Sunday, March 22, 2015



   It was a typical classroom that seated about 40 college students.  The students’ desks were arranged in rows that faced a large chalkboard that hung unbalanced on the wall.  The room was drab, painted a dull, off-shade color of white with bare walls. A plain, wooden teacher’s desk sat in one corner, collecting dust from disuse.  A short, skinny sociology professor—a PHD—stood behind a lecture stand making the final remarks in a lecture entitled “The Characteristics of Primitive Man. I was seated near the middle of that room surrounded by a group of strangers that otherwise were called students. With one semester already under my belt, I was bored and was considering dropping out. 
  All of a sudden, an emotion, driven by an inquiring mind, forced my hand into the air.  The professor looked up, pushed the reading glasses up on his nose, raised his eyebrows in a gesture of surprise, looked back down and continued the lecture. I could not remember any time in my college experience that a student had actually asked a question.  So I waved my hand in a show of determination.

   Once again the professor looked up, removed his glasses, rested his elbows on the lecture stand, and spoke in a disgustingly monotone voice.

    “Yes, young man? Do you have something you want to say?”

    “Yes, sir. I want to know if there were any homosexuals in primitive societies.”

   A moment of silence occurred as a confused professor took a step backwards, cleared his throat, turned and started to write something on the board.  Then he suddenly turned again, faced the class, and pointed with his glasses. 

   “I don’t know, but I WILL find out.”

   Again he turned and wrote the word anthropology on the board.  He faced the students in an attempt to continue the lecture, but was saved by the bell.  The students quickly gathered their possessions, and keeping a safe distance from me, hurried off to their next class.

   It was Sociology 101 and the class would meet again on Friday. The Friday 10:00 o’clock hour came much too quick and the students were neatly arranged in their seats with pencils and paper in hand. The tardy bell rang, but the professor did not show.  The students were waiting patiently when all of a sudden the little man bounced through the door carrying an arm load of books. He pranced across the room and piled the books on the desk in the corner. He carefully selected a folder and briskly walked to the lecture stand.  He leaned forward, pulled the reading glasses under his eyes, and stared directly at the students.   In a voice that had not been heard before, he spoke firmly, “Yes sir, there were homosexuals in primitive societies. In fact, my research revealed that there have been homosexuals in almost all societies.”

   With those words he ran across the room and jumped upon the teacher’s desk.  He whirled around and pointed with his glasses. “Have you ever heard of Margaret Mead?” he asked. “She was one of the most renowned of all anthropologists. She wrote, and I quote, ‘in my studies of the primitive tribes of South Africa, I found many effeminate males assigned specific duties in tribal societies.’”

   He jumped from the desk and ran to the back of the room.  The students were shocked and sat motionless, being afraid to even turn and face the lecturer.

   “And above all that,” he continued, “in some primitive societies, effeminate males were held in high esteem.”

   “Wow!” was one response.

   “Oh, no!” murmured the sounds of another.

   “Yes, it is believed that some homosexuals had mystical powers, the ability to look into two separate realms of the spirit world.”

   “What?” Louder voices reverberated from across the room. 

  “Have you ever heard of the city of Babylon, the city of Athens or Rome – even Cairo, Egypt? I have it all right here in black and white.” He pointed to the books.  “In all those places homosexuality was once a popular lifestyle.”

  “Oh, no,” was heard again.

  “Not really?” Another spoke.

  “What did you say, man?”

  “I said homosexuality was a popular lifestyle until King James came along. It was after that when religious leaders started that distasteful approach to the gay lifestyle.”

   Pencils were dropped to the floor, but otherwise silence dominated.

   I, the guy who started it all, suffered from the emotion of guilt. I had asked this little, old man one question, and apparently it had driven him crazy.  With the remarks he had made, I was sure there would be an all-out student rebellion. Parents would withdraw their children from college, students would get up and march out of the classrooms, and this man would lose his job. What – had – I - done? I hung my head in shame, afraid to face the students.  But finally curiosity set in, and I had to raise my eyes. The professor was back at the lecture stand continuing a fireball lecture. It was a spiritual uplifting much like going to church on Sunday. The scene had changed and a feeling of success pounded at me. I raised my head high and puffed my chest. A miracle had occurred.  The classroom had been turned into an exciting place for learning.  Suddenly, students were jumping up from all over the room and asking questions.

    “Sir, are you talking about the King James version?”


   “Sir, what ever happened to Margaret Mead?”

   “I don’t know.”

  “But, sir, what about the red-letter edition?”

  “I’m not sure.”

  It was at that moment that I made an important decision, one of the best in my lifetime.  I would remain a student at the university.









Sunday, March 15, 2015


   Throughout the history of the United States fear has been the major cause for gays living in closets.  Even though ‘coming out’ is easier today than it has ever been, gays are still faced with some major difficulties.   It is remarkably sad that some macho males think that ‘gay bashing’ is a necessary step for manhood, thus gays are subjected to physical abuse. Preachers and political leaders target gays with absurd, false accusations that prove absolutely nothing more than ignorance of alternative lifestyles.  Even in a contemporary society, gays have to be concerned about losing jobs and being overlooked for promotions. It is far from being a just world for homosexuals.

   Religion has been, and continues to be, the main opposition to the gay lifestyle. It is hard to believe that some preachers are still telling congregations they have the right to do physical harm to gays. The plight for gays in America, and around the world, has been fueled by hate.  For many, hating is easy, but when leaders in important positions encourage it, it becomes even easier.   

