Justin's Life... Letters Of Encouragement

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The following are letters I received from readers during the period when the 98feb2.html page was offline. Each and every one was appreciated, but I doubt most of you have the time or the inclination to read them all. To that extent, the ones in white had the most impact or were the most special in some way or another. -- By the way, this is no where near my normal letter volume. I typically get 5-10 web site related e-mails per day, so if you want to send a letter along, don't worry: It won't get drowned in a mass like this.

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 22:56:21 +1100

Dear Justin, I haven't written to you before (except for a Christmas card) as I didn't want to intrude on your life. However I've just read your last entry in "Justin's Life" and I wanted to express my support. I'm sorry to hear that some readers of your diary have been giving you a hard time and asking you to justify and explain yourself, of course they have no right to do that.
I have been visiting your site for over 2 years and I've recently been wondering what it is that keeps me coming back.I've come to the conclusion that it's your honesty, a rare and inspiring trait. I really admire you for what you've done and appreciate the time, effort and feeling that you must have put into the site over the past 3 years.
Many thanks, your efforts have been appreciated. I wish you all the best for the future. 

Peter [Lastname]

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 05:40:51 -0700
Subject: I'm Sorry


For the past couple of years, I have watched you grow and develop as a person.  I have been with you as you matured and been through your relationships with you.  On rare occasions, I've even peeked into your heart to see the hurt, the joy, and the love that you have felt.  I've always been a bit of a voyeur like that.  But above all else, I've come to think of you like my (faster maturing) younger brother.  Sharing your life through your journal has given me the chance to be a part of your life, one-sided as it has been.  That's why I'm really, really sorry that others don't respect you enough to let you live your life.

Think of it this way: by putting your feelings on the internet and sharing your life with us, all of us, you reached out and made hundreds of new "friends."  By using the internet, though, you can't control who your friends are.  Instead, you now have hundred's of new family members.  Some of us are "distant cousins" you only hear from at funerals and weddings, others are "brothers" or "brothers-in-law" who think they know everything and think you need to hear about it.

But every family has it's difficult relations.  My partner's brother is a homophobe who used to do drugs big time and only straightened out after marrying a very religious woman.  Last weekend at his Dad's birthday, I heard all about how to expand our business, as though we poor fags couldn't do it right.  Sometimes you just have to ignore what they say and smile and nod until they go away.

But in the end, it's all up to you.  I care about you a great deal and I hope that I can continue to share in your life, maybe even offering a suggestion or two on occasion.  Maybe the time off will give you what you need and maybe you just need to shut it all down.  Whatever you end up deciding, thank you for allowing me to be a part of it and to share in who you are.  You are a truly beautiful person, not [just] on the shallow surface, but inside where the real you shines, and I am proud to have watched you become the man you are today.  Thanks, Justin, and take good care of yourself.


Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 08:26:11 -0500
Subject: Cheer up.


I just read your entry from Feb. 23 and wanted to express my gratitude for all of the years that you opened up and shared yourself with me and the other readers.  I know that this is not an easy thing to do and I am sure can certainly be criticized by many.  You need to do what you want and you also can only express to us what you feel comfortable telling us, which seems like much more than some journalists on the web.  I for one have grown stronger and more confident in myself and my sexuality from reading your entries.  I followed your journal from nearly the beginning which consided with my coming to terms with my sexuality.  You have indirectly been there through the whole process and through many times of depression and grief about the way things were going.  It has also been nice to read your thoughts about commitment and relationships which you wrote on Feb.22 I couldn't help but read your words and understand completely.  I am in the same situation in a way with my boyfriend.  Everytime you say you and Larry have had a disagreement or misunderstanding I feel for you because I know what you are going through.

I just wanted to say THANK YOU for the years of opening up and helping me to be myself.  I appreciate all that you have done and hope you are able to find the strength to continue writing.


Rob [Lastname]

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 10:17:11 -0500
Subject: Keep your chin up

Hey Justin, please don't let those assholes bother you. 

Do your critics have any idea the balls that it takes to put your life on the line for virtually the entire world to see?  What you do every day helps more young (and not so young - I'm 36) guys coming to terms with their sexuality identify with a smart, NORMAL!! and cute (yeah, you are) guy.

I came across our diaries about four or five months ago and started reading everything available to nonmembers (I don't have a computer at home yet and use mine at work).   Within the first week or so, I was caught up to your day to day living in Boston and always enjoyed your new entries.

But never once did I even consider question, judge or criticize your decisions, feelings, or life.  I just accept what you write and appreciate your honesty. 

Or course there are things you cannot / should not write about.  Some of is none of our business, and some of it could hurt others.  I actually think you do a wonderful job!!  in balancing everything.

And one last thing.  Never let anyone question your relationship with Larry or any one else you love.  We have no right to judge you - and if those who read your entries cannot see by now that you are both good, honest and moral (yes, moral!) guys, fuck 'em.

Take care, bro, and don't let shallow and envious guys bother you.  You are doing the right thing and have helped many, many people.  If you took away your diary, I feel like I would have lost a friend.

Stan [Lastname]

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 07:23:18 -0800
Subject: Sorry


Look,  I though I was just asking.  Not accusing.  i was having my own problems with my own life.  I thought we could discuss this.  I think you took it too heart.  I'm sorry.   I can't believe you though I was accusing you of something bad, NEVER.  Why would I.  Your diary has helped my more than you  can believe.  Well,  I won't bother you again. Good luck with life. I will also stop reading your diary.  Its a shame it ended like this.  You misunderstood.  I'm not hear to judge you, just hopefully get you opinion.


Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 11:57:57 -0400
Subject: Hello and thanks from Nova Scotia

Hi Justin
I had this email written, when I went into your site and saw that you were having a down time.  So I will be sure and send this.  You are like me in some ways - a sensitive and emotional guy.  It's harder for guys like us, but I think we get more out of life.  And there are guys (people) out there who love to analyse and criticize and pick apart.  One thing I have come to realize about relationships - only the people in them can decide about them. And there are many types of relationships. So this is what I had written:

Just reading that you appreciated email, so thought I would send you one.  I have been thinking about sending one before.

I have been a regular reader of your diary for a couple of years now.  Seems strange to say that!  Just enjoy following what you have to say about life and being gay.

I live in [somewhere], Nova Scotia.  A medium size city, about one hours flight from Boston.  By the way, I spent a number of summer vacations in Boston as a kid, as I had 2 aunts there.  I was back last March for the first time in years.  The climate here is about the same as Boston's, a little cooler in summer.  Just wanted to say this is not the frozen north!

I did want to say that reading your diary was one of the key things in me coming to terms with myself being gay.  I am not young - more like Larry's age, and married.  I don't regret being married, my life with my wife and daughter has been wonderful, and my wife is my best friend - but obviously it is complicated.

Reading your dairy helped me realize that being gay didn't mean being promiscious, or kinky or any of the other stereotypes.  That gave me the courage to meet other guys, and again my stereotypes were broken.  That seems stange to say now, but until a few years ago I didn't know anyone who was gay/bi (or at least I knew was gay).

I think your diary (and home page) is great - a very positive thing for guys of all ages who are learning to like themselves more.  I think especially of gay guys who are in rural and small town environments, or with homophobic families.

I have met a number of guys like Sean from Utah.  Their feeelings for men are so strong, but they cannot bring to accept themselves as gay or even bi. I read recently that youths who identify themselves as gay/bi are seven times more likely to attempt suicide.  And that is just the ones who identify themselves as such!  I am convinced that conflicts over sexual identity are behind a lot of peoples' psychological problems.  By the way, I think you handled the difficult situation with Sean very well.

I empathize with your quest for a true friend.  I have some good straight friends, but I never feel I can be completely myself with them.  I have met a number of guys here, but just not one that I could establish something long term.  Well, maybe one, but that is developing.  So many guys are terrified of anything to do with emotion - they keep sex on a purely physical level.  Even kissing is no go.  And then there are the cruising areas for totally anonymous sex, which I have no interest in.  But I have a few email buddies from out-of-town, and that has been great for me.

Sometimes I think I like friendship and emotional sharing and intimacy more than physical sex.  I understand why you enjoyed the time with Rich and Larry.

Have you seen "Good Will Hunting"?  I did Sat. and really enjoyed it.  And wow that Matt Damon - so muscular and cute, and I think like the character Will Hunting, tough, earthy, yet sensitive, intelligent.

Hope I haven't rambled on too much.  Hope to hear from you,

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 09:48 -0700 (MST)
Subject: WOW


Man...I started reading your 98feb2.html entries the other day, but ran out of time and didn't get thru.  I just reached the part where Sean went back to Utah.  So I go in today to read the rest, and I see where you erased it all, at least for the time being.

That is certainly your right.  Let me say that first of all.

And...to be honest, and as I've told you before, I don't always agree with your perspective on things.  So what.  You wouldn't agree with mine if I were to post them for you to see.  Nevertheless, I find it terribly interesting to see what you are dealing with on a daily basis.  It's helpful to me, because I tend to think everyone else's life just flows smoothly, without a bump.  But that's not true.  They just don't let me KNOW that.  You do.  And I don't know you at all...only thru cyberspace, which is a totally different thing.  But reading your stuff makes me feel more comfortable with myself.  Not that my life is BETTER, but that I see similar struggles with the same types of issues.  And I attack and resolve these struggles differently than you do, but that is not the point.  The point is that you HAVE them, and you SHARE them.  That's a beautiful thing.

I must admit I have been tempted to write in and question you about why you did this or that thing, but thankfully, I resisted that impulse. I resisted for this reason:  It is none of my business.  It is easy to see why someone would think it IS their business.  Reading your entries everyday, and because of the personal nature of them, someone could think that they have a connection with you that they don't have.  And so therefore, they might think that they have a right to question you about your ideas and motives.

So...if you decide to end the diary thing, I could certainly understand it.  I myself could never put my thoughts out there for all to see. But just as an FYI, I want you to know that it has been an encouragement to me, EVEN IF I HAVE DISAGREED WITH YOU.

I hope all of this makes sense.  It's meant to be a compliment and not in any way demanding.


Date: Tue, 24 Feb 98 12:52:30 CDT
Subject: :-(

I just now got around to reading today's diary entry, and I'm at work, so I don't have a ton of time to write at the moment, but I wanted to at least take a sec and tell you how sorry I am about the response to this past week's entries, and to let you know that there _is_ at least one of us out here who can appreciate some of what you are going through, and who was not judging your actions in any fashion whatsoever.

See, in many ways, it's been neat reading your diary because (believe or not) you and I are a lot alike in being very open and honest about our often quite passionate feelings.  And you know here I'm not meaning passionate strictly in the sexual sense ;-)

And the messages this past week, with Sean and Eric especially, have hit particularly close to home, because I recognize doing some of the same stuff.  Writing letters trying to get some clarification on where things stand, trying to say things "just right" to someone (or in this case, your audience), going to pick out a card for someone after a simple lunch and wracking your brain over which one to get and what to write ..... man, it's stuff I've done and continue to do too.

(I've also been on the other end of people who run hot and cold depending on whether they are in the mood to admit or suppress their sexuality.  It's not fun.)

Part of the problem with being honest with folks is that it requires you to let down your shields, and invariably when you do, someone is going to take a shot.  And I know how much it hurts, and I know how much it can piss you off, not only at whoever does take the shot, but also at yourself for being so stupid to let your guard drop.

