Search Gay Highwaymen
- Sights seen at International Mr. Leather in Chicago
- Rats! For real. Sight seen at IML.
- Noh Gaze Aloud…don’t be Meme!
- Gay Highwaymen correspondent AidanAbroad sends pics from China…
- Married at last! Gay pair make it official on 30th anniversary…
- Island hopping…
- Mussel Otter wants to…
- I know you like poke…
- Water bags for water boys?
- Inky gods’ stray musings from the Prophat of the Church of More Men…
- Maštíŋčala Sápa
- Spiny Lumpsucker
- Gay Activism and Iran: Do Western Activists Do More Harm Than Good? (Link to article by Scott Long)
- Emigrant: The Other White Meat?
- Obama Loves Queers! (Except Not)
- Hot (the bad kind) in the Mission
- HuffPost Gay Voices: Liberian Anti-Gay Group Issues Hit List, Governments Do Nothing
- Exotic, Fresh, and Fruity: Seen at the Asian Market
- Deadly Beauties
- More boy love/lust graffiti in SF
- “I WHAT Cock?” – Construction Sign Self-Expression
Tag Archives: Youth
Hot Hard Sailor Boy! Biron of SF in “Tough Love” – 50 Years of Masculine Homoerotic Art of SF Bay Area
Dionysius of the Emerald Triangle makes a cyanotype self-portrait. Cool! The Buddha Nature grows his own. It takes one to Noh one. Happy April 20, green heads! And Hi, Kid. For Green Man Cumming, the Spring Equinox version, click here.
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.
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.