Thursday, June 30, 2011

Post Pride Peace

This is one of those moments when a single picture is worth at least one-thousand words or more.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Spaniards To Run Nude

This weekend, a naturist race, traditionally held annually in Spain's Basque province of Biscay, takes place on Saturday, July 2, on Barinatxe Beach (also known as La Salvaje Beach). This stretch of beach is located between the towns of Sopelana and Getxo. The course is on compact sand at low tide and is 5000 meters (3.107 miles) long.

This year marks the 13th edition of this event. It is a pioneering race in Spain, not due to the distance but because all the participants must run in the nude, adults and children alike. The race is sponsored by the Basque Country Naturist Club and is named: Patxi Ros Trophy. The purpose is to promote the naturist/nudist way of life, sports and healthy living.

After the World Naked Bike Ride and World Nude Hiking Day, it seems only natural (no pun intended) to have a naked race. It is obviously one way to enjoy Spain's sunny shores and to stay fit at the same time. Pity that we don't have something similar a little bit closer to home.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Homophobic Hypocrisy

This item is so idiotic and stupid, it's almost funny. Almost funny because the scary part about it is that it's true. This former Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives and a current candidate for the 2012 U. S. presidential nomination of that party (represented by the elephant) is incensed over the New York Senate passing a marriage equality bill. So angry, in fact, that he went public criticizing the passage as an omen that this country is "drifting towards a terrible muddle." He also slammed President Barack Obama for not enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). This same enlightened individual was one of the major architects for drafting this piece of legislative nonsense and ensuring its passage through the House while he was Speaker.

Is it no surprise that this same individual has been married to a woman three different times? Three different marriages to three different women. One of the esteemed DOMA authors loves the wedding ceremony so much that he has to keep going back for more, over and over. And if that isn't bad enough, while writing DOMA, he was conducting an extra-marital sexual liaison with a congressional staffer! So much for the proverbial "sanctity of marriage!" Now, here is the punch line: In this same interview, he reiterated his belief that marriage is only valid when between a man and a woman.

I have only three questions for this idiotic presidential wannabe. How many men? How many women? What part of "till death do us part" do you NOT understand? You want to be president yet you can't sustain a single relationship. You repeatedly break your marital vows, so why should we believe you have the ability to be truthful to the presidential oath.

By the way, the name of this erratic and unstable presidential hopeful: Newt Gingrich. Apparently, the toilet is in the processing of flushing away his White House arpirations. Last week, his major advisors and campaign staffers resigned, en masse.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stonewall @ 42, Then & Now

The evening of June 27-28, 1969, the riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York City occured, marking what is historically considered the beginning of the modern movement for GLBT civil rights/equality. Tired of being abused, harassed, maligned and profiled for simply being homosexual (as they were politely known at the time), the bar patrons decided to resist being arrested during a routine raid on the establishment. Led primarily by drag queens, the clientele that evening fought back against the NYPD, an act unheard of up until then. Inspired by the protests against an imperialist war, gender inequality and racial segregation, they took the offensive in direct confrontation with authorities representing an oppressive society. The rest of the story is history.

In 1969, consensual sodomy between same gender loving people was illegal in 49 states (Illinois repealed it's sodomy laws in 1961). As a matter of fact, sodomy between married heterosexuals in many states was illegal. Homosexuals, often derogatorily referrred to as fairies or queers (or worse), were forbidden to have any physical contact in public. In most places, even frequenting a known homosexual establishment (such as The Stonewall Inn) was illegal, hence the police raid that fateful night. Homosexuals could be arbitrarily fired from employment if discovered or evicted from residence without due course. In reality, homosexuality was considered a mental illness by the nation's medical profession. Most "out" individuals were shunned and ostracized by family and friends, not to mention society at large.

Forty-two years later, the day after that historic night/early morning moment, as a queer culture, we welcome New York State as the sixth state to recognize marriage equality, joining Massachusetts, Connecticutt, New Hampshire, Vermont and Iowa. The District of Columbis, not a legal state, also has legalized gay marriages. Ten additional states, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, Hawaii, California, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey and Nevada have recognized civil unions/domestic partnerships. Through the action of the Supreme Court, anti-sodomy statutes have been outlawed in all fifty states. Most major businesses, industries, unions and professions have written personnel policies protecting gay employees. Many local governments have anti-discrimination clauses forbidding bias against gays in access to housing and employment. In 2010, the military ban against gays serving openly in the armed forces was officially lifted, on the books if not in actual practice.