But, if you are as much like me as I surmise, you let the wounds heal, and then jump back into it.  After all, openness and honesty and a passion for life are GOOD, and letting anyone beat us into being otherwise would be a loss.

Well, gotta run.  Know all this is kind of a jumble, but it's the best I could do in 20 minutes :-)  Hang in there -- as you've said, you're not alone!


Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 13:48:49 -0600
Subject: Hello

Hi Justin... 

My name is Don I live in [somewhere], Texas.  I have been reading your journal for several months.  I have just recently went back and started from the beginning.  I cannot tell you how much you have helped me to realize that I AM normal.  I can identify with so many things that you say and many of the things that you did and went through growing up.  I grew up in an extremely homophobic small town in Oklahoma.  I had to hide my thoughts and feelings for too many years.  I have made decisions that I now regret and will probably have to live with the rest of my life for not being honest with myself for so many years. 

I have just read your hiatus page.  It is strange that I feel such a sense of pain with you.  I do hope you will return your journal to the net.  I would certainly understand, not that you are asking anyone to understand that is a very personal choice, why you would not want to have flaming emails when you are sharing your feelings and emotions. 

I have wanted to write for some time now but figured that you got so much email that I would just be another to send to the trash can.  I mentioned that I had been reading for some time but only within the past few weeks did I discover that there is a "Member Edition".  I did subscribe only in hopes of helping with some of the cost of koool.com.  I don't know if you are making money with it or just getting the bills paid to keep it on line. I can tell you that it does not matter to me.   I think that you may be helping more people than you could ever know.

I wish I was your red headed knight that you are searching for.  ;)

I guess the whole purpose of this letter is to just say  THANK YOU!  There are some of us out here that look forward to reading what you have to say and will not judge you or question your thoughts.  I feel as though I have lost a friend that I have never met.

Take Care



Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 12:26:14 PST
Subject: Friends........

Hi Justin!
I've never emailed you before but I felt that I had to say something after reading what you had to say about the 98feb2.html entries.  I've been an avid follower of your diary for the past couple of months.  I think it's really great that you felt secure enough in yourself, your family and friends to share your innermost thoughts and feelings with the world.  I just wish I had the guts to do that.  I want you to know that I'm really sorry that people were dogging you regarding the 98feb2.html entries.   I read those entries and remember sitting back in my chair and thinking...."Damn, I wish I could do that!"  I want you to know that reading your diary has helped me immensely in learning about myself, my being gay and learning to live and enjoy life after accepting that fact!  I don't know what else to say.  I just wanted you to know that there are people out there who do care about what you have to say, about what you want to say, about what you feel you need to say.  I'm one of those people because you and your diary have been there for me through some really bad times and I want you to know that I'm there for you.  I think I'll stop here before it gets too mushy. (Smile)

Enjoy who you are, enjoy your life and your friends and as for those people who don't seem to appreciate what you're doing.......to hell with them!
Take care!
A friend.......Papa

PS.  My name really is Papa.  I'm originally from West Africa.

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 15:34:25 -0500
Subject: Diary

Hi Justin,

I am unsure of where to begin... I guess I will tell you that your recent comments motivated me to finally write to you. I have been reading your diary for YEARS, it is a fascinating journey and you are an amazing person for publicizing it all. I know I could never do anything like it. I have been tempted to write before, especially those times that you ask a question of your readers, but have always known that you probably get so many letters that one more will not make any difference. So I do not write and then I still get to read about your adventures. I guess I am addicted to the diary and would miss it sorely if you ever decided to pull it from the web. It is amazing, for 3-4 years I have been reading about your life and waiting for each next installment.

I do not know what to write, I remember thinking early that you were incredibly brave, sometimes I thought you were selfish, sometimes I thought that you were the nicest person in the world, sometimes the shallowest. I have never met you nor do I think I ever would so I simply read about your life and become fascinated at what you do. I think you provide a valuable service and I would never want to see it pulled from the web, I hope that you change your mind and decide to keep it on the web. We are all not the nicest people in the world, but it is hard when someone asks you a question for advice to not give it, and unfortunately over email you never know how any one will take it or how what you say could hurt someone. I am 100% confident that if any of the people who write you and upset you knew that it was upsetting you that they would stop.

Even my letter has been reread a couple of times and I think it will be sent as is, I would never presume to judge you. Please do not take anything here as anything other than complete wonderment at what you do and the strength and style you do it in.

I hope you continue to write and inspire us all!!

A friend in the world,

Adam [Lastname]

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 13:15:45 PST
Subject: Don't even Think about it...

Dear Justin...

First off I'd like to say that what you do takes a tremendous amount of courage and selflessness. let me explain why.  I live in the midwest and for miles and miles around me I feel that I'm trapped by fields of rednecks and bigots who'd like nothing better than to beat me to a bleeding pulp.  I'm surrounded by a sea of ignorance and Prejudice. When I came across your web page in Autumn of 1995 i was so realivied to know that their was at least one other gay guy out there in the world. At that point in time I was questioning my sexual identity and thought about suicide a lot, from my stand point I saw that no one else exhibited these feelings in the society I live in so Obviously I was flawed.  Of course the church thumping bible belters around me they were more than happy to agree. So I was on the verge of losing my mind when I stumbbled across your webpage just reading about you gave me hope and the strength i needed to get up the next day. When i found your great web page it sparked something inside of me... I don't know that I can accuratley describe it or not... but your Letter to a friend was so revealing about yourself and showed that there were people like me out in the world going through the same struggle. I mean with out you I might not have been here to type these words.  Never for a moment think that your less than human despite what these Ignorant people write... I might be the only one to write you a letter like this, I'm not sure.  However you at the very least saved my life, easily, and who knows how many others of us suffering under the yoke of bigotry.  Who knows perhaps in the future someone else will take insperation in your courage as well.  Please don't pull the Webpage! I just know that your page has, can, and will help others like me out here suffering.

That said, Next the ones who pick you apart proably belong to the "GAY community", if such a thing exists, they care only about details about your life because their's are so miserable.  They would rather critize others than fix their own lives for they are afraid to change and think that they have it all.  If material sucees is making then take everything I own.  Its not about objects and who has the most money its about loving your friends and yourself something which they don't comprehend right now... . I can't undo the horible things that people have told you... don't care what they say they say these things in ignorance not out of hate. 

Justin you do a great job don't stop now PLEASE PLEASE don't stop now... If you've only helped at least me out isn't that enough?  I'm sure though that your Webpage has helped out countless others PLEASE do not stop now!!!!!!

with all my Love and Thanks...

Brent [Lastname]

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 16:57:34 -0500
Subject: Re: Justin's Life... February 1998

At 16:52 2.24.98 -0500, Justin's Life... February 1998 wrote:

>I mean, why should I let strangers criticize my life?


The answer is, you shouldn't ... I know it's hard *not* to be affected when others write, question, criticize, etc.  None of us is immune to that kind of thing - and from what you've written, it must be esp. hard when you have gone out of your way to try to be honest and explore your life.

You deserve time off ... I look forward to reading more when you return.

PS - Note my .sig file -- it's taken from one of your diary entries!

______________________________________________________________ Brian [Lastname]  **  [E-mail Address]  **  Washington, D.C. "This correspondence is from an inmate under the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. The Department of Corrections is not responsible for the substance or content. Objectionable material may be returned to the Warden."

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 17:01:14 EST
Subject: you are still cool!


I know i may not know exactly how you feel right now but i am here to tell you that no matter you do to your diary or whatever you wrote on your diary, really it's none of the readers' business including myself. But you have to understand that sometimes people may be so attached to your every single detail in the diary that they will lose control on their emotional response which lead to the stupid questions being bombarded on you. Forgive them, because this problem can never go away. to quote you "nobody has had enough moral", you are not perfect, that's why readers want to find out more about you, questioning about your "own business" publicly. As for myself, I have no doubt of whatever you said in diary because i know how difficult and complicated to maintain the diary entries (i have thought of doing the same thing in Mandarin, just a thought and found out it's near impossible and will be very very hard for most people to do so), and no one should ever question you on your entries.  But emotion always overcomes rationale, making it hard for you and i believed for those who soon will regret bombarding you with the questions.

You heart should tell you what to do. It's just my thought. Sound like i am supposed to give you advise....nope! I just felt so empathy on you after reading your last entry "on hiatus"(by the way, i have to find out from dictionary what it means) that as a reader, as one that always benefit from what you wrote, i should say something.  You have been doing so much for reader, and now readers just try to dig more from you. I believed most of them regretted their questioning on you now. Hope you really enjoy you days without typing......

Hope it helps a little bit!


Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 00:01:41 +0100
Subject: RE: Thinkin' bout ya...

Hey, big guy, I was sorry to see that you're down.  I feel for you, sincerely.

I respect the honesty with which you live your life, and I don't judge you in the slightest for it.

But I'm afraid it's not only common sense but legal precedent that when people like you (and I) choose to hang our lives out before the world online, we implicitly INVITE people's comments, and the unfortunate truth is that people all have different values.  And no matter how eloquent and comprehensive we are with our entries, no one is going to understand 100% WHY we make the decisions we make and WHY we do what we do and feel what we feel.  So our choices are: a) Quit.  Take ourselves out of the public limelight that we, by our own choice, thrust ourselves into.  Or b) Thicken our skins and be proud of who we are and the decisions we've made in our lives, and not let them affect us.

But there's one more thing I'd like to share with you, and please take this in the love that it's intended:

When people say something that feels particularly hurtful and we have a strong reaction to it, then often there's some element of truth there that's too painful for us to face.  Often the things that we react most negatively to are the things that bring out our own secret feelings.  Maybe some of what people have been saying is vibrating a truth in you that you're not comfortable or even able to admit.  So if you don't want to face it (nobody says you have to), then just let it go.

When I met you at the Met in Boston, I could tell that you were a sweet, somewhat innocent, sensitive guy.  The online diary business is sometimes not for the sweet and innocent, dear man.  So either commit to taking the shit, or get out of it.  Either way, to me you'll always be koool.

All my love, and best wishes.  Please consider me an impartial, caring friend to talk to if you'd like.


Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 20:28:46 -0500
Subject: quick note?

Ok.. I know that I'm taking quite a bit of liberty here... who am I to say this? dunno... :) but that's ok.. never stopped me before...

Justin, You've helped me more than you could ever imagine with your diary, and I'm sure I'm far from alone... I only know you from what you've said online, and you're probably one of my favorite people in the entire world (pretty sad that I would pick someone online for that, but it's strangely true...) I've enjoyed reading what you've had to say a lot over the years, and it is, therefore a little tough to say this, but seriously.. if you need to stop writing to keep yourself happy, we WILL deal with it, y'know :)... You've done a great thing already, and if continuing it is too hard, then fuck it.. you're much more important than our reading enjoyment!...

anyway, everyone may not agree with me, but don't worry.. no one will die from justin withdrawl :):)... I'd still like to talk to you over e-mail if you're going to keep that up...

Ok.. **big huge hug**.. don't feel so down about it.. assholes are everywhere...

k... stay koool.. love ya.. :)

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 18:06:54 -0800
Subject: Please Read All of This.......

Hi Justin,

Well,  I'm writing again.  For several years now (I think you've been running this site for 4 years) I've been reading your entries. For the most part,  I found them quite interesting. Throughout those 4 years,  I wanted to write you.  Unfortunately,  I never had the reason to write to you,  couldn't find something to ask.

