Category Archives: Sickness and Health

The REAL Bug Juice Tea…

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Apparently Starbucks is using some kind of insect-derived food additive in their coffee beverages, prompting bug juice trending on the social ‘net. That’s nothing, and we aren’t dignifying it with a link. The real story is in the brown paper bags this site’s own Aidan Abroad brings back from his Chinese Dr. Johnson You. Cicada exoskeleton tea: good for what ails you! Dr. You practices in San Francisco and maintains an office on Clement St.

The Passing of a Pup and Friend – Date Set for Wake/Remembrance

As many of The 15 Association brothers already know, it was announced by his family in Eureka, Jim & Mike (a.k.a. Duke), that Copper took his own life on Saturday, January 14. As some might not know, Copper suffered from a genetic autoimmune disease called idiopathic autoimmune hemolytic anemia, whereby his body would essentially attack itself. He was being treated medically for this condition, but still this disease left Copper in pain much of the time.

Copper did not leave any note, so his motives as to why he left us always will remain a mystery. Many of those closest to him made a pact to not second guess their own actions, try to figure out what more could have been done, or play the “what if game” in any way. Such thoughts will not change the present and feel counterproductive to the healing process.  They can potentially cause angst and ongoing self-recrimination during what needs to be a time of reflection and caring.  For those just learning of this news, please comfort and care for each other in the ways most fitting to yourself and your nature.

Copper will be deeply and sorely missed by the many souls he touched. He will be remembered fondly for his characteristic playfulness, his deep and thoughtful eyes, his hardworking nature, his impetuousness, the fierce loyalty he showed to those he considered family, and the fun-loving side of being a pup on all fours.

In remembrance and honor of Copper, Jim and Mike (Duke) will be hosting a Puppy Wake open to the public and predominantly, but not exclusively, for those in the broader Leather Community who wish to attend.  The concept of a “Puppy Wake” is (coined by Master Jim) is to both honor and remember Copper in a upbeat way.  It is based on the traditional Irish Wake, which is more of a party, and there will be a time set aside for people to share, either publicly or privately, fun stories or happy memories of Copper.

This is a social event intended to be a celebration of life. There will be music, perhaps DJ’d, and a place for pups to “pup out” if they wish to.  This is gathering of brothers and friends.  This is not a play party, however, so please keep any “non-puppy” toys in their bags.  There is, of course, no cost to attend. There will be a “Wall of Memories” where people can write or draw anything they wish.  If you have pictures or prewritten prose that you wish to bring and post on the paper wall, please do so.  There will also be colored markers to write with at the event. The wake will be held:

Saturday February 25  – 1:00PM – 4:00PM – Mr. S Playspace, 385A Eighth Street, San Francisco (above the retail store, with entry to the left by 20 feet of main doors)

Estimated Timing for the Afternoon: 1-2PM  Greet, Mingle, Socialize, Munch (watch for puppies under foot!) 2-3PM  Public Voicing of Happy Memories (for those so inclined) 3-4PM  Continued Socializing, Mingling, and Munching.

While this is begin held during The 15 Association’s Anniversary Weekend, it is not an official 15  event, and members are welcome to attend or not as they wish.  Jim & Mike wish to thank Mr. S Leather for the donation of the space for the afternoon, the Leathermen’s Discussion Group for providing chairs and light snacks and beverages for the wake, and the San Francisco K9 Unit for their planning assistance.

Got Spotted Dick? Sight seen at Magnet in San Francisco

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Seen in an exam room at Magnet, the Castro District health service spot, art gallery and de facto community center. The cartoon syphilis sore was part of an education campaign from about ten years ago called “Healthy Penis.” And spotted dick is something Brits eat. Seriously.

New Jojo Mendoco Gay Cali Manga! The Rapture of Sister Merci Killing…Leather Nun!

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Carried away on the shoulders of the Swiss Guard…and available to Los Angeles area collectors. Check out the silent auction at the Eagle LA on Friday October 21 at the Mr. Sister Leather contest. For more Catholic fun from JoJo Mendoco, click here. For his take on war, here. And for some S/m, here and here.