As Pride Month, 2011, draws to a close, we, as a community, a culture, a movement, indeed have a reason to feel pride in ourselves collectively and individually. We have made considerable progress in our struggle for equality and freedom. Yes, there is more to be done and just because discrimination is illegal doesn't automatically end discrimination. Social justice is a constant challenge that isn't likely to end anytime soon, if ever. We will probably always have detractors and those who hate us. Ignorance and bigotry doesn't go away quietly into the good night. Yet each small victory represents another step towards civil rights and dignity. And each step forward brings us closer to freedom. Rejuvenated and renewed by Pride, 2011, let's commit ourselves to continue our perseverance and steadfastness in obtaining our ultimate goal of liberty and justice for all.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Monday, June 27, 2011

National HIV Testing Day Memory

Several years ago, my office and the local health department teamed up for a National HIV/AIDS Testing Day event. The Health Department and the municipality's mayoral office were hosting a public observance in support of the encouragement of HIV testing and the program included rapid HIV testing. My office conducted summer day activities for middle school age teens. This particular year, testing day was on a Friday and we scheduled an educational field trip for participants to the prevention education and testing outreach effort. The purpose was to eliminate the mystery, the "unknown" surrounding HIV testing.

The Health Department testing staff explained the testing procedure as they set-up the materials for this task. They discussed their individual professional roles in this process and entertained questions from the young teens. The youth demonstrated their knowledge of HIV transmission and prevention facts by their questions but also indicated unfamiliarity with the testing process. They were very interested and intrigued throughout the entire presentation.

Prior to admitting the general public into the testing space, the staff actually administered the rapid test to me. My mouth was swabbed and the fifty-odd teens were fascinated as they watched the results of my test revealed before their very eyes. They also saw first-hand as the staff engaged me in the pre- and post-test ritual (mandatory in this state). The teens were privy to my access code assigned to me in order to receive my test results.

As a program supervisor, I could never, legally, require a subordinate staff to perform this assignment. As a program administrator and as a volunteer HIV educator, I stepped up to the task in order to provide an educational opportunity for our youth. The myths and fears of an HIV test were eliminated. Hopefully, when any of the teens feel the future need to be tested, they will experience no anxiety nor hestitation in voluntarily undergoing the process themselves.

Sometimes, responsible adults need to show by example. We need to lead through honestly portraying and communicating truths. We need to make sacrifices towards the common good of our youth and our communities. It is hoped that by sharing this experience with others, that someday others may step forward when necessary.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, June 24, 2011

TGIF! Enjoy The Weekend!

At long last, it's here! The weekend! This is the first official weekend of the Summer of 2011, so get out and have fun! Do something to treat yourself right and remember to take the opportunity and perform at least one small act of kindness towards a stranger. You'll feel much better after doing so. Who knows, you may even initiate a new social trend! Play hard, but most importantly, play safe.

This is also the last weekend of Pride Month. Many localities are hosting their Pride celebrations. If possible, take a few moments (minimum), go and join in the festivities. You may even meet a new friend! We all know that you don't have to attend a Pride event in order to feel both communal and individual pride. Sometimes, though, it does help rejuvenate the spirit to experience the joys of our community as we come together for Pride with pride!

I'm taking my own advice and am planning an extended weekend. I'll be off on Monday and will return Tuesday, June 28. In the meantime, please remember that Monday, June 27, 2011, is National HIV/AIDS Testing Day. If you haven't already, consider taking the test in order to take control of your life. If you test regularly, take a moment to update your status. It only takes a few minutes, and in most places it's free and completely anonymous.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

National HIV/AIDS Testing Day, June 27, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011, is the annual date for National HIV/AIDS Testing Day. Public Health officials encourage everyone, the entire population, to get tested in order that we know our HIV status and are able to take control of our lives. Those of us who have never been tested, this is an excellent opportunity to step forward and get it done. For those among us who tested a long time ago, take the test and update our knowledge. And, for those among us who get tested on a regular basis as part of our health regimen, this is an ideal chance to take the test and have it behind us for the next six months.

