Archive for the ‘Opines’ Category

My Catch-22 Greeting

Posted: Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

I had been with the company for years, when they hired a new head for my division. At our first meeting, the new guy tried to introduce himself to me, but I held up my hand.

“When they hire somebody at your level, the company does a psychological profile,” I said. “Since you’re here, I assume you passed the profile. It means the company doesn’t think you’re a demented loon.”

He smiled.

“So you aren’t crazy,” I continued, “and I have real issues about that.”

I walked out of his office. He was my boss for several years, and he never mentioned my snarky ‘welcome.’

Brent: the Heart Reader — audiobook

Posted: Thursday, December 12th, 2013
Brent: the Heart Reader

Brent: the Heart Reader. Cover for the audiobook version.


This is the cover of my second audiobook, Brent: The Heart Reader.

It’s still in the pipeline, but the recording (Chris Patton) and artwork are done.

BRENT is my favorite book, and I’m so happy the publisher decided to go audiobook with it. Recording and producing is a hefty expense.

BRENT is about a cute/young tarot reader who falls madly in lust (then love) with a young Apache man. They get their New Age on with a cool cast of characters… some nurturing, others snarly and funny.

I really like this book, and I love that the Gay Book Hall of Fame added it to their collection.

Stay tuned: BRENT’s audiobook should be out in a couple. of weeks.

My First Audiobook

Posted: Monday, December 9th, 2013

Vamp Camp is now an audiobook. My first.

I say it’s “mine” because I wrote the book, but Jason Lovett did all the heavy lifting on this project. He’s the narrator (except for the intro and dedication which I recorded and slipped in). The running gag through the book is that the narrator – a vampire – lives in Europe but is awful with every European language. That’s hard to pull off, but Jason does it.

Vamp Camp is available at Audible and iTunes.

Vamp Camp by Wynn Wagner

Gov Perry vs Pres Obama

Posted: Sunday, December 1st, 2013

My current health insurance is the Texas High Risk Insurance Pool. By law, it costs double the rate of regular insurance. So I pay $1200 a month for health insurance that has a $7000 deductible with a ton of balance-billing. In other words, it is expensive crap.

The state lege killed the program as of next January.

Now up pops Gov. Perry. He says the policy is to be extended until March. Thanks to Pres. Obama, I will have better health insurance next year that is HUNDREDS cheaper. So, governor… you can take your expensive junk-policy and find a creative place to stick it.

AND… based on my experience with Texas insurance, I am completely thrilled that you refused to let Texas implement an exchange. There were annoying problems with the federal healthcare.gov but I do have health insurance for next year.

You can fix a website. You can’t fix asshole.

Happy Happy

Posted: Thursday, November 28th, 2013

thanksgivukkahThanksgiving. First day of Chanukah. Same day.  That won’t happen again for hundreds of years. So, Gobble Tov on this fleeting alignment.

I ran into one of those websites that host discussions on whether “public figures” are gay or straight. I’m listed there, and someone actually speculated that I might be straight. I’m thankful that my gaydar isn’t so broken as that, but I wonder what I did to make him/her think I might not be gay. Did I miss something somewhere?

I am seriously thankful for readers. Wynn’s books had their best year ever. My spiritual and non-fiction did better than my gay romance fiction. Some bills actually got paid. yippee!

Mostly, I’m thankful for my husband. After 20 years, I suspect I have a keeper.


Sculpture with Music

Posted: Monday, August 19th, 2013

The greatest part of liking classical (Mozart) or baroque (Bach) music is that when we find something we like, it stays a “hit” for hundreds of years.


Bill the cat

Mozart (“too many notes) leaves me frazzled like Bill the Cat (“Bloom County” comic strip). Frazzled, but all in a good way. Mozart is like a roller coaster. Fun (in moderation and not when I am operating heavy machinery).

Johan Sebastian Back

Johan Sebastian Back

Bach grounds me because it is precise to the way musical wavelenghts work.

My heart is unleashed from everythimg mundane. Bach is correct mathematically, so I never-ever crimge or wonder where some Shostakovich weird note.

I got over him being Lutheran. Petty. Stupid bias. But I’m okay with it now.

Musicians playing Bach do the best when they follow the notes… something I always found hard on my keyboard. I wanted to jazz up the concerti, but Mr Bach really totally OWNS music. Mmmm. BMV 1055. Closed eyes.

Bach is a great SCULPTOR OF TIME.

My childhood rage against “The Man”

Posted: Saturday, July 20th, 2013

So much about race and racism lately. I’m old enough to remember water fountains marked “COLORED.”