GEAR UP! (New Gear Men host Old Leather in Cali’s Saratoga Springs)

Photo and Design: Gay Highwaymen 2011

Old Leather; New Gear. Same fucking twisted kinky throbbing bobbing dripping ass-kicking mind-bending challenging pervert stuff as always. Of course. Style changes but stiff pricks and throbbing balls always rise to the particular season’s occasion. It’s about what got us hot and hard when we were young, and what does it now. N’est pas? See-see bone! Leather? Kevlar? Rope? Metal? Crazy new materials fresh out of R/D labs? All the wonders of modern technology? Or go way old school: kidnap a willing victim to the woods for some paleo-punk action in private. Way past medieval. Lots of room to get lost. Or…show off under the spotlight. Or…or…or. Sure. Why not? If it gets you hard and he’s game, have at it! Do the hokey-pokey. Because that really is what it’s all about…

Gear Up! is a Mens weekend party/run happening this weekend at Saratoga Springs. (The Cali Stagecoach Stop not the NY Resort!) This is the run’s first year and it is “geared” towards the younger set, to the post AIDS-crisis generation of men who lost most of the Men who would have been their generational elders and mentors – had more survived. Thankfully, some did! So…it’s a mixer. As the GearUp guys say: “amid open playspaces and numerous educational workshops, GearUp brings together the open-minded beginner with the trustworthy player.” Sounds like a plan! For more information on GearUp click here. More on Saratoga Springs here. Plus…if you are at the run and want a cool opportunity for a little silence and solitude in the midst of so damned much hotness, check out the Nishikigoi (Koi) Pond, here. Oh, oh oh, ommmm….!

Colonialism as an excuse for Homophobia? India’s Health Minister calls being Gay a Western “Disease”

Mumbai Gay Rights Parade - Photograph: Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images

We hear this over and over and over again from our gay friends in and from countries and regions that were once under colonial occupation. Homosexuality is cast as a disease brought in by European conquerers, foisted upon an unsuspecting population that had never know of such evils before. Sort of like smallpox-infected blankets.

As a Ugandan pal (not named here – for his protection) pointed out, in the case of sub-Saharan Africa, this nefarious discourse has the effect of making being gay not only a crime, not only a sin, but worse, a sort of Pan-African treason, a wholesale capitulation to the white man and his evil ways. In Uganda, the Anglican Church (which IS a Western import!) is the main vehicle for this evil propaganda.

This thinking is in full effect in India, too. Ghulam Nabi Azad, India’s minister of Health, addressed a conference on HIV/AIDS in New Delhi on Monday, saying: “Unfortunately this disease has come to our country too … where a man has sex with another man, which is completely unnatural and should not happen but does.” For the article published by The Guardian UK, click here.

Hang Up Your Troubles! Meat Hook Ritual as Catharsis for HIV Diagnosis

Jorge Vieto in "Ritual"

Friend of this site Jorge Vieto is featured in the short film Ritual, directed by Jorg Fockele. He hangs suspended by hooks, his body swinging free in a ritual of body/spirit integration. Vieto is a well-respected young Leatherman, and a Fraternal member of The 15 Association. He uses extreme physical rituals in part to process the emotions evoked by a positive diagnosis. Vieto spoke with Scott Brogan of the Bay Area Reporter about the psychology of the scene here.

Filmed in the Dungeon at Mr.S, Ritual will screen in the afternoon at 1:15 pm at the Castro Theater in San Francisco, Friday June 24th, as a part of the film compilation entitled STILL AROUND from The HIV Story Project. Brought to you by Frameline and the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival.

Glitter Emergency and More at Frameline’s 35th SF LGBT Film Fest

It is the middle of the SF LGBT Film Festival, high holy days are underway in the City by the Bay, Pride is coming,  and outside the festival’s host venues, gay film buffs are rubbing their bleary eyes after marathon sessions in the dark. The cinematic apparatus, not that other dark! There is something for everyone at this annual festival, now in its 35th year. The shorts programs are some of the best, and for those with short attention spans, are just the ticket. One film is not doing it for you? Wait 5 minutes. The next one could be all that.