Well,  four years past and I finally found something to ask.  I was hoping to, eventually, chat on the phone and maybe even meet.  You've been very open in your entries,  and I was hoping I could be open with my questions.  As it turns out,  I was wrong.  I seemed to have offended you.  NOT my intention.  I apologize for ruining your day,  and believe me after reading today's entry my day wasn't all rosy either.

I didn't intend to criticize you,  if that's what you got from my email.  I was really inquisitive.   I was aware that at times you get a little emotional (from various diary entries) but wasn't aware how sensitive you were.  I thought you accepted all questions.  I was wrong.  Its a shame you didn't take up your problem with me directly. You could have easily emailed me and I would have clarified myself. Your 'justice' is to post my email (at least an excerpt) and close off all communication.  Is that fare.  Don't forget,  I spent my time reading your entries too.  I didn't have to.  I wanted to.  I even EMAILED YOU.  What does that show?  It shows that I'm interested in what you have to say, in your opinions, in your views on life.  I've been reading your pages for 4 years now (on and off).  This is a long time.

I know its hard writing your feeling for everyone to see/read. I couldn't do it,  I admire that.  Though,  if all you wanted were praises, you should have said so.  I think by having someone read your entries says enough.  Says that they are interested.  By having someone email you regarding your entries further emphasizes that fact.  Think about it.  If you saw a sight that you cared nothing for, would you go back?  Would you bother reading the entries?  Would you even EMAIL the author regarding various entries?

Just a few ideas.  I hope you read all.  Seeing how you just 'ignored' my previous emails,  I don't expect you to read or respond to this one. I hope that after you sleep over it you will see that I didn't mean and harm with my questions.

Good luck

My Sidenote: It was the same "seeing how you just 'ignored' my previous e-mails" attitude that pissed me off in the first place. I mean, the reason I got so upset about everything was not because of the questions themselves, but rather that I hadn't written or expressed myself enough. Forgetting the fact that I replied to NONE of the messages above, I replied to this message with:

It wasn't just your e-mail... it was several... all based, pretty much like this:
Interesting entries since the Sean thing. I think I can relate to the mood you were in writing that last paragraph. I know I mentioned this before, but audience is something you play with every day must be somehow intimately familiar with and yet must also have a million questions too.

This is just a general observation.
You've been 'married' to Larry for something like 2 years?? now and yet you're still looking for that special someone. This is completely understandable given that Larry is your first fairly serious relationship and you're only 22 (why did I think you were older somehow??? - must be the writing :-)  I mean, how could you NOT be looking around? It's impossible.

You've said a couple of times in the past that Larry and you are amenable to an 'open' relationship with room for a third. I don't remember the details exactly, but that's how I recollect it. Here's my question: What do you consider an open relationship?  Consider for a moment that you find your knight in the next week and things go splendidly and  you fall in love with him truly, madly, deeply.  How would this affect your relationship with Larry?

Call me old fashioned; and that doesn't happen too often, but in my experiences when a third person is introduced into a relationship, it just leads to chaos ultimately. Things disintegrate, morph into a state where the relationship for all 3 essentially falls apart sooner or later. That said, I've met a few people who claim it works for them, but I haven't known them very well or long enough to really say what happened. It sure didn't work for my friend and his ex. However he and I maybe have pretty traditional views of monogamy, so maybe we're the exception to the rule. Regardless, that's just MY opinion, so take it for what it's worth.

You really are young to be 'married' so soon, so I compeletely understand your need to keep your eyes open, so to speak ;-) So my second question is (deep breath): Do you really believe deep in your heart that a third could work, or do you just need to see what life is like outside your relationship with Larry and get some more life/dating/love experiences and so you justify the possible existence of a viable third?

Anyways, those are my thoughts that I've had for a while.

As I wrote to Jim today, in part:

Yeah, I really took a beating over my diary entry about my relationship wth Larry, which YOU can view at [for Jim's eyes only]. I don't really even think it was the questions themselves but rather the disregard of the fact that I'd TOTALLY exhausted myself online that angered me. I mean, I explained myself as much as I possibly could and it just wasn't good enough. So, I deleted the page off the server... partly as punishment, partly to say "I don't HAVE to do this, guys. I'm doing it because I WANT to. It takes hours and hours. Remember that before you casually send off an e-mail wanting more and more and MORE!" Like what I wrote online just wasn't intimate enough, wasn't detailed enough. Read it. Do you think I was holding out?

Oh, well, I'm moving on now... hoping that people won't be afraid to e-mail me, but hoping they'll realize when I write something like that last paragraph in the entry, it means I've EXHAUSTED myself and cannot answer any more questions about the subject... nor should I be expected to.

Anyway, thanks again for listening.


So, dude, don't feel bad. It wasn't just you. It was a mound of questions, when I'd exhausted myself so much already. All I could think was "You little ungrateful bastards." And when you give somebody something and they're ungrateful... especially something which is really heartfelt, you take it away. So, I took it away. I'm not completely rash and the several letters I've gotten with words of encouragement will ensure that it does come back, but most likely not before March 9th.


Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 21:58:28 -0500
Subject: Is it worth it?

Hey Justin,

Just read your latest entry... and just wanted to throw my 2¢ in for what it's worth...

I think personally you've come to a time in your life that writing in your diary is doing more harm than good for yourself. Before, you didn't have to hide much about your life, but as time has gone on,  it seems like that there are a bunch of things that you can't write about for some reason or another due to outside circumstances, and the diary and you suffer because of it.

I'm not saying that your writing isn't good... it's *great*. What I am saying though is that you don't seem as interested in writing in your diary as much as you used to, due to the fact that you constantly have to juggle what goes in and what stays out.

Trust me, I completely understand what you're going through... I had the same thing happen to me and I ended up pulling my diary offline in October because of it.

Maybe the time has come for you to end it. It's accomplished a lot for you, but it's come at a price. Is it worth continuing? That's what you have to figure out.

Whatever you do, I wish you the best of luck. :-)



Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 13:07:14 +1000
Subject: Your Diary

I am a grandfather and am old enough to be your yours .  So I thought I should say that I appreciate your diary for its honesty and the discernment you show in editing your life-story for all those nosey readers out there. It must be very difficult to keep it up, and I suppose just writing a public diary is a real burden on your own freedom and the  changes you can make in your own life, but you've done OK so far. And I am sure it needs a huge effort. But you do have talent.

Life is too much  of a bear pit to let all and sundry have a go at organising it for you, and it is only good manners for others to keep out of your business.
Maybe we are a bit less intrusive in Australia. But you are quite right to tell the voyeurs in your audience to piss off. When you ask for comments or suggestions it can only be about their fantasies  of who you are and what you do.  Despite your public diary, of course you are a private individual and entitled to respect as well as a certain amount of admiration. Readers must take it or leave it,  I think they've absolutely no right to heavy you, or to question your motives.  Good luck


Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 21:34:35 -0600
Subject: Sometimes life is a pain


I just checked your site and found your latest entries and learned about your diary being on hiatus.  Before I give you my thoughts on that (for which I'm sure you're anxiously waiting ;-) let me tell you a little about myself and your site.  I have read your diary for quite a while now, since you were in MA in fact.  I found it fascinating that someone would be so honest and open and share so much of themselves with anyone and everyone - whoever checked out the site.  As time went on and I continued to read what you wrote I began to care about what was going on with you...not in any crazy way - just that I was glad when things would go well for you and I felt bad for you when things weren't so great. 

I was sad to see that you'd been getting a lot of flack from people who accepted your invitation to share in your life.  Perhaps some are just looking for information to help with their own life's problems but I don't expect it makes it any less exhausting or disappointing for you.

Anyway, since you are taking a break and not sure whether the diary will be back I wanted to express my opinion.  If you decide to continue the diary that will be great, if not, although disappointing it will certainly be understandable.  But whether it returns or not it seems to me that what you have done through your writing is make a gift of yourself and your life to who knows how many strangers.  I just wanted you to know that your gift is recognized, appreciated, and that it has touched me and, I expect, a lot of others.

Thank you for it all.


Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 22:44:33 EST
Subject: Like your webpage

hey Justin,

I really like your webpage and was surfing through it with much interest, till i got to the latest diary entry.  I noticed it was gone.  My first thought was "what the hell" but then i scrolled on down and found your explanation.  Now this is my first visit to the site and I am a little pissed that these people did this and are now making your loyal fans suffer.  I want you to know though that I agree with you 100 percent!
  There are alot of snakes out there that think it is their right to know all about you but that is the wrong attitude.  You are giving of your self with your own free will, and helping thousands of other's and maybe even yourself too.  You have every right to be upset. 

However despite all the negative people that are out there, there are alot more people who enjoy and aprieciate your work!

Please email me back with your comments and I hope to see your page up to it's full capacity real soon!  Keep up the good work!! 


PS  I have put your page in my Favorite Places and that's where it is going to stay!

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 23:38:15 -0600

Let me start by saying that I really admire what you do. I first found your website in September and have been reading it ever since. I literally check it everyday that I am online. There have been days that I was disappointed, not in what you had written, but in the fact that you had updated it that day.

  I truly hope that you will not give up on the whole thing. I would miss hearing about your life. I probably should have written long ago.

  You are doing a good job.

  Richard [Lastname]

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 02:28:29 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Please Read -- First Time Comments


Right now it's Tuesday evening (2/24) and I've been wanting, so badly, to get in touch with you for the last 2 months... that's when I started reading your Koool Pages and was, from the very beginning, overwhelmed with emotions and the very strong urge to email or talk with you.  I haven't written until now because my thoughts were and still are not as "distilled" as I'd like them to be.  But after reading your updates this last week the urge to write overtook my inhibitions until, well, now -- so here it is.  I was so touched by your last entry under "On Hiatus" I thought I should just quit being such a fucking lackey and get on with it.  The other reason I was reluctant to write was because I saw on your counter that you were serving over 127K and, in my mind, there was no way that you had to time to read, let alone acknowledge, even a fraction of the mail you received. 

As I read your diary entries I was dumb struck by how closely your feelings at various points in your life have paralleled mine.  Often I sat reading with tears in my eyes because of your joys and pains as well as those of your friends.  Your writing was/is a strong, emotional & vicarious experience for me and many, many others  -- and maybe many others have said this but believe me, I feel it. 

First, let me say I don’t expect you to reply right away or perhaps ever (although, if you do I’d have a little euphoric spell).  I can’t imagine trying to keep in touch with the many correspondents you must have.  I'd like to email you occasionally to offer you a balance/perspective (god, I hope this doesn’t sound presumptuous) that you probably don’t hear too often but may well represent the majority of your readers (I get the impression that some of your audience suffers from premature ejaculation of the brain from time to time -- I don’t want to be one of them).

Second, your honesty and the straightforward way you deal with your thoughts and feelings is so incredibly real, sincere, and alive I promise you I’ll be completely honest with you (I can’t believe I’m saying this to a stranger... on the other hand, as you’ve often pointed out, your audience already knows a lot about you so why shouldn’t a halfway thoughtful person feel he could be honest with you).

Third, I’m not interested in your body (well, that’s not exactly true but I have to be reasonable here -- I don’t think you’d be interested in mine:  I’m a little older than you, I’m losing more hair than I’d like, and I’m not a redhead!!!) but I’d sure as hell love to be your friend.

