Thursday, May 23, 2013

Faith And Doubt

I'm not a real handy man around the house. Oh, it's not that I don't understand the things a man should understand about basic plumbing, wiring and maintenance, I do. I'm just not good at it; and to tell the truth, I'm not that interested in it.

When I was a teenager, my Dad offered to teach me how to take care of my car's maintenance needs. I consented to learn how to keep water in the battery, change the air filter and change a tire when necessary. I even learned how to change the oil and the filter and for the many lean years after I married at age 18 while still working my way through college, I did all those things, not cheerfully but I did them to save the money. But that was the extent of it. Unlike my brothers, I never attempted to change the brake pads, put in a new carburetor or whatever. I did change the spark plugs on my old Ford Sprint once. Once was enough for me.

And so it is around the house. During the lean years of raising a family and building a career, I replaced a worn out garbage disposal. I stopped the faucets from dripping. I mowed the yard and built a fence around it.  I painted inside and out several times. I built a deck in the back yard. I even wired in some new electrical outlets, all to save money.

But as my income increased and the kids became independent, most all of that sort of handy man stuff stopped. I still enjoy working in my flower beds and making my back yard beautiful, but the weekly chores of mowing and trimming I hire out to a yard man whose time is well worth the cost. So it is with my automobiles. Since college I've averaged buying a new car every 3 - 4 years. The minute they start requiring anything other than routine maintenance their gone. I can afford to drive new cars. I enjoy driving new cars, so I drive new cars. It makes life more simple for me in the long run and less stressful.

From time to time, I'll still perform some little maintenance item around the house. We built the house a little more than 20 years ago (where has the time gone) and so it is getting to the age where some things have to be done. I hire someone to paint. No way am I going to paint these days. I hired someone to replace the water heaters. I also hired someone to put in three new doors that needed to be replaced.

In the near future, both the kitchen and the master bath will need to be gutted and rebuilt from the floor up. My friend Mike just got through doing that at his house and by doing it himself he saved a bundle, but there is no way in hell I'd even think of doing it. I'll suck it up and shell out the 40K to have it done.

But last week I finally got tired of the wife griping about the lanterns on either side of the front door. Once polished brass, they had long since become irreparably tarnished. Between the two lanterns there were six bulbs, only three of which would light. I had to agree with her, it was past time to do something about them. For months I had been keeping an eye out at Home Depot and Lowes for something I liked. Last week I finally found them, and at just under $100 each the price was right.

The wife asked if I was going to get someone to install them. "Naw, I can do it," I said. When she left for work Monday morning, I got out my ladder and my tools and tackled the job. It was a fairly easy task; and in fact, I enjoyed it.

As those of you who have performed this task know, the lantern hangs on a bracket which is attached to the electrical box with two ½ " screws. One or two longer screws are screwed into the bracket from it back side on which the lantern is secured with a decorative nut. These lanterns were big so two screws were used to secure each of them to the wall bracket.

Of course when I screwed the 2" screws into the back of the bracket I turned them clockwise until the protruded out from the bracket with enough length for me to mount the lantern and attach the decorative nut. With the nut attached I turned it clockwise to tighten the lantern securely against the brick wall.

While doing this, it occurred to me that in a way this bracket assembly was a metaphor for life because to protrude the 2" screw through the bracket I had turned it clockwise. Now I was securing the decorative nut by turning it clockwise, but the screw was turning counter clockwise from the perspective from which I had inserted it. Now, it was turning the opposite direction from that perspective; but from my perspective of tightening the decorative nut, it was still turning clockwise.

So it is in life. The perspective from which we view life is all important. Our perspective can turn things around completely. What is right can become wrong and what is wrong can become right based on our perspective, but the thing itself,whatever it may be, is in reality, just doing what it is doing with no regard to our perspective.

Several months ago I ran on to this You Tube video of Dan Savage. I liked the video, but I was awaiting some inspiration about how to use it in my blog. It occurred to me this little insight into the bracket mechanism of my lanterns  and perspective was my inspiration.