    Many politicians use the issue of same-sex marriage to stir up emotions in conservative voters in hopes that it will help them to be elected to office. However, public opinion polls show that the majority of Americans believe that same-sex marriage should be legal, and that basic civil rights should be granted to gays.

   In a perfect world, gays should be able to live in a non-restricted environment. And in a country that prides itself with freedom, all people, including gays, should be able to live an alternative lifestyle without fear.

   Today, there are millions of gays around the world who are tired of living in the closet and for the first time are speaking out for equal rights regardless of the consequences. Closet doors are flying open and gays are stepping out into a new world faced with different experiences.  But there are some people who continue to fight social change, and even go so far as creating new methods for discrimination.

   Preachers and political leaders should be held accountable for publicly advocating harmful acts to gays. Coming from America, these voices are encouraging leaders in other countries to continue their vicious attacks of beatings, hangings, and murdering individuals, for no other reason than being gay.         


Sunday, March 8, 2015



   In the late 1930s I entered the world in a primitive environment where access to land and the knowledge of farming were the only tools necessary for financial survival.  Because Americans believe that every child should have the opportunity of an education, I was given a free bus ride to school and was taught by some of the best teachers who ever set foot inside a classroom.

   Other than school, the church became the center for my social activities. I was flooded with the conservative Christian doctrines that were mainstream in the Southern Bible Belt.

   I’m not sure when I first heard the word gay, but the pulpit provided a constant reminder that even a thought about homosexuality was sufficient to send a soul into an everlasting damnation of fire and brimstone. Nevertheless, as a teenager, I knew I was different, but I thought it was common among some youngsters and it was something I would outgrow.  So I stayed in close contact with the church and went through all the religious rituals that were necessary for the cleansing of the soul. I was sure if I prayed enough, and if my faith was strong enough, I would one day be touched by the Holy Spirit and changed into a straight man. Those prayers were never answered.

    Because America is the land of opportunity, I was able to work my way through college and I obtained several degrees with advanced studies in religion. However, the degree in education turned out to be the most valuable and the one that would set the destiny for my adult life. The proudest moment of my life was when I, as a teacher, was handed a textbook, some caulk, and an eraser, and was able to look directly into the smiling faces of the students in MY classroom. I continued that proud moment every day for 32 years.

   Even though I continued teaching, on weekends and during holidays, for thirty years, I owned and operated two music stores that specialized in retail sales of professional musical instruments.

   My first college degree was sociology, and from that I developed a need to experience different world cultures.  At the appropriate time, I sold the businesses, retired from teaching, and set out on a voyage to satisfy the desire to see how people in other parts of the world live.  

   The smiling faces of the people of Southeast Asia warmed my heart, so I settled in Thailand to temporality study the culture of the Thai people. For several years I have remained in Thailand, attempting to understand a society of people who pleasantly accept alternative lifestyles.

   To some, I am considered a successful teacher, to others I am known as a dedicated businessman, and still others ask --- why did I move to Thailand? Other than what I have previously stated, I was motivated to find a place where I could live as a free gay man without the threat of neighbors to do me harm or to destroy my home.  I was also motivated by the desire to live as a 1st class citizen rather than a 2nd or 3rd class, because I know I am better than that.

   In Thailand I have written articles for a few English language newspapers and magazines. I have written and published a few short stories and a few novels. I write a blog that is read by a few English speaking people in a few countries around the world. During the day I continue to write as a free gay man. At night I enjoy dinner with my gay friends, and later I visit the many gay go-go bars that surround the high-rise condo where I live. For me, I doubt it will ever be better than this.

(Written by Dervis Clement Tippen)

Sunday, March 1, 2015



   It is always an interesting time, for some, when the Rev. Friendly steps into his air-conditioned office and positions himself behind his solid oak-wood, multi-purpose desk. He comforts himself in a high-back, leather-bound, adjustable desk chair, and rests his feet in ankle deep carpet kept fluffy clean by the black maid servant. His mission is to decide the topic that he will use for the Sunday morning sermon.
   His meditation period is brief and then he enters into the long process of elimination. “I cannot preach about working on the Sabbath,” he says to himself, “because I’m not gonna use the pulpit to condemn my own actions. And, it would be a mistake to quote the scripture concerning a rich man’s chances of entering heaven because I do not want to offend the ‘big pocketbooks’ of this congregation. Also, I’m not going to give up my house or my car. And I’m certainly not gonna give up the beach house.  Being the pastor of a big church is stressful, and I need a place where I can relax and get away from it all.  When you’re doing the Lord’s work he’s gonna put you up in a big house and let you drive a big, nice car. That’s just the way it is. Now, that thing about Jesus walking all the time or riding on the back of a donkey was at another time and another place, and it does not apply to us modern-day preachers. Also, I just don’t see the point of bringing up the subject about the divorce rate among straight couples or talking about a man shaving his beard or a woman cutting her hair or even that thing about eating pork.  I’m not gonna talk about gluttony, no, sir, because I’m not gonna miss out on Sister Margaret’s Sunday’s fried chicken.  My, oh my, what will it be? --------- Decisions, decisions, ---- but by golly, I think I’ve got it.  This Sunday I’ll preach about them homo-sex-uals.  It’s always easy to stir up that self-righteous bunch about them homos, and the more I can stir ’em up the bigger the collection plate.  Yes, sir, that’s just what I’ll do.  Well, it’s to time to close the book on this one.  Yes, yes, by golly, I think I’ve got this one in the bag. So Sunday, here I come!”