OK, Justin, here goes.  When I first started reading your entries I couldn’t quit.  At the very beginning I did have some doubts about your motives.  I couldn’t believe anyone would write about their own life on a near real time basis in such an intimate way.  Were you incredibly naive, an exhibitionist, full of yourself or what?  Alternatively, I almost immediately felt this unbelievable sense of unanimity with you.  It was not only what you said but how you said it.  Sharing many of your innermost thoughts sometimes in a spontaneous, raw way -- if that doesn’t engender trust I don’t know what does.  I made notes as I was reading your many diary entries, including ‘95, and here are just some of my thoughts. 

Yeah there is some naiveté expressed from time to time in your entries but who the hell among us hasn’t been there at one time or another in life.  What... is everybody born a sophisticate?  And besides, how interesting would a pasteurized version of “Justin’s Life” be?    What comes across in your writing and shouts out to so many of us (who have obviously been far too silent) is your incredible COURAGE.  Most of us wouldn’t begin to have the guts to bare our soul for all the world to see -- warts and all.  And most of us wouldn’t have the persistence and drive to do so week after week.   Unfortunately, on one level I see our culture becoming less tolerant of diverse opinions and thoughts and that’s why I think you'll receive forceful criticism from time to time.

Your challenge, I think, is not to lose track of the many people you’ve given the courage to come out, be themselves and consider themselves normal, and to lead much happier lives.  I mean, hey, what could be more important than this sort of mass, cathartic experience for a whole generation.  Major kudos to you, Justin, for having the courage, the foresight and the ability to put your heart and soul into this unique and innovative approach to communication.

Now if you were to publish this I’m sure some of your readers would think this was some kind of concocted lovefest.  All I can say to that is I could care less and I hope you do too.  I’m writing what I feel.   I know who I am and what I am and I KNOW that most of your readers will agree with what I’ve written here.  Truth rules!

You know, the really weird thing is that I think some of your very best writing was contained in the entries you deleted.  For the first time you went beyond the kind of diary thing to doing a bit more contemplation-philosophizing.  I think your entry for 2/22 was some of the most insightful, mature writing you’ve done.  Please, when you reflect on all this, put it back on line.  I would only add that if you continue with this bold project (and for many of us out here I hope you do) keep three things in mind:  1) continue to write in the style and with the clarity you always have, 2) expect more criticism in the future -- perhaps even more vehement -- like it or not, it seems to be the nature of things, and 3) don't get hung up on "political correctness" -- you'll never please everyone all the time.

Take Care and Have a Great Spring Break,


Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 03:28:25 -1000
Subject: Hiatus/Mail

Dear Justin,

Compared to you, I'm an old guy.  I've been reading your journal for a couple of years.  It gives me some insight into the life of an openly gay person. 

I have never written to you before, nor have I ever had the desire or reason to write.  However, your "hiatus" has changed that. 

One thing you'll learn as you get older and get some life experience under your belt is that people will be people and many times, you shouldn't worry about what people say.  They're all strangers and the only people you should worry about are your friends and family.  Those close to you are the ones who's opinions really matter. 

You know, we all have choices to make in our lives.  Sometimes, we chose the wrong thing and make mistakes.  For some of us, that's how we learn.  To me, it takes a lot of guts to write about your life.  You write about the good and the bad.  It's easy to write about good all the time, but to include the bad and controversial, that really takes guts. 

Unfortunately, when you write so openly, you lay youself out for everyone to read and pass judgement.  That's just the way it goes. Nothing you can do about it except quit what you're doing.  However, you can learn to deal with it.  That's where experience comes in. 

If you don't feel you have the experience to deal with strangers passing judgement on you, then shutting down the journal is the right thing to do because you are obviously worked up about it and you really don't need that kind of grief. 

I won't lay any head trips on you.  If you can't deal with what strangers are saying, then you should stop.  After all, don't you think that your personal happiness and place in life is more important than a bunch of strangers?  You have to learn to take care of yourself first. 

Just relax.  Deep breaths.  Focus.  Take a break.  Do what your heart tells you to do.  You don't owe a stranger anything unless you're a politician. 

When you think you can deal with the jerks, start writing again.  Until then, stay happy and think of the future. 

Not meaning to throw a wrench into the works or confuse you, but many times, people  mean well.  Even if they say what you think are stupid and insensitive, there may just be a hint of the truth in their words. Sometimes a person's words will open your eyes to something that you haven't thought about. 

Life sure is funny.  Sometimes, I think God put us here as a joke.   I mean, things can sure get shitty.  So shitty, that it just has to be a joke because you just can't believe things can get so bad.  Like an old guy once told me.  You have your whole life ahead of you to make things right. 


P.S.  No need to reply.  I know you'll get a ton of mail.

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 14:23:44 EST
Subject: Hello!


PLEASE bring back your diaries. I know you've been hurt by some online idiots, but you had to know that if you chose to put your life "on the line," that there would be morons out there who would sit in judgement of you and tell you what they think you should do, whether their opionon was solicited or not.

The majority of people are going to find your diary inspiring, compelling, and thoroughly enjoyable -- and you probably won't hear from many of them, unfortunately. Your diary was a real help in MY decision to come out, and I was married for four years! Your diary helped show me that there is no "gay lifestyle," it's "life as a gay man." I hope you'll choose to bring them back.

Take Care,

Adam [Lastname]

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 20:16:01 +0000
Subject: Hmmmmmmmm


Because you left none of the entries prior to your last one, it is impossible for me to guess what you had written which produced the e-mail which caused such fury in you. Perhaps you might want to put it back to allow you readers who don't always check in every day to see what happened. At any rate, put the sole entry at the top rather than the bottom of an empty page so people can see that there is only one entry.

I've enjoyed reading your diary over the years, particularly when you would make an entry every day. And I am sorry that you've found difficulty with the responses you've gotten.

When you write a diary which people read over a long time, you must be aware that people come to think of you as a friend, just as they would with any person whose thoughts they read so often. Like friends, they will say things they think you might need to hear, rather than what you want to hear. Like friends they will make comments which are wise, dumb, irreverent, or even irritating. That comes with the territory of telling so many about your life on a regular basis.

Because you didn't leave the original diary entries, or more than  short excerpts of the responses, be aware that what I'm about to say is based on your reactions, not the comments you were reacting to.

It strikes me that you response is way too strong. Something in at least some of the letters must have touched a real issue that you were aware of or felt bad about--a long time before this. Anyone who over the years has had so much experience with this project would know that only something on a real issue would set you off so. Otherwise you would be saying, "now look you guys, this is what's rally going on," or "No, you guys have overlooked..." You're not a beginner at this. You've had misses in your correspondence before. If you "feel like shit," then someone or ones has said something you didn't want to hear but is not ENTIRELY off base.

Of course you don't "have to answer" to anyone. But you are way too old and too well educated not to know that the age differential, the financial arrangements, your enthusiasms appear the way you put them on the site. If you've given the wrong impression, fix it. If you've given the right impression and you don't like how people label it, then you need to be a peace with the thought that you told them and now they're telling you what you said.

On some level you may have come to realize that you are no longer just a cute, naive, gabby kid who loves attention, but a man of the world who's gong to be talked to that way--as though you know what you are doing and have the brains and maturity to own up to what's going on.

Maybe one day I'll run into you on campus or in WeHo amd you can personally poke me in the nose for what I've written.


Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 22:35:31 +0000
Subject: life !

Hi  justin - I've  been  meaning  to  e-mail  you  for  a  few  weeks but  haven't  and  felt  prompted to  by  looking  at  the  current entries  in  your  diary.
It  may  sound  a  bit of  a  cliche  but  I  would  like  you  to  know that  I  have  found  an  enormous  strength  in  your  writings  and especially  in  your  capacity  to  be  honest  about  yourself  to anyone  let  alone  the  whole  world !
I  am  well  aware   that  I  have  wrestled  with  the  question  of honesty  in all areas of  my  life  especially  my  sexuality  which  I am  only  just beginning  to  come  to  terms  with .
I  live  in  London  and  have  just  started  life  as  a student nurse  which  has  meant  returning  to  study  after  quite  a  few years ! but  is  really  enjoyable . For  many  years  I  had  a serious drink  problem  which  all  but  destroyed  me  and  those  close  to me . Thankfully  I  got  to  AA  and  have  been  sober  for  a  good few  years . As  a  result  of  being  in  AA  I have  had  to  come  to look  at  me  as  an  individual .The  question  of  self  honesty  has been  and  is  paramount and  whilst  it  has  been  easier  not  to  be honest  at  times  the  value  of  being  able  to  live  at  peace with  myself is  probably  the  most  important  thing  in  my  life . The  one area I  have  always  found  it  almost  impossible  to  accept is  my  being  gay . I  never  had  problems  around  the  area  of other  people  beig  gay just  the  idea  of  me ! Acceptance ! The reason  I  wanted  to  share  that  with  you  was  to  thank  you for  being  you  and  being  honest  in  such  a  way  that  has  given me  a  lot  of  reassurance  and  comfort so  thank  you .
Im  sure  you  get  an  awful  lot  of  mail  so  although it  would  be lovely  to  communicate  please  dont  worry if  you  dont  have  time. Keep  up the  good  work


Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 00:31:44 EST
Subject: It's not spam! Trust me, I'm a lawyer (ack!)

Hi Justin...

Having perused your most recent diary entry, I thought I might respond with some thoughts.  No, I shan't presume to tell you what you should do or anything like that, nor shall I play the inquisitor (no one expects the Spanish Inquisition!) to demand that you justify or explain yourself.  Just some (probably incoherent) ramblings...

It is indeed unfortunate that people can be such.....well, people.  I have been in two lines of work for a number of years listening to folks explain how someone else should be doing something.  Great at running other folks' lives, a disaster at their own; lots of (most?) people are like that.  I always have to remind my co-workers and clients that they cannot impose their values upon the people whom they encounter.  Not an easy task, for the temptation is always there: "If these knuckleheads would just be like me and do it my way, everything would be OK."

Think about why people read your diary: because your life is (infinitely?) more interesting than their own, I guess.  Why do people watch TV or go to movies?  (I read your diary because it is more interesting that what I'm doing.  I also admire the courage that you have in exposing yourself like you do.  I think it is amazing, especially in a good sense, for it gives people the opportunity to see that a gay person lives a "normal" life, the same fears and joys, just like anyone else [I put "normal" in quotes only because "normal" is subject to considerable variation.  What may be normal for you is not necessarily normal for me, just as what might be normal for Jesse Helms isn't necessarily normal for other neanderthals in the dark twilight of the 20th century, but....well, you get the idea.  And I'm running out of devices to separate my many scattered thoughts, so....].  I couldn't do it, for a number of reasons...mostly because the mind numbing boredom would cause injury to those flopping soporific into their keyboards).

Now that your readers have been entertained by your adventures, they feel compelled to offer their "suggestions" to correct whatever deficiencies, mistakes or the like they see.  Remember, now they must tell you how to do it "my way" (apologies to the Chairman) to solve your "problems," it's their turn to impose their version of "normal" onto your life.  "I poured my heart out, it evaporated.......see?"

I guess this is a (very) long winded way of getting to the point (assuming, of course, that I ever had one....which I did....at the beginning...I think). Why do you post the diary?  This is not a question to which I expect or want (or even deserve) any answer.  And I do not ask this as any form of judgment; far be it from me to judge anyone.  I pose the question only for you to ask yourself what you expect out of it.  You do it for a reason, I imagine.  What is that reason?  I hope it is one that gives you pleasure, a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction.  Does it give you what you want?  I hope so. That's all that really counts.  If not and you choose to end it, and you are comfortable with that, that (your well being) is what really matters.

