This is the EPILOGUE and end to a story that started more than 100 chapters and two years ago. (See Part I for Index). It is a story about relationships between and among teenagers. This includes intimate relationships between young males. If you don't approve or are offended, then how come you're reading this? Find a different story. Or perhaps read on; you may be persuaded to think differently.
If, for some legal reason, you are not allowed to read this in your area of the world because of illogical laws, again I will not condone (publicly) anyone breaking the law, so either move or read sentence six. I definitely don't want the thought police after either of our butts.
Please, this story is sort of my property, so if you ever want to quote some of it, please e-mail me and also give proper attribution.
Note that an author welcomes any feedback. Constructive criticism is appreciated, and all e-mails will be answered.
PLEASE NOTE: I can barely believe it but this is the final installment of a story after working on it for three years. I know I will be writing other stories but it is this one into which I poured my heart and soul.
Much to my dismay, the NIFTY editors declared that all the included photos must be eliminated. Even the photos of each of the two boys themselves which I included near the end of the story. [End of Ch 102 & end of Ch 103b]. The entire story, including this Epilogue, AND ALL THE PHOTOS, can be found at http://crackerwriter.us and at http://storylover.us . I hope you have enjoyed it. Please write.
Five yeas later -- late September, 1969
Who could have envisioned our present circumstances just five years ago? Or as my Mama was fond of saying: "Who could ever `a thought?" The series of events that led to this stage in our lives could not have been imagined back then. First of all I never thought Rocco and I would be back here in the city we grew up in. I know that Rocco had been thinking more about staying out west in the Rockies, but he said that maybe we had to go where the opportunities were. I translated this to mean that he would make the sacrifice of moving away from his precious mountains to help my career along. I had gotten my Masters in English Literature last May and I must have applied for positions at a billion schools. I had been getting seriously discouraged, but Rocco wasn't having a lot of luck either.
The last couple years of grad school were quite a struggle and we seemed to be so busy at times that our lives seemed to be lived out too often as individuals rather than a couple. Fortunately we both realized that any good relationship needed constant 'work.' Being so in love was the frosting on the cake, but you also needed the cake. There were times, like last year when we thought that some intangable 'good' was irrevocably lost from the very soul of our country with the deaths of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. But we are finally now here in this point of time and are immensely happy. And employed!
As for Rocco, I finally discovered that along with his letters seeking employment, he was also telling his prospective employers that he was living in an openly gay relationship. I thought no wonder he wasn't getting any offers yet. We even argued about this some. But Rocco was adamant. He wanted no part of his previous life living a lie. (I had long since understood that Rocco's IQ could fluctuate wildly). I told him that by declaring this in writing he'd never get a job even from someone sympathetic since our `living as a couple' implied that we were committing `sodomy' -- still illegal in 49 states. Part of the reason we had gone to grad school in Chicago -- if our relationship had been discovered, it was at least not illegal there. I knew we would take up this battle again, but for now we agreed to disagree.
Finally one good opportunity for me did come along. And oddly enough it brought us back to the city we grew up in. So it was this September when I started teaching at the new City Community College which opened in the renovated old Strawbridge Building downtown on Market Street several blocks from city hall. It used to be a huge department store. Right after my interview for the job last June I told Rocco I was next to certain that I had gotten the position.
"You can't know that Jade." Rocco commented with strong skepticism. "Did he actually TELL you that you were even under consideration?"
"He did much more than that. He kept asking questions like `Do you think your handicap will interfere with your ability to perform in the classroom?' or `Do you think that you will be overly self-conscious about your prosthetics in front of all those students?' or even more telling `You do understand, don't you, that most of your students will be white?' I don`t think he had much experience interviewing either black people or ones with disabilities. It was just one gaff after another. But I didn't mind. I could see him mentally checking off two important lines on his employment report to the regents. I filled two spots, colored, and handicapped. Although I think today they are using `African American', and `with disability'."
I couldn't help even liking the guy. He may have been slightly uncouth, but I felt he was genuine and totally without guile. I was looking forward to working for him. And I was right. I got a call the very next day for another interview and this time with some of the regents. It was almost a formality. I was their new Associate Professor of Literature. Even if I was anticipating getting the position, when it was a definite fact, I was probably as happy as I had ever been in my entire life. (With the one exception of our wedding). And being able to go home and tell my White-boy made it that much better. That night I utterly destroyed my him in our love making. Not only did I do all those things I found drove him crazy, I even found a couple of new ones. I was determined to make my White-boy as happy as I was. I think I succeeded.