In the video, Savage speaks about faith and doubt; and Savage is a very intelligent guy who believes
only in what he can see and understand. Therefore, in spite of his confessed desire to find faith, his doubts make him at best an agnostic and in effect an atheist.

Recently, on her deathbed, his mother's last words were, "I'll see you again." Savage wants to believe that with all his will; but his will simply cannot overcome his doubt and it saddens him to realize that from his perspective, his mother is simply dead. She is not in heaven. She is dead and she is gone and her body is in a grave.

Savage and I shared much the same experience as children. Because of our intellects, doubts came early and came with powerful impact. We both quickly caught the church in its lies. And finding one lie led to another and another and another. Faith was severely shaken. In fact, it was almost shaken to death.

In Savage's mind all that is left of faith is the wish that it could be embraced. In my mind, I came to see faith as a matter of perspective just like the screw in the bracket assembly. The screw is just doing what it is doing with no real regard to my perspective. God either exists or doesn't exist without any regard whatsoever to my perspective. Everything in my intellect tells me it is all just a case of wishful thinking to believe in God and an eternal life. But my faith manages to keep a toehold on belief. Faith and doubt are but two different ends of the same screw, two different perspectives of the same thing.

What direction that screw is turning is just a matter of perspective. I can understand both perspectives. I embrace both perspectives. But I hope with all that is within me that my faith proves to be the correct perspective. To me, there is as much to suggest that God is real as there is to suggest he is not. None of it can be proven either way. Indeed, "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," just as the Bible itself says it is.

All that is physically me, existed before I was born. My faith hopes that all that is me will exist after my death.

Savage is right. Almost all the church teaches is a lie. That is because the church is corrupted by time and by men. I have no faith at all that there is a city with golden streets and alabaster walls. I can't imagine anything more boring than sitting around praising God for eternity and I don't' think a god who would enjoy being praised in such a way is worthy of praise. But I choose to believe, to hope, there is consciousness after death in a place where the spirit will reside in peace forever.

In addition to being a man who has never quite been able to bring himself to faith, Dan Savage is a homosexual man with a partner and a child. In my faith, all that makes no difference at all to God because God views us all from only one perspective, endless unmerited grace and love. Salvation is universal. God does not hold Savage or anyone else hostage to the God given intellect that just won't allow the embrace of faith. Neither does he hold me hostage to my meager toehold on faith.

Lord I believe, help my unbelief!

Jack Scott

Monday, May 20, 2013

Giving Life A Second Look - A Follow Up

I never receive as much comment as I would like in response to my blog postings. I truly do learn and grow as a person by considering the opinions and experiences of others; and thus, hearing from others through their responses to my postings is vital to me.

My recent post, Giving Life A Second Look only garnered two comments. I was hoping for many more, but the two comments I did receive meant a great deal to me. One was from a gay man who praised my even handed approach to bisexuality. Gay men are not big fans of bisexual men, so to find favor with a gay man in my writing is a real accomplishment. I hope to remain worthy of his trust.

The second comment was from Bob, a married bisexual man who found my response to Geoff caring and supportive. To be honest and yet caring and supportive in my writing is a constant imperative. To have that imperative recognized means a great deal to me. It is especially welcome in this instance since I have not heard back from Geoff. As I wrote the response to Geoff I was constantly revising it to try to keep its tone caring and supportive; and, at the same time, frank and tough enough to impress Geoff with the need to listen to his own words and set his life's priorities in order. Bob has dealt with the same issue as Geoff and he found the letter's tone to be "caring and supportive." But Bob dealt with the issue and overcame it while Geoff is still very emotionally involved in his fight. It makes a difference, so I am still afraid Geoff might not have recognized the response as a supportive one.

