Happy Birthday to me! Joshua Barrett sang the celebratory tune to himself as put the finishing touches on the chocolate cake that he baked for himself. Today he turned seventy and he wanted to celebrate the evening by inviting a few friends and neighbors that lived in his complex for a birthday dinner. He dusted. He vacuumed. He even went as far as put up a few balloons and streamers around his apartment to get into that festive mood. His mind was so preoccupied that he almost forgot to change the tablecloth and put up a centerpiece. He went into the closet of his bedroom and dug out some old relics from his trunk. A knick-knack here. A brick-a-brack there. Chachkes everywhere. His fingers accidentally grazed something flat at the bottom of the drunk and he pulled it out. It was a photograph. Then he remembered....
Stonewall Inn, New York City 1969
Thirty year old Joshua needed liquid courage. Concealed in the shadows of the lamplight, he watched several patrons enter the establishment. He debated whether or not to follow and go in with them but hesitated. This place was rumored to cater to people like him. People who considered themselves different and enjoyed the company of others of a certain variety, it was at this point that his curiosity got the better of him and he made his way across the street to the Stonewall Inn.
He approached the door and knocked. The sliding peephole withdrew and a pair of menacing eyes looked him up and down in his sports coat and corduroys and answered.
"Password," said the deep voice.
"I don't know the password," Joshua replied.
"You're probably one of those Alice Blue Gowns!" the voice boomed. "No password. No entrance. Go away!"
"Relax Max he's with me," commented a voice behind Joshua.
Joshua turned around and saw a handsome looking stranger with a mustache wearing a leather jacket and pants smiling back at him. The stranger parked his motorcycle near the sidewalk and walked up to the door.
"Christian he needs to know the password to get in," interrupted the voice. "Them's the rules!"
"Fine," replied the biker named Christian and pulled Joshua aside and whispered some words in his ear. "Now tell Max the bouncer."
"Uhh Pink Pride?" Joshua blurted out. The pair of eyes disappeared behind the peep hole and the door opened allowing him and Christian inside the club.
Joshua's eyes scanned the room as he observed the people inside. Men danced with men. Women with women. Men dressed in female clothing while women wore men's suits and hats. For once he felt like he belonged. A tap on the shoulder woke him up from his trance.
"Okay buddy, I helped you out and you owe me a drink," announced the stranger named Christian. The biker took his arm and pulled him toward the bar where Joshua paid for the bartender for two beers. His eyes returned to the patrons inside. "First time, huh?"
"I'm sorry?" answered Joshua attempting to make conversation.
Christian lit up a cigarette and blew a ring of smoke around them. "You've never been to a gay bar before, have you?"
"No I haven't. I was just curious," he said.
"Yeah you're just my type. Fresh meat," Christian grinned. He chugged his beer and pulled Joshua by the hand. "Come, I want to show you something."
Christian led Joshua throughout the club and up three flights of stairs. They finally came to an emergency exit where he pushed open the door and dragged Joshua with him. Joshua realized they were on top of the roof of the building and he took in the evening scenery and the gorgeous view of the city.
"This is beautiful!" he
"I know the owner so he lets me come up here," Christian informed him. "I sometimes come up here when I want to be alone."
"Are you alone a lot?" inquired Joshua. His face blushed. "I'm sorry I didn't mean to pry. You don't need to answer. It's none of my business."
"It doesn't really matter," said Christian. "I just don't care anymore. Once you reach being thirty, you just don't give a fuck any more. Yeah I'm alone a lot. It's hard not being able to yourself. To not have the world understand you. So do you have a name?"
"It's Joshua. Joshua Barrett." He introduced himself. "I know what you mean Christian. You have to hide being homosexual. It eats you up inside."
"Exactly Joshua," Christian went on. "It's like we can't be ourselves. We have to always pretend all the time."
"Yeah, I'm tired of pretending too," confessed Joshua. "I just want the chance to be with someone and not be judged for it."
"Does your family know?" asked Christian. Joshua turned his head toward the night sky in silence. "Oh. Sorry, didn't mean to dredge up anything personal."
"No it's okay," Joshua reassured him. "I haven't told anyone. I don't know how they would react. I've always been the apple of my family's eye so telling them I'm a homosexual would break their heart. How about your family? Do they know?"
"Yeah," Christian bluntly answered. "It didn't go over too well and we're no longer on speaking terms. It's fine. We were never a real family to being with. I'm better off alone."
Joshua gulped nervously. He was crossing some personal, painful territory of a complete stranger and regretted his question. He tried to change the subject but Christian beat him to the punch.
"Can I ask you something Joshua?" asked Christian.
"Do you think it's possible for us gays to fall in love?"
Joshua looked at him bewildered.
He did not know how to respond. His mind raced to think of an
answer before speaking up. "I think so. I mean...I hope
Maybe it was the evening sky or the alcohol talking but a surge of electricity surrounded them. Christian approached Joshua slowly and brought his face to his. Joshua felt the warmth of his breath as he shocked him with a kiss. Joshua had no idea what to feel but the aggressiveness of this lips touching him thrilled him. He wanted to do more, feel more, and comprehend this feeling of change in his body.
"Joshua have you ever been with a man?" Christian smiled.