Almost anyone who knows me won’t be surprised to know that I always drank out of the “wrong” nozzle. Mommy knew me, but she was always embarrassed to see me at the “colored” water fountain. She said that I was inviting disease. I told her we ought to treated “the coloreds” better so they don’t have disease. Mommy wasn’t impressed, but she was used to my behavior.

The manager at Monnigs Department Store in Fort Worth wasn’t up-to-speed on my shenanigans and my quiet Drink In demonstrations. He ordered both me and mother out of his store.

Years later, in high school, my sweetheart was a kid named Tony. The fact he was black was a bigger deal than the fact we were both gay. Gay is better than black in Texas, I guess.

Tony’s mom accepted me. Up to a point. She was certainly more accepting and kind than my own mother. Tony and I were almost inseparable my senior year in high school. He was gorgeous and funny, and his kiss sent me flying somewhere.

Tony’s mom got us into her car one Saturday morning and headed East. She was quiet with eyes that could eat through solid steel. Stoic. Severe, maybe.

The point is that when she said we ought to get in the car, there’d be no questions and no delay. She didn’t tell us like she was a drill sargeant, but we knew we needed to be in the car. Period. End of discussion.

Where? I didn’t know

Tony, Tony’s mom, and I drove and drove and drove. They wouldn’t tell me where, except that it was some kind of group protest. I didn’t really have anything to protest other than the Vietnam war.

We finally got to a scene like you see on the newsreels: angry white uniformed guys on horses. This wasn’t a newsreel. Not for me. That day, I was there. And I was on the dangerous side of the stand-off.

There were deputies with guns and scary dogs with teeth that were at least a foot or two long. One of the scary guys ordered me to get away from Tony. It wasn’t going to happen, and I didn’t feel like explaining why. I was more terrified than I had ever been.

Then the speaker took the microphone. My heart melted as Martin Luther King, Jr, spoke. He called for resistance to evil. He called for peace. Love those who persecute.

I still get a cold chill when I think of that day. Dr. King’s words were awesome, but I was so scared of those guys in uniforms. I was just a kid, one of the few white guys in the audience so I suppose that I stood out a little. Tony held me tight, sensing how afraid I was. He acted like it was an everyday thing for him. The sad part is that it probably was an everyday thing.

I saw the dogs and guns, and I saw this man calmly call for peace. I’ve never been the same.

Let this affirmation be our ringing cry. It will give us the courage to face the uncertainties of the future. It will give our tired feet new strength as we continue our forward stride toward the city of freedom. When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair. When our nights become darker than a thousand midnights/ Let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows.

Let us realize that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. Let us realize that William Cullen Bryant is right: “Truth, crushed to earth, will rise again.” Let us go out realizing that the Bible is right: “Be not deceived. God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” This is our hope for the future, and with this faith we will be able to sing in some not too distant tomorrow, with a cosmic past tense, “We have overcome! We have overcome! Deep in my heart, I did believe we would overcome.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.



Roman Catholic Hate Machine, even on Easter

Posted: Sunday, March 31st, 2013

RCC Timothy Dolan went on the ABC Sunday talk show. Instead of all the positive things he could have done on Easter, the cardinal spewed idiotic crap. He said all my gay brothers and sisters are entitled to “friendship” but not love.

I am an Old Catholic archbishop, and I so wish my voice was loud enough to drown out this Roman Catholic cardinal’s hate. Friendship, not love. The gay kids in Dolan’s area (NYC) need warm hugs. Card. Dolan needs to be transferred to Nome.

Friendship, not love. This is the Roman blessing for Easter.

The “M-word”

Posted: Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

There was a time when I didn’t think being mar­ried was a big deal. It’s the “M-word.” It’s just a word.

I would call les­bians and gays who wanted to be mar­ried “assim­i­la­tion­sts.”  There wasn’t any good rea­son to imi­tate straight peo­ple. Being gay was dif­fer­ent, I thought.

If my broth­ers and sis­ters wanted the M-word, I thought they should have that right. The right was denied to us by Pres. Bill Clin­ton. Instead of actual equal­ity, he came out for gays in the mil­i­tary. “Huh?” I said. It didn’t work, and he set­tled for that awful rule called “Don’t Ask / Don’t Tell.” Under DADT, les­bian and gay sol­diers kept get­ting thrown out. Bill Clin­ton — the man I sup­ported — signed DADT into law. I didn’t just sup­port him, I was an eager staff mem­ber who worked my butt off for his elec­tion. Then… awful got added to hideous. Clin­ton came out in favor of the fed­eral Defense of Mar­riage Act (DOMA). Pres Bubba said he was in favor of the law. He didn’t think peo­ple like me should get mar­ried. DOMA was the law of the land, and that fam­ily con­nec­tion is why I was a total sup­porter of Barack Obama. I wasn’t going to lift a fin­ger to help Clinton’s wife. Maybe that was wrong on my part, but it is how I felt. It is how I still feel to a cer­tain extent.

