“My life partner, Joe, and I live in the Cascade Mountains foothills near a small town which had a reputation of extreme bigotry until very recently. We’ve been here nearly three years and never experienced blatant discrimination.
At first some people assumed we were brothers, even though we don’t look similar at all. We simply stated ‘we are partners’ and have friendly relationships with many people in town. There are other gay men in the area; we appear to be the most open couple.
We censor our behavior in public by not showing physical affection: no hand-holding, hugs, or kissing. Unlike New York City where I frequently kissed my boyfriend in public because that behavior is a regular aspect of city life, we wouldn’t try it here. This community is evolving, but they aren’t there yet.
Joe and I are frustrated by mass media representations of how gays are supposed to dress and live. Many gay men aren’t caught up in the latest fashion and don’t shop IKEA. We have fulfilling friendships with straight men and women. We work in every occupation, even the unglamorous ones. We aren’t all ‘special’ and our lives aren’t overly dramatic roller coaster rides. It’s disappointing we don’t see more stories in the media about regular guys doing good things in the world.”
Joe Patton works on our small farm year-round, raising food, chopping firewood and keeping the house in order. His photo journal is followed by many people around the world. Paul Bright makes feature films about reluctant heroes striving to make the world a better place.
Blog and Portfolio