"No but I wouldn't mind learning it from you," answered Joshua. He couldn't belive he said that. His reply seemed so direct and confident. None of those traits he felt he ever possessed until now. For once being physically close to a man felt so right and he wanted to experience everything with Christian.
Christian grinned as he continued to kiss him with both force and tenderness. His hands traced themselves down his shirt to the buckle of Joshua's corduroy pants. Unbuckling his belt, Christian unbuttoned and unzipped Joshua's pants lowering both his underwear and corduroys around his ankles. Discovering that male part of him, Christian took his cock in his mouth and began suckling on the masculine flesh driving it hard and deep in his oral cavity.
Joshua closed his eyes as he enjoyed the sensation of Christian working on his hard prick. He moaned softly unsure if he should say anything at all as Christian kneaded his bare buttocks and slowly probing his anus with his finger surprising Joshua with the invasion. Joshua toyed with his lover's hair as worked his stiff shaft with his mouth while inserting two fingers into his rectum. Being stimulated in both areas made it even more thrilling as he wanted to explore new heights of pleasure with Christian.
Christian got up off the ground and kissed Joshua as he tugged on Joshua's hard shaft to keep him erect. He caressed his neck with his lips and made a request to Joshua.
"Can I fuck you?" he pleaded.
"Christian? How can two guys fuck?" Joshua inquired completely clueless.
"By committing sodomy," said Christian bluntly. "I want to fuck your ass."
"I don't think I can do that," pouted Joshua. "It'll hurt. Plus I've never done that."
Christian pulled Joshua up to face him. Something his eyes said the following. Gentleness. Protection. Trust.
"I promise it will be pleasurable for you," he told Joshua. "If it hurts too much I'll pull out. Do you trust me?"
Joshua looked at him again. "Yes, I trust you Christian."
Christian unzipped his leather pants and slid them down exposing his hard prick for Joshua to see. He spit into the palm of his hand, moistening it, and rubbing his cock for lubrication. Joshua inhaled slowly as he felt Christian stand him up and spread his legs apart. With one arm embracing him, the assurance of trust made him much more relax as Christian gently eased himself inside his sphincter. Joshua once again grunted as his anal walls assimilated into the hard prick that had spread his rectum apart. There was some discomfort but that soon washed into pleasure as Christian slowly built a tempo matching Joshua's rhythm as well.
"Joshua, am I hurting you?" asked Christian with genuine. "Do you want me to stop?"
"No…don't…you feel wonderful," grunted Joshua who enjoyed the invasion of Christians stiff prick in his anus.
Christian continued to please Joshua to the point that he could not hold out any longer. Joshua let out a howl as he released a gusher of semen on to the concrete roof. Christian followed suit short thereafter by shooting his load all over the back of Joshua's thighs. The two men with their energy spent ended their play with another passionate kiss. For Joshua it was more than the kiss but the feeling of the strong masculine embrace of his lover that sealed the connection. He did not want to let go.
"Thank you for this Christian," said Joshua placing his forehead against Christian's. "I'm glad I came here and met you."
"Me too," said Christian in response hugging his lover even closer. They kissed again before something interrupted their union.
The music stopped and the house lights came on through the edge of the window. Christian realized something was wrong as a commotion could be heard downstairs. He pulled up his pants and made his way to the edge of the roof and saw a crowed gather at the front of the entrance. Joshua adjusted his clothes and followed.
"We have to go Joshua. It's a raid!" exclaimed Christian. "If the police catch us here, we'll be arrested too! Come on we'll go to the fire escape."
Joshua followed Christian as they their feet clanked their way down the three flights of stairs down the metal fire escape. They made it to the ground just as a riot broke out between the crowd and police. Bottles and debris were thrown stirring up violence among the crowd of homosexuals and police. Reporters and photographers were at the scene to gather dirt for the morning paper. Luckily, Christian and Joshua escaped the melee by sprinting six blocks before stopping by a nearby alley to catch their breath.
"My apartment is just two blocks from here," panted Christian out of breath. "We can hide there until this whole thing blows over."
"Christian, I'm scared that we might get caught," admitted Joshua.
"Joshua, I promise we won't," comforted Christian. "Do you trust me?"
"Always," smiled Joshua.
Christian grabbed his hand and the two men ran off into the night....
The Stonewall Riots. That what it was called. It was a major part of social history that greatly influenced the gay rights movement and demanded equality for sexual minorities. That night marked the first of many protests and demonstrations to promote anti-discrimination laws against homosexuals and even helped to establish the notion of gay pride organizations both domestically and internationally. Joshua Barrett remembered being there the moment he saw the photograph. It was taken that night when his lover and future partner Christian Heche arrived at his apartment safe haven. It was there that Christian professed his love for Joshua and a solemn vow was made to be together forever.
Yet some things do not last forever. Despite Joshua coming out to his family and being disowned by them. Despite Christian and him being domestic partners and relocating to an Francisco and starting a new life there. Despite losing friends and love ones to the AIDS virus and miraculously not being infected. Despite enjoying their golden years together, the idea of happily ever afters was reserved only for fairy tales. Ten years ago Christian succumbed to prostate cancer with Joshua taking care of him until the day he died. Buried in the local cemetery nearby, Joshua visits his grave once a week. He stared at the photograph again remembering him and wept.
It will be a lonely path to travel on but a love like theirs never truly dies. He just had to keep telling himself that.