I will offer this advice (remember, advice is worth what it costs): try not to let what others say get to you.  The only opinion that truly matters is yours. My opinion is this: you are obviously a very talented, sensitive and intelligent chap with much to offer to anyone fortunate enough to be your friend.

So enjoy life....live life......love life...laugh at life!! For you go around only once (I'm trying to figure out who I sue for that part)....


Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 01:58:42 -0600 Subject: HI

sounds like you had a tough week hope all goes well on your little break from the masses.  Keep up the good work your life story's do a world of good for many people.

Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 09:02:03 -0600
Subject: Last Entry

Justin, hey guy!  I have been reading your entries for the last two years and you have been just great with your openness.  I'm sorry that you are letting some of the no-accounts from the internet world get to you!  You and you alone must decide the right from wrong in this situation!  You are very articulate and well read!  This lifestyle of ours is never completely honest, though you have tried to make it such.  But Justin you are just beginning your life, talking, conversation, communication (your major I believe) are the crucial things in a relationship.  Don't let the smart as.. on the 'net get to you!  Give as much as you want, it's really none of their business and tell them so!  If they can't accept that they have to move on with their own lives, then they are not being completely honest with themselves.  You are the best guy, you have encouraged me to be more open in my communications!

There are some times that I believe you come off as a little "spoiled or pampered" in your writings but I believe that all of us are that way to some degree!  Just keep being as honest as you are!  Carefully plan your future, though!  If Larry is cooool with your flirtations, fine!  If Larry likes the threesomes with Rich and the others, fine!  Remember though that Larry has experienced more of life than you to-date!  I think it is great how he is able to realize this and offer you the freedom to find your way! He has to be one great individual!

Well guy, keep up the great writings, ignore the vocal minority, they are extremely narrow in their life ambitions and look at the world in narrow, tunnel vision!  There are more people out there who enjoy your work immensely and are moving forward with their lives (and believe me there is a silent majority out there backing you).  Have fun in school and on spring break!  Enjoy your mini-vacation away from the I-world and keep up the great writing!   Love ya guy    Brian

Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 15:37:43
Subject: Where are you?


I always look forward to reading your diary updates.  Not being a long time reader, this is a newly formed habit of mine.

I had just gotten through reading about the entire Sean situation when, suddenly, you went on "Hiatus."

All I can imagine is that the entire Osmond family has launched a class action law suit against you for defamation of the character of one of their people.

I'm sure it was a pain in the ass, and a total let down for a hormone charged 22 year-old, but Sean must be going through his own personal hell.

Next time this somewhat red-headed 30 year old pops into Cali, I'll be sure to drop by and show you a good time----guilt-free!!


Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 09:33:05 +1000 (EST)
Subject: Diaries

Hello Justin,

My name is Darren [Lastname], I live in Brisbane, Australia, and I am 19.

I just read your Feb 23rd entry. I was very saddened to hear that other people's reactions to your diary have caused you so much hurt and anger.

For almost two years I have read your diary and it has always been interesting and enlightening. In fact reading your diary inspired me to follow your example and put my diary on the web, which I have been doing for over a year now.

The reason I started a diary was because when I read your diary I felt an amazingly strong sense of commonness and unity. I was just coming out of the closet when I first found your diary, and to read someone else saying the same sort of things that I felt was a big relief. I had felt so isolated and didn't know how to meet any other gay people, and reading your diary gave me a lot of hope and strength to live my life.

I wanted to be able to do the same thing for other people, and that is why I started my diary.

The point of this letter is to say that I think you've done a great job. You've provided a visible role model of a gay man. You are honest, you have integrity, you are caring and sensitive and compassionate, you have real emotions, and you are forging your own way and creating your own life and relationship, in a world where heterosexuals seem to have the monopoly on relationships.

If you do not have the strength to go on with the diary then that is your choice and your choice only. However it will make me sad and I will miss reading about your life.

Perhaps as a fellow diary writer I could offer you some meagre advice, but please don't think that I'm trying to force my opinion onto you, or even that I think my way is the best way. I don't know that. I only do what works for me.

I think that you have (or had) a policy of answering every email written to you. I know that is very polite and honourable.

I have never had that policy. If an email is written to me which particularly catches my attention or I particularly want to respond to then I will, but otherwise I don't respond to emails. I found them to be too intrusive, and often silly (the emails that is, not the authors of the emails).

Putting your diary on the web is a lot of hard work, and of lot of pressure of juggling the opposing goals of honesty, and politeness to people you know who will read it. I think that with everything that is involved in actually writing the diary, then you can probably do without having to deal with people who respond to the diary.

This may sound awfully impolite to you. If so, that's perfectly fine. You have to decide what's best for you. I think that you will choose the best way for you because you have integrity and you stick by what you believe in.

Best Wishes


Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 19:56:34 -0800
Subject: Hope you are ok...

Dear Justin,

I just read your latest entry... and I understand what you are saying... and I am not justifying the email you received, or defending their point of view, but consider this... like I said in my earlier email, I feel very close to you, and I also realize that in real life we may not have any friendship. But you see, you have given so much of yourself that I do consider you someone I care about. It is a little strange, I have asked those personal kind of questions that must send you to the roof!! But I felt close enough to ask them, at least until you sent this response... and your latest diary entry. I can't speak for others, I know I come to your site on a regular basis as I would for someone I really care about. And because I do care, I ask questions that maybe I shouldn't and I am sorry for sending them..if I had any idea how you felt about them, I would have never sent them.

But I do care about you, and it is strange to have a one way friendship.. and you have all these guys like me feeling the same way I guess...

You are a leader in the gay community, you are educating those of us, especially me, who don't have the courage or desire to live such an open life... a gay couple where you can read what life is about, and you are 100% right about the courage to be so "out" there.. it is scarry... and you have the heart of a lion...you really do, I admire you very much for your courage, you are, in some regards, living a life that many of us would jump out of our shoes to be larry or a "real" friend in real time...

Please don't leave, there isn't anything like what you do, oh, there are guys writing diaries, but not like you, I have read alot of them and I don't go back, I don't... you have an honesty, an integrity...both you and larry... educate us, your readers, set the parameters like you are now, give notice of the boundaries, I certainly will comply with the policy... why wouldn't I? What kind of friend would I be:-) See, I think of myself as one of your best friends, I really do... but I am not hounding you, am I? I don't think so, I am writing to a friend who has reached his limit... but don't go away, stand firm, set the parameters and continue..

I will miss you if you go, but than the diary, I will miss you....


Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 20:30:52 -0800
Subject: Your Life

Dear Justin,

  I've never written to you before, but did send you a Christmas card back in December (I was the guy who worked in Cambridge, MA) I dropped by your site tonight during a slow time at work.  I'm sorry for the grief you're experiencing with your diary, I must say I will miss it if you drop it.  I always got a kick out of reading about Boston and then LA and WEHO, where I always snuck off to when I was out West on business before I finally moved out here!  I understand you can't let a website turn you into an emotional wreck.  You have been more than candid in sharing your thoughts, and just wanted to express my admiration and appreciation.  I know if I undertook such a thing, my follow-through would be questionable.  Hope you cheer up!

  Your friend,

Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 10:45:41 EST
Subject: Hello

It sounds like you are frustrated. Which is very understandable. I just wanted you to know that I appreciate your diary. It helps me to understand a lot of feeling that I have. You can express them in a way that helps me to understand them better.

There's a difference in our ages and likes and dislikes, but I still feel like we have a connection.

Some people just don't respect what you do. Like I said earlier you express yourself in a way that helps me. I'm sure it helps others also.

If you don't continue with it I would understand.

My thoughts are with you,

Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 12:20:42 +1100
Subject: On Hiatus

Dear Justin

Where do I begin? While I am supportive of you writing about your life for all to see, it is YOUR LIFE. You are the one who decides what we see/read and how deeply you expose yourself to us. As you yourself point out, the web does tend to depersonalise interactions, to the point where you have said things that you might not say to people "in person". This also works in reverse. Your readers will tend to treat what you write with less respect than had you told them "in person" even though you feel that you are being VERY personal with them.

All I can offer you is that since you are saying what you feel, nobody can seriously challenge what you say and you should be strong in the knowledge that you are being true to yourself. Removing what you have already said does not help. It only makes you seem petulant and unsure of yourself.

Be strong in yourself.


Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 22:48:58 -0600
Subject: :-)


I've never written to you, but I've read a good 80% or so of your "Life" entries. I just want to offer you my thanks and support. You have helped me to understand myself (not to mention you are a pretty entertaining writer too:-). I missed the entries you deleted, so I really don't know exactly what has happened or what kind of criticism you got. All I can say is I appreciate your writings. And I can certainly understand if you decide to take a break or even stop. You are so honest and brave.

If there is anything I could do to help you......talk, email, whatever.....I am here for you. Call me anytime (###)###-####, if you like.

I know this is really strange because I really don't know you and you for sure don't know me (however, I'm a pretty good guy:-), but I care for you and I am concerned for you. I will refrain from saying something like "hang in there guy", but I hope you know where I am coming from.

I hope you have a great spring break!!!


Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 22:48:47 -0800
Subject: Re: a new fan.

Dear Justin,

Sorry to hear about your "hiatus".  I really enjoy your diary and hope you keep it going.  You're a natural writer -- even the sudden shock of your pulling an entry before I had time to read it adds a dramatic twist like something out of a well-plotted novel.  I don't mean to make light of your pain, but just wanted to tell you in a complimentary way that now I have a "cliffhanger" feeling in a gut, waiting to hear what happens next.

Take care of yourself.

Your friend,

Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 23:52:31 -0800
Subject: Writer


It's everything put together as one package...your writing ability and style, courage to be open, honest, and out there.. and you are cute (that helps),,, and it has been an important part of your life, yes? I think so...

You have put yourself way up there in the public eye... and it must affect your life, writing so much... I can understand you not wanting to bring it back, I could never write about my life and throw it up for all to see.... but I admire you because you have...but that doesn't mean you have to do it the rest of your life!! or ever again..

anyway, please get your head together about it all, your friends, the one sided ones like me, will support you whatever you decide to do, if you never bring it back I feel I will lose a friend, but you would never know the difference anyway, so that part bothers me, this one sided thing.. but I understand..


and I do feel comforatble saying any old thing to you... but I have gained some respect for your limits in terms of privacy too...

Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 22:46:13 +1100
Subject: Your Life

Dear Justin,

Having been able tonight to look at your Life for the first time since before Sean arrived, I am disappointed that people tackle you in such a way.   I admire your preparedness to be so open with the world, especially as you do not come through as a person with a huge thick shell around you.   I think the only gesture I would make to them is a rude one with a couple of fingers elevated.   You do not deserve such shit.

And anyway, what you thinnk and do is yours to decide, surely.   I think it is a complete no-no for us to try to tell you to be or act differently.

I miss the absence of your diary: I look forward to it coming back..

I'm an oldie, so I won't go for the "xx": perhaps you'll allow me to offer "ooooo".

Take care.   Be strong -- and yourself.

All the best.


Date: Sun, 1 Mar 1998 15:16:45 -0700
Subject: Diary


I have written before. My name is Patrick and I live in Phoenix, AZ. Regardless of what others think I really like your online diary. I have been reading it since its beginning. You have done a wonderful job with it. My hats off to you and all the work you have put into it. Keep it up.


Date: Sun, 1 Mar 1998 17:40:28 EST
Subject: Justin...

