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In love and war

In love and war


Iwas a performer at Colt Studio Group's 40th anniversary party in San Francisco, the mayor's office having proclaimed

February 23 as Colt Studio Day. That declaration, according to conservative commentator Bill O'Reilly, demonstrated once again why San Francisco is considered the nation's "Sodom and Gomorrah." I thought of the event simply as a fun party where I met my friend Gage Weston--Colt superstar, personal trainer, Iraq war veteran.

I was introduced to Gage--and his partner, Luke Garrett--in the back of a Hummer limo packed with 10 other Colt models.

As I sat across from Luke and Gage, a TV set displayed both of them naked, aroused, and making out in front of a barn. Feigning nonchalance, I ventured, "Do you guys like watching yourselves, or is it weird?" Gage

answered, "I like it, but for technical reasons. I learn what angles are best for me lighting-wise, what I could do better next time, and where I should suck my gut in." All I could think was, That's exactly how I feel watching myself on Desperate Housewives! A kinship was formed.

Before he was a Colt model, Gage served four years of active duty as a marine and two years as part of the military's "stop-loss" program, in which service members can be forced to stay after their contractual enlistment dates. It was during his involuntary extension that his unit was sent to Iraq. Gage fulfilled his service requirement and was honorably discharged. "We didn't know they hadn't found any weapons of mass destruction until we got back," he told me. "But we all kind of knew we were going there for oil. The minute we crossed the border from Kuwait, we saw the Iraqis had set the oil fields on fire."

"Were you out?" I asked.

"If you were out in the Marines, you would've gotten your ass kicked in boot camp," he said. "It's all about tearing you down to build you back up. But when we were getting shot at and you knew your unit would die for you, and you for them, none of that seemed to matter."

I asked if there were other gay soldiers. "If everyone serving in Iraq came out, you'd lose half the forces over there," he said. "I always knew there were a lot of gay marines because I always saw other guys staring."

After his discharge Gage appeared in an episode of Work Out. He received lots of supportive e-mails from former enlisted men. One wrote, "I always thought you might be gay because you spent so much time in the gym."

I asked Gage if he had a message for gays and lesbians now serving in the military. "I'd like to say 'Be yourselves,' but you'd be kicked out. Just do your duty and know that people will love you for who you are," he said.

Well, maybe not Bill O'Reilly. On his show he berated an ally of San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom for honoring "gay porn" (maybe straight porn would be fine). Now the mayor is scrutinizing proclamations more closely.

Here's the truth: You can be a porn star and a hero. Homoerotic and wholesome. Gay and patriotic. While Bill O'Reilly fights for the moral soul of San Francisco and the city wastes its time caving in to blowhards, the flames of war burn out of control.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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