Mar 18, 2015

Fall 1996: The Preacher and the Homeless Teenager

David was 43 years old, but an honorary twink.  He grew up in an ultra-conservative household in Arkansas, got married, and became a Baptist preacher -- then, on his 40th birthday, had his first same-sex experience.  He came out, quit his job, divorced his wife, and moved to San Francisco -- all in the same week!

He got an apartment and a job, joined a gym, bought a new wardrobe consisting mostly of leather, and went cruising.  Every day.  At lunchtime, after work, in the evening.  Sometimes on the way to work.

David was an equal-opportunity cruiser.  Young, old, black, white, rich, poor, he didn't care as long as you had either a nice smile or a big package.

But still, I was shocked when he cruised the panhandler.


In San Francisco, panhandlers were everywhere, lined up outside ATM machines, restaurants, Muni stations, waving their cups, holding their signs that said "hungry!" or "Disabled veteran" or chanting  "Any change?  Any change?  Any change?"

Most people ignored them, figuring if you gave them money, you would be tagged as an "easy mark" and followed by many more.  Besides, you couldn't tell who was actually in need and who just wanted money for drugs.   There were many charities in town that could provide food and housing more equitably.

The rest of the story, with uncensored photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.