I just want you to know that I don't want to know anything more about you. It's your life.  All your readers may seem like bastards, because the only emails you get are from people who want to know more.  Well, here I am, 18 (emailed you before) and you're the first person in the entire world who I told I was gay.  I first typed the words in an email to you.  I want you to know that there are non-judgmental people like me  out there, maybe plenty, who are reading your page.  You mostly get emails from people who want to know more. 

I check with your page about once every 2 weeks now, and I read knowing that hey, you have a life, and you choose to share it other people in the hopes that you'll help someone out in some way.  Well, I sincerely hope this makes you feel better and please don't take this wrong: "I don't give a damn."  Not about you, about what you write.  It's your choice.  Your call.  You call all the shots, it's your page.  There are people out there that care, but just don't send an email saying "Hi."  Uggg, I'm having a hard time explaining what I'm trying to say in words.

Please just take from this email that I, I'm sure with others, respect what you do and don't write and NEVER judge you.  **How can somebody judge you!?!?!**  That still puzzles me too.  Take care.


Date: Sun, 1 Mar 1998 17:57:30 -0500
Subject: Thank you. You have given me the greatest gift ever.

Dear Justin,

I must say that I admire your strength in life.  For most of my life I have tried to live the life my family wanted (or the one I perceived they wanted). Upon coming to college three years ago I had a tremendous psychological breakdown.  I finally had access to gay life and culture, first though the Internet and later in campus life. This tore me up.  I was caught between what I felt my family wanted/ expected and what I so desired- true love.  I became drained and finally had to take a semester off.  I was diagnosed Manic/ Depressant and suffered from serious depression for months.  Yet and still I felt I had no one to talk with.  Then I found your web page.  So, slowly I came out of my personal shell and opened up.

The greatest single strength for me came this last seven months.  You see, it was seven months ago to the day almost that I discovered your web site.  I found it on a Usenet posting and decided to check it out.  Reading about your life, your trials and your strength has helped me more than anyone could imagine.  I finally did a few things I have wanted to do for a very long time: I dropped engineering as my major and took up English as my new major (contrary to the history of a family line of engineers).  Also, I came out to those who I truly care about, my close family and friends.  From your writings and your life I developed the strength to become me.  That is truly the greatest gift one can receive- or give.  I give you the credit for showing me that it could be done.  It was my work and my risk, but only from your support.

I am saddened to read that you may stop writing, but I do respect your privacy and your desires.  One could say you have more than earned your right to privacy, but since one need not earn that I say you have earned your sainthood. If any a web site is truly deserving of an award it is yours.  Most assuredly you have helped many more through far more difficult times.  I only can hope that all of the love you have handed out will come back to you ten fold.  You more than deserve that much and more.

Well, in closing I will say that I am in the mist of writing a diary app. Some of the features include the ability to post the writings (or only parts) to the WWW.  I was also writing a "portable" version for Windows CE.  If you should ever desire to get back into your diary please let me know.  I would like to give you a copy of it when it is done.  It is the least that I can do for the person who gave me the strength to be me. A gift I will cherish for the rest of my life.

With all my thanks and eternal gratitude,

Date: Sun, 1 Mar 1998 21:06:11 -0500
Subject: thanks for it all!!!!


I wanted to write to you and say thank you for sharing yourself these last few years.  It has been my pleasure to look in from the outside and feel your pain and joy.

I missed the whole situation that caused your pain,  and I hope it is something that you can overcome for yourself.  If you choose not continue with the diary, I will miss it and in a sense you, after all thats what it was.

Take care, smile and what ever happens -   STAY KOOOL!

T H A N K   Y O U ! !


Date: Sun, 1 Mar 1998 21:08:29 -0800
Subject: On Hiatuses and Such


You probably aren't going to remember me, but I first wrote you almost three years ago, when you hadn't been doing the diary for very long...

My letter to you was just basic, somewhat flirtatious, and contained an invitation for you to visit California sometime... Of course, back then, I don't think either of us realized that you would be moving out here...:)

I'm sorry that people have been harsh and critical toward you and your diary; I would have thought that more people would write and say how closely they identified with you and your experiences, but life online has taught me that just as E-mail can open up a good side of people that they might not have known about, it can also allow them to be even more cold, cruel, and insensitive than they would ever allow themselves to be in person...

Of course, I have not helped matters myself... Each day I read your diary and think of something I want to ask you or talk about with you, and I just don't pick up the pen, so to speak, to drop you a note. The list of things I want to talk with you about is long enough now that I can't remember most of the items...:) But maybe if we get in the habit of corresponding, I will remember more...

I live up in the San Francisco area, but my family lives in LA, and I will be down there next month... I am just getting ready to start a job that I am excited about, and I just had a birthday yesterday, so things are pretty good with me...

I hope things get better for you soon, and I wanted to let you know that as much as I have enjoyed reading your diary all these years, if it doesn't make you feel good about yourself and about writing it anymore, then you should stop. It is a vehicle for you to explore yourself and your world; it is not here for us, although we are lucky enough to share it with you...

I would love to hear back from you, about school and movies and stuff like that... I am a movie fanatic, and I know a lot about them, so maybe I could give you a hand with something someday... Who knows?

Take care, and have a great week!


Date: Mon, 02 Mar 1998 21:32:46 +0100
Subject: Hi

Hi Justin,

I'd like you to know that I enjoy your koool stories very much. I'm very interested in your life, I think you're a nice person (and cute as well...)

What's up now? You're 'on hiatus'? I miss you already!

I hope you will start writing about your koool life again soon.

Bye, John

Date: Mon, 02 Mar 1998 23:40:19 -0800
Subject: Justin's Life


I won't take up much of your time. I just want to tell you that I've been reading your on-line journal for almost a year. This may amuse you. I got to your site by surfing into it from "The Phoebe Snow Soceity" (I was looking for railfan pages!). You write well and much of what you say about relationships, Jeff comes to mind, really resonates with me. It's been awhile, so I'm getting caught up on the latest (I'm reading through January 98). I enjoy your artfully balanced candor and I'll be coming back from time to time to see what you're doing.


Date: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 07:47:28 -0500
Subject: Justin's Koool Page

I have just read your latest entry. You have been a part of my life for the last two or three years. I look forward to seeing what's new in your life. Your entries read like a novel. I offer you my support and love, only wishing I could reach out and give you a hug in your time of need. I will support you in whatever decision you reach on the future of your diary. If you do not continue, I will surely miss you, but I suppose I am being selfish saying this.


Date: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 12:45:18 -0500
Subject: Re: Velo Exclusive

Hi Justin,

I'm sorry it's been a week since you wrote me.  I've been stressing at work, but really for no reason...I just put a lot of pressure on myself.

I finally read all of your entries in [deleted.html].  It seemed like a great chunk of the diary.  The only things that seemed out of the ordinary were your description of how you view marriage and your relationship with Larry, and also when you asked for e-mail.  Besides that, you were your usual honest and couragous self.  Maybe all those e-mails you got were in response to you requesting e-mail. 

To answer your question...you definitely weren't holding out.  When it comes to intimate details I think that many people don't believe there is such a thing as enough.  People are just acting like they are the audience on the "Jerry Springer Show" and you're the guy on the stage.  They feel it's their right to demand any detail they want just because you put yourself out there.  So screw them if you don't give them what they want.  You just keep writing from your heart and let them complain and moan all they want. 

On a more philosophic note, I'll bet you're finding that you get more people questioning your motives and actions than you used to get.  If that's true, I think it's because you're not the poor boy in the process of coming out.  Everyone could sympathize with what you were going through then.  Now, you are more mature and you're making some tough choices on how you want to live your life.  Everyone is not going to agree with how you live it.  You just happen to live your life exposed to the entire world. 

You're an amazing person, Justin.  You put yourself on the line all the time.  Remember that you can write about anything you want, and withhold anything you want.  You are not obligated to write about everything and provide every single detail.  If you wrote what others wanted you to write about, it wouldn't be your diary, would it?

Hang in there, dude.....love ya.


Date: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 12:37:10 PST
Subject: a pat on the back


I was mighty distressed when I read your last diary entry.  It is easy to understand your frustration in being criticized and scrutinized so minutely.  What you have to understand is the huge amount of good that you have been doing.  You have been showing the world (and especially the gay world) that being a gay is really no different from being straight.  There are good times and bad, times you are optimistic and times when you are frustrated, times when your relationship with Larry is going very well and times when it is more rocky.  By opening up as you have, you let us (gay guys) know that the emotions that we have or the things that we hope for are shared by others who are also gay...that we are ³normal². 

Unfortunately, I did not see entry that raised such controversy, but whatever you said, I can understand why you were so upset with the response that you got.  It a way, you have put your life on a stage and your readers have become fans (which of course is short for ³fanatics²).  When a popular TV show is discontinued the fans will often rise up to protest...because they feel as if they have something personally invested in the show.  You, undoubtedly, have some fans that feel just like that about you.  Some of them will want to help (or maybe hurt) you.  Unlike with a TV show, there is an easy way that they can try to influence you through e-mail.  And it is the ones who have the most extreme opinions who are most likely to write to you.

Personally, I have enjoyed reading your diary because it has allowed me to get in the head of another human being and understand how you think, what you feel, how you react.  That is something that I have always wanted to experience.  It has helped me realize that what goes on in my own head is not so odd at all  (hmmmm...not sure that that sounds as complimentary as I intended).  Anyway, it has been very enjoyable and very helpful for me. 

Okay, okay, I¹ve rambled on enough (and I could go on lots more but I won¹t).  Here¹s what¹s important:  (1)  You¹re doing something important and good with your diary.  (2)  The number of whiners and criticizers must be very, very low compared to your total readership.  It is probably hard, but try to ignore all of them but the ones who offer some helpful, constructive criticism of what you are trying to accomplish with your diary.  The rest?  Screw  Œem.  They aren¹t living your life...you are...and you don¹t have to justify what you do or think to anyone else.  (3)  I hope that you will keep up the diary, though I (and anyone else who has been reading it for some time) would understand why you might decide otherwise.  It must be at times frustrating and tiring to put everything down as you do.  If you give it up, I hope that you will at least leave what you have done on your web site.

Best of luck Justin.  You¹ve made a big difference in my life and in the lives of many others.  I just wish that there was I way that I could repay you in kind.


Date: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 18:11:06 -0500
Subject: encouragement

Hi Justin,

I haven't written to you in quite a while (probably not since you lived in Boston) I didn't read any of the Feb2.html so I guess I can't comment directly about them, but I can say that I do enjoy reading your diary. Your page is actually the homepage for my browser.

I think that you have opened yourself up to and encouraged people to write to you and give their comments and opinions. You are dealing with your life very publically and for that I applaud you.  Unfortunately that brings with it the pitfall of recieving comments that are totally way off base or ones that can be rather upsetting.   

I think you are just growing up and getting very comfortable with yourself and your relationships.  The need and desire for the online diary may not be what it once was.  I would not blame you for discontinuing it at all, I think you deserve your privacy.  I do want you to know that for all the comments you do get there are plenty of other diary readers out there that don't respond but enjoy your diary and may even find reflections in their own lives that can help them deal with things.  You have done a great service to young men coming of age and I wish you the best in your life.

A reader from the begining,

With thanks,

Date: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 22:09:42 -0600
Subject: You and your journal

Dear Justin,

As an avid reader of your journal, I was sad to hear that you are considering not posting it any longer. I didn't get a chance to read the entry that obviously generated so much grief for you. I'm sure that it was written as well as you usually write and I honestly can't understand anyone criticizing you for doing something that you are not required to do. It really does make me angry that anyone should feel that this is something you are obligated to do.

