Memoir of My Second Coming Out

Over the past few years I’ve switched back and forth between drawing Aztec icons for my coloring book and writing on my second memoir. At last I’ve wrapped the latter up and have just added it to the growing list of my Writings. Note that I don’t copyright my writing; people shouldn’t have to pay to enjoy my art, graphic or literary. So I post it for free download and avoid noxious commercialism. The more folks to read or see my work the better. Or to do something with it if they so feel like…

LORD WIND is the memoir of my second coming out in Milwaukee in 1970. My first coming out was in New Orleans in 1961 (in the gay Stone Age when we lived in caves of secrecy), and I’ve written about my unusual life as a gay man both in my (semi-fictional) novels BAT IN A WHIRLWIND and DIVINE DEBAUCH and in my first (also semi-fictional) memoir THERE WAS A SHIP. The latter (1964-66), was my scandalous tale of going back into the closet.

Now the purely non-fictional LORD WIND (1970-72), picks up again after years of wedlock when I escaped from my cage—and discovered that gay life had evolved into a (Post-Stonewall) Neolithic Era. As a former French Quarter faerie/slut, and now a divorced father and esoteric scholar of 28, I had to deal with the realities of the strange gay “civilization” and make a new life for myself in it.

Richard Balthazar in December, 1970–newly come out for the second time

No longer an outlaw, I still wasn’t exactly socially condoned, but in the new gay atmosphere of openness and promiscuity, I quickly found romantic/sexual entanglements to complicate life. In those two years I learned a heck of a lot about loving men and several hard lessons in maturity.

I’m trying a new format with this book on the web—for ease of access. The webpage is actually its Title page and chapter list, and each can be directly accessed through its link. No more bulky .pdf files of entire texts. I’ll try to convert the others to it too. Early on I issued each chapter of BAT IN A WHIRLWIND separately in blogposts, so that one will be easy to convert.

Wrapping up this book is a really great feeling for me. With it I’ve now built a four-volume saga (epic?) of my life from innocent adolescent through lascivious, debauched youth and responsible, though philandering, husband to a maybe more mature, but at least way more experienced, gay man of 30. This is gay ancient history according to moi… Now I can start the third memoir covering the 70s in Washington DC. In many ways that decade was a Classic Age of gay life and DC an epicenter, and I was right in the middle of it.

However, before I write a word of it, I’ve got to make some good progress on the next icon (#20) of the God of Storms, Tlaloc. While on that subject, you’ll notice that I simply had to use my drawing of Ehecatl, Aztec God of the Wind as a most appropriate title image for LORD WIND.

BTW, my YE GODS! Show is still under lockdown at the Ohkay Conference Center. There’s nothing else I can do with it, so why not?

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