Brian McNaught

  • Hallmark Movie Without A Tree

    Jeremy’s middle name was Christmas, as the Irish Setter puppy was a gift to my live-in boyfriend at the time. When we broke up, he gave me back the dog. A couple of years later, when Ray and I had a little old Polish lady knit our monogrammed red and green stockings, Jeremy had one too. 

  • McNaught: A Gay Mr. Rogers

    Community leader and author Eric Rofes was the first person to refer to me as “a gay Mr. Rogers.” It was in the mid-1980s, at a “roast” of Rofes, prior to his departure from Boston to Los Angeles.

  • McNaught: Are You Happy as My Dog? Are You Happy as My Human?

    My Dad Brian and I have been reflecting on our relationship. He asked me if I was happy. He asked Carson Kressley the same question. He asks everyone that question, even homeless people outside Home Depot. “Are you happy?” It’s a good question. It makes you think. “What does it take to be happy?” “What does it look like to be happy?” “Do you clap your hands, when you’re happy?”

  • McNaught: Bar Boys and Civil Rights?

    The agitated, middle-aged, gay man on the phone wanted to know, “Are we losing ground? Will we lose everything we’ve worked so hard to accomplish? Gay men in bars don’t seem to care about our civil rights. How are you dealing with it?”

  • McNaught: Being Gay or Religious – Are We Still Stuck?

    Sometimes, the universe really wants our attention. The day started with an email from a heterosexually married, and faithful, privately gay, senior officer in The Salvation Army. He sent a news story about his religious organization being disinvited from staffing a “welcome” booth at the Capital City Pride Parade in Olympia, Washington. It was done to protect members of TSA from threats of violence, stemming from a complaint on gay social media.

  • McNaught: Best Lessons Learned

    A good friend has gone through weeks of excruciating chemotherapy treatments, without any guarantee of success. The regimen was so difficult, there was the possibility it would kill him. I don’t know that I could agree to it. The thought of being continually nauseous makes me shudder.

  • McNaught: Characteristics of Snowy Owl Elders

    There is an order of gay male elders called The Parliament of Snowy Owls. It has come to be as the response of the Universe to the epidemic of loneliness and self-destructiveness among many aging gay men.  

  • McNaught: Do Straight Men Scare You?

    The amazing, American Buddhist teacher, Pema Chodron, counsels us to run to the things that scare us. Don’t run away, she says, because our spiritual/emotional growth depends upon us dealing with our fears. I’m doing just that shortly, confronting one of my fears. 

  • McNaught: God’s Best Friend Is Queer

    Enough time has been spent defending being gay or transgender to religious leaders.

  • McNaught: How Do You Deal With Your Anger?

    The monkey could have been any age. I was five. I had a small box of raisins in my left hand, and, in my right, a handful of raisins, extended to the bars of his cage.

  • McNaught: Laughter Gets Us Through It All

    Ray has a wonderful laugh. He’s the guy you’re glad is in the theater audience watching a funny play or film. It’s hysterical when he’s on the plane with ear phones listening to a movie. His laugh creates big smiles and chuckles for several rows.

  • McNaught: Love in the Event of Death

    While cleaning out the desk drawer, Ray came upon a love letter from me that was supposed to be opened by him on the occasion of my death. It was written in 1981, when I was 33, and it has been read twice by him despite my good physical health.

  • McNaught: Moms, Dads, and Dogs

    Color me jealous when I hear another gay man talk about his close friendship with his father. That wasn’t in the cards for me. I have always blamed my father for our lack of closeness, because he clearly didn’t want to be friends with his children. His generation believed “Father Knows Best.” He was the father, and you obeyed.

  • McNaught: Reminiscing with Surprises

    We laid on our backs on the raft, with the slight breeze off the mountains gently rocking us in Tupper Lake. Lincoln chose the cool, soft pine needles on the shady point instead.

  • McNaught: Shared Beliefs on the Unknown

    Lincoln has been a Buddhist since he was a puppy. In his earliest romps around our lakefront property in the Adirondacks, he would stop, sit for long periods of time, and observe. In other words, he was in the moment, with his body and his mind in the same place, seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and smelling things for the first time. It’s called “Beginner’s Mind.” You needn’t be a puppy or baby to experience it. 

  • McNaught: Speaking for God? You and Me Both

    “Trust me,” I assured him.Im a messenger from God.” What I didnt go on to say, because he wasnt ready to hear it, was that he, too, was a messenger from God. We all are. Otherwise, God/the Universe/Life/Love/Spirit has no means of communicating to us in words well understand.

  • McNaught: Such a Different Life, and Yet, the Same

    We’re north for the summer, in the forests, mountains, and lakes of the Adirondacks. We moved here after spending 16 summers in Provincetown. We followed friends, who charmed us with sunset boat rides in a Cris Craft, a shiny, wooden boat. 

  • McNaught: The Art of Settling In

    It’s either “yes,” “no,” or “maybe.” Settling into a new relationship, a new home, or any other new endeavor, eventually requires from us a strong, definitive, “yes.” We can’t be fully happy and say “maybe” at the same time. We fully embrace change or we suffer.  

  • McNaught: The Changing Nature of Home

    It’s not true that the person who dies with the most toys wins.
  • McNaught: The Way We Were

    Brian McNaught launches new column for SFGN.Two guys and a dog started for us in 1976, when I drove from Detroit, with my Irish Setter, Jeremy, and met my husband, Ray, in Boston. I was 28, he was 25, Jeremy was 2. I’m now nearly 71, Ray will be 68 on his next birthday, and our Labradoodle, Lincoln, will be 2 on New Year’s Day.