And our move in late June proved to be propitious for other reasons. Although Rocco eventually started bringing in a respectable income by substitute teaching, I could tell he was still quite unsatisfied with not having regular employment, even if he established Pennsylvania credentials and had no trouble finding work. His other complaint was that he sometimes had trouble with maintaining discipline -- part of which was caused by the fact that he looked entirely too young. (He still barely had to shave some sparse whiskers every other day).
But it was another opportunity which made its surprising appearance early last Summer which captured my White-boy's complete participation and frenzied labors. Thus it was last week when I found Rocco laboring over a sermon that he was to give the next day, and at times insisting that he be allowed to try out some of his ideas on me. The Metropolitan Community Church, specifically ministering to the gay and lesbian community, had recently expanded to our city and Rocco had a significant role in its establishment. And tomorrow was to be Rocco's first time conducting the service and giving the sermon.
Later I could hear the practiced version from the other room.
"Many have for so long so distorted and even perverted the concept of true love in religion, that evil is sometimes construed as good, intolerance as virtue, and ignorance as acceptable dogma."
"To the extent that a person -- or a Church -- fails to allow the gay individual to form stable loving relationships with each other, they fail to understand the very principles inherent in the Christian ethic -- notably the transcendence of love in our lives. Worse, to that extent they do not completely understand what love is."
I wished that message could be heard in all the churches in the world. I continued listening.
"Faith is not a list of rules. Faith is not dogma. Faith is not mouthed in platitudes. Faith is a commitment to a way of life. And our commitment is to the rule of love."
"It's all about love. Real love. That is how we each find our way to Christ. That is how we bring Christ's love into this world. And only in love can we keep our hearts open for the Spirit of God to reveal His plan for each one of us."
Those last words were still singing in my heart. Of his entire sermon, it is these words that have stayed with me. And in our own lives they ring so true. I had those words memorized that night, hearing them as Rocco was practicing for his first sermon. He said that most of the sermon was going to be extemporaneous -- he only had some key words and some key quotes written down. But the ideas expressed in those last few sentences summed it all up, and he said he wanted to say it right. And it has taken me all my life but I think I am finally starting to understand about love -- real love. I remember back to those days when I thought that God didn't love me. I now realize that we find God's love in the love we truly give to others. Sometimes I've been frustrated with my White-boy's impetuousness, and how he sometimes tries to run other people's lives, but I also see his pure desire to help others. Just like he was so determined to help me all those years ago. He knows about love too. And that's what life is all about.
In typical fashion, the day before that service, my White-boy went manic on me. He must have made a hundred phone calls. OK, so I'm exaggerating, but not by much. It was a good thing his sister Dolores called earlier, or she would have never gotten through. Later that night we were cuddled close in bed.
Rocco was in quite a volatile mood. "Jade, I can't believe how happy I am. I hope we will make a difference."
"White-boy, when you mentioned years ago about starting your own church I wondered even then if you just might some day conceivably do it. I figured you were just weird enough and determined enough. And now it's a reality."
"Jade, you know as well as I, that the Metropolitan Community Church was started last year in Los Angeles by Troy Perry and a few of his friends, and I had nothing to do with it.*
[* Please note that this is FICTION. Please forgive me for a slight re-write of the history of the Metropolitan Community Church (in full, The Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches or UFMCC, or more commonly MCC). Today, this international fellowship of Christian congregations is considered by many to be a liberal mainline denomination or communion. There are currently 250 member congregations in 23 countries, and the Fellowship has a specific outreach to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities.
Its founder, Troy Perry, had been involved in Christian ministry since he was 13. As a young man, he entered full-time ministry in a Pentecostal Church and married a pastor's daughter, with whom he had two sons. He was unable to ignore his homosexual feelings which ultimately brought an end to his marriage and his ministry. In 1968, after a suicide attempt and witnessing a close friend being arrested by the police who often raided gay bars, Perry felt called to return to his faith and to offer a place for gay people to worship God freely. He never expected to return to Christian ministry, but he did, founding a congregation which grew into the MCC denomination. Putting an advertisement in The Advocate magazine, Perry announced the first worship service of what was to become MCC, to take place in the small rented house he shared with a friend in a working class district of Los Angeles. Twelve people turned up on 6 October 1968 for that first service. It quickly expanded to other cities.]
