my first and that's how it happens to us sometimes. Fortunately, she had the good sense to know it wasn't going to work out and even though I cried for days...I could not see what was coming right around the corner of my life.

Up to this point I had been struggling with being gay and blaming it on temptation.  I wrestled a lot with myself over what I believed religion said...and what I felt in myself about being gay. Now I had the ability to explore and figure it out and no one could catch me doing it. This meant my first trip to the gay and lesbian section at the bookstore..and yes...the seedy little porn shop on the wrong side of town too. At the bookstore I made my first gay friend...and the porn...well...let's just say I got caught red handed with that at home and had some fast explaining to do. Fortunately, they hasty denials and thin excuses worked...for a while.

I was 20ish...still living at home and going to a gay youth group in secret. Scared to death that my father would find out and just kill me. It was then that I met my first boyfriend who was a young red-haired man who loved comic books and I could talk to him for hours. for the first time I understood what it felt like to have both emotion and attraction work together. this was it...this was what love was supposed to feel like. And little by little..I didn't care if my family found out anymore. So I had come out to myself and now it was time to come out to everyone else. That took some time and a whole lot of courage. I thought I would lose my dad and would kill my Grandmother...instead, the person who took it the worst was my mom and we are still not on good terms today because of it. But once I told my family, I didn't give a rats *ss who knew after that. I was out at work and as far as I was concerned, to the world.

It was during my five year relationship with my first boyfriend that I met a certain young man who would have  a bigger impact on me than anyone else in my life....a young Jay Foxworthy. Then, both of us were in separate relationships and I was being introduced to him as someone Jay had to approve of. The first time we met being at a local coffee shop over breakfast. Here was this man sitting across the table from me who was handsome and confident as all hell. He could talk about comics, and star wars and radiate this confidence in himself as a gay man that I couldn't help but be drawn to....but that was still not to be for a few more years. I continued to date the young man I was with, but like most first relationships...that too came to an end. And not many months after that, so did Jays.

Having been friends before, we were already a part of each others lives but now, things were different. I have told the story before of the kiss at beach and knowing from then on that he was the one I wanted to be with. That kiss carried with it a feeling of certainty I only ever felt once before in accepting that I really was gay....I knew. And from that time when we first came together, we have been together ever since. If I blathered on about something he thought was b.s....he at least listened to me and didn't talk down to me. He was kind, a great kisser, and made me feel safer than anyone ever has. Our first years as an actual couple were a little awkward. But as year by year has gone by, I have never looked back or regretted a single day with Jay. Even on days when we fight and cant seem to stand each the end of the day...he is my best friend. Our lives together over these years have been full of adventures that could only be possible because he is the kind of man that he is. Even though the things that first attracted us to each other can sometimes be the same things that drive us nuts about each other, I wouldn't change a thing. All those years ago, when I was craving love and dreaming about being somebodies husband, I wouldn't have foreseen that it would be with a man. If you could have gone back in time and tried to tell me, I would have told you it was impossible then. I would not have believed it. But even though I couldn't have known, I feel very lucky for the life I have. Add to that our two children and I have fortunate enough to be both a husband and father....two things I thought were lost to me when I came out of the closet. Again, I did not understand how the world would change.

And so I am now, husband, father, marriage equality activist....Youtubing and blogging about my life in ways that would have horrified me before. I still struggle with my OCD....but for all the twists and turns my life have taken, I am still a kid at heart and so I hope to stay. My love of Star Wars has been with me since 1977 and since Disney is now breathing new life into it, I get to grow old with it and maybe pass it on to my grandkids. How awesome is that.

The nine year old me who limped his way home in early 1980 didn't know how much his life was about to change and 40 years later...this is where he finds himself. It's bewildering sometimes to imagine all that happened when sometimes it felt like the bad times would never end and other times felt like the good had slipped away too fast. My kids who were 5 and 13 months are now 12 and 7. If I blink they will be 23 and I try not to do that. You miss too much.

As I look forward into the future, I now have things I hope to see. I hope to see Daniel and Selena graduate high school and find something to do that they love. I look forward to the day Jay retires from the sheriffs dept. and that we can open a business and be two cranky old men together....we already got the cranky part down. I look forward to seeing a day when there is no one else who is looked down on or discriminated against, who thinks that they can't live their lives equally because of something intrinsic to who they are. I hope to see the days when even though we may stumble as a people...that we get back up again and learn to treat each other better. Well....that, and flying cars....definitely flying cars If I am fortunate enough to have another 40 years perhaps life will continue to amaze me with changes I couldn't have dared dream possible. Given the last 40, I'd say that's likely...

