Home Is Where the Dead Hookers Are

  My house never feels more like a home than when it’s brimming with people I love. Recently, my A-List (Retta, Kathy, Alan and Tina) had the opportunity to get together–for the first time in five years! And it was magical (as usual). I’ve written about this beloved motley crew before.They are–each one of them…

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The Birthday Tradition

I always approach the Creticos Cancer Center with great reverence. For all the caring work that is done there by the nurses and staff. And all the courage shown by the patients who are treated there, as well as their families. Though it’s now housed in a brand new state-of-the-art building across the hospital campus…

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Connecting Purpose to Loss

Why was I crying as I walked down the street, carrying a salad I’d picked up for lunch? No, not because I’m a moosh bag who sobs to any decently scored coffee commercial around the holidays. (Well, not only for that reason.) I was moved. A little closer to where I’m supposed to be. And I felt it…

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Called On Account of Rain

As I’ve written before, I love to go camping—partly for its own sake but partly (probably mostly) because it was something Ken introduced me to. I’m not a deep woods camper, but a give me a beautiful state park and some friends, and I’ll pack up all my camping gear and head out. In spite…

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There’s No Place Like It

There is no doubt how much I love living in Chicago; how much I love my home and my neighborhood. But when I have a little time off, there is something I love about going to my hometown to see my folks. I never viewed my tiny farming hometown as quaint until long after I…

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My Past and Present with Pride

As I talked with my friends and enjoyed the community and fellowship of my first Pride event–on the Circle in Indianapolis–a man walked slowly and deliberately through the celebration. Wearing a gas mask. It was the early 90s and also my first experience with a Pride celebration. And with abject hate. That man wanted to send a message that…

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Safe Spaces & Being Your Authentic Self

While on the L heading to work last week, I received a tweet from a BBC reporter who wanted my input about why LGBT people view gay bars/clubs as safe spaces. In the wake of the Orlando shootings, I’d already been giving that some thought and eagerly offered my assistance–though curious as to exactly how I could help. He…

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The Sanctuary of Sameness

The first gay bar I ever went to in Chicago was a small but colorful neighborhood bar called Buddie’s. I’d found it wandering down Clark Street while my friend Denise, who had driven us there from Indiana where she worked and where I attended Purdue. She was attending an author reading and discussion about “obsessive…

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Back to Class

I decided to take a writing class recently. There is an incredible writing school a couple of blocks away from my condo called Story Studio. I stumbled across it a few years ago during an open house they hosted and have kept an eye on their class offerings since. I’ve taken a couple of one-off…

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Ten Years or a Blink?

As soon as the calendar turns to January, June 1 has traditionally been a magnet for my attention and emotion since it became the day Ken died in 2011. But this year May 1 leapt out at me. And I was surprised to realize that May 1 marks ten years since Ken and I moved…

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