Rocco continued: "And I was just fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time to help organize the opening of this branch of the Church in the city we grew up in. And the fortunate coincidence that brought us here at just the right time -- your job interview."
Rocco wasn't saying it all. He was one of the major movers in getting this one going. It was he that got that humongous contribution from Kevin Matusak. I knew he was rich, but until a few months ago, did not realize just how rich. Rocco and I had kept in touch with both him and Jim Koenig over the years. And Kevin was writing out the check (metaphorically speaking) before Rocco was off the phone. As Kevin stated: "I may not have faith in any god but I do have faith in you."
While I was attending Roosevelt University with a teaching assistantship, Rocco had been getting his Master's Degree in Math from U of I. And at the same time he was also getting his Divinity Degree from Chicago Theological Seminary. He said maybe someday he would have the opportunity to do some ministry. I wasn't surprised at all by his decision; he had been talking about doing this for a couple of years. He still doesn't have a regular job yet -- except for substitute teaching -- but I can easily support us both on my own right now. I'm happy to contribute.
And it was Pat Carmodi, now a vice president of bank, who managed to get part of the other financing needed by us, aided by a member bank in our own city. Pat`s friend Mike was now a High School teacher in Boise, Idaho. We had kept in touch with Pat Carmodi and his brother Tom with occasional letters. Tom was still complaining about not having been able to find anyone `special.' As he put it several letters ago: "Why is it that I can never find another gay person who actually WANTS a permanent relationship?" Every time I read one of his letters, I realize just how fortunate Rocco and I are.
Besides Allen and Dan, the only other gay couple we DID know about was Jerry Price and Adrian Meech. Adrian is even almost Jerry's match for brains. It was also Jerry Price and his new partner, along with a few others, who helped spearhead the campaign to enlist much of the other needed support from the community of gay and lesbian people in the city. I couldn't believe the turnout.
It seemed most of the people close to us were also there for Rocco's inaugural service. Mr. and Mrs. Webster and even Tim showed up. Tim tried to talk his friend Billy into coming but wasn't successful. Mr. Webster confessed it was his first visit inside a church since our wedding.
Tim remarked: "Billy said he'd have liked to have come but couldn't figure out how to explain to his parents why he should be allowed to go downtown to a church ministering specifically to gay people whom his parents considered `hell-bound' anyway."
Billy's parents don't even want him to come to the Webster's house when either of us were there. According to them, we're a bad influence and living in sin. Billy's parents found out about our being gay several years ago. It had been a struggle for Billy to even be allowed to associate with Tim for a while.
Reaction from most of the people who knew me was also pretty negative. Joey, was one of the few exceptions. For that I was grateful. A few months ago I was over at his apartment and watching his kid running pell-mell about the apartment. Joey had started going steady with his sister's girlfriend, Gina, in his senior year. And they were married about a year after Joey had gotten that good job with the local newspaper. I still found it hard to believe that Joey was already a Dad.
Joey picked up his now squiggling boy before he could reach the fireplace screen. He then turned and asked: "So where IS Rocco anyway?" Just then there was a knock on the door. Joey steered his kid in my direction, while he answered it. As I grabbed the boy and tossed him onto my shoulder, I smiled as I definitely heard him say my name, Uncle Jade. I had a momentary pang realizing that I would never be called `Dad.'
Rocco came into the room all excited about something. He launched into an excited explanation: "Troy Perry actually returned my call. Can you imagine? We might actually do it!"
Rocco explained that he had been waiting almost all morning for this call. He went on at length about his dream of establishing a second church here in this city as a move to expand Perry's own dream of a fellowship of allied churches reaching out specifically to the gay Christian community. It was now suddenly much more than just a dream. Rocco was only finally distracted when Joey's boy squirmed out of my hold and raised his arms toward Rocco saying "up." That was a clear signal that he wanted Rocco to toss him up into the air.
I had timed this visit for when his wife Gina was away. Though we still kept in touch with Joey from time to time, we could always tell that his wife never felt comfortable around us. And didn't want us near her little boy. That was another thing that hurt -- when people believed that we were a threat to their kids just because we were gay. Joey also said that his parents were shocked to find out that "such a nice boy" (namely myself) had been turned bad by that weird white kid. And that it was probably best that "Jade's Mama was dead so she didn't have to suffer through such a disgrace." I couldn't help feeling hurt when I heard this. I had always thought of Joey's Mom as a kind and compassionate person.
