Dog Days

The day was bright and dry. July landed early and hard. So it seems. Clean light on sun-bleached grass. The world feels thirsty. Already I miss my firth of forth fall.

(Thoughts gathered out on the back deck, paused while reading THE DOG by Joseph O’Neill (hilarious, deep, timely) as I’m watched over by my own keen here-and-now dog (who wants me to join him in the yard for some fetch (or should I say, throw?))).)

Sea of Tranquility by Bob Paris

You ask through rolling tears of both joy and loss

Does time exist at all these single millisecond jolts

And I respond that I will tell you in a moment

Because I’ll be that much older and hopefully

Wise against a tide that pulls me toward the

Sea of Tranquility

There upon that moon which has followed me and you

And all of us bound together

Throughout each breath and every heartbeat and prayer

Thousand upon million upon infinity

So that we might greet this New Blossomed Year

With a hope that

Love shadows each day with brilliantine lumens

That comfort strokes each nighttime dreamscape even in day

With gentle rocking pulse and lips pressed against the odds

Ahead around against and before and tomorrow and always

Sea of Tranquility, New Year’s Day 2015 © Bob Paris all rights reserved

Flash Goes the Sizzle by Bob Paris (c) 2014

What amount shall life amount

Through what clear pool to dive

This full accounted jumble intrigue

This purview sinew retinue salute

Grand view to view this view


What a view

Glorious O glorious O glory glory



Alliteration alteration incantation exclamation

Should do can do will do

Getter dunn

Astride this mountain highest

Sing exception chant exception

Oh exalted vantage point

City burns upon that hill

Along horizon tinted salmon

Cumulus doth flow apace

Mackerel ozone skitter skitter

On this altar shared with Isaac

By buy bye abide

Quiver hand yet hesitates

Or shall adhere remit awaiting

Anoint awake will not escape

Yet not on time or is it is it

Everlasting everafter evergiven evercraven

All embraced yet not arisen

Et fruition beyond beyond

Beyond beyond right here unfolded

The hoarsened chant a shriveled bellow

And yet and yet and yet again

Bounds around this too too mortal flash

Acclaim profane exclaim attain

Amounts again to what

'Flash Goes the Sizzle'  by Bob Paris (c) all rights reserved

MY DAY by Bob Paris (c)

Another day begins

In six am light

Along a bank of lucky windows

Portholes of my exile in paradise

Motes waltz at gravity’s edge

Trees echo the gossip of robins

Deer by the woods savor yard daisies

Half hidden down the end of the drive

Along the forest draped road

School bus inhales young laughter

A retriever gobbles perfumed air

Beloved human towed in exultant wake

I leave the womb warmth

Descending toward life

This life

This grand and full bloom drawing in and out

Of sloughing off and growth anew

MY DAY By Bob Paris © 5/28/2014 All rights reserved


Am I to paddle the same canoe

In manhood as in youth

Shall I remain always back there

In heart and memory and voice

Unchanged still

Floating on an easy pond

Bent to what unfolded

Scattered yesterdays before

Will I evermore play

With my childhood toys

Or do my eyes see here

Further on

Much further on

A place beyond limitation

Past conforming to the rebellion

Of a bygone ghost

Does not life move

Sweet as a tumbling mountain river

Toward the ever shifting horizon

Of today

TODAY (c) By Bob Paris, May 7, 2014, all rights reserved

Official Bob Paris all rights reserved 2014

Spring Equinox 2014 by Bob Paris (c)

Behind shuttered eyes

Another winter fades from view

Life springs in this meadow

While swiftened mind

Conjures buzzing splendor

Daydreamer heart overflooded

Nightdreamer soul cuts its path

The pregnant restless river

Pulled down to the sea

Seeking mingle

Fresh with salt

Fir and cedar stand in stoic witness

Bud and blade

Nettle and daffodil

Revel in their fleeting

Photo: Brian LeFurgey ©

Spring Equinox 2014 © by Bob Paris

Excerpt: GORILLA SUIT by Bob Paris (c)

Rediscovering the Accidentally Discovered

Late Spring, 1977 – Southern Indiana 

“Cummin’s Book Store was in downtown Columbus. They had the best newsstand in town. I went in one afternoon looking for the latest issue of my favorite backpacking magazine and ran across a copy of ‘Muscle Builder’ on the shelf. On the cover was a picture of some guy named Schwarzenegger, doing an exercise with his gigantic arm up over his head and a straining grimace on his face. His sweaty, dark hair hung down in his face, and he had on a light-colored tank top, and the arm and hand that weren’t over his head was grabbing on to a bench of some kind, the fingers squeezing into the brown leather, fingernails white from the pressure.

