Saturday, July 08, 2006

Gay Guy/Weak Guy

Though I've pretty much given up on MTV's Real World (I'm just too old for all that adolescent posturing) I'm still a fan of The Real World/Road Rules Challenge. And I'm fascinated by something that Shane, the only openly gay contestant on this season's challenge, said last week.

He and his female partner had to cross this rope strung high across the water from opposite sides, cross over each other, and then continue to the other side. Not something I could do in a million years.

Shane couldn't do it either--he fell to the water below. He was clearly upset with his performance and said, "Don't mind being the gay guy. Don't want to be the weak guy."

It struck me as something that Kimo would say-- and something lots of out gay men would probably say too. We've accepted our sexuality, but don't want that to imply that we're somehow weaker than everybody else.

As a matter of fact, it's probably something Kimo will say at some point in the future. Thanks for the line, Shane.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Now that I've been home from ThrillerFest for a few days, I've had a chance to think about it and process what I learned. I typed up all my notes, which were mostly on the technical panels, and I certainly feel that I learned a few things from those panels. I could have spent a whole day listening to Nick Hughes, and I'd love to get him to Sleuthfest.

First of all, if I closed my eyes it sounded like Sean Connery was talking to me-- and I could listen to him forever. But more than that, Nick had so many interesting things to talk about-- his experiences in the French Foreign Legion, work as a bodyguard, and how to survive a street fight.

The last stuff was the most relevant to my writing. I have Kimo volunteering at a gay & lesbian teen center on Waikiki, and I want him to be teaching a once-a-week course on self-esteem and self-defense. How to stand up to bullies, for example, and how to feel good enough about yourself that you can.

I loved the Arizona Biltmore, and everyone I met was very friendly. On the first day, I jumped into a caravan that went to Poisoned Pen, a bookstore in downtown Phoenix, and then out to the Scottsdale Gun Club. It was Zoe Sharp's birthday, and she wanted to shoot a submachine gun.

The rest of us got to watch her, and shoot a variety of weapons, including a 9 mm and a .357 magnum. I understood why my father's shooting jacket has a padded shoulder-- the semi-automatic rifle I fired had a real kick.

I also realized more clearly the difference between a thriller and a mystery. I don't read that many true thrillers; I hardly recognized any of the names on the panels, and those I did recognize I knew from reading mysteries and attending mystery conferences.

ThrillerFest was very well-run, though I was a bit disappointed that it was so successful-- I had been hoping for a smaller conference where there would be more opportunity to really get to know people, as I did in Toronto. Would I go back? I don't know. It will be in New York next summer, and a lot depends on where else I want to go or need to go, and how willing Marc is to let me go!