Tag Archives: interracial

out and about in the city of brotherly love…

This past Sunday afternoon, the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community celebrated our city’s diversity with the annual “Outfest” held in the “gayborhood” of Philadelphia.

I was fortunate to have off on a rare Sunday, and Daryl and I took full advantage of the spectacular weather to explore not only the Outfest celebration later in the afternoon, but also to take a self-imposed walking tour to a few other locations in the “City of Brotherly Love” along the way AFTER our delicious breakfast at the Midtown Diner (which I describe in my other blog “a little taste.”)

I wanted to show Daryl a sculpture entitled Freedom by Zenos Frudakis at the base of the Glaxo-Smith Kline building at 16th and Vine streets that I had only seen in passing while driving through town in the past.

This is what we saw.

and this…

and this…

and lastly, this…

Daryl was totally impressed with my decision to walk several blocks to see this amazing sculpture. I knew he’d like it.

I used to live in “Philly,” and I loved it when I did. I’d walk EVERYwhere, even during inclimate weather. Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods and very walkable.

We saw this.

a mural on the side of Le Meridien Hotel on Arch Street at 14th.

and we passed this…

long ago abandoned, but I love the old signage on Pauline's Bridal Shop.

We continued on our excursion through town and stumbled into “Occupy Philadelphia!” which was being held on the western side of City Hall. It was truly enlightening to actually see the people, the tents, the posters and signs, all the chalk messages written on the sidewalk and the very real energy of the 99%. What I think intrigued me personally the most was the contradiction of the tent town of the “occupiers” in the shadows of these…

and this…

like this…

with their messages that included this…

and this…

oh… and this one.

We felt that we should get moving and decided to stroll past the new “paintbrush” sculpture at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts Building. Sorry guys, but it reminds me of Woody Woodpecker.

Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts

At this point of our walking tour, the weather, while beautiful, was making Daryl sweat through his polo shirt. He usually wears a tee shirt underneath, but wanted to feel “liberated” this day, so he went what I guess I would call topless commando? It didn’t work to his liking…

So we ended up here.

… to pick up a tee shirt and a new polo shirt for the Princess. Sigh. Once cleaned up and once again presentable, we were quickly on our way waving goodbye to Macy’s.

FINALLY, we arrived albeit an alley next to Sister’s and behind Woody’s, to Philadelphia’s Outfest.

The music was pumpin’ and the crowds were jumpin’! It was about 5 or 6 square blocks of diversity, camaraderie, playfulness, food, music, and every age and type of glorious human being the city has to offer.

We saw this…

and lots of these…

and of course I MADE Daryl do this…

that's Daryl on the left in his newly purchased shirt from Macys. duh.

 
 
 
 and we ran into her…
 

Shelita Buffet?

while searching for friends…
 
 
while we watched a fabulous dance troupe…
 
 
The day was young and we continued to enjoy the company of more good people, like these…
 
 
and these…
 
 
and these…
 
 
and her…
 

blowing UP condoms is so much better than blowing WITH them

 
and this “lady” came along…
 
 
and turned Daryl BACK into a Christian!
 

my handsome Christian!

 
We had a fantastic day in the City of Brotherly Love!

Peppah and Salt?

 
… and on our way to the car, we passed this… trying to figure out how appropriate it was to see at the end of our day in the city.
 

gourmet? pancake? balls?? Next time!

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my shirt.

I was hot today while strolling around the West Chester Restaurant Festival. I dressed in a long sleeve shirt because it was chilly in the morning. I came across a fried pickle stand that had tee shirts available for five bucks. I bought one and looked frantically around the streets and alleys to change with Daryl in tow. I turned around and asked Daryl what should I do with the shirt I was wearing when I changed to which he promptly replied, “give it back to your sister.”

I hate him.

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the Negro nod.

Please bear in mind that while Daryl totally supports my blogmanic blurbs on our co-named site (after I post them of course), that I should have a disclaimer somewhere on it that states that my opinions are NOT necessarily his.