I began to pore through the pages, devouring the pictures of these guys training and showing their tremendously muscled bodies, bursting out of T-shirts or without shirts on or flexing on a beach with mountains in the background…According to what I could tell…these men occupied a terrific kingdom all their own, out in California.”

Excerpted from: GORILLA SUIT © by Bob Paris all rights reserved

ISBN 0-312-16855-1

photo: Art Zeller 1989 (c) Bob Paris all rights reserved

FORWARD by Bob Paris


We ask

Shall strength derive

One moment mere

One blink

Shadow flung

Cry prayer plea

Heart tipped to overfill

Surge swiftened

In a course

Beyond supple breast

Past bellow

Beat beat flow

Ebb tide wanes

Flames alight

That far horizon

The one just there

Before us

After us

And in this instant

Once more

My fellows

We rise and go


FORWARD by Bob Paris 3.1.2014 all rights reserved

Photo by: Brian LeFurgey 2014 all rights reserved



Friday Evening, Midsummer, 1994, Seattle 

“I once loved the sport of bodybuilding. In a strange way I still did. It frustrated me and at times I hated it, but for sixteen years I tried to balance love, frustration and hatred while watching both the sport and myself change. Convincing myself that I’d outgrown this obsession was impossible. One simple truth held us together: bodybuilding had saved my life. It was a guardian angel who found me at seventeen hazarding seas of inner struggle without a compass.  I had the luxury of distance, remembering those struggles that had led me to want to be big and strong, but I couldn’t run from the truth of what had happened along the way. My frustration may have grown into hatred, but the love came first. It began simply. I found authentic purpose the moment my hands wrapped around a cold iron bar. All else fell away and my spirit knew it could do anything. I built my American dream one repetition at a time. That much could never be taken away.”

Excepted from: GORILLA SUIT by Bob Paris ©1997, all rights reserved, ISBN 0-312-16855-1)

Photo by Art Zeller, 1989 (copyright © Bob Paris, all rights reserved)

The Balance

“We are no longer at a time when we can hold our desire for freedom and justice at bay. Those who would try to stand in our way can yell and scream all they want, but we cannot go backward. Perhaps we may experience setbacks, but even in setbacks we can find experiences that will lead to greater freedom. One usually learns as much, or more, from mistakes as from successes.

To experience freedom, though, we must be willing to fully accept the delicate balancing act between rights and responsibilities. There cannot be one without the other. The very notion of freedom conjures for some images of license, of being able to do anything, at any time, without effect or consequence. The universe does not view this as justice or a high spiritual truth, but as selfish and the opposite of true freedom; license is, for many, a jail cell. The freedom we seek lies deep within our own heart and it is through the eradication of fear that our hearts move toward justice. It is less important to have our rights on paper than to believe—fully believe—with every ounce of our hearts that we all deserve to have equal rights...”

Excerpt from: GENERATION QUEER by Bob Paris (Warner Books, © 1998; ISBN 0-446-52275-9) photo: Brian LeFurgey all rights reserved

Today is the Day

“When the mystical enters, our surroundings become completely irrelevant. We can be in the busiest city or on the remotest farm, but when it happens, when we turn around and understand that those who use God to condemn us are more lost than we ever thought we could be, when we see that we have more gifts than we ever imagined, then the magic of our lives can truly begin. Let the cynics call us fools, the self-proclaimed saved call us sinners; that’s nothing except fear speaking through the mouths of the scared.

And we must turn our backs on fear. To do that we must, without apology or hesitation, turn our hearts toward love – love of others and more than anything else love for ourselves. The mission is: start now. Take everything you’ve ever been taught about who you are and begin to filter it through your heart. If your heart is hard (and given everything that most outsiders must fight against, who wouldn’t have to fight to keep their heart soft and warm?) begin today to turn it around. Today is the day.”

From: GENERATION QUEER by Bob Paris © 1998; ISBN 0-446-52275-9)

Bob Paris on OPRAH -- Where Are They Now?

SAVE THE DATE: This Friday (Feb 21st) I'm on OPRAH again.

She now has a show on OWN called, Where are They Now? The segment picks up from when I was first on the show back in 1989, right after coming out in the media, and then updates to my current life. We taped at our house and around in the nearby woods and on the beaches. I talk candidly about my activist years and the abrupt, simultaneous end of my bodybuilding career and relationship; of isolating myself in the aftermath; and then meeting Brian; his battles with cancer; our move to Canada; getting legally married; my current writing life, and much more. While I haven't yet seen the finished segment -- fingers crossed -- I trust it will be good.

So, please pass the word. Check your local listings, etc. Let me know what you think. And thanks again for all your support!