The test is simple and doesn't take an inordinate amount of time. In most cases, it merely involves a swab inside the mouth and results are available within a half-hour or less. A minor inconvenience and a small amont of effort that can help us all determine the quality of care in our lives. To locate a nearby testing site, click on the title above or go to:

Thirty years into this pandemic and many of us have never tested for this disease. Some still consider HIV as only affecting "those people." Others are in denial concerning their own risky behaviors and susceptability to infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that maybe between fifteen to twenty percent of those already infected with this virus are unaware of their serostatus. They are not only endangering their own health but also putting their partners (sexual and/or substance using) at risk of infection. Women who are considering pregnancy are urged to take the test in order to begin treatments to prevent transmission to their unborn.

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. AIDS is a result of HIV infection. HIV can be prevented through education. The correct use of latex or polyurethane condoms during sex greatly reduces the risk of infection or transmission. Never sharing needles or syringes or proper cleaning of the works with water and bleach greatly reduces the risk of infection or transmission. Once a person is infected, they may look or feel fine yet still transmit the virus. Only a physician can diagnose AIDS. For additional information regarding HIV/AIDS, google, bing or whaterver: "HIV/AIDS."

HIV doesn't discriminate. The virus lacks the ability to determine the age, gender, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation or socio-economic status of an individual. Remember: it's not who we are but what we do that puts us at risk for HIV. What better way to demonstrate our own personal pride during Pride Month, 2011, than by having an HIV test to determine our status? Yours truly gets tested regularly and strongly encourages each of us to do the same.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Nude Novice Notes: Eye Contact

As in all cultures and societies, our own culture of nakedness does have standards of politeness or etiquette. These guidelines exist through both traditions and simple acts of decency and respect. They aren't that terribly different nor alien from the cultural norms of other communities and those of the mainstream (textile) population-at-large. These customs ensure the comfort of all and minimalize the chances of misunderstanding. They benefit us all equally and enable us to function as an inclusive and welcoming community of same gender loving naturist/nudist men.

One of these social mores of our queer nudist society is to maintain eye contact when communicating with each other. It's the polite and respectful habit to follow. It assures the person/people with whom you're interacting that you are paying attention. It allows them the opportunity to gauge your reaction (through body language) so as to avoid miscommunication or offense. It allows you the knowledge and security of being included and a part of the general conversation. This is especially true when conversing with the Deaf as it guarantees that they will be able to see your entire face, free from any obstruction.

Persons new to gay nudism are often tempted to look anywhere except directly at the faces of the men they're engaging in a dialogue. Most of us understand the distraction and at the same time appreciate the fact that social nudity is a new experience for you. However, if you try to remember this simple courtesy, it will enhance your acceptance and comfort in the naked environment. It will help you to remember names, faces and particular details about the many men that you will meet. It also enables others to recall the same about you. That is what getting acquainted is all about!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice: World Nude Hiking Day!

It is now official: today is the first day of Summer, 2011! It's also the day of the Summer Solstice, the longest day of sunlight in the calendar year (for the Northern Hemisphere). For naturists/nudists, it is World Nude Hiking Day, a day to celebrate nature naturally while getting a workout that's good for the heart and soul. It's no longer exclusively nudecentric, World Nude Hiking Day isn't just for nudists, across the globe, many hikers are experiencing this outdoor event naked, for the very first time. A few may continue to explore and engage in activities while nude, others may not. Regardless, it is a day to get outside and to welcome the long-waited arrival of the Summer Season!

Many, like myself, (pictured above) found it more convenient to observe World Nude Hiking Day this past weekend. For most, it wasn't a workday which allowed for additional time to appreciate the beauties of both nature and nudity. By hiking on the weekend rather than on a workday, many were able to travel and hike on trails further from their communities. Whatever the reason, more particpants are trekking through the wilderness naturally than ever before. The media attention surrounding this annual activity ensure that people are both aware, curious and willing to try it at least once.

If you haven't done it yet, it's not too late. Before sunset this evening, put on comfortable shoes, remove those clothes and start walking. If you're unable to do so today, then plan to try it soon. It's possible to make every day a nude hiking day!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Just Rewards For Brother John Amaechi

Congratulations and bravo are offered to our same gender loving brother from the UK, John Amaechi. Mr. Amaechi, to date, is the first and only professional basketball player to ever publicly acknowledge that he is gay. He came out in February, 2007, in an interview on ESPN-TV and in his autobiography, Man In The Middle, released that same month. Now, he has received the honor of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) from his sovereign, H. M. Queen Elizabeth II. He is now permitted to add the ambiguation, OBE, after his full name. This honor was bestowed upon him with the publication of the Queen's Birthday Honours List, 2011.

