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My Tattoos

More than a few men recently have commented on my tattoos (and piercings) and said that having tattoos means your into kinky sex. No really, this is what they keep telling me. This really kind of throws me, I’ve had tattoos much longer than I’ve been having sex. Also I’ve had sex with people who have tattoos and really – a few of those encounters were pretty boring.

In the gay community over the years they established lots of little tells to let other closeted gays know they were there or what they were into. Rainbow stickers are everywhere now, but 10 – 20 years ago and longer people had to be much more discrete about these type of things so they developed these markers for others. There is even a hanky code for what you might or might not be into – I should warn you clicking on that link might be TMI for you.

For me it’s about art, about expressing myself and the things I like. Each and every tattoo I have is based on something I like or something that means a lot to me. Superman, lightning bolts, Greek gods, AA, bear paw prints, old nicknames…

My first tattoo was done by my friend Ted or maybe his brother Tim (I was 14, stoned or drunk and my memory isn’t what it used to be) using a needle, some thread and india ink. That symbol was painfully put on one needle stick at a time and represented the 12 Greek gods. It was crude in comparison to what I have on my body now, but at that age it was pretty cool thing to have.

Since then I’ve gotten more complicated with what I want on my body – my first tattoo as an adult covered up that tattoo that I got when I was young, but I wasn’t very clear about what I wanted it to be and gave the artist too much leeway so it ended up being a question mark that isn’t really very pretty – it looks better now that I’ve surrounded it by a dragon (which was hand drawn on my arm by this guy at Jinx Proof, so cool. The next was the Superman symbol, then the lightning bolt, armband, bear claw print, tramp stamp (Zeus), AA symbol on my leg, and finally the ancient Greek Gods tat on my back.

None of those, well except maybe the tramp stamp and the arm band, says anything about sex. Well not that I know of. Its like when I wear a cross necklace – I don’t wear a cross necklace because I believe in crucifying believers – I just happen to like how cross necklaces look sometimes.

Recently with the Sikh shooter the press has been throwing this statement out there: 

An agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms told ABC News that the shooter had tattoos.

Tattoos don’t make a shooter anymore than sandals make a monk. That’s the motivation behind this post (even though I did have several men express that my tattoos meant I was into kinky sex – which I’m not…. well, what did you have in mind exactly? )

I do sometimes worry about my tattoos and them being misinterpreted by others. Lightning bolts, dragons and Superman can all be associated with the KKK and I keep my head shaved. But really, I’m just an ordinary gay guy that likes tattoos – I have no hidden agendas (well none that I’m ready to share with the world, my manifesto will be on the New York Times Best Seller list – I’m certain) or particular hates of any kind of people. I dislike humans in general, but I don’t target specific groups to hate, really it takes too much effort.

I just really don’t like when we associate bad/stupid/moronic/crazy people with what they wear or how they look. After the Aurora shootings movie theaters banned folks from wearing masks when going to the theater – the guy who shot those people didn’t buy a ticket, he came in through the back door. After Columbine schools across the country banned black trench coats. After the Amish school shooting in PA in 2006, our President expressed his concern of school violence (this last one I’m not sure which was the more bad/stupid/moronic/crazy  – the former President or the shooter).

You know the old saying: don’t judge a book by its cover.

3 thoughts on “My Tattoos

  1. This piece really struck me as completely honest and poignant. When you wrote, “Tattoos don’t make a shooter anymore than sandals make a monk.”, it said perfectly what I have been trying to get across to people regarding tattoos. I, too, have tattoos, and the two became a part of me in the past year. A tattoo is an art form, an expression of what we feel and wish to express either to the world or privately. I have one that everyone can see (on my ankle). The other is a large one (on my hip) I don’t show, except to those who are my intimates.

    I enjoy reading your blog. Many of your pieces cause me to think and develop different insights, and your writing style makes me laugh at times, and smile, and think.

  2. Thanks Susan, it was very nice of you to come and leave a comment here. Too many people tend to place people with tattoos in certain categories that don’t reflect all of us at all. Thanks for the link on your blog roll and I’ll be sure to look at your blog more closely now too! :–)

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