Cheers and Namaste,


 'BIG HAIR' By Brian LeFurgey c.1999 (all rights reserved)

In This Moment

I stand here, in this moment of my life and say, thank you. For the good, the bad; the splendid and the messy; for all of it, I give sincere thanks. For how would I measure my life on this plane without a full understanding of complex beauty, of jagged hopes, of dreams leaving the station without me, of dreams fulfilled beyond wildest imagination? Should any of us count our days other than by way of the cauldron? Through the forge of reaching out, of half-understanding, .of hearing words, yet not their meaning. The explosion of love; the murmur of ghosts crossing in the three a.m. hallway. The first cup of strong coffee. The poplar out in the yard, yellowing in autumn. The papery, bent hands of one we love, growing slow and yet holding tight. A smiling face, sharing a story from some forgotten cave. In every moment of your life, seek the place of understanding, of compassion, of peace. Even if it seems impossible, seek love, because beyond all else, love seeks you. Are you ready?

IN THIS MOMENT by Bob Paris (c) all rights reserved

Bob Paris and Cole all rights reserved 2013

Thoughts on Jason Collins' Media Coming-Out

Many of you have sent me messages and emails regarding Jason Collins’ recent media coming out, making him the first male “big four" team athlete to come out in the media while still active in his sport.  I must say that I admire the man a great deal.

Occasions like this make me look back at 1989, when I was the first male professional athlete (in any sport) to come out in the media while still competing in my sport—and it feels like it happened on a different planet.  I suppose in many ways it did.  It was, to say the least, an incredibly challenging time in my life.  But there was no other viable path for me.  I simply wasn't built for the closet. As I have written many times before, I owe the relative safety of my own journey to the many LGBTQ pioneers who came before me, cutting a trail through a confusing and often dangerous wilderness. With this in mind, it’s heartening to watch the public reaction to Jason’s coming out, much of which has been so positive.  This says great things about our culture’s evolution. Yes, there are still many miles to go before we might rest.  It will take persistent vigilance to maintain our gains, but demographics indicate that this category of bigotry will fade away into an embarrassing memory.  Homophobes are on the wrong side of history and human evolution.  Period.  And, future generations will shake their heads at how clueless and violently mean-spirited many of their ancestors could be.

I wish you all peace, harmony and continued evolution,


Bob Paris Official (c) all rights reserved

A Defying Gravity Clip

A fan recently forwarded this clip, compiled from episodes of the 2009 ABC show which was shot in and around Vancouver. I was cast in a season one recurring role that (I was told) would expand in a second season. However, the network pulled the plug after the first season -- to the frustration of the show's many fans around the world. In any event, it was a fantastic -- and confirming -- experience.

As many of you know, I've been a theatre geek since boyhood; and I continued to be passionate about acting well into adulthood. In fact, during my first retirement from bodybuilding (from after the 1985 Mr. Olympia until mid 1988) I studied full-time in the advanced theatre program at the Stella Adler Conservatory; and those two years remain among the best and most fulfilling periods of my life. But when study ended, the real world of 1980s Hollywood had to be faced. Unfortunately, back in the 80s, the road for openly gay 20-ish leading-man types in mainstream TV and film was -- to be blunt -- all but impossible. Actors like me faced a stark choice: Stay in the closet (or in my case, go in to the closet) or spend years beating your head against a brick wall. Thankfully, during these last decades things have begun to change. We see more young mainstream actors deal publicly with their sexuality. For a while it seemed that we might be witnessing a handful of brave exceptions that proved an insidious rule. But the pace of evolution now seems unstoppable. For someone like me, now in my 50s and dedicated to the writer's path (which suits my personality exceptionally well), working on a show like DEFYING GRAVITY was a gratifying confirmation. As I spent time on set, working with all those talented people, I realized something at once profound and healing: In a different era, I could have done this thing and killed it; all that study and dedication to craft had not been for nothing. I acknowledge that each of us is born in a time and a place and a culture. Ultimately, we must deal with life as we find it -- or as it finds us. Sometimes just seeing a bit of what might have been can be enough. I hope that all of us will continue to push the world forward in a positive and evolved direction. Cheers and Namaste, Bob


Well, Spring has finally arrived – or at least it has here in coastal British Columbia! And I, for one, can’t wait to shake off those Winter blahs (I tend to spend a lot of the dark and dreary months locked away in my writing room). I’m hungering to get back outside, into the air and the woods and out on the water.

Hope you'll join me in taking life by the horns, each of us pursuing our own unique brand of authenticity, creativity, drive and compassion. Beyond all that, please strive to be kind to each other. 

Cheers and Namaste,


Official Bob Paris (c) 2013 all rights reserved