Amaechi, a British-Nigerian subject, is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor degree in psychology. During his NBA career, he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Orlando Magic and the Utah Jazz. Additionally, he played for several European club teams. He retired from pro basketball in 2003. In 2006, he led the British team to victory securing a bronze medal during the British Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne, Australia.

John was granted the chivalry distinction for his services to sport and charity. The honor was based upon nomination by Her Majesty's Government. Since his retirement from the NBA, he has built a sports center for youth in Manchester, England and worked with disadvantaged teens. He serves as a leader in the British Big Brothers mentoring scheme. His political activities include government appointments surrounding social inclusion and as an advocate for gay rights. He currently works as an ambassador-at-large for Amnesty International.

John offered: "I was once an overweight bookworm who hid in the corner of my school library and wished I was invisible. My mother told me I could do better and I hope to use this platform to convince other young people just how true this can be for them too."

John Amaechi, OBE, was DQNs Black History Month Queerstory Man of the Month in February, 2010. Congratulations and best wishes to our brother on both this distinguished honor from the Crown and for a job well done. Positive proof that our same gender loving brother continues with what it takes to make queerstory (queer+history)! Outstanding honor for an outstanding man during Pride Month!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, June 17, 2011

TGIF: Leaving Work

It's Friday! The work week is completed, done, finished, over! The weekend is here at last! Now is the time to forget those worries, kick back and relax! Loose those burdensome just like you loose those burdensome problems! Once again, immerse yourself into the comfort of our culture of nudity. Nothing else needs to be said!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Authors Note: Don't forget World Nude Hiking Day; observed this weekend or officially, June 21, 2011.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

In Time To Celebrate Your Freedom...

Just in time to celebrate your freedom, fly-brother, the latest album from Tim'm West, is being released on July 4, 2011. Tim'm West is one of the founders and major players in the gay hip-hop industry, also known as homo-hop. He is a master of both hip-hop and spoken word and one of the original members of the pioneering groups in this field, Deep Dickollective. Tim'm's latest work will not disappoint as he continues to spit the truth against racism, sexism, homophobia and general bigotry. This CD will inspire and affirm our struggle and at the same time, entertain. To order your copy of fly-brother, visit his publishing and record label: or click on the album cover above.

Tim'm West, in addition to his musical talents, also has appeared in several videos documenting the gay hip-hop experience. He is also a lecturer and college instructor and HIV/AIDS activist. He has written several books of poetry and is a personal acquaintance of mine. A nicer man you'll never again encounter in this world. Now, if we can just school him in the benefits of nudity...!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"Transparent" by Don Lemon

"Transparent," the autobiography of CNN weekend anchor Don Lemon, was released on May 16, 2011. I was in line at my local booksellers as they opened their doors that very morning (no, yours truly doesn't rate advance copies to preview). I wanted to make sure that I had my copy in hand early before they sold out. Funny thing is, I had to search the store to find the display for "Just Released." The two sales persons that I asked for help both took me directly to the book: "Transition: Becoming Chaz." I can only imagine their thoughts: both gay, right? Eventually, I located the book on my own.

"Transparent" is an interesting read as to my knowledge, there simply hasn't been any biography of any openly same gender loving news anchor published previously. A first for our community and that particular profession. As such, it is an easy book to follow, comprehend and perfect for anyone's summer reading list. This volume isn't a "kiss and tell" revelation of past sexual escapades but a simple overview of the life of a same gender loving man who struggled to succeed in a world that wasn't always welcoming nor accepting. The author clearly decribes confrontations with racism, colorism (judgments based on the skin tone as opposed to skin color) and sexual orientation. His particular obstacles may be unique to the author but they are familiar for most of his readers, especially African-Americans and queers. Mr. Lemon volunteers, in the introduction, that his publicly coming out as a gay man was an afterthought, and not his original intention, as he began writing his book.

Don Lemon dedicates "Transparent" to the memory of Tyler Clemente, who committed suicide on September 29, 2010. As many of us already know, Clemente was the eighteen-year-old Rutgers University student who jumped off the George Washington Memorial Bridge. His self-inflicted death was a direct result of his roommate having videotaped him and another man having sex in their dorm. The video was streamed onto social networking media.

Don's autobiography is divided into four parts: Family And Foundation, You Don't Want To Fail On That Big Stage, Chicago and My Life At CNN. Each part represents a significant stage in the progress of his life. Instead of chapters, the book is divided into Lessons. Each lesson refers to the important life skill or knowledge acquired by the author during that particular developmental phase of his life. I found this to be an interesting and unusual concept. Although these "lessons" are specific to Mr. Lemon, they also are applicable us all in our own lives. Once again, the book becomes relevant to our individual lives, regardless of race, gender and sexual orientation.

Don Lemon describes some painful moments in his life and freely discusses the effects these had on his individual character. He writes of losing both his biological father (his parents never married) and his stepfather and the impact each of these men had on him. He credits his maternal grandmother, mother and sisters as being the stalwart forces in his life, even to this day. He doesn't mince words when he encounters discrimination for whatever reason, be it race or sexual identity. He is honest in dealing with the sexual abuse he endured at the hands of bullying neighborhood teens and how he lives with memories of that experience and its aftermath, even today.

Mr. Lemon shares with us one of his own personal secrets for success. Instead of being bowed and defeated whenever he encounters a negative in his professional or personal life, he takes the negative as a challenge and is energized to succeed in spite of it. He credits this philosophy as to how he arrived at where he is in his life today. This is an idea that can benefit us all.

Don Lemon's life isn't all that different from the life experiences of gay men everywhere. What is inspiring is his dedication to open, honest transparency in us being ourselves. He offers us this quote from the celebrated author, James Baldwin in Another Country: "The trouble with a secret life is that it is very frequently a secret from the person who lives it and not at all a secret for the people he encounters." How true! "Transparent" by Don Lemon is an ideal read during Pride Month or any month.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Upcoming Events: World Nude Hiking Day

Now, before you put on your socks and hiking boots and march out your front door, wait! World Nude Hiking Day isn't today, it's actually one week away, June 21, 2011! I'm publishing this now in order to allow you to prepare. As a matter of fact, if you plan ahead, you just might be able to schedule two opportunities to engage in this nudecentric observance. Officially, World Nude Hiking Day coincides annually with the Summer Solstice, the longest day of sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere, June 21. Since that day falls on a weekday this year (Tuesday), many naturist/nudist hikers will be stomping the trails on Sunday, in anticipation of the date. Thinking in advance may afford you the chance to enjoy a naked hike twice! On the right here is yours truly enjoying his 2010 expedition on this day, hauling his ASSets through the wilderness.

A few words of advice to all: never hike alone, whether nude or textile. It simply isn't safe or practical. There is too much of a margin for error. Out in nature, who knows what may happen unexpectedly. Go with a friend/partner. Secondly, know your trail and most importantly, where to report in case of emergencies. You don't want to be out in the wild and not know where help is available. Thirdly and most importantly, know the local laws governing public nudity/decency (or indecency, as I like to think of requirements that you must wear clothes).

As with any sport, participants should observe proper precautions to ensure top performance. Sunburn, sumac poisoning, ticks (lyme disease) and bug bites are a reality. Use sunscreen and insect repellant liberally before you embark on your way and carry it with you. Remember to bathe/shower as soon as possible after you complete your journey. Many irritating oils from leaves can be washed off using a mild soap. Carry a personal first aid kit with you.

Stay hydrated while hiking. Water is better than soda and/or tea. Carry a few simple snacks to maintain your energy level. There's a reason it's called "trail mix." Please dispose of trash in proper receptacles.

Now, grab your socks and hiking boots and throw open the front door! It's almost time to celebrate and experience World Nude Hiking Day!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Nude Hiking Trail Successful

One year after it opened, Germany's first, and to date only, official naturist/nudist hiking trail has proved successful and is empowering nudist associations and organizations in other nations to pressure their respective governments for the same. The 11-mile trail, which is part of a private campground, opened in central Germany following altercations between naked and textile hikers. The trail id the first of its' kind in Europe.

The trail is located between the towns of Dankerode and Wippertalsperre in the Harz Mountains. It is approximately 200 miles west of Berlin. The trail is marked with signs that caution those wearing clothes to be prepared to encounter nudes. The signs, pictured left here, read: "Anyone who doesn't want to see naked bodies may not proceed further." Nude hiking has always been extremely popular in Germany.

Naked hiking also enjoys widespread popularity in Switzerland. Unfortunately, it has been officially banned in some cantons (states) there. The Swiss Supreme Court is expected to address the issue later this summer.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Weekend Treats: Summer Sights

A weekend is finally here! Summer is finally here! Get out and enjoy the sights of this wonderful season of the year! You've worked diligently all week long; go ahead, treat yourself, look around and sample the environmental delights available to you, both the human and the natural kind! Have a great weekend, relax, recreate and have fun! Be safe!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

World Naked Bike Ride, 2011

The World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) takes place in the Northern Hemisphere this weekend, June 11-12, 2011. It is held annually throughout our planet to highlight the sport of bicycling, to promote bicycle safety and to remind us all of the vulnerability of cyclists to vehicular traffic. Recently, it is also used to encourage commuters environmental awareness and to pedal to their jobs instead of driving. This weekend, rides are scheduled in more than 70 cities in 20 different countries scattered across the northern half of the globe.

Obviously, due to varying local ordnances relating to public decency, it's not possible for everyone, everywhere, to participate naked. If unable to ride nude, most riders opt for the minimal attire. This event appeals to textile (clothing) people as well as confirmed naturists/nudists. Many enthusiasts paint environmentally-friendly, safety and personal messages on their bodies.

The website,,lists the Washington, DC, ride for Saturday, June 11, 2011. Cyclists are to meet at Franklin Park, 13th and K Streets, NW, at 3:00 p.m. As of this moment, I've not been able to receive local confirmation on this information.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Nude Challenge: Do It Textile

The Summer weather is here and along with it comes a plethora of outdoor activities crowding our social calendars. If you're hosting a pool party, nothing is more challenging than trying to think of party games that will make your gathering memorable and have your guests raving about it for weeks afterwards. The purpose of inviting friends over is to offer a good time and fun. So why not go the extra mile and give them something to truly remember? A party game that will keep your name at the top of the host-of-the-season list! Here's a suggestion that perhaps will do just that.

As naturists/nudists, most of us are very capable of navigating the water with ease, without the burden of swimsuits. In need of a challenge to keep the partygoers entertained and enthusiastic? Why not try a role-reversal activity that tests their skill and is fun, all at the same time? Offer your friends the opportunity to showoff their aqua-ability by swimming while textile. What else would be alien to a nudist, right? Don't make it simple by requiring them to wear a mere swimsuit. Instead, make it a test of endurance and stamina by having them wear pants and shirt, a jumpsuit, overalls, etc. This should make it interesting and unusual.

Of course, you can spice it up and make the activity competitive. Divide guests into teams and create a relay-race game having each team dress, swim, then undress and pass the wet clothes along to the next teammate. Getting in and out of wet garments is difficult and the results will delight your buddies! The win-lose atmosphere and the laughter alone will help put all present at ease and set the tone for the rest of the evening. Fun, simple and highly unusual.

For those of us who don't have a pool in our backyard, relax. A relay-race of just getting into and out of clothing can be just as much fun. Use your creativity and you can develop a variety of ways to make it more interesting!

Author's Note: This photo is from a military exercise in California in the early 1960s. This image gave me the idea for this post.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Anniversaries Are...?

For the overwhelming majority of people, anniversaries are times of happiness and joy. A date to celebrate, a reason to be happy, an important milestone to remember. A special time to share with loved ones in honor of an accomplishment that truly meant a positive change in our lives. A memory that gives us cause to rejoice and to relive time after time. A moment that really made a difference in our lives. Anniversaries are a good thing, right?

There are also those anniversaries that we recall that mark a time in our lives when the unimaginable happened. One action, frozen in time, that had a profound affect on our daily existance and continues to impact the way we think and feel. A memory that is so remarkable and poignant that it is etched into our psyche, our souls, forever. A date or event that we will never forget. An anniversary may not always be good, but, it is a time to honor and respect.

Thirty years ago, a new virus revealed itself to us. It sparked fear, hatred, loathing, marginalization, stigma and discrimination. It gave birth to myths and untruths that continue to plague our humanity even today. It ignited passions so vile and compassions so tender. It inspired so much evil and so much good. It spawned death and destruction while at the same time it energized hope and love. It brought fame to a few and infamy to many. It tore families apart and likewise, forged friendships among complete strangers.

HIV/AIDS is now thirty years old. One more generation is growing up in the shadow of this virus that has created a global pandemic. It has changed how we live our lives and how we love one another. It has changed how we practice medicine and how we practice faith and religion. It has opened our hearts and closed our minds. It has changed our world.