Personally, I would hate for you to stop writing but I do understand that if you feel as strongly as you stated in your last entry (February 23rd), then all I can say is that I, myself, can only support you in your decision. Your journal has really become a part of my life which, in itself, surprises me. I really don't consider myself the sort of person to become as caught up in an online journal but I do find myself checking daily to see if you have written anything new.

Justin, all I can say is that, even though we have never met or even spoken on the phone, I feel as if you are a friend. I'm sure that this seems a little strange but I guess that the only way to explain it is that you pour heart and soul in the journal, making it seem almost as if you are telling these things only to the reader.

The really strange thing is that I have written you a letter and hadn't sent it yet when I read your latest journal entry. I was one of the people who had sent you a Christmas card and wanted to thank you for responding to it. One of the reasons that I was writing a written letter was because that was one of the things I had mentioned in my Christmas card and you had responded by saying that while email was convenient, a letter really personlized it. I figured that this one time, it was ok to send an email. I had even considered calling you personally since you had posted your phone number on the website but it just didn't feel right for me to do that since we really don't know each other yet.

Another reason that I was writing to you was that I am going to be visiting my father in San Diego during the week of March 30th and was hoping we might meet in person, however, I can understand if you don't want to meet someone who has any connection from the website.

Anyway, Justin, I just wanted to let you know that not everyone who reads your website expects anything from you. I am just grateful that I have had the chance to know a little (or a lot) more about someone from another part of the country who had the courage to share a very important and private part of their life with me.

If you ever want to talk on the phone, just let me know. I'm one of those people who actually listen to what people say and not give advise. I will also include my address, ICQ number and the nick that I use on IRC Efnet just in case you need to get a hold of me. Take care, Justin and give my regards to Larry and Katie.

                        Kindest Regards,

Date: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 21:56:08 -0800
Subject: Frustration

Hi Justin,

I read your journal entry a few minutes ago.  I think I understand your frustration.

I hope that I wasn't one of the causes of your anger as a result my letters sent to you on the weekend of 2/23. If I was, then I apologize, and assure you that my intentions were not to anger, but to praise you for what I think is outstanding writing and candor.

Warmest regards,


Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 05:09:48 EST
Subject: Hey there...

I just happened upon your web site.  I must say that it's amazing.

I keep a diary also, and we have the same exact writing style.  Although no one but me reads it. I'm not sure why I even keep one, maybe something for me to go back on when I get older and read about who I was back when.

I dabbled here and there through 96 and 97 and you have led a very busy life. I envy your traveling, and your relationships with other people.  You seem to be a very well rounded person.

I don't know what happened with the last entry, or why you stopped writing, but I wanted to let you know that I would like very much for you to continue your web page.  I can't see why anyone would be writing you with complaints or advice, when all you're doing is telling your story.  You're not asking for feedback.

It's so odd, reading about someone in such detail.  It's almost like it's fiction, and you're just a character.  You and Larry, and Rob, like it's just someone's imagination.

I feel like I know who you are.  I see a lot of me in you.

Please continue, I think people can learn a lot from your story.


PS:  I'm also a redhead. ;-)

Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 11:39:01 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Thanks

I just wanted to say that I've been reading your entries off and on the last two years and that it has been probably the main influence that has got me accepting myself for who I am and what I am.  Before I started using the Internet, I had no role models, no guidelines -- I had never met a gay person in my life and I spent 7 years agonizing over the fact that I was not straight.  You were the first gay person I ever "met".  Long before I accepted myself, I would read your pages and think, "maybe this is okay -- maybe I can live being myself".  Knowing that there were people like me out there got me going to a gay support group a year ago.  Now I'm out to all my University friends, to my mom, to almost everyone important to me.  I owe you big.

Thanks for everything; it has been koool.


P.S.  I don't know if it's really even necessary for you to keep up the entries -- it's your life.  You've already helped a bunch of people, I'm sure.  (I can't be the only one in the world.)  Even if you left on some of your entries, it would still be enough to show that gay people are people too, and can lead regular lives.  You've done your job.

Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 22:49:20 EST
Subject: RE: Justin's Koool Page (Web Page)

Hey Justin,

First of all, I have read all your entries in your diary from 1996 and just happened to run into it.  Don't know how or where but I was just interested. I'm straight and yet it's enjoyable to read about your life and actually therapeutic for me personally.  The reason I say therapeutic is that I used to be VERY homophobic and just reading some of your somewhat "acts" I've grown to accept and be more open minded to homosexuals. 

What am I trying to say?  I just finished reading your latest entry and felt the anger you had in that letter.  What I'm trying to say is that you shouldn't really care about what people think.  Like you said, it's your life! How can they criticize someone on someone else's life?  In any case, I would never imagined me giving a "gay" some encouragement but keep it up.  You did say that you had letters from others that it helped them not feel so lonely. 

Last thing about those people with the nast emails.  Why don't you just tell them that if they don't like your life, then why don't they go and get one considering they must not have one because they're so avid in reading about your life.  <---  What a run on sentence. May your web page bring good to people--not to just homosexuals--even to straight people like me.  Your web page is "KOOOL"!!

An open minded reader

Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 04:23:02 -0800 (PST)
Subject: your diary

Dear Justin,

I've been reading your diary for some time -- a couple of years? -- and have never written you.  I was interested in the what you had to say.  It was and is interested reading about the "coming of age" of a young man in the 90's. (Quite a bit different from the early 70's)

It is too bad that you have had e-mail of such a prying and demanding nature.  There are those of us who appreciate your diary for what it is, and feel no compulsion to judge you or demand explanations. 

It's also probably natural that from time to time, you will get fed up with the demands that keeping such an open diary.

Be assured there are some folks who are encouraged by what you write, and accept you for who you are -- without placing any demands on you or expecting anything from you.  I do hope you begin to write again, but do what makes you feel best.  If you write in as much detail in the future, you may wish to screen your e-mail in some way -- one address for the masses you really don't care about, and one address for people you consider to be friends.  The masses don't really matter.

Hang in there -- best regards to you, whatever you decide.


Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 20:38:41 -0600
Subject: Recent musings

Hi Justin,

I am a regular reader of your diary and a subscriber of your Member's Only page.  I have been planning to write you for several days, but I have put it off as usual.

I am an older gay male...53 years old...and I have written you only one time before.  I have read your diary for some time, and I have found it fascinating, sexually exciting, and deeply insightful at the same time. Your recent postings have caused me the think alot about you and what it takes to post a diary like yours on a regular basis.  I have some thougts about you and your diary that are meant to be only complimentary..nothing negative here.  I have the highest respect for you and what you are doing..so please take these thoughts only with the highest regard in which they are intented.

1).  There is no one else like you.  You are very unique.  Others have tried to write diaries...with various degrees of failure.  Most of them have lasted only a few months, or even less.  Even the ones the lasted a few months, didn't come anywhere near to your standard of expression. They were never able to match you in openiness, or in personality.  YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE.  There is no one else like you.  And, you are doing a very important thing.  I wish there had been some one like you 30 years ago to help me understand my feelings, and desires, and lusts...but there wasn't!!  But there is now..YOU!!!  You have a very important role to play in so many gay lives of young men! You have created almost a national forum on gay issues..and many thousands of gay guys have been involved...although it all has to filter through you...which I think creates an understandable problem with you. BUT NEVER DOUBT THAT YOU ARE IMPORTANT TO THOUSANDS OF GAY MALES!!  You feel, say, and express things that many of us feel, but never have the chance to say, or see expressed by anyone else.  That is more important than you can ever imagine.

2).  Your outstanding personality has made us all feel like we are your personal friend.  Your terrific openiness and warm gloaing personality shines through in all your entries.  You have made us all feel like we are personal friends with you...even though you know nothing about us. Because of your wonderful open way of writing, we all feel like we are your personal friend, even though we have never met.  That is the reason you get some of the responses you get to some your entries..like "Did you ever think??"..and all the kind of questions that if we were really personal friends sitting in a room talking about the issues that you face would be perfectly acceptable, and would not be taken in the wrong way.  In a real life situation, one on one with a personal friend, most of these questions would be accepted just as friends exploring a situation.  It is a real compliment to you, that you have made us feel like we know you, and that we feel comfortable asking you these questions.  It really means that you have accomplished some of your goals with the diary that many guys feels close enough to you to ask such questions.  You ARE A SUCCESS with the diary, and I know it is helping many gay guys with the issues they face every day.

And for many of us..there is no one else that we can explore these issues with...you provide that valuable service.

I know it must be an almost unbearable task to balance the privacy of the people in your life with the desire to be open and honest with all of us.  Of course, we all want to know more...and long for more details.  It must be very difficult to balance all of that.  But please remember that there are many of us out there who get so much from what you are doing.  I recorded your appearance on "The Price is Right", and it was so wonderful to see you and know that you are real.  It made me feel like, "Yes..there are gay guys out there living real lives, that are interesting!!"

I know this is probably too long for you to read.  I just want you to know that I think what you are doing is very important.  I wish there had been someone like you for me to read about and interact with 30 years ago.  Maybe I would not have spent so many years in a lonely, single life.  You have the power to change lives with the very power of openiness and understanding that sometimes produces responses that seem negative to you.

You are unique, and have a wonderful openiness that makes us all want to be your friend. There is no one else out there like you!  You are very special...please remember that the very openiness and vulnerability you have is what makes you so life changing to so many guys..but it probably also causes you to get responses from some of us that seem negative, but probably are just responses that must of us would give to a friend in real life.

Your wonderful personality has made all of that possible.  You are really running a national forum on gay issues..that unfortionately for you..has to be filtered through you.  But NEVER doubt your importance in this process.  It would never have happened without you.

Your friend always,

Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 19:39:10 PST
Subject: Someone New


I wrote to you in response to the Feb entries you are now omiting.  I didn't say anything negative, in fact, I feel that the omited portion is some of the best - your thoughts prompted me to write.

In my letter, I just told you a little about myself - I figure that's only fair.  I've watched you grow - three years of your life goes by in something I can read in an evening.  I've seen your writing style mature - I've seen you mature.  Hell, I even know what your voice sounds like, and you live thousands of miles away.  We've never even met, but you've made a difference.

Now, I'm just writing to say that I'm sorry.  Not for anything in particular, just sorry that people can be dumb, and demanding, and peevish.

Don't pull the diary.  You have literally changed my life.


If you want to know the details, just ask.

Date: Fri, 6 Mar 1998 01:18:00 -0600
Subject: Some positive comments about your diary.

Hi Justin,

  I just read your last entry in your diary and have a few comments that I hope will make you feel better.  First of all, I think that it's great that you have been sharing your life and thoughts about your life for so long with complete strangers. That takes guts!   It's extremely generous to share as much of your life as you have shared through your diary.  You've shared more than most people would.  It's hard to believe that people would be so very ignorant to ask you for details.  These people must live very empty, unfulfilled lives if all they care about is knowing more intimate details about your life. They should go out and work on making their own intimate "details".  You have shared very personal thoughts about yourself, your family, Larry and other friends...more than most people would or could.  From having read many of your diary entries, you've impressed me as a very sensitive, caring person.  A lot of what you have said in your diary has made me and I'm sure other people feel more "normal" (for lack of a better word, especially at 1 am) and more comfortable with being gay in a world that is basically heterosexual.  I'm sure you've helped a lot of people understand their sexual orientation better.  I wish that I were as perceptive as you when I was your age (I'm 51...so that's quite a few years ago)!  :-) 

  It sure sounds like you have a wonderful family.  I wish that I could have been open with my parents; unfortunately, I doubt that they would have been as accepting and loving as yours.  Since they're both deceased, I can't change that fact.  I have a friend who came out to his parents four years ago.(He's about your age, maybe a year or two older).  He went through three years of pure hell, but with perseverance and persistence on his part, his parents gradually became more accepting of his life.  What's really fantastic is that last December his lover and he had a commitment ceremony at their house and his parents were present.  How's that for a 360 degree turn around!! 