Until next time dear readers.....and raise a glass with me tonight...


  1. You are fucking awesome.
    Just saying.

  2. Happy Birthday mr Bryan then! Hopefully you'll get to spend the day doing what you want and all with a smile on your face!

    Keep on going as you are and im sure your life will always hold some sort of suprise for you.

  3. Once again u make me laugh and cry at the same time Bryan! :P Happy Birthday Man! U are one of the coolest and freaking awesome persons i had the chance to know! I wish u many and many more years of happiness, for u and all family!

    You know, I identify myself alot with you. I grew up in a very similar way. I have always being different and kinda nerd, and i was bullied alot too. The difference is that i had to deal with the "wrongness" of my gayness too soon, and too soon, as much i was sure i was gay i was sure i was wrong, and was sure that i would have to change some day. Because of that i never had any courage or wish to date any girl, just kept postponing that moment as much as i could, and I did, hided, of course, alot of things that i regret now. Some days ago I was talking to my younger brother how much i wish my history had been different, that when i had realized that i was gay it had been because i was in love with some guy, and that I could have had, even that in secrecy, a beautiful love story, instead of a shameful past, with no beautiful story to tell. That's the reason why for so long i was so deeply sure, by myself alone, that gay was the same as wrong. That's is sooo deeply stuck on me that i have to fight with that every day, feeding myself with information and good examples, like yours.

    So i'm still in that part where i don't really know yet how it is like to feel what really means to love and be loved by a man. To have combined both attraction and emotion. Not because i don't want it. On the contrary, its the thing that i most want in the whole world!... Some times my brother tells me to relax and be cool, that when i less expect it will happen. He says that because that's the way it happened to him, he is with his first girlfriend now.

    So, once again Bryan, see your story make me have nothing more than hope for my future. Even in the moments that I feel so scared, even besides everything that i know about being gay, and besides all the good things that are happening to me, remember stories like yours is what give me a firm ground to stand.

    I know its your birthday, but the one that have gain a present its me. Thank u, again and again, very very much! And well, I guess that that makes u a hobbit, they are the ones that give presents in their birthdays instead of receive. (Sorry but i'm a MUCH bigger fan of The Lord of the Rings than i am of Star Wars! :p )

    Congrats man!

    1. Sam,

      We both are in the same boat in terms of not having experienced both loving a man and being loved back, that is, in physical space. But, in terms of an online, long distance, never have met physically kind of way, what you’ve said isn’t entirely true. You DO have someone now who cares for you and loves you—me—and I know you feel for me too. Even at this highly geographically separated, nonphysical level, I can report that it feels awesome. How much better it must feel to experience that with someone in person must be at a magnitude almost beyond my comprehension. How do you wrap your head around infinity?

  4. Raise a glass with you? I can do better than that. How does a beer bong sound to you? Yes, I had one of those back in college days. Would you expect anything less from me? :-D Didn’t think so! :-D :-D One thing you said immediately before where you inserted the Devo video brought back for me an experience I had while with my aunt down in Nogales, Mexico back in 1987. I was buying small gifts for friends back home and I came across this hat, which I bought for someone else, which read, “I may be getting older, but I refuse to grow up.” How perfect! I should have bought one for me too, because it fits me just as well as the friend I bought it for, if not better. That’s my life philosophy right there. I have an irreverent, comical outlook on life in general and I just can’t stand to be too serious for too long at any one time. And I think it makes me sound younger. I remember during our phone conversation, Bryan, that you said I sounded different from what you expected. I’m guessing what you meant is that I sound younger and I’m sure I do.

    I dated women just a little in high school and college, but only for show and with no intention to make things physical. I was fully aware I was gay—and had known ever since I was 8—and knew my dating activities were a complete farce. I was fortunate enough during that period—late 70’s to early 80’s—not to have people asking about my sexuality, so I was completely happy then NOT to talk about it.

    Without the churchy upbringing that both you and Sam had, I experienced none of the psychological trauma both of you have, so I’ve always been more comfortable with my gayness than the two of you were with yours when you were younger.

    Have a great birthday and “celebrated” anniversary!

  5. Hi, Bryan : Happy 40th birthday! I don't feel so alone any more as a man in his 40ies (I'm a bit older, and my life went a bit similar, but also different then yours). I hope to see you one day in the USA. But my situation (handicap) a.o. are prohibiting that for now. Anyhow : Have a very happy birthday. And here we are already the 4th of october. A day that's the birthday of someone I really love, but broke my heart. I can understand, to live with a handicapped person isn't easy. I don't know what to do today. I wait already so long, and now my parents get older they can't help me out of every problem. And I do need help with something (even a lot). I really don't know if I finally will say "I won't wait any more".I managed to wait already for a (very) long time because I love him so much, and being christian, getting signes, etc... Pray that I'll take the right decision for both of us. Gay♥ from Steven (of H-Watch and Holebis).