“All that glitters is indeed gold in this wonderful collection of shorts featuring several gems from our very own Bay Area filmmakers… Take a look at disgusting alien bodies and eavesdrop on the deaf relay system. Follow a camera off a bridge in a memorial for lives lost. A dispute on the high seas can only be settled by a dance off (of course), and we’ll see just how campy an AIDS camp can be. Rounding out the program is a silent comedy set to Tchaikovsky and starring Peggy the Peg-leg Ballerina.” via festival director Jennifer Morris

“Glitter Emergency” shows at the Victoria Theatre, 9:30 pm on Tuesday, June 21st, 2011. The Victoria is located at 2961 16th Street in the  Mission district. Built in 1908 as a Vaudeville House, it is the oldest operating theatre in San Francisco.

Following Savage Campaign for Queer Youth, Peter Fiske says “It Gets Better” But DOES It?

But does it? Well-known Leatherman and friend of this site Peter Fiske has made an “It Gets Better” video and posted it on YouTube. We are, of course, re-posting. Kudos, Peter! It is fantastic. Of course. Messages of future promise are great, and can be just the thing to turn despair into hope. But. But. But. The “It Gets Better” video pep talks, started by columnist Dan Savage last year in an effort to curb high rates of suicide among queer youth, have really taken off. Cool. More on them here. Great campaign, but…it is not enough. Not nearly.

By all means, keep these positive messages coming. But. But. But. There are a few problems here. First off, it does not always get better – and we know that. If it always got better, dead friend of this site and Frameline co-founder Mark Finch would not have jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. A popular, successful adult gay man kills himself. Or: youthful co-conspirator WRG, handsome, smart, set to inherit two fortunes, dead in a hotel room in Rio with a spike in his arm, the body stripped of valuables. They had to identify him by dental records. Just two examples. It did not get better for either of them, and they were pretty well set to overcome the past.

But. But. But. Another problem: The most vulnerable queer kids may be those least likely to be able to respond to these messages. Consider two scenarios:

One: You are 17, a junior in high school, with loving, educated PFLAG parents, a nice group of theatre friends, early acceptance to UC, and a problem with the school bully who taunts you with calls of “Faggot!” and elbows you in the hallways to the amusement of his toadies. It makes your stomach churn.

Two: You are 17, living on the periphery of San Francisco’s Castro district. You left Idaho and your violent Christian Identity family at 13 when your mother caught you with another boy. She broke a bottle over your head as you fled the house. See the scar? Arriving in SF, you met guys who turned you on to meth and fucked you raw. Already shell-shocked from childhood, you seroconverted at 14, have been on the streets for four years, and look really rough. Half-crazy with rage and despair, you kick trash cans and shout in frustration, sometimes sit on the curb sobbing. Everyone avoids you.

These are two pretty extreme, but true, examples. “It Gets Better” is a good message, but it is not enough. The kids need more than words. Even the UC-bound good gay kid needs more than words. And seriously damaged youth need a lot more. They also need the tools to survive a world which will continue at times to be hostile. Food. Shelter. Protection. Health care, including mental health and substance abuse help. Access to education, job-training, connections and good adult mentorship. Spiritual support, including services for survivors of  religious abuse. They do not need to be encouraged in magical thinking: “Oh…if I can only get to San Francisco! It’s like Oz! Everything will be fabulous!” Yes, sometimes it gets better. But: it does not always get better, and it does not automatically get better. If we actually want to see the kids flourish, we need to open our eyes to the full scope of the horror under which some queer kids come up – and add real resources that are equal to our encouraging words. We need to get real.

AIDS Ribbon on Twin Peaks

The AIDS Ribbon on Twin Peaks in San Francisco – commemorating 30 years of AIDS, and remembering all of those we have lost.
Seen from Civic Center/Market Street.
-AidanAbroad

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