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The Dilemma faced by a middle-aged, gay, progressive, retired man who is faced with moving from California to Texas

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I need assistance with this decision: The Dilemma faced by a middle-aged, gay, progressive, retired man who is faced with moving from California back home to Rick Perry's Texas.


Mosquitos. Those god-awful flying roaches that live in the oak trees, making it seem like the trees are alive at night with so many thousands of them crawling on the bark. The pollen than makes my body convulse, my sinuses burn, my lungs shut down, and leaves me unable to speak. The humidity and indoor mold and mildew. Tornado alley. The incredible freezing weather that prevents any sort of citrus fruit trees from growing. Football. Republicans. The Bible-thumping kind.

In 2000, the year of the awakening of the First Wave of those of us on the Ascension Path, I found myself completely disillusioned with the American Dream at age 36. Deeply entrenched in a corporate slave job in Dallas without a salary large enough to make ends meet, I decided that I could no longer justify the wear and tear on my body while barely being able to afford food, so I quit my job, and was prepared to live under a bridge. I had spent my late twenties and early thirties working two jobs during a period right after college graduation when my mother became ill with end-stage renal disease, and required a kidney transplant. Since she worked at a small company that had very few employee protections or benefits, and since she was fired from that job when she became ill, I quickly found out how ridiculously inadequate social services were. It became clear that if we were going to keep a roof over our heads, I would simply have to work two jobs, which I did, 7 days per week, from 1993 to 1999. I was forced to puch aside any personal need that I might have had in order to simply earn enough to keep the bank from taking the house, and to keep the medical insurance paid, so that she would not be thrown out into the street during her treatment. She lived through that process, and is currently working a full-time job, while about to turn 70.

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect that I would leave Texas, but within a few weeks after making my clean break from the corporate masters, a job in San Franciso landed in my lap, with a salary twice the amount of the one at the job I had just left, so I took it. I expected that I would move to California and finally be able to earn enough to do more than just squeak by, and that I would meet thousands of other gay men, just like me, who wanted a life partner. I am now comfortably retired after some health problems of my own, but still single. It seems that gay men have almost all rejected the idea of committed, loving partnerships, instead opting for constant casual and anonymous sex with new partners all the time. But I digress.

A few years ago, my mother sold her home that was paid for in full, in order to purchase a large home for my sister and her four children to live in and inheirit upon her passing. My sister was to help with the expenses and would ultimately own the place free and clear. But, due to her own dysfunction, things did not quite work out that way, and sister has now vanished and left my mother with a house payment that she cannot afford, with no way to be able to retire. We are working on a loan modification, but even with that, my mother does not need and cannot afford a huge house with a pool. Since she had put a $50,000 cash downpayment, letting the bank have the place seems unreasonable to me. So that's where the family dysfunction comes back to haunt me. I am faced with the prospect of going bankrupt myself trying to finance two households in two different states, or moving back to Rick Perry's Texas in order to save the home from foreclosure and inheirit it myself, while allowing my mother to retire.

Since I had grown up in Dallas and lived there until I was 36, I was not as conscious of my status as a second-class citizen since I was intimately familiar with that culture, and how I could behave, and what I could get away with, and where I could go, and what I could do without drawing attention to the fact that I was gay. Leaving that culture and working in California, especially in San Francisco, where homosexuality is just a non-issue, was very liberating. I currently live in Palm Springs, which according to official census information, has a population that is now about 40% gay in 2011. California affords us rights in employment and housing and in other areas that some states do not. I am also allowed to purchase or grow my own medical marijuana here, to use in my arsenal against chronic pain, and frankly, if it were not for that, I probably would not eat at all without the pot munchies. The heavy medications I take make my appetite null and void.

Since we have been unable to find a buyer for my mother's house, and since I only have a rental here in Palm Springs, all logical trains of thought lead to the idea that I should pack my things and go live in the big house with the pool and help my mother get her finances straightened out so that she can retire. After all, that is why I gave her assistance when she was in her 50's and having a kidney transplant, so that she could live long enough to be able to retire. So there it is. A middle-aged, disabled gay man needs to move to Texas in order to save the day and straighten out the financial mess that my sister and mother are in, by bringing my retirement income into the state and by keeping yet another home from being foreclosed. And the Bible-thumpers there who are now in control of the State's Republican Party want to make homosexuality illegal again, even though the Supreme Court already ruled on this issue. So I am looking at moving to a place where I am not welcome, losing my individual rights to treat my medical condition with a plant that grows naturally and that is non-toxic and much safer than alcohol, and lose all of my employment and housing rights as a gay person. I did not ever expect to have to return to Texas, and I did not expect that the prospect would bother me so much.

Now, unless some drastic miracle occurs, the decision has already been made, and I will do whatever I have to do to assist my family rather than allow my mother's life saveings to be stolen by the Wall Street gangsters, who ought to be in jail, by the way, but our impotent President, corrupt Congress, and Department of Justice just refuse to restore the rule of law. Just exactly why in the Hell do they expect that the common man on the street should behave in a lawful manner when the filthy rich get to do whatever the f*ck they want? Well, they have a surprise coming. The rule of law no longer governs this nation. It is simply a lawless place, and currently it is every man for himself. Why is is that conservatives want to remove all traces of Charles Darwin from the conversation, and yet at the same time they use Social Darwinism to define their every action and belief, and to shape public policy? The cognitive dissonance is astounding. I am having a very difficult time with the idea that I have to go immerse myself among these people who disdain my very existence. Of course, there is a huge gay population in Southern cities, since gay people from all across the South congregate there as they seek refuge from the more rural areas where life can be intolerable. But things have changed since I left 11 years ago. Those who are busy moralizing have become emboldened, and feel that it is their prerrogative to impose their religious beliefs about homosexuality and abortion and other topics upon the rest of us, whether we share their religious beliefs or not. All while at the same time foaming at the mouth about the Taliban, Islam, and sharia law. Again, the cognitive dissonance is astounding. I suppose that the only way I can resolve this in my mind is to know that I am protected from evil because of the very high frequency that I operate with, and because of the broad knowledge base that I bring with me back to the land which has produced the likes of George W. Bush, Tom DeLay, Dick Armey, and Phil Gramm, all despicable human beings. And who could ever forget that shyster Robert Tilton and the Word of Faith Church. Part of me feels very comfortable here in California with my legal protections and individual rights. And I really don't feel like fighting about it at this stage of my life, with the chonic pain and mobility problems. But desperate times call for desperate measures. I do not under any circumstances want to make this move, which seems inevitable at this point. Some have counseled me to not do it if I will not be happy there, but I am not happy here, so that argument fails the simplest test of reason. What would YOU do?


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DaveyS is a 5th-generation Texan now living in California, a proud liberal (product of the public education system in North Texas!), and a staunch critic of conservative policies that are destroying our nation.

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