English is one of the richest languages in the world. It can convey almost any idea or concept well; yet because of its very richness, the message one intends can be misconstrued because so many English
words have many different connotative meanings which are subjective and understood differently in various cultural and emotional associations. Much of what we hear is interpreted based on what we are seeing, and we trust what we see much more than what we hear. When we read, we are deprived of sight and the help it can give us in interpreting what is being said. Thus misunderstanding the intent of the writer is always a possibility. With the advent of the "Instant Message," there is an attempt to address this problem through the use of emoticons, the "smiley face" and all his emotional friends. Such devices help, but even they are not always successful.

In a blog, the only real way to handle the problem is with give and take discussion, and that is why I value the comments
of my readers so much. By their comments I can confirm they have taken or not taken the true meaning of my words. When misunderstandings occur, I can elaborate in a reply to a comment in a further attempt to correct any misunderstanding. Just as importantly, a reader and I can reach a point at which we understand each other perfectly and also understand that we disagree. It is at such a point that I tend to re-examine my own beliefs to see if I want to hold on to them, modify them or change them. It is by this process that I learn and that my viewpoints evolve.

All of us do the same thing, whether or not we are aware of it. As a nation, indeed as a world, our viewpoints on homosexuality and bisexuality are evolving and changing at an enormous pace. As more and more people come to accept homosexuality as a biological and social normative life style, the pace
of change will continue to grow because all of us are influenced by accepted social norms. We don't want to be on the outside of normal. We don't want to be anti-social. It is a process which may seem questionable in the short term, but which promotes the best in humanity in the long term. Without such a process we would be stuck back in the Dark Ages.

So, to Geoff, I hope you will think about what I had to say to you knowing it was meant to be supportive and caring. To all my other readers, whether you agree with me or disagree vehemently; I hope you will take the time to comment on my blogging and give me the benefit of your viewpoint.

As a nation and as a world, we are coming to realize that social norms can encompass concepts, ideas and even institutions that at first glance seem to be directly opposed to each other. Once such institution is marriage. The old concept was that marriage is between a man and a woman. We haven't really believed that as a society in a very long time. Long ago we modified that concept to recognize marriage as between one man at a time and one woman at a time to recognize the fact that divorce and remarriage had become a social norm.

Today, we are redefining marriage again and recognizing it to be between two people who love each other regardless of gender. Isn't it great that love wins! And that is the answer to Geoff in a nutshell - love should win.

Jack Scott

Monday, May 13, 2013

Giving Life A Second Look

I received a letter this week from a man in Hampshire, England. With his permission, I am posting his letter and my thoughts concerning it to this blog. I think there are many others out there who might benefit from some heavy duty thinking about the situation that is troubling this gentleman.

Hi there Jack, 
Thankyou for your blog and thankyou for being you. May I share with you some of my life in the full knowledge that you cannot give me any direct advice.  But you might have some helpful observations. 
 I am a year older than you, married 37 years, three wonderful children, and I am on the point of breaking my Wife's heart. Let me elaborate: 
I have always known that I was drawn to men, and less so to women. So in my late teens I was outwardly straight, had a few girlfriends, and that was OK. And then going to Liverpool Uni  for three years shifted my focus more to women and I had sex with a few. But the desire for men never went away. Bear in mind the climate of the 60s, saying you fancied men was bad enough..............but women as well.................? Come off it.
And then I met Veronica on a skiing holiday in the Alps. We got on very well. It was love at first sight for her, less so for me. After a few months I told her I had something important to say: I told her I was bisexual. She accepted that, and I told her of my various fetishes and contacts with men. We married, we had good jobs, and three wonderful kids, and for 17 years I was totally faithful, we both enjoyed plenty of good sex,  but I still dabbled in gay magazines, then later  porn both gay and bi and straight.  The sex with my Wife was good, good for me and good for her, it remains so to this day. But it was never enough for me. She has always known of my leanings towards men but I suppose she chose to look the other way. And then the rot set in.
I remember my first rentboy encounter: I was so nervous, he knew that, and after 30 mins, and almost no contact with him, he said time was up. What a ripoff. I continued with different rentboys about every three months or so for several years which was OK. And then I met John, also a rentboy and he taught me a lot; how to give and receive sex properly; he showed me bathouses and I saw him regularly over 8 years. And then the explosion of internet porn made me feel " what am I missing?" I continued with bathouses for many years on my own. My utlimate venue is a sex club in London with hundreds of naked horned up men.  I have made one or two friends there, but it is primarily competitive, transitory, fleeting sex. Shocking to even gay friends, never mind straight, but I love it.
Where does all this extra marital sex leave me? Where does it leave my innocent Wife? I love my Wife but not as much as she loves me. I continue to wound her loving heart, having been caught out with near misses - emails mainly.