There were gays and les­bians in the Oval Office, and they were hop­ping mad at Clin­ton. Here’s the hate­ful phrase that pres­i­dent used for them: “Where else are you going to go?”

Betrayal is the sad­dest word ever defined.

So now, Clin­ton is all smiles when he says DOMA was a bad idea. He thinks me get­ting mar­ried would be fine. I don’t buy it. He wants us to for­get that he signed the law. More recently, we’re sup­posed to for­get that he sug­gested John Kerry come out strongly against mar­riage equal­ity (Kerry has always been for LGBT equality).

Clinton’s wife now says that gays and les­bians should be able to get mar­ried. I don’t buy that either.

Guilt by asso­ci­a­tion for Mrs. Clin­ton. Yup. It’s prob­a­bly wrong, but that is my hon­est feel­ings on the family.

Rick and I have been together for 20 years. He’s the love of my life.

Then some­thing weird hap­pened. We got married.

It was in the Dis­trict of Colum­bia. Same-gender cou­ples don’t even get a dou­ble take in the nation’s cap­i­tal. It hap­pens all the time. He and I went before a judge, and then we got a piece of paper.

The mag­i­cal thing hap­pened on our way home. We took the train from Wash­ing­ton to Chicago and then to Dallas.

Wow. I saw wheat grow­ing, and they really looked like those amber waves of grain. Beautiful.

For the first time in my life, I felt ordi­nary. I love ordinary.

That judge in Wash­ing­ton told me (not in so many words) that our life together had merit.

I can’t find the exact words to tell you how I felt on the train, except that my life with Rick was some­how hap­pier and richer.


Those who want to deny this M-word to gay cou­ples have no idea how caus­tic their mar­riage apartheid is. They say that boy-girl cou­ples can get mar­ried, but I can’t. When I was in the mid­dle of that mind­set, I had no idea of the spir­i­tual and emo­tional dam­age that soci­ety was doing. Once free from those sticky chains, I could look back and see the tragedy. I cried to think of my gay broth­ers and sis­ters who have never known mar­riage. I felt the hor­ror of all those young men and women who killed them­selves over society’s con­stant drub­bing. I felt angry at the hate-filled politi­cians in my home state of Texas.

The goody-two-shoes say “No mar­riage for queers.” In the same breath they berate les­bians and gays for being promis­cu­ous. They don’t see (or ignore the fact) that being mar­ried is society’s way of encour­ag­ing a healthy and lov­ing atmos­phere. There was a time when I’d see a gor­geous actor on TV and dream of rip­ping off his clothes and hav­ing wild sex with him. There’s one gay actor on prime time TV that used to be a reg­u­lar in my fan­tasy world. But he’s mar­ried. He and his hus­band have adopted chil­dren. Since Rick and I got offi­cially mar­ried, I love see­ing that actor on TV. He is still one of the most adorable peo­ple I’ve ever seen, but my heart soars for his mar­riage. How lucky those kids are to wake up every day to such a lovely father. I’m told that they live their lives out of the Hol­ly­wood spot­light. They’re just a reg­u­lar fam­ily. Until Rick and I were mar­ried, I couldn’t be happy for the actor and his hus­band. I wanted to be promis­cu­ous. The change wasn’t forced on me. I didn’t decide to stop think­ing about rip­ping his clothes off. It just hap­pened. I smile when his show comes on, and I am so happy for him.

I need to have hope and char­ity for every­one. The self-styled “reli­gious” right is included in the group of things I am sup­posed to love. I’m sup­posed to forgive.

To tell you the truth, I’m not there yet. I don’t like what the rightwing has done to Chris­tian­ity. That minor­ity of mon­sters have turned the reli­gion of love into some­thing with buzz saw blades. It’s like the Inqui­si­tion and the Witch Hunts all over.

What I love about Amer­ica is that it remains edgy and exper­i­men­tal. That’s the way the coun­try was started, and I hope — maybe even trust or expect — that the Con­sti­tu­tion will keep evolving.

I believe there will be a time when my mar­riage to the man I love will be rec­og­nized by my home state (Texas) and by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment. That won’t come from any change in Texas pol­i­tics. It will only hap­pen when a higher and more pow­er­ful author­ity tells the rightwing to sit down.

