Showing posts from March, 2011

The Death of My Mother

                                                                                 .               After the death of my father in 1980, discussed in a prior post, my mother, LeNore Whaley, moved to Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, to live with my sister Mary Beth Colpitts, her husband Richard, and their daughter Cindy. That lasted for a number of years, and then there was some sort of discord (I stayed out of it), and in 1984 Mom called me with an interesting question. "If I moved to Columbus, Doug, how long do you think we'd get along?" I paused. She was not happy that I was both an atheist and a homosexual, but we were great friends and loved each other a lot. She wouldn't like it that I was now living with Jerry Bunge (who had just recently moved in) and that the only reason I hadn't been excommunicated was that Catholicism had apparently long ago ceased to care about my spiritual fate. "About half an hour," was my reply, and that made her laugh.  W

Coming Out: How To Tell People You're Gay

Are you making a decision to start letting the world know you've found your sexual identity? Good for you! It's a major step to take, and I've a few words of advice, having done this myself and seen a good many others do it—some well, some not so well. I've divided the topic into parts. 1. Teenagers Coming Out This is the hard decision. No matter who you tell, the news that you are gay or lesbian is so juicy that in spite of solemn promises of confidentiality, it will spread and reach the ears of unsympathetic homophobes. Bullying is likely, even violence in some situations. Some gay people have body types or personalities that are stereotypical, they have no choice but to be out to everyone. Others can hide with varying degrees of success. If you're in this situation, go immediately to " It Gets Better " at, the Dan Savage organization designed to give guidance to teenagers dealing with bullying (there is a book of th

Naming My Heart

                                                                                         .      When I first received my heart transplant in November of 2009, I had no idea who the donor was. It's important that the mind/body connection be favorable to the new heart since rejection is a major issue with all transplants. One doctor told me some of his patients were afraid of their new hearts, and that's a bad. I developed a new mantra then that went "I don't know whose heart it was , but it's my heart now." The heart itself was wonderful: strong steady beat, constantly in the 90s (which is just what the doctors wanted).  Hair Dyed White (sigh) I Look 89 Then, through a process already described in this blog (see "My Heart Belonged to Andrew," February 27, 2010), I learned that my 27 year-old heart was that of a man named Andrew.  I met his mother and step-father, and we've since become friends—indeed, they just came to see me playing t

Five Movies I Watch Again and Again

Some movies stay with you all your life, and you revisit them, like old friends. I particularly delight in introducing them to others, hence this list. What follows are not the classics that everyone who loves movies will likely know ( Casablanca, Gone With the Wind, Citizen Kane , etc.), but lesser-known movies that are favorites of mine. It was very hard limiting myself to just five, so at the very end I've added a "Runners Up" list of some other films you might want to explore if you like the ones I've selected for the top five. 1. TRUE ROMANCE (1993) This may be my favorite movie of all. Yes, it's very violent, but it really is an amazing love story starring Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette (later TV's "Medium") as a young couple who fall in love at first sight and then must battle a drug mafia on their way to happiness. The Quentin Tarantino script is over-the-top and constantly shocks the viewer as to what will happen next. The film

Muslim Atheist

I try not to write about things I'm unacquainted with, so let me begin by confessing that on this one I don't know what I'm talking about. But, as an atheist, I found myself speculating on what I would do if I were born in a devoutly Muslim country, brought up in that religion, and one day came to the realization that I didn't believe in God. When someone loses his/her faith, it's both difficult and liberating. On the one hand you're faced with a very different universe. In this one, your most basic support system is gone and you yourself must create the new rules with little help from others. Moreover, the path you've just stepped onto is neither popular nor well-traveled by those around you. Most people you know will very much disapprove of what you've decided, and think the worst of you for having made this terrible choice. On the other hand, all those years suspecting that religion was a sham and that huge numbers of people were settling for a

The Sugar Plum Fairy and the Hatchet Murderer

[When I was in college I wrote this short story for a Creative Writing class. It amused the instructor, and I hope it will amuse you.  I've updated it so that it could possibly occur in the 21st century.] The Sugar Plum Fairy and the Hatchet Murderer by Douglas Whaley A murder is strange in the way it can change the lives of everyone around it (especially the victim).   Several people moved out of the apartment building and the landlord nearly went crazy trying to rent the vacant rooms, in spite of the fact that there was a housing shortage in University City.   Nobody wanted anything to do with a recent hatchet murder.   Those of us who lived on the same floor as the victim became more careful now about locking our doors; the slightest sounds made us all freeze. Ginny Carlton, two rooms down from my apartment, got to screaming so much at her cat's sudden appearances that she finally gave the pet away. Everyone knew that Shirley Ruthlington's sugar sweet st