I am split. I am tearing myself apart. I am trapped between me and myself. I hate me. I really hate myself. Should I have married my Wife? Should I tell her? Does she need to know? Should I be separate and/or divource?
Realistically you cannot answer theses questions, only I can  But you could offer some thoughts which I would value and appreciate. I am in a total mess.

There is an irony here; for the last 8 months I have trained as a Samaritan, where, with 20000 other volunteers, we offer a 24 hour telephone listening service for those  in despair, lonely, or suicidal; we cannot judge, we cannot problem solve or give advice but the value of talking through problems and asking gentle questions is hugely therapeutic; total strangers tell you things they may never have told anyone else. I find the whole thing truly, truly rewarding, indeed a privelidge. Judging by the number of emails we get from the States, you appear to have nothing similar, but I may be wrong. But hey, here is one email going the other way.

I am so grateful for your time.
With best wishes, 

 I'm sure this was a difficult letter for Geoff to write, and it will be a difficult one to answer; but as it seems to happen so often in my life, it came at a time in which I have been trying to think of a way to talk about this issue in this blog.

As I have said a thousand times and will say at least a thousand more, life is a very complicated and complex thing. So complicated and so complex, in fact, it is a testament to the human spirit and the will to succeed that any of us make a go of our lives. Making a successful life for ourselves and our families is certainly not a given. It isn't now in spite of all the help we have around us, and it wasn't in the past when a man's success in life depended mostly on himself and what he was capable of achieving on his own.

The human ability to throw one's life away has always been a fascinating, albeit tragic, thing to observe. I was only 8 or 9 years old the first time I saw it happen. Perhaps it was one of the advantages, or disadvantages, of living in a very small town where everyone knew each other and probably too much of each other's business. In this small community, there was a man who was well respected and who, by any measure, was thought of as a successful man. He had a wife and a family. They could have been the poster family for the early 1950's family. But the poster family was destroyed in the blink of an eye, not from some outside force of nature; but by tragedy the man himself invited into his life and the life of his family. This man had a young secretary, the daughter of another well respected family in the community.  Though she was not yet married, she became pregnant. Soon it became known throughout the community that the man she worked for was the father of her baby. The fallout of that community wide realization was swift and brutal. I am sure the young woman did not initiate the affair. It was almost surely initiated by her employer; but it didn't matter much who initiated the affair. Lives of the guilty and the innocent as well were caught up in the storm and severely damaged.

The  young girls Dad was a good friend of my father's, so my father saw first hand what their daughter's mistake and the result of that mistake did to her Mom and Dad. They were devastated. The wife and children of the man who had more than likely been ultimately responsible for the tragedy were also devastated. His wife had been publicly betrayed. His children were publicly humiliated by the actions of their father. His business and his standing in the community crumbled as did his marriage. The whole family moved away. Whether or not they recovered, I never knew; but I doubt that anything was ever the same for them again.

In the ensuing years, I observed other people destroy their own lives. Some did it with drugs and/or alcohol. Some did it with reckless disregard for their own safety and died or were permanently disabled in automobile accidents that were not really accidents at all. They were the predictable result of stupid, careless decisions.