Upstream from me: Gov Rick Perry, Rep Pete Ses­sions, Sen John Cornyn, and Sen Ted Cruz. I’m the gay bug. They’re the tea party windshield. The only thing that has my back is the US Con­sti­tu­tion. I look to the Supreme Court for cover. There is so much religion-wrapped hatred in Texas. I pray the court gets engaged with the destruction of DOMA. Some states let lesbians and gays marry, while Texas politicians don’t even want to know that I kiss and hug my husband.

My political overseers want to deny me liberty. They don’t see any reason to let me pursue happiness.

Texas will see marriage equality one day. We aren’t there yet. I may not live long enough to see it, but I am con­fi­dent in the tra­jec­tory of Amer­i­can society.

What I can do in the meantime is to release the hate­ful rightwing from ani­mos­ity. I want to keep a char­i­ta­ble atti­tude toward the hate-mongers because–

  • I am mar­ried to the love of my life, and noth­ing any­body says or does can change that; and,
  • the Lords of Karma are much bet­ter at lev­el­ing the field than I could ever be.

One other note. Rick will con­firm this. That actor? If he calls my cell phone, I have told Rick that I may not be around for a cou­ple of days. Mmmm.…

Rick and Wynn Wagner

Rick and Wynn Wagner

Lion King equality

Lion King equality

Grumpy Kitty equality

Grumpy Kitty equality

True Blood equality

True Blood equality

Bacon equality

Bacon equality

Smirnoff equality

Smirnoff equality

Paula Dean equality, y'all

Paula Dean equality, y’all

Matzah equality

Passover equality

Star Wars equality

Star Wars equality

Peanut equality

Peanut equality


The Elephant Sneaks into My Wheelhouse

Posted: Monday, March 25th, 2013

I’m not a “one issue” person. No, really. Some (read: most) of my friends will chuckle at that. They’d tell you that I’m all over LGBT equality, and that I’ve been that way since the GAY LIB days of the 1960s.

That part is true, but I have lots of things on my agenda. I worry about the broken health care system in the US. I am concerned that Uncle Sam flexes his military fist way too quickly. I fear that too many people remain unemployed even though there are potholes in the streets that are large enough to swallow small children.

Those are all critically important issues, and I’m concerned about each.

But (and this is often a show-stopper)… you don’t get to talk to me about all those other things until we get past LGBT equality. It is my sine qua non issue.

That’s why the recent switch of Sen. Rob Portman on marriage equality is so interesting to me.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)

Mr. Portman is a Republican from Ohio. He and I will most likely have a short conversation because I am definitely not a Republican, and Ohio is far too cold for my tender bones. But he is the only elected Republican who doesn’t think my life is a waste of space. He thinks my love for my husband has merit, and that (by my own definition) lets me hear what he has to say on a whole agenda of topics.

My parents started out like most Republicans. They used words like F*g. It was inconvenient for them because I was never “in” the closet. I was out my entire life. They knew my boyfriends in high school and college, and they maintained an uneasy silence. They knew I’d react noisily.

When I was out on my own, invitations to family events would come in addressed to me but not my lover. I’d always ignore those kinds of invitations. When mother asked about that, I told her why. It was an uneasy truce: no verbal barrages, but no real peace.

They finally came around. Before they died, they both accepted my lover/husband as part of the family. I started going to family outings again. My relatives (adopted family, no blood) didn’t like the arrangement, but nobody ever said anything. I can’t ask for more than that. What you think of me isn’t any concern of mine. I don’t care what you or anyone else thinks. You can talk behind my back, and that’s just ducky. We’ll only have problems if you say something impolite within earshot. That usually includes saying things about gay kids who aren’t strong enough to stand up on their own.

My relatives (adopted) finally figured all that out. Peace was at hand.

I think I’m still a Yella-Dog Democrat. That term goes back to when Rep Sam Rayburn (D-TX) was Speaker of the House. When somebody asked him if he’d ever vote for a Republican, Mr Rayburn said he’d rather vote for an old Yella-Dog.

Will and Sen. Rob Portman

Will and Sen. Rob Portman

I think I’m still one of those, but now I will eagerly give Sen Portman a listen.

What’s more, I am so happy to see what came from Will Portman’s coming out. Will is the senator’s son. He’s a student at Yale University. After Will told his father that he’s gay, it started a two year process of evolving into believing that marriage equality ought to be the law of the land.

So, thank you Will. Thanks for being honest about who you are. And thanks to your father for having the guts to go against what has been a rightwing lock on the social policies of the Republican party.