Joey had tried to take the sting out of this news: "Sorry Jade. My parents are good people but quite conservative. They just don't really understand. But you know that I will always be your good friend." Joey then turned to Rocco and added: "And you had better make sure you never hurt my best friend." I was a little surprised when I heard that phrase "best friend." And quite pleased.
"Look Jade. It's hard to totally understand but I know both you and Rocco are good people too. My parents can't get passed the idea of your being gay to discover that you two can really love each other."
We all had a good three way hug.
Well, getting back to the day of Rocco's inaugural service, many of the people we were close to were there. Dan and Allen were there almost a half hour early. Rocco and I were very happy last year when they got back together again. They had a really hard time for a couple of years, and even separated for over a year. We never did find out all the reasons, except that Consuela said that it was mostly the natural pig-headedness of men. I do know that it started with Dan being really depressed for some time, and this in turn was helped along when he met his mother a couple of years ago who at the time was still refusing to even acknowledge him. So that when other problems in their relationship came along, he was not able to deal with them very effectively. But we never did find out any of the particulars. We were just so happy that not only were they back together again, they seemed genuinely happy.
Consuela, on the other hand, had been trying to tell us how everything should be organized. She was now a bank examiner. She said she was the first black one in the city. She even managed to bring her husband Jason to the service. We weren't all too surprised when they got married. They had dated off and on all through college. But both Rocco and I WERE surprised that he showed up at the service itself. He still had trouble fully accepting all the gay people who kept showing up at his house, but I guess love can conquer, if not all, than at least this much. And there is no doubt that he and Consuela have been good for each other. He's still one of the few people who Consuela can't boss around -- well, too much.
Pastor Burrowes and his partner showed up. We wondered who gave the service at his own Church. That was when we found out that Reverend Burrowes was partly retired and they had a new young minister helping out.
Jimmy Alexander was away at college at Berkley going for an advanced degree in Engineering. Rocco called him last night too, and they talked for almost half an hour.
But the specific thing that got my White-boy so happy was that his mother showed up for the service. That was all he could talk about when he found out she had intended to come. She showed up along with his younger sister, Mariann. His Mom never says much about our relationship, but I can tell that no matter what, she loves her son. But for her to even show up at this church was quite a departure for her. Mariann, on the other hand, thinks our being together is great. She is currently a Senior in St. Hubert's High School.
Rocco said he has been pleasantly surprised to find that he and his sister Mariann were getting along so well recently. "I can't believe it Jade. When I was in High School I had trouble staying in the same room with her. Now we've even had long discussions on all different topics including sexual orientation, its possible causes, and how this may relate to the moral stands on homosexual behavior. We just make sure that my Mom doesn't overhear us."
Mariann was talking about all kinds of things happening with her and school. "I absolutely loved the look on Sister Magdalene's face when I said my brother was married -- to another boy! She's our religion teacher this year and boy do we have some doozy arguments!"
We also found out that she was expecting to get some scholarship offers for college but she had her heart set on Yale, which was supposed to have its first co-ed class next year. It turns out that his sister Mariann probably IS the smartest one in his family.
His Dad of course still barely acknowledges my existence but at least he and Rocco were on speaking terms, even if grudgingly.
Carl was still finishing up his Doctorate in Nuclear Physics at Notre Dame. He had also recently gotten married and had a baby boy. He at least took Rocco's call this time, but Rocco said that his brother proceeded to berate him about all manner of things, especially the choice of his `immoral life-style'. I told Rocco he should have asked his brother if he also thought of his life with his wife as a `life-style.'
When Rocco hung up he said he was determined not to let his brother's harangue upset him. "Jade, he said that all of us must somehow be responsible for our being homosexual because God would surely not have made us that way. I wonder what he would say if the time ever came when he discovered one of his own kids were gay. He also said . . ." And then Rocco abruptly stopped. "No, I'm definitely NOT going to dwell on this any longer."
I could see that Rocco was upset nonetheless, but after his calls to a few others that evening, his ebullient spirits returned.
His sister Dolores couldn't make it. She lived too far away and just had her first baby. But she did call him last night to give her congratulations. Several years ago she had gone out to live with her brother Carl at Notre Dame after breaking up with a boyfriend here. She eventually married a classmate of Carl's who now taught in a small college in central Illinois. She was very supportive and made sure to tell me to keep her `younger' brother (15 minutes younger) out of trouble.
Rocco recently remarked to me: "Dolores is proving what a great twin sister she can be. I feel like I can confide in her my most secret thoughts and problems. Sure she gives her own opinions but somehow I feel so able to talk to her about anything. Now I will be concentrating on convincing her that marriage is not JUST for heterosexuals.
At first I was wondering how come he didn't think to confide in me about some of these things and he said I knew everything already but this was somehow different. And then I recalled my `deep talks' with Mrs. Webster and how they were so important and I could finally understand.
And a call from Teague several weeks ago was quite a surprise. He and Rocco talked for 20 minutes. Even to this day I can't figure out exactly how Rocco and Teague had enough in common to become `almost friends.' When Rocco hung up he was laughing.
"Hay Jade, you will never believe what Teague just called about. It just so happens that his star defensive back is gay. Or as Teague put it: `Possibly the best damn athlete on the whole damn defense -- and I find out he's like you and Jade. And I can't afford to loose him.' Only his language had a few more curse words in it. And Teague wants to know how he can deal with it."
Oh yes. Teague is now a PE teacher at one of the local High Schools and he coaches both football and basketball.
And also last Summer Rocco and I went to visit my father again. He has had quite a hard life and I was eventually glad that I got to know him somewhat over the past several years. Even if it took me an entire year of short letters to finally get up the courage to actually make the trip down to Florida to see him. And even if I still have very mixed up feelings about him. After a lifetime of being an alcoholic his health was in poor shape but he seems to be able to care for himself. He keeps saying that knowing that `his boy is doing so well' helps him to keep some hope for himself. My emotions when visiting him are in such a jumble that I can only seem to stay there a few days a time.
As for my uncle -- well he's still in prison and hasn't made any effort to contact me since high school.
The Webster's of course are my real family. And except for George, Jr, Rocco and I get along pretty well with all my `adopted' brothers, although I have to admit, that except for BJ and Tim, we really don't see each other all that often. BJ is still working for Rocco's uncle, is now married to Jenny, has a beautiful two year old girl, and a brand new truck which he just bought.
Mr. Webster is AGAIN thinking about retiring but this time from the furniture business he and his neighbor started over 7 years ago. He said it was just growing too big and when they moved it all to a regular factory he said it was now for the next generation to make a go of it. Mrs. Webster is still her remarkable self and I was wondering what she will do when Tim moves out of the house.
Tim is doing reasonably well in school but I suspect he will not be continuing even though Rocco and I said we'd be glad to finance his college education. He was now working part time in that same furniture place and I heard that not only does he enjoy working there, the other employees think he is a great guy in spite of being the `son of the boss.'
And I finally truly surprised my White-boy for the first time in several years. I had asked Dr. Krazenski if he knew how to get in touch with Nestor Carabahal. He did. And Nestor was even open to the idea of visiting the states again wanting to see Dr. Krazenski's family along with other interests. And I explained to him just why I had gotten in touch with him in spite of our letters while in High School having faded into non-existence.
"I was what?" Nestor asked a bit incredulously.
"Exactly what I said. Rocco had a big crush on you the whole year you were here."
Nestor was also a bit surprised not only about the call, but about discovering that Rocco and I had decided to pair up for life. The idea of guys getting married was alien to him, but he too stated that he had at long last also "settled down." A Miguel Santos, his long time on-again-off-again boyfriend had eventually become his `permanent' partner. In spite of his father's vociferous objections. But because of `business' they could only meet us for a couple of days a couple weeks before Rocco's scheduled service. I was also surprised to learn that his Miguel was also almost 4 years older.
I arranged for Rocco and I to `accidentally' meet Nestor and his partner Miguel at a restaurant down town near where we lived. We were asked by the maitre d' that since there was a long wait to be seated if we would mind being seated with two other people. Rocco said we would wait and was quite surprised when I said OK. He looked at me and transmitted a silent question. I understood it perfectly. He wanted this dinner to be `special' between the two of us celebrating my new job which I had just begun.
As we were escorted to the table Rocco turned toward me and asked: "What's going on?" Meaning that he knew I was doing something quite out of the ordinary.
