Escape Plan

Photo courtesy of Madam Noire website.

“Samuel” is a soft-spoken, middle-aged Caribbean-American man who I have chatted with online for years.

He is very handsome, with warm caramel skin, and a neatly trimmed, salt-and-pepper goatee. Samuel could be your favorite uncle, your high school English teacher, or your dentist.

But what Samuel is is a married gay man who is almost at the end of his rope. His marriage is failing, he is weary and guilt-ridden from sneaking around for sex, and he wants to just be his authentic self for the first time in his 50-something years.

For the last two weeks he has sent me text messages and inboxed me on Facebook.

“Immanuel, I just need somebody to talk to.”

So last Thursday he came by to visit, arriving at the door looking stressed and worried. Morgan went upstairs to give us some privacy and I gave advice to Samuel on how to escape the down-low world and come over the gay side, if that is what he ultimately decides to do

Here is what I said:

THINK ABOUT IT AND THINK AGAIN BEFORE DECIDING WHETHER TO LEAVE YOUR MARRIAGE: If you decide to leave a marriage there will be major upheaval. Your wife will have to deal with the emotional scars of finding out you are gay. Your children will have to adjust to a new image of their father. You will lose old friends. On the flip side you may be happier, more fulfilled and feel less guilty. What you decide to do is totally up to you — there is no wrong or right answer.

NEVER LEAVE YOUR MARRIAGE FOR A MAN: If you decide to leave your marriage do not do so because you have fallen in love with man and want to run to him. Some gay men actively pursue married men because they are good for sex but they can send them home to wifey and not have to deal with dirty socks on the floor and snoring at night. So the man you think is in love with you may not be truthful. If you decide to leave, live on your own awhile so you can learn the ins and outs of gay life and get used to being on your own and learning about yourself.

YOU WILL TURN INTO A SEX FANATIC IF YOU LEAVE YOUR MARRIAGE, AT LEAST FOR AWHILE: For the first time you will have all the time in the world to pursue sex you have been denying yourself for years. So you will go a little buck wild (read the earlier entries in my blog to find out!). Don’t worry, this new teenager phase will eventually end and you will want to pursue deeper connections with men.

GET ACQUAINTED WITH GAY CULTURE: There are several excellent websites and books that cater to men coming out later in life. Read a few before making your decision.

GET LEGAL ADVICE AND MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING: I would strongly advise getting legal advice about separation, divorce, child support and child custody and visitation rights before you make a decision. Some lawyers will talk to you pro bono. Some more good advice: find a therapist who specializes in gay or bisexual clients to help you handle the emotional stresses you will go through. If you can’t afford mental healthcare go online and look for support groups in your area. There are groups for newly out gay men and married gay men.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE: There are thousands of gay and bisexual men who were married to women and have children. Your situation is not unique and you are not alone in the journey. Cultivate a small group of friends who you can turn to for advice and support.

“The Other Side of the Closet” is one book that explores the issue of gay men in heterosexual marriages.

BE AS GAY AS YOU WANT TO BE OR DON’T: My dear friend Andre gave me this advice and I found it to be some of the best words I heard: “Be as gay as you want to be.” In other words, if you decide to “go gay” you can immerse yourself in gay organizations or causes or patronize only gay establishments. Or you can decide not to. That is up to you. There is no right or wrong way to be gay. Don’t believe the stereotypes you see on television or read. The LGBT world is very diverse and rich. There is a lot to enjoy.

GET YOUR FINANCES IN ORDER: If you decide to leave remember you have a legal and moral obligation to support your children if you have them. When I left my wife I rented a room before getting my own place and eventually living with Morgan. I took on part-time jobs and continue to do freelance work to afford to go on vacations with Morgan and do things with my children such as eating out and the movies and shopping. Until you get on your feet learn to live more frugally. Believe me there are plenty of things you can do for free or for less money.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO TELL EVERYBODY YOUR BUSINESS: If you decide to come out do so at your own comfort level. You may decide to tell a few close friends and relatives you are gay or you may not. Do what you are comfortable with and remember some friends and relatives  may cut you off if they find you are gay. Don’t worry about them — they really didn’t love you anyway. Go and make new friends!

DON’T FEEL GUILTY — A HIGHER POWER IS IN CHARGE: If you believe in a higher power, realize when this power created you it did not make a mistake. You were meant to live your life to the fullest and be yourself. And love yourself and others. That is the greatest gift you can give to the world.

To Each His Own

Websites featuring black men or “thugs” who submit to and service white men are becoming more popular. Such porn serves as a counterpoint the dominance of gay porn featuring black or Latino men who sexually dominate whites.

I was attending a business conference at the Washington Convention Center last week when my cellphone starting vibrating repeatedly.

The speaker I was listening to was kind of boring so I looked down to see who was texting and calling. It was my buddy, Tony from Atlanta.

“Immanuel, call or text me back quick. I have something to tell you.”