As I began to deal with my own bisexuality, the lives I had seen destroyed around me while I was growing up were a constant reminder to me that I was dealing with a situation that could do the same thing to me if I wasn't very careful. There was the specter if AIDs or some other dread STD that could destroy me and those I loved. There was the possibility of being outed and then being ostracized by a society that did not, at that time, accept homosexuality or bisexuality as a normal life style.

As a young teenager, I met the boy who was later to become my brother-in-law. I didn't have to know him long before I knew that his young man, only 12 years old at the time, was headed for a disappointing life. As time passed, I was amazed that he and my wife could have been raised in the same home and still be so utterly different in every way. Thomas was shallow and manipulative. Worse, he had a love for money and the finer things of life, but no love at all for the work it takes to acquire such things. His mother, who had so successfully raised my wife, had a blind spot where Thomas was concerned. Thomas would get into trouble and she would rush to the rescue. There was never any downside to trouble for Thomas because Mama always interceded on his behalf. 

When he was 18, Thomas got his girlfriend pregnant. His mother picked up the bills for that, and arranged for the two to be married. She fronted them an apartment and Thomas got a blue collar job. It didn't last long because he would not get out of bed to go to work on many mornings.

The first child was soon joined by three others in quick succession. They were nothing but a sign of his irresponsibility and probably his feeling that being able to father children made him a man. Many times there was no food in the house until his mother would provide it.

Thomas didn't have his life together in any way, shape or form; but he was rough and demanding on this children. He established rigid rules for them and was quick to punish them when they broke his rules.

A few years later, the unthinkable happened. His mother died. Without her support, Thomas' family quickly began to fall apart. He disowned the oldest child for marrying someone he did not approve of. I found it ironic that he didn't approve. The spouse of his oldest child certainly had more going for him that Thomas ever had. The story repeated itself with his next to oldest child. The third child got out of the house as soon as possible. Then Thomas' wife left him and took the youngest child with her. His life had become the disaster I had foreseen for him all those years before.

Through it all, my wife tried to maintain a relationship with her brother, but it was all one sided. Her trying ended when he involved us in a lawsuit he had initiated. That was the final straw for my wife. Though he did not win the suit, she never spoke to him again. It's been 22 years now. We don't hear much about him except what his oldest child tells us and that child now with a family of her own doesn't often see her Dad because nothing has ever changed with him.

When I was a kid, my mother always told me, God would use me as a good example if he could; but he would use me as a bad example if he must. Perhaps the only good thing that came out of Thomas' life is that I was able to use him as a bad example to my kids of how one could destroy one's own life and damage the lives of those all around him. My kids are grown, successful and have families of their own now; but even now, it is not unusual to hear them say they don't want to be like Uncle Thomas when they are struggling with a difficult decision.

Geoff certainly has more sense and more purpose in life than Thomas; but he is faced with some of the same type of tests in his own life that Thomas failed.

At the end of his letter, Geoff says he knows I cannot answer the questions he is asking; and he's right, I can't. But what really struck me is if Geoff will read his letter carefully, he will find that over and over, he has done a good job of answering his own questions.

Geoff points out I am only a year older than him. He is obviously cognizant that he and I have faced many of the same challenges in our lives. Like him, I have always been attacked to males. And like him, I have always been attracted to females. For many years I found it confusing and frustrating. I knew I wasn't gay, but in my early adulthood I didn't even know about bisexuality. I just thought I was a monster.

Geoff points out that he loves his wife to this day and that life with her has been good. He clearly wants to preserve that life. I am the same way. I love my wife dearly. Our lives together have been fantastic and blessed beyond measure. It is no stretch to say, she is my life. That realization was paramount in dealing with my own bisexuality.