I answered by not answering. Rocco knew that I would eventually `explain.' But it became moot when Nestor exclaimed from across the shortening span: "My god Rocco, you've barely. . . you've barely changed since High School!"
Rocco stopped abruptly and stared. "NESTOR! It IS you!" And Rocco looked at me and added: "YOU! I can't believe you did this!"
The expression on my White-boy's face was priceless. But it changed into the reddest face in the city when Miguel, who now stood up next to Nestor, added: "So YOU'RE the one who had designs on my boyfriend!"
After a lot of exclamations, and introductions, and bringing all of us up to date with each other's lives, we finally ordered dinner. Nestor picked up the tab. He was every bit as rich as Rocco had claimed. In spite of his father's objections to his having a boyfriend, he was still gradually taking over the operation of their ranch. If it could be called merely a ranch. I suspected it would put to shame the so-called `Ponderosa' of TV fame. And quite in opposition to custom, his younger sister was also now learning the operation as it will be her children who were to eventually inherit. And his stories kept us entertained throughout the meal. And the following two days.
And that first night Rocco pounded me for keeping Nestor's visit such a secret. I smiled throughout the entire `pounding.' Rocco's reaction was even better than possibly expected.
Later Rocco lambasted Dr. Krazenski for being a willing co-conspirator. That occurred when we ate at the doctor's new house the following weekend. Cher had become a beautiful girl and had just started classes at the University of Pennsylvania. She was a pre-med major. No surprise there. After dinner, Dr. Krazenski asked Rocco and I into his study and asked quite a long series of questions in his continuing longitudinal study of us and our relationship. We were also very happy to learn that his occasional correspondent, Evelyn Hooker, had recently been appointed to head the US Government Task Force on Homosexuality, which would be aimed at making recommendations on research and social policy issues.
That was a couple of weeks ago. We were now ensconced on top of a bank building on Walnut Street, also in the downtown area. It was a loft which was added almost as an afterthought when the building had been renovated last year. After it was all done, they finally found out that the son of the one of the board members who was supposed to move in, decided not to live there after all. And the zoning didn't permit it to be technically put on the market for rent as an apartment. So a singularly striking apartment was left vacant. Until Twain's Mom, Mrs. Goldstein, found out about it through one of her many contacts and pulled some strings -- or at least one mighty big cord. Twain, deciding that he preferred to keep his place in Chestnut Hill, his mother then asked us if we'd be interested in `leasing' the place at a very `reasonable' rate. Since `reasonable' here meant actually affordable, we jumped at the offer. And while speaking to Twain's Mom, she had to reiterate for the twentieth time her chagrin at her `apostate' son. Twain decided to become a lawyer after all, actually passed the bar exam on his first try, but much to his Mom's vexation, he was now working as an assistant DA. And he was still unmarried though his Mom still keeps trying to set him up with dates.
So here we were with this amazing apartment (oops, I mean office space since it couldn't be rented as an apartment), at a rent we could even afford, and I was only about 5 blocks from where I taught. (Rocco mentioned that we might soon look into `buying' an apartment. Never heard of that before. He said that they were calling them condos, and an entire block of buildings not far from Independence hall was in the process of being renovated).
And we were finally able to afford a few luxuries. (Well, luxuries for us). Like a bed and a couple easy chairs that weren't second or third hand. And on the wall at the end of the corridor, visible from half the living room, was one of those original photographs that Dan had taken of us back in High School. It even had its own brand new frame. I was sure glad that we had all the original negatives, since we had lost the original photos somehow in one of our numerous moves. This was the one that my White-boy liked the second best, with me looking down into his eyes as he looked upward. He was leaning back into my body but turned partly sideways. It showed up from the hips up. A similar one a bit more X-rated showing us from the knees up hung in our bedroom. Rocco said that he enjoyed the view.
When he first said this it took me several moments before I realized he was talking about the picture and not the scene from our window. That view was pretty good too with the Delaware River Bridge in the distance. But I can tell Rocco still missed his precious mountains. The only time I brought this subject up, he smiled and said that half his life up to then was making sure I got a good career, and if I didn't take this teaching position he would kill me with one of my own hooks.
"Jade, I know you will take it if I ask you to. But it's your career and your life. So you just make your best decision. I want you to know, however, that if you don't take it, I'm going to paint myself black, somehow fit some prosthetics onto my arms, and I'LL take the position!"