“Oh shit,” I thought. Who died?”

I walked out into the hallway, sat on a cushioned bench beside the window and dialed his number.

“Are you okay Tony?”

“Baby I’m fine but you have got to hear about this,” he said. “I think it would make a great story for your blog.”

“Sure, I can give you a few minutes. Tell me what’s up.”

The reception was a little staticky but this is the jist of what Tony said.

A friend of Tony had gone to San Francisco and visited a gay bar known for its public sexual escapades. He had struck up a conversation with a handsome, tall, well-built black man by the bar. The conversation was so good Tony’s friend just knew he was going to tap that Black Adonis’ ass that night.

But things didn’t turn out that way.

“Do you know an average looking white guy walked up to this black god, talked a minute, pulled out his dick and that handsome black man got on his knees and started sucking his dick,” Tony said, his southern-accented voice dripping with contempt.

“Then all these other white guys lined up. This black guy ended up sucking off most of the white guys in the bar. He didn’t care if they were short, tall, or ugly or cross-eyed as long as you were white. And he just ignored my friend .”

Photo courtesy of

“White guys are okay but I really love black men,” Tony continued. “I won’t get with a white dude unless they are no other alternatives.”

Hey, sexual preferences based on race abound in the gay community. Sex hook-up websites are filled with ads from guys who only date whites, or Asians or blacks and Latinos exclusively.

It is what it is.

“Tony, I wouldn’t get upset about it,” I said. “There are just black guys who prefer white men. That is their preference.”

Back when I was growing up in the 70s and early 80s we used to call some black people “Oreos.” These were people who usually preferred to hang around white people and even dressed like them and used slang more associated with whites, such as “That’s rad!” or “Wow, that’s a foxy chick.”

Usually these were young black people who had been raised around whites so that was all the culture they knew so you couldn’t fault them. However, I know of a few who were pushed by their parents to associate more with whites because their parents believed white friends and connections would help their children get ahead in America.

The black dude in the bar in San Francisco may have subconsciously believed whites were superior and dropping to his knees and serving them helped him act out his kink. Or he could just prefer white men because he likes their skin color, or hair texture or whatever.

Who knew, he might even turn around the next day and suck a bunch of black or Latino men. Maybe he was just in the mood for white men that particular night.

And who are we to judge? If being submissive to white men turns him on so be it. We all have our turn-ons and preferences. So let him enjoy himself. To each his own.

Q: Readers, what do you think?

Small Town Gay Resort

The Trendsetters — Sissi, Candi and Holli — perform a 60s-theme drag show at the Rainbow Mountain Resort dance club.

The Sunday night drag show at the Rainbow Mountain Resort in the Pocono  was kitschy but not really my thing.

I might be gay but I’m not that gay — I just don’t get the appeal of men dressed as women and lip-synching to some Broadway tune.

And it had been great weekend but I was tired and my back ached.

“Hey Morgan, are you ready to go?,” I said, turning to my dude.

“Yeah, sure if you are ready I am too,” he said.

So we went back to our room, turned off the lights, and called it a night.

After getting back from Los Angeles a week ago Morgan noticed I was a bit stressed and not sleeping well so suggested we get away for the Labor Day weekend, his treat.

What about Atlanta Pride? We had waited too  late to book a flight and hotel so it would have been too expensive. Plus our friends down there said the event is over-hyped.

Rehobeth Beach? All the hotels were booked. We would have had to get a hotel 20 miles away from the Atlantic.

The Dance Club. The Down-Low Lounge is in the basement.

So I went online and found the Rainbow resort just a 4 1/2 hour drive northeast of Washington, D.C. in Pennsylvania.

It’s a rustic, old place — not a four-star hotel by any stretch. But it was restful, the food was decent, and we met a lot of friendly gay couples from New Jersey, New York and other parts of the northeast.

Plus you didn’t have to go anywhere — the resort is ground zero of gay culture in the region and attracts folks from all over.

It reminded me of the documentary “Small Town Gay Bar,” which looked at how important gay bars were to rural LGBT people living in parts of the south..

It featured an  Olympic-sized pool (where we played water volleyball with a very funny and very bossy lesbian named Michelle and her cool buddy Travis, who she nicknamed Travesty), its own gay dance club (with a karaoke bar downstairs appropriately called the Down-Low Lounge), and quaint white cabins with yellow trim.

Carson Kressley

And at least one celebrity was running around — Carson Kressley from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” I never watched the show but I still recognized his face.Which shows what an impact the show had on mainstream culture.

Morgan swears Carson, who was surrounded by an entourage of very well coiffed and dressed gay men, was the one running around the halls of the lodge at night, knocking on people’s doors and calling out, “Room service! Nastygram! Room service! Balloonarama! Postal Service! Milkman!”

I didn’t open the door to see who was making all the commotion.

Here’s some other photos I took:

Entrance to the main resort building.

View of the Pocono hills from the resort.

The pool

The resort’s small lake.