Even after thirty years, the basic message remains the same for us all. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. AIDS is a result of HIV infection. HIV transmission can be prevented. Only a physician can diagnose AIDS. Please, take a moment and think about what we can do, individually, in respense to thirty years of HIV/AIDS.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Nude Pride!

As queer naturists/nudists, we reserve the right and priviledge of claiming June as our Pride Month, also. That's not to say that anyone has denied us that opportunity. To my knowledge, that simply isn't the case. My point here is to remind all of us that we have a share of the pie, too! There are a few times that the general gay community seems that it would be much better off if we same gender loving nudists would just go away and they, the textile gays, could pretend that we don't exist. This doesn't occur all the time, but enough times that it is annoying. So, my brother naturists, pull out your rainbow flags and wave them high! Be proud of you for doing you and doing it nude! Be proud of your contributions towards enriching our queer culture of nakedness! If you don't have a rainbow flag available, please don't despair. We're all capable of being confident and proud of ourselves and our nudity without external trappings. Remember, our pride comes from within each one of us!

Unfortunately, I do know of a few of our naturist fraternity who are, for some reason, embarrassed about their nudity. I've discussed this issue with them several times and I still am unable to understand their thoughts. I'm uncertain if these feelings stem from a lingering puritanical legacy, if it is the result of insecurity about their individual bodies or if it's a combination of both factors plus a few others. Whatever the cause, it's really unnecessary and pointless. We are who we are and nothing can change that. Shame has no place in this game.

If my acquaintances are afraid of the judgments of family and friends because they're nudists then that fear is equally unwarranted. I seriously doubt that many of us by way of introducing ourselves proclaim: "I am a nudist." That aspect of our persona is on a need to know basis. The same is true of our sexual orientation. I don't know of anyone who immediately informs someone he has just met: "I'm gay/queer/same gender loving." Think about it for a moment. When was the last time someone announced to you their heterosexuality? (Unless, of course, they're trying to dispell a gay rumor, and we all know the meaning behind that ploy)! The bottom line here is that most of us disclose personal information only to those we trust and respect. It's our private life, not an unlawful, illicit nor secret life. The very judgments that we fear are mostly from those who are likely to find fault with us anyway, regardless. At the end of the day, does what they think really matter? I think not!

Be proud of who you are and hold your head high. Be the man that you are and have confidence in you. Celebrate Pride in June along with our community and at the same time, have personal pride all year long!

June Nude Events:

World Naked Bike Ride 70 cities in more than 20 countries worldwide. Most events are scheduled for the weekend of June 11-12, 2011. Go to:

World Nude Hiking Day June 21, annually (Summer Solstice). Usually observed the weekend before if the solstice falls on a weekday. Go to:

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Our Humble Beginnings...

The struggle for equality didn't just happen within the past several decades. It began as an informal and somewhat secretive association of local chapters of the Mattachine Society in the aftermath of World War II. For almost twenty years, this organization represented the gay rights platform within our community by conforming to standards within the existing mainstream society and advocating for justice through "proper channels." Despite their conformist actions, they were considered radical in their time.

This situation changed as a direct result of the Stonewall Inn Riots on the evening of June 27-28, 1969. This incident sparked public protests against police harrassment, bullying and extortion that soon gave birth to the Gay Liberation Front, an umbrella name for dozens of local groups that formed in an equal number of cities throughout the country, and the modern movement for civil rights for all gay people. The Gay Liberation Front (GLF) based itself on the myriad of protest and anti-establishment activist coalitions that were prominent in the late 1960s. Like its contemporary grassroots efforts, it offered a loosely structured organization that was locally autonomous and often aligned itself with other progressive actions.

The GLF promoted the complete sexual liberation of all people. It viewed heterosexuality and marriage as cultural inhibitions imposed upon the general population. The GLF also embraced the fight to end militarism, racism and sexism and was active in protests against the escalation of the conflict in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. The membership were primarily persons in their late teenage to early adult years of age and typically, although not exclusively, students at universities and colleges.

The GLF was active from 1969 until 1972 in New York City and until early 1973 elsewhere. It represented the radical activism of the age that built the foundation for successive organizations to continue the pursuit for queer equality in particular and civil rights for all people in general. As we celebrate Pride Month, a look at our queerstory offers us an understanding of where we were and where to go next.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pride Month Nudestory Man Of The Month: thegayte_keeper!

