Here’s a bit of anecdotal fallout from January’s inflammatory gay MRSA health scare which the CDC later attempted to clean up.

Flickr User TooHotty yesterday uploaded this photo to his account.

He writes: “After 11 years of my dad never mentioning the word ‘gay’ or acknowledging the fact that I am, I got this in the mail. It’s totally awkward, and came with a check. I hate to think that this is all he knows about my lifestyle.”

Maybe it’s time to have a talk.

Awkward Mail


  1. Ty Jones says

    It’s not a “LIFESTYLE” It is our lives. I wish people would stop referring to it as such!
    Tell your Dad not to worry, only sluts get MRSA!!

  2. TC says

    I can’t stand the press & the CDC….my straight neighbor who is a woman in her 50’s and has had NO sexual contact in a very long time was diagnosed last week with MRSA..my friend in Texas said her 8yo nephew was diagnosed last year & can’t get rid of it….and it’s funny how the “shoe was on the other foot” my neighbor says to me very concerned..”I guess you won’t want to see me anymore”…it hurt me….and I said 20 years ago when AIDS hit us, that was the reaction we all got…….I’ll educate her…it’s like she’s a leper!…I am being very careful at my gym now no matter how clean Equinox is…there’s a reason all over the gym are hand sanitizer machines & a dispenser for antimicrobial towels…But it’s the 62% ethyl alcohol that works like Purell & also a good washing of hands..so please be very careful about protecting yourself


  3. crispy says

    Wow, way to completely ignore the point of this post and fire your vitriol at a single, hastily chosen word. You people are so noble.

  4. peterparker says

    TY JONES…saying that only sluts get MRSA is like saying that only people who go to bathhouses get HIV. The fact of the matter is that MRSA is highly contagious and can be transmitted simply by touching something that someone with an active case of MRSA has touched. If, for example, someone with MRSA is working out with barbells at the gym, and you come along after them and pick up the barbells, it is quite likely you could get MRSA. You might want to tone down your rhetoric a bit.


  5. Dan says

    Yeah, I actually thought this post was full of truth. I have a similar relationship with my father. He doesn’t hate me for being gay, he’s emotionally distant and has been so from my first day on earth, and he loves me but can’t show it. He would be the type to send me that kind of article with that kind of note (a note which is not about hate again, just the terse nature of communication between father and son).

    This kind of thing is not about hate, it’s 1) illustrative of the kind of relationship some of us have with our parents and 2) an example of the crazy effect the irresponsible media have on our community.

    BUT never forget that when AIDS first hit, there were so many who fought the closing of the bathhouses and refused to have safe sex.

  6. Paul R says

    A few years ago my emotionally distant father sent me a short story about a young writer working at a gay bar one summer, and a tryst he had and how it affected him.

    It was from the Washington Post magazine’s annual short story issue, so it wasn’t especially graphic. But it was very surprising. And accompanied by a note as brief as the one above. It basically conveyed, I pretty much accept your lifestyle, though I don’t fully understand, and I love you. He just couldn’t say that explicitly.

    And yes, the way I live is a lifestyle. That’s not the same as saying being gay is a general lifestyle. Once again I find myself agreeing with Crispy. Give the guy a break.

  7. Jimmy says

    Can’t a Father just say “be careful son” without all the analyzing? Maybe he just wants his son to be informed. On the other hand what’s the check about?

  8. Paul R says

    Jimmy, if you go to his Facebook page it’s pretty obvious the guy is rather artsy (he has more than 700 photos posted, most of himself making funny faces), and perhaps not too gainfully employed (just guessing). I certainly wish my father sent me checks at that age.

    Actually, no I don’t. That would be pretty sad.

    Anyway, I agree with you that the father obviously cares about his son. Maybe the part he doesn’t understand about his lifestyle is why he has to subsidize it.

  9. John In Manhattan says

    Oh, please PAUL R, we’re not discussing Robin Leach here or your “rock star” lifestyle but rather the word “lifestyle” when used to describe the lives of gay people, as TooHotty did when referring to his being gay and his father’s knowledge of it. Here’s some educatin’ for ya (courtesy of GLAAD):

    Offensive: “gay lifestyle” or “homosexual lifestyle”
    Preferred: “lesbian,” “gay,” “bisexual”
    There is no single lesbian, gay or bisexual lifestyle. Lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are diverse in the ways they lead their lives. The phrase “gay lifestyle” is used to denigrate lesbians and gay men, suggesting that their sexual orientation is a choice and therefore can and should be “cured” (See AP, New York Times & Washington Post Style).

    More here: http://www.glaad.org/media/guide/offensive.php

  10. says

    “Lifestyle”, to me means the same as “the way I live my life.” Substitute the latter for the former in my (hastily chosen) caption, and I fail to see the problem. Clueless, indeed!

    Awkward it was, yes, but I do see how the mailing was his way of showing he cares. Like Dan and Paul R, my father has never been terribly forthcoming emotionally.

    So tonight I’ll call, thank him, tell him I’m careful, and make an offhand comment about an itchy rash. I probably won’t hear about it again for another 11 years, but at least I know he didn’t forget. :-) And that he supports me in his way.

    (Thanks for the link, towleroad.com! I’m just sad the photo is flanked by two really awful ones. đŸ˜‰ )

  11. crispy says

    John in Manhattan:
    You are quite frankly a dickhead. What does GLAAD say about that word?

    Those guidelines are intended for members of the media, particularly straight members of old-world media who may not know how to properly address gay and lesbian people in their publications. This is some gay dude’s Flickr caption!

    But beyond that, this post and his picture aren’t even about anyone’s “lifestyle.” It’s a cute anecdote about a father finally reaching out to his gay son, albeit under misguided pretenses. I thought it was one of the most compelling posts I’ve seen on Towleroad in a while, so nice of you to ruin it.

  12. John In Manhattan says

    You’re most welcome but please leave my dick head out of it. The guidelines are also for those suffering from internalized homophobia. You may want to check yours out.

    Enjoy your day!

  13. Alan says

    Ummm. The original post did not use the phrase “gay lifestyle”. It used the phrase “my lifestyle”, which is not a gross generalization, does not have any derogatory meaning other than what you give it, and lies fully within the GLAAD media reference to which you referred.

  14. Paul R says

    Thanks, Crispy, Alan, and BryanNYC.

    Oh, and thanks John in Manhattan for noting my “rock star” lifestyle. It’s pretty exhuasting living my amazing life and still finding time to post on Towleroad. I guess it’s my internalized homophobia that keeps bringing me back.

  15. t says

    apologies to “toohoty” & all for going off topic..we’re in “crisis” mode on my floor


  16. Laurence Ballard says

    The best message ‘toohotty’ could send his Dad is the un-cashed check in a simple, white, business envelope sans return address.