In this episode, I’m catching up with Michael, who I talked to during my Intersections project. If you haven’t heard it yet, you can listen to that conversation in the From the Vault episode that was posted a couple weeks ago. Michael is a gay man who was married to a straight woman. They’re no longer married but still have a great family relationship. We had a great conversation about his journey of discovery as a gay man, gay culture versus being gay, the fascinating LGBTQ cultural history of Oklahoma City, and more.
I also wanted to share what Michael shared with me in a follow-up email:
I attached the dissertation that started my interest in local gay history. I suspect that young historians in other small cities have dome similar but it is not like there is a good resource collecting all of them. And if there isn’t maybe it is a jumping-off point for one of your listeners to dig for histories in their own city. One thing I didn’t mention was that with this dissertation i worked up a tour of OKC and have taken a few friends on a good two-mile walk around downtown looking at where places used to be, and telling stories, some of which I admit to embellishing.
I think we all spend our lives thinking we are so unique, then we get older and realize that over the last ten or so thousand years that there have been others just like us but with vastly different societal pressures. When I read the stories in that paper, or in some of the other resources I have collected, I can picture some dude trying to navigate his feelings, his wants, his desires, and thinking he was some kind of weirdo. For me it is a great feeling to know that there are other weirdos out there, during all times, just stumbling around and doing their best. In the end, we are crazy naked monkeys who have the fortune (or misfortune) to be self-aware. Just crazy naked self-aware monkeys on a chaotic rock hurtling through space trying to make sense of the nonsensical.
Last week, you heard my conversation with Doctor Robyn. Today, we’re going back in the vault to hear the Intersections interview with them four years ago.
It was the second interview I’d ever done, so it was a little rough, but it was a thrill to talk with them and learn so much about gender and sexuality from someone with real professional and personal expertise.
Back then, Dr. Robyn was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Ethics at Pacific School of Religion and a published author in the fields of queer studies in religion, ethics, and Latin@ studies. They shared their life and views on gender, sexuality, marriage, and how race can inform sexuality. I was fascinated back then and I hope you will be just as fascinated today.
This week we’re going back in time to 2016 and the first interview I recorded for the Intersections Project — the predecessor to The Human Tapestry Podcast. Peter is a gay, demisexual, man in a closed-loop relation with his wife and boyfriend. This being the first time I ever did something like this, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it ended up being a great conversation! We covered things like discovering your own sexuality, how living your true identity can literally save your life, finding support, and a host of other topics.
Peter and I met through the group HOW – which stands for Husbands Out to Wives. HOW is an international on-line support group for gay and bisexual men who are married to women and are out to (or working toward coming out to) our wives. Peter and I, along with hundreds of other men, found help and support as we redefined our relationships with our spouses, family members, friends, colleagues, while we learned to understand our own true selves. If you are or know a person who needs this kind of support, you can find out more and join at https://how-support.org.