Well, we still had our summers and other times off for the mountains. And who knows what the future will bring.
Another thing my White-boy was now trying to do, was to set up some kind of network of ministers and other professional people from the gay community to help young boys who were caught up in the city's juvenile system, especially those who were in trouble because they were discovered to be gay. One thing he did find out, there were a number of gay people in the system itself who were sympathetic. And although most of the other city workers were so far unsympathetic, he said that informal help could still be given and he and a few others were setting up several informants within the system.
But all thoughts of careers and churches were safely tucked away for the time being. We were in bed and had been celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary. We had just exchanged anniversary gifts. For my White-boy I'd hung a sort of `window' to his mountains on our bedroom wall. I'd gotten one of our old photos of the Spanish Peaks from way back in Montana blown up real big and framed. It was the one view he liked the most with the cirque of mountain peaks along with Beehive Lake. That trip held unique memories for us both. He in turn presented me with a simple legal sized envelope. I was puzzled as I opened it and unfolded a legal document with a seal and everything. As I read a few tears developed in the corners of my eyes. It stated that my White-boy was now no longer who he had said he was for his entire life. He was now legally and officially Rocco Brown.
This was as close as we could ever come to being `officially' married. We celebrated with a `renewal of our marriage vows' and a very tender love making.
Later I was holding my White-boy as we were reminiscing about the first day we had met. And some of the things that had lead up to our meeting in that park that very first day.
"Jade, I never mentioned this before, but I remember a number of times, before we had ever met, fantasizing about living in a house in the country, and having lots of kids."
(He HAD mentioned this kind of thing a number of times before but I didn't feel it necessary to correct him).
"At least I don't remember telling you about this one time in particular. I think I was 13 at the time and it involved an Amish boy I had seen in a horse drawn wagon. . ."
(Well, this one I HADN'T heard).
And as my White-boy started mentioning about having lots of kids, I was thinking that he was definitely trying to make my life SO much more complicated!
Dedication to Evelyn Hooker
Evelyn Hooker, Ph D
Sept 2,1907 -- November 18, 1996
The story of the de-pathologizing of homosexuality included many researchers and dedicated professionals. The efforts of Alfred Kinsey studies in sexual behavior had profound effects in liberalizing sexual attitudes. In particular, his demonstration of the commonplace of homosexual behavior became a source of support for the fledgling homophile movement of the 1950s.
With information in hand and the research of dedicated professionals, it was the political leverage of the homophile movement, led by activist Frank Kameny of the Matachine Society, which culminated in the traditional medical model of homosexuality to be overturned.
But if Kinsey is our educator, and Kameny our liberator, Evelyn Hooker is our patron saint. Evelyn Hooker's friendship with a group of young gay men instilled in her a deep and compassionate commitment to carry out the research that would challenge the untested assumption that homosexuals were pathologically maladjusted. Indeed her research sent shock waves through the mental health community and served, along with Kinsey's work, as the rational for challenging the American Psychiatric Association's designation of homosexuality as a mental illness.
Evelyn Hooker, carried out a path-breaking study in the 1950s that demonstrated there was no scientific basis for considering gay men to be psychologically maladjusted. Her 12 papers on homosexuality from 1956 through 1969, and the novelty of her approach produced considerable controversy in the medical and mental health communities. In spite of a bitterly fought backlash, her work inspired a number of other researchers and worked as a catalyst for an emerging network of dissenting professionals whose work reinforced her own efforts. In 1967, Evelyn Hooker was appointed to head the government Task Force on Homosexuality, which would be aimed at making recommendations on research and social policy issues. The 1969 report of this Task Force was buried by the Nixon administration and its publication was delayed until 1972. Largely bolstered by this report, homophile activists and their sympathetic supporters within the American Psychiatrist Association sucessfully brought about the removal in 1973 of homosexuality from the APA's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders! A validation of Evelyn Hooker's 20 year dedicated effort and research.
I dedicate not only this work, but the remainder of my to the memory of Evelyn Hooker, the greatest benefactor and freind of the gay community in our liberation movement. Every gay person alive today should remember her name for they owe her their future within our society.
Recommended reading: "Departing from Deviance: A History of Homosexual Rights and Emancipatory Science in America," by Henry Milton .
Recommended documentary: "Changing our Minds: The Story of Dr. Evelyn Hooker" .