Oh well, my bad.

Daryl and I have very little quality time together as most of you are aware. That being said, when we ARE together, prancing ourselves around in public as a happy go lucky interracial gay couple living in the Republican singed suburbs of Philadelphia (whew, more labels there than a “can-can” sale at Shop Rite), there are subliminal public observations that I tend to notice. It could be a wave, a gesture or a tone of voice… but there is one observation that is different… one that is frightening… one that I call…

… the “Negro NodTM.

Now I realize that I’m using an N word (as opposed to the N word) that is racially reserved for those of color, but frankly, this is my blog and my subject matter and I’m an adult of the utmost maturity, so there.

I didn’t notice “the nod” in the first stages of our budding relationship. Hell, we were in the throes of romance, and passion, slathered with loads of ubiquitous sex. Our eyes never left each other in the first few months (although I don’t think Daryl actually realized that I had blue eyes until our fourth date) and we were newbies and fresh and still discovering all of Daryl’s quirks and issues that I had to deal with.

Then, one steamy summer evening…

… while we were at a local mall shopping for candles, wine glasses and most likely underwear, I realized that there was a code… a secret code that I was not privy to. I was not a part of. Whenever Daryl and I would walk past another Black couple or family, the male would make eye contact with Daryl only and nod ever so slightly. I was confused at first. I smiled at them too, but they would only nod at Daryl. It wasn’t fair and it wasn’t polite. I felt invisible. I felt… what’s the word I’m searching for…

White.

I wondered if perhaps it was just a onetime thing, then I noticed it happening in other public situations like grocery stores, bars, movies, bars, the wine store, festivals and bars. I was appalled at how casually I was ignored by the men in Daryl’s race. No nods for me. What did I do to deserve this rude racial behavior?

Was it like some secret handshake between “brothas” that I was to never know? Was I being paranoid? Was it a silent symbol of solidarity that meant that someday the Black men would take over the world and I would be the one thrust into slavery forever? I felt panic and despair rise within my gut and then I thought…

Maybe I was over analyzing?

Daryl and I have discussed it in length. He says that I’m over reacting again and that “you Crackers do your own nodding too” but I still think I’m missing something. It’s as if he’s hiding a long guarded secret from the Mother Continent.

As a pasty White man, I don’t ever remember that sense of connection, or camaraderie with other White guys. I wasn’t a part of that fraternity. Then again, I didn’t really play a lot of sports, and I DID find my girl cousins a lot more fun to hang out with than the guys. I still sometimes attempt to do the “high-five” but I never really get that quite right either. I usually miss, or have my palm get slapped so hard I can’t use it for days. Not that I USE my palms for days mind you… sheesh… I’m digging a hole here.

Perhaps I could possibly lessen the significance of the “Negro Nod” by going into the secret signals and nods of gay men, but frankly that would be redickulously complicated and overwrought with more dramatic definition and flamboyant flair than I have time or patience for this afternoon, so I’ll save that for another day.

In the meantime, you just watch… you’ll see. Watch the interaction between Black men in public locations. Try to ignore it. I dare you.

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a day at Longwood Gardens…

I LOVE Longwood Gardens, just outside West Chester, PA. I decided on a whim that on this amazingly clear warm late summer day that Daryl and I were BOTH off, we should spend some time here. We strolled and sat, strolled some more, then ate a leisurely lunch. Daryl took an extra allergy pill (he truly works at our relationship) and everything was fine until he said at the end of our outing that “Mr. Longwood should be proud!*” I laughed SO hard that I actually cried. I love that silly man.

(the photos are just from my iphone)

SO relaxed while enjoying a spectacular day at Longwood Gardens.

 

Italian Water Gardens

 

Brugmansia (Angels Trumpets)

 

breezed hallway off the Main Conservatory

 

water lily pads

 
 

Chime Tower

 

gazebo outside of the rose garden

 

tea rose... the fragrance was amaaazing!

 

topiary garden

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

within the "Eye of Water" pavillion

  
* Daryl is WELL aware that Longwood Gardens is NOT named after a Mr. Longwood.

