“Arthur” is a 65-year-old gay man from North Carolina who is a friend of some friends of mine. He was visiting Baltimore recently and I asked him what it was like growing up black and gay in a small southern city in the early 1960s. And this is the story he told me:
Arthur didn’t grow up with a father in his house. His teenage mother got pregnant by a member of a Negro League baseball team that came traveling through town.
But one thing he inherited from his father was a big dick, which was already man-sized by the time he was 13 years old. Soon it would get him more attention than he ever imagined.
Arthur lived with his mother and grandmother in a shotgun apartment with no indoor bathroom. They had to share a backyard outhouse with other tenants and wash in a tin tub filled with water heated by a wood-burning stove in the front room.
Arthur took gym class last period and worked out a deal with his gym teacher. In exchange for helping pick up the athletic equipment and cleaning the locker room he would get a few dollars a week and could take hot showers.
For a growing boy used to taking lukewarm baths in a cramped tin tub, the shower room at the high school was a luxury.
His gym teacher, Mr. Scott, had just graduated college and was brown skinned, muscled and handsome. He was married to the business teacher, an attractive slender woman who wore pencil skirts and stiletto heels and taught typing and shorthand.
Arthur was taking a shower one afternoon when Mr. Scott walked into the large tiled room, which had shower heads around the walls.
“Hey Arthur I have to go to a meeting. I’m dirty from ripping and running all day. I’ll just take a quick shower too don’t mind me.”
Mr. Scott took a shower on the other side of the room. After a while Arthur turned and looked at his broad, brown back. His ass was high and muscled and smooth. His legs were hairy.
Arthur’s thick dick could already get nine inches long when hard. And he had known he was gay for as long as he could remember, although nobody suspected because he was masculine and athletic.
Looking at Mr. Scott Arthur’s dick got stiff as a board, he just couldn’t help it. He tried to hide it by turning around. He pushed it down between his legs. But it wouldn’t get soft again.
Mr. Scott turned and noticed. His eyes widened but he did his best to stay collected.
“Hey son, getting a hard-on is normal at your age. Don’t worry about. Just try to control when and where you have them.”
Arthur was so embarrassed he couldn’t say anything. But his dick did shrink back down.
Then Mr. Scott turned off the shower head, grabbed a towel and dried himself off and dressed. “See you tomorrow Arthur. Be sure to put the basketballs back in the rack after gym class tomorrow and dry mop the basketball court.”
Despite the awkward incident Mr. Scott kept showering with Arthur. And Arthur noticed Mr. Scott’s dick would get hard too. One day Mr. Scott crossed the shower room, knelt down and took Arthur’s dick in his mouth.
It soon got hard again. The combination of the steamy water and Mr. Scott’s hot mouth were too much. Arthur busted a thick nutt in minutes, right into Mr. Scott’s mouth.
From then on Mr. Scott looked out for Arthur. For some reason Mr. Scott would never let Arthur reciprocate by letting him suck his dick. “Hey, I’ll just do you Arthur,” he said.
Occasionally Mr. Scott would ask him over to his house weekends to do errands like cutting the grass and trimming the hedges. Then Arthur would come in and eat a hot dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Scott at a real dining room table with china and crystal.
He saved his money from working for Mr. Scott and bought new high top Converse All Stars sneakers and candy from the corner store. These were things his mother and grandmother couldn’t afford to give him on the regular.
But Mr. Scott was not his only patron.
Mr. Johnson lived a few blocks away from Arthur’s family and Arthur would do odd jobs for him too. One of those odd jobs was letting Mr. Johnson suck his dick.
“You got a real nice big piece for a 14-year-old,” said Mr. Johnson, who was much older than Mr. Scott and would take out his false teeth to slurp and slobber Arthur’s dick. “Don’t hurt nobody with that young man.”
Mr. Johnson’s was an upstanding member of the community and a deacon at Southern Rock Baptist Church on 2nd Street. But all the down-low black men in the community would gather at his house.
He would rent his bedrooms for a few dollars and hour so married men could have trysts with their male lovers. All the neighbors probably thought the men were just coming over for card games or community improvement meetings.
“I was surprised by the men who came in his house,” Arthur said. “There were lawyers, and doctors, ministers and insurance salesman — damn even the principal of the high school from the next town over. And most of them were married.”
Sometimes the men would have orgies upstairs in Mr. Johnson’s bedroom and Arthur would try to sneak up. Mr. Johnson would block him at the top of the stairs.
“This is grown folks business. You are too young yet and have your whole life to get freaky. Go home to your mother.”
That is why Arthur said he was not surprised by the Bishop Eddie Long scandal, where the pastor of an Atlanta-area mega church was accused of grooming and molesting young men in his church and allegedly paid them in out-of-court settlements.
“Those young men know what they are getting into. Eddie Long was paying for their tuition and cars and shit. He probably said no to something they asked for and they went public,” Arthur said.
“People now would say Mr. Scott and Mr. Johnson were molesting me but hey I enjoyed them, they helped a poor kid out. Mr. Scott and his wife taught me table manners and loaned me books and Mr. Johnson introduced me to jazz and classical music and showed me the ropes of the gay world.”
I don’t know whether I agree with Arthur on that. But I’m glad he shared his story.