Geoff knows exactly when "the rot began" in his marriage. And it is here that he and I took different paths. My marriage never was unhealthy. It was never in danger. I made sure of that. I was driven to find myself, but I was always more driven to do no harm to my marriage. There was never any doubt in my mind that it was the most important thing in my life, even more important than my kids really. My wife and I did well by our kids. We raised them, provided for them and yet demanded they know the value of hard work and personal achievement. The result was successful and happy adult children who are passing on those lessons to our grandchildren. The reality is, our children do not need us any longer. But my wife and I continue to need each other. I cannot imagine dealing with my cancer without  her. She is my rock. One of the good things about my cancer is that it will probably insure I never have to live without her. I'll die first and leave her to carry on.

Geoff goes on to say the life he has come to love in the male/male sexual world is shocking, transitory and fleeting. That is a clear admission that he knows where the right path for him lies. Who would give up a wife and family he loves for something shocking, transitory and fleeting?

Finally, Geoff makes the most poignant statement of all: "I am split. I am tearing myself apart. I am trapped between me and myself. I hate me. I really hate myself. Should I have married my Wife? Should I tell her? Does she need to know? Should I be separate and/or divorce?"

His assessment of it all is right on target. He is a good man dealing with his evil alter ego. He is, just as he says, trapped in a trap of his own making. Like me and so many other similar men, he hates himself. And with all these burdens on his shoulders, he is asking what might seem like the ultimate questions. Should he tell his wife? Does she need to know? Should he rid her of himself and divorce?

But these are not really the ultimate questions. The ultimate question is why he has done so much to put himself into this life trap? It is true he can do nothing about his bisexuality. It is his birthright. However, he can do a great deal concerning what he makes of that birthright and how he handles it. It comes to mind immediately to me that one does not put something that makes him hate himself on the shoulders of the wife he loves when she can't possibly do anything to make it better, and when it will hurt her deeply, perhaps destroy her.

Doctors take an oath to first do no harm. Perhaps it is an oath we all should take as a mantra for living our lives. Every life is met with problems and strife. Some of these problems can be intractable. That is why life is difficult and complex. But whatever the problem, our goal should be to first do no harm. I really hadn't consciously thought out that principle when I began dealing with my own male/male attractions as a married man. But instinctually, I loved her so much it was a natural and sometimes subconscious guide for me and it served me well. I never harmed her. I never emotionally abused her. I never made my intractable problems her problems.

Geoff has answered his own questions. He doesn't want to do that either.

Regrettably, sexual prowess and desire are themselves fleeting. Eventually, we loose them. Because of my cancer, I reached that point in my life earlier than I should have. But loosing that part of my life has made it clear to me what the most important part of my life is. How sad it would be to live out my final years alone without the love of my wife and her love for me.

Throughout life we have to make decisions, hard decisions, and prioritize options. In reality, Geoff is just facing one of those decision points in which he was prioritize things that are important to him. I don't have to tell him his top priority. He knows. His letter shows that. He holds both good and evil in his own hand.

I use to tell my kids their happiness and success in life was in direct ratio to the number of sound decisions they made in life. Further, I told them that fortunately, most decisions are not life or death decisions. Usually one gets a second chance, but not always. Some decision are of such importance that one has only one chance to get it right. Geoff is facing such a decision. Fortunately, he knows the right decision. The only question is, will good Geoff make the decision or will his evil alter ego make it.

I know Thomas, at least in his early life, knew the right decisions he should make. He lived in the same house as his sister growing up, so it was not like he had grown up without proper instruction. But he ultimately failed because he gave in to his selfish nature. One bad thing led to two more and finally he was into a quagmire from which he could not extricate himself. In the end, his selfishness turned to dishonesty and corruption which drove even those who should love him away. We all have baser impulses that try to outweigh our better intentioned impulses. When we let our baser instincts get out of control, we are doomed.

It is not too late for Geoff. He can preserve what is most important to him. The only question is, will he? The choice is his and his alone.