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Top ten misconceptions about an old interracial gay couple.

Matching tee shirts are SO gay, even if they ARE Jakes Bar.

1. One of us is the “husband” and one of us is the “bitch.”
TRUTH: While we don’t strive to emulate straight stereotypical roles, we are BOTH the “bitch.”

2. Attempting to incorporate our culinary heritage into our diet, we eat fried chicken on Friday nights and goulash on Mondays.
TRUTH: We eat fried chicken any day that we require comfort food and goulash is just nasty.

3. We use 50% less sunscreen than a Caucasian gay couple.
TRUTH: We don’t go out in the sun unless there is alcohol involved and only then with a rainbow-colored parasol.

4. Our musical tastes include Lady Gaga, Bootsy Collins and Justin Bieber.
TRUTH: Daryl knows the words to Justin Bieber songs. I, on the other hand, have ear plugs.

5. We have store credit cards at Old Navy and The Gap.
TRUTH: Credit cards are not our friends.

6. My pet name is “Flashlight.”
TRUTH: Although during sex in a dark room there are times where the only one I see is me, that is not my pet name.

7. Daryl’s pet name is “Bubalicious.”
TRUTH: It is.

8. People assume that one of us is well hung.
Truth: We both are.

9. I prefer chocolate ice cream, Daryl prefers vanilla.
TRUTH: True

10. We use Kool Aid as a mixer.
TRUTH: It was just that one time!

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the gift.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written. Almost too long… but the mind has settled, the heart has slowed, the breathing has grown patterned once again and the fingers want to caress the keys from the soul’s bright spirit today.

I haven’t written lately because Daryl and I have been way too busy enjoying a summer FILLED with garden parties and iced teas, late night dancing ‘til dawn, orgies loaded with lube and Liza and dinners in Paris and cocktails in Amsterdam! Who the fuck am I kidding. I had no words to share. Period.

Many things have happened in the lives of Salt n’ Peppah in the past few months. Many things. We are on a twisted but determined path of continued growth as we look forward to a future filled with trials, tribulations, more challenges and… more lube and much less Liza.

One of the changes that we are looking forward to with great anticipation, is the birth of a grandchild in February 2012 (due date of 2/29 – Leap Year and SO appropriate). Ashley and Quintin told us (and my Mom) of their impending kidlet several weeks ago via a SKYPE conversation from Queenstown, New Zealand. Looking back in retrospect, I believe Daryl and I “like-totally” squealed as if we were two 12 year old girls at a Justin Bieber concert. Like a couple of scientists, we studied a blurry black and white ultrasound that Ashley held up to the monitor while she explained technically that our grandchild currently had a tail. Once our shrieking died down to a couple of very wide grins, the kids assured us that they were holding up well and are planning on heading back home to our area of the world toward Thanksgiving of this year. Sigh.

We were THE FIRST family members that the kids shared their news with (I found out later in the conversation, that we were considered the easy “dry-run.”) and we were told specifically (read: threatened) NOT to post on Face Book or my blog until they had shared their news with other family members and several friends.

We are VERY good at keeping secrets. Daryl and I didn’t tell a SOUL that we knew that had ANY link to Face Book or a computer. We told the mailman. We told one of the Mexican landscapers (who I think believes we were asking him to turn off his weedwacker). We told a lady in the checkout line of the ACME while she was looking at a People magazine with some pregnant model on the cover, and I actually told a design customer of mine who didn’t realize I WAS married to a woman several years ago and that I had three grown children at all, as she eyed me up and down skeptically while blurting, “No effin’ way you homo.”.

Daryl is as ecstatic as a show tune writer on an episode of GLEE. He is looking forward to a grandbaby… A LOT. He has always considered my children like his own. He has followed them with me through many things in the short seven year period that he’s known them. He’s been a very active part in birthdays, graduations, family game nights, holidays, dinners as well as my son’s difficult battle with drug addiction. They find Daryl adorable, caring, comedic and a very welcome member of our ever growing dis-functionally functional family.

It’s been several locked lipped weeks of laptop keyboard silence and I’ve had plenty of time to reflect and ponder on how “I” feel about being a grandparent for the first time. The age thing doesn’t bother me. You know, that thing where we THINK we’re still in high school and we’re not old enough to be a graaaannnnd parent. Fuck off, I like my AARP membership. I was a pretty good parent when the kids were small, so having a young kid around doesn’t intimidate me at all.

This child will have parents that rival Brad and Angelina with regard to spirit, tree-hugginess, intellect, worldliness, culture and love. One recent afternoon as I was driving home from work on a beautiful back road of Chester County during an unusually striking sunset, I began to tear up out of nowhere thinking about this new life, this new child growing inside MY child! I began to get emotional…

WHAT could I even begin to offer a young child at this stage of the game? Here is one half of a hopefully maturing interracial gay couple who basically lives from paycheck to paycheck in a job that pay the bills but is in no means what I aspire to be. I hang out with my guy when our mixed up work schedules allow with NEVER a full day off together unless I call out sick or plan way in advance. I don’t travel the world. My car is not a “Beemer,” and my suits aren’t Armani. So I wondered… what CAN I offer this child…

Then today… I read with much surprise and even more humility, this dedication to me from a fellow “blogster” whom I have known briefly in blog months (we write a lot of emotional stuff, so a month in the blogosphere is like a year or two in the real world). She, like I, continues to struggle with clinical depression on occasion and she has been “pourin’ her cotton pickin’ heart out” on her blog about dealing with the blackness, the loneliness and the strangling grip that this disease can have on people.

I believe she is an incredible writer and has a way of pulling out all the stops when describing the effects that this debilitating disease can have. I commented to her that I wanted to thank her for just being who she is. I told her she is a gift. I believe she IS.

That’s when it hit me about what I can offer this newest member of my growing insanely diverse family. The gift of truth. The gift of practicing non judgement. The gift of a world with less discrimination. I can not only speak about the amazing positive impacts of diversity but I (with the help of Daryl) can actually SHOW this youngster what it means to be honest with one’s self and what it means to be real with others. To not be as concerned with whether its important to wear the right designer dress or play in the dirt with American made trucks, as much as how important is to be a good person first… to care, respect and love whomever you want, whenever you want.

I personally, cannot wait!

(Please take a few moments to read PissyKittysLitterBox blog… she really is quite talented!)

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beach blanket boingo

Well the inevitable has FINALLY happened. Daryl and I were invited to Lewes Beach in Delaware this weekend by some wonderful lesbian friends of ours whom we haven’t seen since our amazing jaunt to New York City back in April. We are still playing it by ear to see if we to end up there or not since we also have a memorial dinner for my Dad to attend earlier in the weekend in Chesapeake City, Maryland. Depending on how long dinner is and how many cocktails we consume will dictate if we’d like to continue on with the 2 hour drive south to the beach.

We LOVE our girls to pieces! They truly aren’t judgmental in any way and they are terrific hostesses, however, this will mean we will have to put on our bathing suits in a public situation. Keep in mind that while Daryl and I HAVE begun eating much healthier and together have lost the combined weight of say a Matchbox car or two… oh hell, make it a box of 4, we are most certainly NOT in shape for public viewing at the present time.

So, about halfway through writing this blog, I attempted to do a Google search for a photo to perhaps “illustrate” what two fat gay interracial men in bathing suits would look like. I wanted a comedic angle to help tie the story together, so I typed “fat gay interracial men in bathing suits” into my Google image search engine with “Safe Search” off.

Maybe I’m not adept at knowing how to search using key words, but very few of the photos even included a bathing suit.

Here’s one that DID (well sort of):

Does this look like "fat gay interracial men in bathing suits" to you?

Needless to say, there were no images that I could use in a public forum. I was distracted and totally lost my train of thought on this post. Once I get back on track, I will finish part two of our weekend adventures!

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