  6. Oh Bryan, I forgot something = I want to add here nice music. May angels always guide your family and Jesus bless you always.
    Steven (of H-Watch and Holebis)
    Playlist = Angels Hymns on Human Rhythms from George Dalaras, Greek (first track = only spoken and 2nd track it takes a while until you hear him sing, but it's marvellous) = Do play it LOUD to hear how MARVELLOUS this is
    Gay♥ from Steven of H-W and Holebis

  7. happy birthday and happy anniversary. THANK YOU from this lost corner of the internet. considering that gimping event probably happened in the summer, i wasnt even born yet(not quite anyway) but hopefully you get to be the crazy old guy and his husband in time...o wait...(muahaha)

    (from one crazy person to another..its a lot more fun sometimes)

  8. You will rock 40 as you've rocked the lives of so many appreciative people. I only lived over the hill from you in Calistoga but wish I could have known you guys back then. Happy Birthday from Madrid.

  9. Happy Birthday Bryan! And regarding the religious thing, I rebelled against it. I could read between the lines and I realized what Catholicism was at it's core.

    Yes, I married, short one though. I started my process as openly gay in 1989.

    And it's been a long interesting trip.

  10. Raising my fabulous champagne glass for you and Jay and your beautiful family! Happy Birthday Bryan!

  11. "Flying Cars"????
    ................. YUP!!!
    Back in the day [post WWII], a guy in SW Washington decided to build one [actually - 3]. His name was Molt Taylor, and the car/plane was issued an ATC by the then CAA. Problem was, only the "1%" could afford to buy 'em - and not many of them were so inclined to the contraption [Mitt Romney would kill himself in one.....especially if he couldn't roll the windows down]. And so ended the dream of a unique form of mass transit.

    ..... or so one would think....Fast Forward To NOW:

    In 2006, a flying car known as the "Terrafugia" [Latin for "Escape From Land"] began initial land and flight testing. So far, things are "looking up" as they proceed with Phase Two flight testing [a catagory for ALL "Experimental" SAC registered aircraft [ mine is a QCU Challenger II]. The company is seeking an S-LSA [Special Light Sport Aircraft] certification under JAR 22 international standards, and can be flown with a Sport Pilot's Certificate.

    Want proof? Here it tizz:

    btw - this is probably boring the crap out of everybody, BUT, it's not my fault. Remember, YOU mentioned "flying cars" -twice, even. And when anyone mentions the word "flying" to a diehard "Airhead" such as myself my ROTM process begins, and people will either give me dirty looks, or start falling asleep (*ROTM = Run Off The Mouth).

    One last item - it seems that for every "special interest" group on the Planet, there is an LGBT organization. Such is the case with "Gay Aviators".
    It's called the National Gay Pilots Association [NGPA], and there is a local group of NGPA'ers there called the "Golden Gate Flyers", for anyone interested in checking it out.
    Oh yes, and no matter how "poor" you might be, flying is affordable at virtually any income level. Back in the late 1960's, I got my Private Pilot's Certificate AND my first airplane (an Aeronca Champ) as an enlisted man in the Navy, pulling a whopping $120 paycheck........ every TWO WEEKS.
    Plus, I'm not the most coordinated person in the world - so, if I can fly....YOU can fly.

    Boy..... my ROTM is kicking in BAAAAD today :-/

    Love..... "FOGGY" <3

    1. kool! one brother builds em (aircraft, not specifically flying cars-its on the list though), the other 'designs' them(as a hobby sort of) and they've been trying to get me to get my pilots license.. im tempted. its on my bucket list.

  12. very gool idea....I can't imagine parallel parking it though :P

    1. it be great, you just drop down from the top....although missing the hole would be really bad.

  13. Well, Bryan, you get your ultimate birthday and anniversary present after all. Our Great Enemy Romney has been defeated, his theocratic nads thoroughly kicked and snipped off and he’s been sent packing back to whatever Republican Madrassa Hate Academy he slithered out of.

    1. Another present for you: So far, 3 out of 4 states with the marriage equality related referendums went our way. Maine and Maryland approved marriage equality and Minnisota has rejected a constitutional ban on marriage equality. Homophobic bigots got crushed in this election, and this is long overdue.

    2. Yet another gift for you: Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins has survived attempts to vote him off the bench. Wiggins was one of seven justices who found marriage inequality was unconstitutional under the Iowa Constitutional. Unrelenting disaster for bigots in this election and I couldn’t be happier.

  14. Mi nombre es Maria, vivo en España, os sigo desde el canal Youtube, por que esta subtitulado en mi idioma, mi Ingles es muy malo y tengo que pasar todos tus post por el Traductor y es muy cansado. Solo deciros que desde mi condicion de madre heteroxesual de 3 hijos, me parece GRANDIOSO lo que estais haciendo, aclaro:
    -No por ser Gays
    -No por tener dos hijos maravillosos
    -No por salir del armario
    -No por tener una familia.
    Para mi todo eso es normal.
    Sino por intentar cambiar el Mundo de nuestros hijos, por intentar que algun dia todo esto sea parte de los libros de historia, de una historia que nunca debio escribirse, y que nuestros hijos, los tuyos, los mios, los de todos vivan en un mundo Libre en que la normalidad empieza por el respeto, y que nadie se tenga por que preguntar con quien se acuesta el tipo que tienen enfrente, sino que clase de gente es.

    1. Is there anyone here who can translate this into English?

    2. Ok, my Spanish is not good, and my English is not perfect, but Spanish is very similar to Portuguese, and this lady have written a very beautiful message, that i think i must try to translate, cause i think the internet translator didn't did a god job... She said something like this:

      My mane is Maria, I live in Spain, and i follow you guys through a YouTube channel that have your videos subtitled in my language. My English is very bad and i have to translate all yours posts through a internet translator, and this is very tiresome. I just want to say, as a heterosexual mother of 3 kids, that i think that what you guys are doing is AMAZING, and to be clear:
      - Its not because you guys are gay
      - Its not because you guys have wonderful kids
      - Its not because you guys are out of the closed
      - Its not because you guys have a family
      All this is normal to me.
      But it is because you guys are trying to change the world of our kids, and for try to make that all this some day be in a history book, of one history that should never had been written, and that our kids, yours, mines, and the kids from everybody in the world can live in a free world, where what is normal begin with the respect, (this next part is confuse, i'm not sure if the translation is right) - and where no one will have a reason to wonder with who the person that you have in front of you lie in bed, but instead what kind of person they are.

  15. My name is Maria, I live in Spain, follow you from the channel Youtube, for which this subtitled in my language, my Englishman is very bad and have to spend all your post for the Translator and it is very tired. Only to say to you that from my mother's condition heteroxesual of 3 children, it seems to me to be GRAND what estais doing, I clarify: - not for being Gays - not for having two wonderful children - not for going out of the cupboard - not for having a family. For my all that it is normal.
    But for trying to change the World of our children, for trying that algun day all that is never a part of the books of history, of a history that debio to write itself, and through that our children, yours, the mios, of all live in a Free world in that the normality begins for the respect, and that nobody has for that to ask with whom one puts to bed the type that they have faces, but class of people is. THANK YOU FOR TRYING TO CHANGE THE WORLD IN WHICH CRECERAN MY 3 CHILDREN.

    I have used an Internet translator, hope that he understands himself.
    I'm sorry but my Englihs is VERY VERY BAD

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. Hey guys, this is my translation, I'm Mexican, so I completely understand what the lady said.

    My name is Maria, I live in Spain. I'm subscribed to your channel on Youtube. The channel has captions in Spanish so I can understand. My English is very poor so I need to use a translator for every post you make, which is tiring. I just wanted you guys to know that I'm a mother of 3 kids, I'm heterosexual and I find what you're doing SO GREAT. I have to say:
    -It's not because you are gays
    -It's not because you have two wonderful children
    -It's not because you are out of the closet
    -It's not because you have a family
    I think all of the above is normal.
    I feel what you do is so great because you are trying to change the world where our kids live, because you are trying to make all this be in history books someday. It is also because you guys are trying to make our kids (yours, mine, and everyone else's kids) live in a free world where what is normal begins with respect, and where nobody has to wonder who the guy across the street is sleeping with rather than wondering what kind of person he is.

  18. Brian, Jay and kids, I bet you have been touching peoples lives thorough out the world as you have mine in corners you'd never dream of even in your wildest dreams. To thank you I'l like to share this video, not only because of its pristine beauty, but it show how much prejudice harm can do. Thanks for helping make this a better world, thanks for being there, reaching out. I wish all happiness!

    To chicken catchers out there in this big world! :)