Obviously, I am not implyingffdssds homosexuality or bisexuality are evil. In fact, I have come to believe nothing is inherently evil. Evil is created when we change good things into bad things. Sex is a perfect example. It is one of the most pleasurable of human experiences. It can bond us to another person in the most fantastic way. Yet, more often than not, people never experience the good side of sex. They only experience the bad side. Geoff knows things began to rot in his life when he got into rent boys. Rent boys are the fleeting and transitory side of sex. The side that is never really satisfying just as prostitutes are for straight guys.

I have gay friends, bisexual friends and straight friends. Without exception, the ones that are happy are the ones in loving permanent relationships. Geoff has such a relationship if he wants to keep it. What a bisexual man has to do to balance his relationships in his life varies. For some, it comes down to the fact that they can be bisexual, but they cannot act on their bisexuality. Others are able to forge loving and committed relationships with other guys while maintaining their primary relationship with their wives and family. In such circumstances the relationship with the male friend is almost always about much more than sex. In reality it is more like a regular friendship. Some men find they feel perfectly content not to have sexual relationships with men once they accept their bisexuality as a personal reality for themselves and come to understand it. Though it may sound strange, it is much the same thing that many heterosexual men do when they get married and vow to remain faithful to their wives. It is not that they don't find other women attractive, they just choose to be happy with the one woman they married.

Needless to say, I wish the best for Geoff. I think he's not really in as bad shape has he thinks. I think if he looks at his situation carefully he will see he already knows where his heart lies. I have written this letter to him and spoken of him in the third person in the hope that it helps to give him that perspective.

Jack Scott

Thursday, May 9, 2013

NBA Welcomes Gay Player

A few days ago Jason Collins officially came out of the closet as a gay athlete. The news has perhaps been notable for the lack of controversy Collins' announcement stirred up. There was none to speak of.

Collins is a respected and admired NBA athlete. The reaction of many of his fellow athletes was that they had previously not a clue concerning Collins' homosexuality.  Several of his fellow athletes commented that this was a great testimony to Collins and the way he has handled himself as a gay athlete.

No one has uttered a word about fears of sharing a locker room with Collins. Perhaps, since they have shared a locker room with him in the past without having a clue that he is gay is more than enough reason to think it is not big deal. The reality is, it isn't a big deal. That is a remarkable indication of just how far we have come as a nation in a relatively short time period. The average American now seems to think that a persons sexuality is his personal business and none of the public's business. That is the way it should be.

There can be no doubt Collins, who has conducted himself with integrity and respect for his fellow athletes, will continue to do so now that he has told the world he is a gay man. Hopefully as the impact of his announcement settles in on the sports world, he will continue to be treated in the same manner by both his fellow athletes and the fans.

Such well known athletes as Charles Barkley, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal and Jerry Stackhouse were quick to offer their public support for Collins. “This was a great day for the NBA," said Barkley.

At 34 years of age and a current contract with the Washington Wizards worth more than 1.3 million dollars, Collins is in a good position to weather any adversity his announcement might cause. What he has done cannot help but have a positive impact on young gay athletes throughout the world. No one is under the impression that Collins is the only athletic star who is gay. Hopefully his courage in becoming the first NBA star to go public will encourage other professional athletes to do the same.

My dream, and the dream of so many others has been that the day will come when a person's homosexuality will be no more newsworthy than another's heterosexuality. The reaction to Collins seems to indicate we are drawing ever closer to that dream.

Thanks Jason for your courage and for your example.

Jack Scott

Monday, May 6, 2013

Up and Running Again

My apologies for being absent for a while. The last couple of weeks have been a perfect electronic storm for me.

All my electronic gear went to war against me at about the same time. It started when my printer suddenly decided not to print. Then, I had to buy a new modem. No sooner had I installed the new modem than my hard disk crashed.

Finally, my email account went crazy and no one at AT&T or Apple could figure it out. Finally, a supervisor at AT&T figured out one piece of the problem and I stumbled onto the second piece of it and together we got it up and running.

All in all it's been a hellish two weeks.

I hope to post a new blog piece in the next couple of days.

Jack Scott
Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott