In case you experience technical difficulty accessing the pdf format of The Task Force's exiting Executive Director Matt Foreman's 22 April 2008 compelling commentary The (ex) governor’s wife, my best friend and the down low click the image above to view my reconstructed, copied and pasted version at Google Documents.
Let me began, first, with a SHOUT OUT to Matt Foreman for a job well done as Task Force's executive director.
Who I first met during the August 2003 40th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr's historic Civil Rights March on Washington. And, subsequently, cross paths with at the 2005 and 2007 Winter Party Festival. While I have high regards for his work and efforts and have always been impressed with his writing and ability to 'hit the nail on the head' and, as I expressed to him during our first meeting, in August 2003 ... I'm sick and tired of joining hands and marching in the streets ... only to realize some 30 or 40 years later that every touch and step along the way was yet another premeditaed act to deter but dismantle my dreams.
When reading the first line of Foreman's final commentary which states that he never thought that he had much in common with Eliot Spitzer’s wife Silda ... I remembered the moment in early March 2008 when in Fort Lauderdale that my partner and I first heard the news on TV.
After some discussion regarding the matter of transporting a prostitute across state lines, I looked at him and said, "O' please ... the Mayflower Hotel was only one of the places in WDC that Girard and I rendezvoused, partied and engaged in things that were 'not safe'.
Of Franco-Swizz descent, Girard had a striking resemblance to Rock Hudson. We first met in late February 1988 on the very same night after having spent the day earlier moving into a new apartment in NE WDC that I stopped into the DC Eagle. The reason that I moved to the new apartment was because my white house mate of several years but then ex-lover who, himself, was a cocaine dealer, pot head and alcoholic demanded that I move out because he was sick and tired of 'all the white men' calling the house and coming around looking for me.
Had I known then what I came to realize many years later not only would Girard not have been invited back to my new apartment which resulted in his invitation for me to fly out to LA to visit him over the 1988 Easter Weekend but, our subsequent rendezvous in high-priced hotels in NYC and WDC, including the Mayflower, would not have occured.
Girard was only one of the many white men who, over the years, that I had ongoing relationships with. Of course, there were the occasional one night stands. But, hose are not the subject of this essay. While most identified themselves as gay, there were more than a few who were straight and married that I had ongoing sexual relationships with. As well as a few straight guys from catering that travelled with me to other cities and accompanied me to gay bars in WDC who I did not engage in sexual relations with but, felt comfortable enough with me, that we slept in the same bed. And whenever they needed a place to stay or money, it was not uncommon for them to ask for my assistance. And ... with no strings attached.
And, yes, there were two straight black women who I was close with and a white woman that some may refer to as a 'fag hag' that I still include amongst my dearest friends.
So, when I speak of relationships I'm talking about people who I had more than just a passing connection to.
I mention Girard for several reasons. One of which has to do with the fact that like many of the white men that I had relationships with, of European descent, Girard was not an American citizen. He as an alien.
When over one summer of 1975 or '76 that collegemates Frank, Mark, Ken, Tim, Rob and I held a contest to see who could sleep with the most men, many which we met at the Lost and Found, Frank nicknamed me "the diplomat' as well as Melba (for Melba Moore) and Sapphire since many of the men that I met were foreigners. And of various ethnicities.
I'm almost sure that Frank, an Italian from Long Island, who had a thing for blondes ... won the contest.
And even back then, the foreigners always discussed with me their disillusionment with the racism that they witnessed in America. Particularly, that which they observed directed towards black men. And then, too, they also expressed their 'unsatiable love for black men'. And, that, if I were to visit their homeland ... 'Man, they would love you!".
Speaking of the summer of 1975 and 'unsatiable love for black men' ... it was also in the summer of 1975 that I met David, a Morman from Utah and an FBI Agent in training, at the Pier 9 who, like many white men, when professing of his 'attraction to black men' told me that his family, friends and colleagues would not only disapprove but, in fact, probably would disown him.
While his 'attraction to black men' bothered me and though I did not judge him, his obsessive drinking and pot smoking was of more concern. At his invitation, in July or August 2005, I rode up to NYC with him to see Bette Midler on Broadway in her "Halfshell Review". Having stayed with one of his FBI agent colleagues who, I believe, lived in Chinatown ... shortly after our return to NYC ... he was called into the office of his supervisor and informed that, as a result of his relationships with blacks ... he was to be terminated.
At the time, I was renting a basement apartment from an integrated couple who owned a house in Chillum MD. It was on a Sunday afternoon, in late August, when I was in the midst of ironing work clothes for the upcoming week that Mr. Maxell, a black retired Army Officer who was married to a European woman of German descent, came downstairs to inform me that since FBI agents were snooping around the house ... it may would be best ... if I found another place to live.
So, when in the fall of 1987 that Greg demanded that I move out, because he was sick and tired of the white men coming around, (as he had done several times before) not only did I flashback to the Easter of 1985 as well as the summer of 1975 but, also, reflected on what had always bothered me when, in the then past, that white men had professed their 'unsatiable love for black men"!
Back to Girard. While I had taken many east coast trips with white friends the Easter 1988 Weekend in LA was my first trip to the West Coast. So, when Girard invited me out to LA I mentioned to him that, historically, whenever I had travelled or had been in relationships with white men who had 'unsatiable love for black men' ... problems had always resulted.
It was in LA over Easter Weekend 1988 that I first heard of 'crack'. While I had known a few friends in NYC who were into freebasing which I was not ... I had not heard of 'crack' until Easter of 1988 which is what Girard was heavy into. And, made arrangements with a black lesbian to deliver several batches over the weekend.
It was also a black lesbian who would deliver batches of crack to a white guy who I knew some years later who lived in SW WDC. This connection between black lesbians and gay white men is a most important element that I have discussed in other essays, pertaining to their relationships with black men!
And the concept of 'house negroes'. Or 'house negresses!.
It was upon my return to WDC a few days later, that fuck buddy Bobby McGee (a white guy from Bostonian who had connections to Warhol's The Factory) told me that he had been smoking crack, along with pcp, for several months. While I was of aware of his pcp usage I had never heard of crack until the week before in LA.
And, it was from that time on, that white guys, many who I did not know began to approach me in bars or in the street ... about crack ... in the same way as had white guys approached me since 1978 about pot, folllowed by acid, followed by cocaine. And that those who I had known before who had snorted, only now talked about 'crack'. And their 'unsatiable love for black men'.
So, while I do not recall the specifics, it was during our rendezvous at the Mayflower Hotel that I discussed with Girard that, over the then 10 year period, though the government, media and society projected a very different image ... it had been my personal experience ... that not only were whites far more into drugs than blacks but, that there seemed to be an uncomfortable connection between white addictions and the 'struggles' that I had experienced, as a black man.
And while I do not now recall when it would be a few months or perhaps a year later that we would spend the weekend together at the Carlyle Suites Hotel. And on one occasion when a friend named Tristan invited me up for a weekend at his Chelsea apartment, Girard visited with us. And on another occasion I flew up to NYC to party with Girard at a fancy hotel in Mid-town.
So, each time that I now walk pass the Carlyle Suites or the Mayflower Hotel ... Girard comes to mind.
Foreman, in his final commentary, is not the only one who has come to realize that much of what the government and society has projected onto and about black men not only are based lies and untruths but, in many cases is more true for whites than blacks. And that the projection onto blacks is more a deflection not a reflection of the truth.
It's too bad the Foreman could not have have seen the obvious before his final commentary. And, if he had any doubt, on at least two occasions when we crossed paths ... I spoke of these very things.
For more than 30 years, this black man, has spoken the truth. But, the truth has never been what they wanted here!