It is my honor and priviledge to present to you our Pride Month, 2011, Nudestory (nude+history) Man Of The Month: thegayte_keeper, who likewise blogs here and is currently in his fifth year of circulation. I visit his blog almost daily for a moment of advice, enlightenment, humor, inspiration and satire. After four years of following his insights, musings, opinions and worldviews, I am never bored nor disappointed. He recently posted a piece on getting a straight-razor shave that was so sensual in description, I just had to go out and get one for my face and head! More often than not, once I finish reading his posting, I leave it a better person than when I started.

This blog (and author) is extremely thoughtful and challenging. The writings encourage the readers to think beyond their parameters of comfort and to explore new perceptions. Personally, I admire his dedication to dispelling the myths and misinformation that continue to plague our society regarding HIV/AIDS. I find thegayte_keeper's commitment to prevention education and personal responsibility in this area commendable. This pandemic isn't disappearing anytime soon and this mans' effort in keeping our awareness alive and in our faces is extraordinary.

thegayte_keeper indeed serves as the guardian of the open portal on our path towards individual growth and development as same gender loving men. Through his blog entries, he encourages us, as queer men, to examine and revisit our respective stereotypes and misconceptions about ourselves. Too many times we, the gay male community, unknowingly operate under the same false profiling about some of our brothers that the mainstream society uses against us all in general. This review and rethinking of our ideas about ourselves helps us all to strengthen our bonds of fraternity and to renew our communal healing and unity.

This year, my friend is observing his Fifth Anniversay of publishing here on blogspot. He truly enjoys composing and it is a gift that he delivers to our same gender loving culture on a daily basis. His energy and steadfastness is remarkable. My brother blogger frequently employs humor and satire to titillate our craniums. He is a master of educational/inspirational entertainment as we join him in looking and evaluating the absurdity of living life in the early years of the twenty-first century. As gay men, we, collectively, are all too cognizant of exactly how ridiculous our place in our broader society has become, especially in the struggle for ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell and for enacting marriage equality. After all, if we can't laugh at our situation, where will we find the ability to continue the good fight against second-class status?

Over the past couple of years, the gayte_keeper and I have established and maintained a casual friendship outside of the blogger-world. In our interactions, he remains as honest, friendly and sincere as he is in his journal. He never misses the chance to offer a kind word or an inspirational thought. When I wrote to him that I was introducing him as a fellow naturist/nudist here, he never hesitated nor raised an objection. He is, by his own admission, a devoted home nudist! (Okay guys, send him a special invite to your next naturist party)!

I invited my comrade blogger to offer some words of wisdom here as a means of commemorating his fifth anniversary of blogging, our gay nudist brotherhood and his blogging experience. This is the message that he elected to share:

thegayte_keeper:I had a real AH HA moment in my life when it turned out that I ended a relationship I didn't think I wanted. I started putting my feelings in poetry form so I could purge them from my system and during that process I realized that before I even knew what was wrong, I knew how to fix it. I knew that I had to make a change, a big change! And I thought about how could my journey, my life help others and I started to blog. I started on yahoo (they deleted me) and then moved onto blogger and stayed there. It took me a year to get readers, but when they came I knew we could help each other in so many ways. I have SO many things on my mind on a daily basis and like to know things and so I put it out there.

Blogging has become a part of me, after all, it is me. And through this process I am able to walk freely in my B-Day suit around the house when friends are there. My life would be empty without this medium. No one to challenge me or my beliefs? That wouldn't work for me! This medium inspires me to be the human that I am. My internal compass is constantly pointed towards "change." I love this progression of blogging because it is simply a prescription for happiness, without oversimplifying it. After all this time, blogging has made me see that "Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them. So go out and start creating." And I intend on doing that for as long as the universe dictates!

June is Pride Month and June 1, is Blogging For GLBT Families Day. Appropriate that thegayte_keeper is Pride Month Nudestory Man Of The Month and our family queer, blogger, nudist and brother! Congratulations and best wishes, our man, thegayte_keeper! Happy Anniversary on your fifth year!

To visit thegayte_keeper, click on the logo above or look on the left side of your screen in My Blog List, scroll down to thegayte_keeper and click on there. Please, visit there often!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Author Note: My biological same gender loving naturist family, Twin and Cuz, read thegayte_keeper also!