  Well, it's late and I should close and get to bed.  When I saw what you had written, I just had to write you and let you know that I appreciate your candor and honesty.  You really sound like a really nice guy!  I wanted to let you know that at least one person who visits your web site and reads your diary (and I'm sure I'm not the only one) truly appreciates what you're doing.

  Take care, Justin.  When you get negative e-mail, just consider the source....most likely, the source isn't worth considering for very long anyway. 

Paul St. Louis


Date: Fri, 06 Mar 1998 09:04:58 GMT
Subject: The Diary

Hi, Justin.

With March 9th coming up on Monday, I thought I'd drop you a line to encourage you to reinstate the suppressed entries and to resume writing the diary.

What you originally wrote on February 23rd was gone before I saw it.  That was disappointing.

You're right, of course, none of us whom you permit to observe your life is entitled to second guess you or to judge you.  Anyone who has presumed to do so is a dunce whose words should be consigned to your electronic trash heap.  It's your life.  Only you can live it.

Hopefully, your distress over the meddling and judgmental e-mail you received was just due to the emotional fatigue of the day.

For the last two years, as I've read your diary I've admired the courage you show in exposing your life for all to see.  None of us could look back over a detailed account of our life and find that we always made the best choice nor even always a good choice.  We can only hope that the trend line of our life is moving in a direction consistent with our personal values and that our life will therefore be fulfilling.

As I read your diary I moan when I think you've done something dumb and I cheer when I think you've had an important insight.  I'm disappointed when things aren't going well for you and I share your joy when they are. Putting it another way, I care about you.  And there are lots of us out here who do.

I hope you'll decide to continue the diary, but whatever your decisions I wish you well.

                                           Take care,

Date: Fri, 06 Mar 1998 15:40:08 PST
Subject: just a note


I just wanted to drop a note to let you know that I agree with you.  I have checked in on your page from time to time, and I happened upon your last entry.  I am not exactly sure what happened, or what exactly you poured your heart out about, but all I can say is that the effort you put into detailing your life is immense.  There is no reason that any of your readers/"fans" should expect anymore than they get.  You obviously spend a lot of time choosing your words and what to write about so as not to unfairly present a situation.  You offer your perspective and nothing else.  That is what people need to understand and respect.  You don't have any obligation to put your life out here on display.  I think the problem is that your readers are interpreting it much like they do a television show.  The only problem is that it is your life...it is reality, and I think your readers are losing sight of that...you are merely entertainment to them.  I think that the only valid responses that people may bombard you with are debates to some of your points/comments/stances on issues that you make in general (and I have a couple of those myself that I will reserve from sharing with you now :)).  Certainly, they have no right to critique your life.

I just wanted to share those thoughts with you.  I would appreciate that you edit my name or e-mail address if you do use any of this in the diary.  I hope you have a nice Spring Break...use it to relax.

Date: Fri, 06 Mar 1998 15:53:13 -0800
Subject: Hope you`re doing okay!

Hello Justin!

Well, I have to admit that since I started using the computer labs at school as my only internet access, I have become less of a regular reader.  Thus, I was very surprised to find no entry in the new entries section of your diary.

I just want to say that you are justified in your venting.  I am glad you are letting yourself take a break from the (from what I figure) huge task of updating, writing, explaining, editing your website.

Please, keep up the good work!  Don`t lose heart!  You are an inspiration to us all!

Yours truly,


Date: Sat, 7 Mar 1998 05:17:02 EST
Subject: Venting and Taking a Break

Justin,for what it is worth, I enjoy reading the entries that you put on- line. I can barely fathom the emotional effort it takes to pen your thoughts for the whole of "cyberspace" to read. I have difficulty writing a letter to my mother :what you are doing is to be commended.....(That last bit reads a little stiff ----- what I am trying to say is , thankyou for taking the time to share your' life; I find it to be very intriguing and it provides to me insites I've been lacking----- again, thanks and please continue.). With sincere respect, Keith

Date: Sun, 08 Mar 1998 00:43:23 -0800
Subject: Diary

Dear Justin;

I don't know who these people are, that they are upsetting you like this, but I hope you can learn to ignore them!

I've been reading your diary for 2 years, and went back to all the previous entries to catch up when I first found your web site!

I thought you were one gutsy young dude, to bare your soul like you did, and haven't changed that opinion since.

You can't be all things to all people! If you could, you would be here with me now, sleeping and much loved!

I'm a lot older than you, and I've learned that no one is perfect, and we all make mistakes, and we don't have the right to demand that others live their lives the same way we live ours!

Please don't let the odd balls out there get to you! You have probably done more good for more young guys struggling with their sexuality than any other single person on the net!

Whatever your decision as to this website, please know that a lot of us care about you, and what happens to you! I've written to you before to ask for help with info, but because of my age, never tried to become more than an admirer from afar! Maybe I should have written before you moved out here to Cal., that you fit my (White Knight) fantasy quite nicely! I luv a guy with a good mind! That's you. I luv a guy with a good sense of humor! That's you. I luve a guy with a big humpy body I could cuddle with forever! That was you when it would have been illegal for me to do so, and is even more so, as youv'e matured!

Don't let 'em get you down babe! You have a lot of fans! We may not be rich, or young and sexy, or all that pretty anymore, but we still luv you, and look forward to finding out how you're doing!

I wish you the best, Justin. God bless you!

Luv and BIG hugs; Jim

Date: Sun, 8 Mar 1998 14:53:34 -0500
Subject: Hi Justin.

Greetings.  My name is Dave, and I live in Massachusetts.  I love your site and spent a couple of hours looking at everything.

  I liked the pics of you...especially the one with the goatee.  You look stellar in that one.  **I even saved it to disc!  :-)**  I liked the one near the tent also....got a view of the ten little toes.    A little hook of mine.  I read through some of the diary entries, but realized it will take a week or so to get through all of them.

  A lot of your site hit home with me, seeing how I'm 28 and still not out yet.  Although the thought of "you're not fooling anybody" comes to mind quite a few times, since I really just don't go out with anyone.  I just had a date recently with a girl my Uncle was trying to set me up with for a long time now.  She was nice enough, but I couldn't handle the thought of anything progressing.  I might of liked it, but I wouldn't know as of now.  I haven't kept in touch with her since, just because of real bad timing.  A cousin of mine died a couple of weeks ago, the first real death of someone in the family who we were all close with.  As a matter of fact, I'm his son's Godfather.  I had a real hard time with the death, he was 37 and died of a heart attack, and got everyone to thinking about how short life can be.  In my case....how much I've missed out on through the years of just being stupid, looking for something to just "happen".  Although I really don't feel a sudden charge of starting to change everything by coming out and showing interest in people, I've been doing a lot of thinking.

I've had a friend since high-school who is gay, and is out to everyone.  He's kind of a jerk, but is the closest thing to me regarding the friends I hang around with.  I hope you don't mind me being so "up front", but the truth is I went down on him one night -- and that's about the extent of my experience.  I take care of myself exclusively except that one night, which is lame I know, I just don't want to jump into the whole scene as of yet.  Kinda scary.  A huge part of this is being really self-contious, and against my first thought, I'm not going to start painting a ugly picture of myself now fearful of maybe turning you off to this entire e-mail.  I'm aware of how silly that sounds.  I'll tell you though I do have red hair, it seems that might be your hook (?) from your interview.  I've also noticed from the pictures of the guys you've had relationships with that none of them have red-hair.  (Hmmm)  But, aside from all of that, that is the one friend of mine who might actually know more about me than anyone else in my life, and like I said, he is a jerk.

  I felt compelled to e-mail you, maybe because your face has a really "kind" look to it, and you seem pretty understanding through the writing you've done.  I'm not looking for any advice, (but will hear you out if you wanted to say anything), I just thought I might get some things off my chest to someone who might care.  I hope you don't think this e-mail is strange, the only thing/favor I ask is that you don't see it as just another e-mail.  Hell, I'm thinking I could make a friend here, an open friend.  I'll be honest with you (if you wanted to e-mail back), and that's more than anyone I know has gotten from me.  I might not have much to say, but maybe I could help you out with something down the road.  I'm not a bad guy, just maybe a bit screwed. (LOL)   I hope to hear from you, although I don't want to twist your arm.

  I have to go...possibly stopping myself from rambling on any further <g> I hope you have a good day.


  P.S.  I was disappointed not to see any nude photos of you.  Forgive me, but I still have my weaknesses.  LOL  ;-)

Date: Sun, 8 Mar 1998 15:43:57 -0700
Subject: Your Life


As one of the anonymous masses that occasionally visit your site, I would like to weigh in with a few observations.  I did not see the relevant posts which provoked such a response, but it seems to me that you may be at a cross roads in your life.  As my mother says; "This too will pass..."

I cannot profess to understand why you would post details of your life on a web page.  Perhaps you find it therapeutic, but from a reader's perspective it has always been interesting to compare notes.  If you are at a cross roads and do not know which way to turn, I would hope that you would consider yourself in the decision and make you a priority, not activists who might make you feel that the diary is an essential element in some campaign or the external voyeurs on the outside looking in who enjoy living life by proxy:  It is your life to live.

Best of luck in your endeavours, wherever they may take you.


Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 00:14:55 EST
Subject: Thank You

Dear Justin,

Maybe it is because I am not a regular reader of your diary but I read your entry of February 23 just now with regret.  I greatly admired your candor when I first ran into you online a couple of years ago and I still reference your Letter to a Friend on my website. 

Whatever you decide to do, your online diary has been a brave and honorable contribution to the world.  I hope you continue to share something of yourself with others, either online, through journalism, or through other creative work. 


Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 07:54:14 EST
Subject: About your last diary entry

Hi Justin,

I am pretty sure that you have gotten lots of emails regarding your last diary entry, and well, this is just one more to add to the pile.  I must tell you that this is probably the first time I have written an email to you and *actually* intend on sending (the other time was when you first moved to LA a few years back, to send you a "Welcome to LA" email).

Before I continue, I have to thank you for sharing your diary with the rest of us.  You have proven to me that I am definately not the only "normal" 22 year old out there.  I know that not many of us would have the courage to write a diary that can be read be the entire world.  I mean, I'm having a tough time with my regular diary, so I can't even begin to imagine doing what you do...

In the entry you pulled, you wanted people to send you email.  I was very close to emailing you, commending you on your job, but decided not to, figuring you'd get enough email as it was. 

But one question did stick out in my mind:  why did you ask us, your readers, what we thought?  (actually, I don't think that was the exact question.  For some reason, I can't recall the exact question you asked in that particular entry (blame television or age for my short memory)). I don't know how much more honesty can be left to put in your diary.  Yet, no matter how much of yourself you put in it, you will always find someone out there who still expects more, sending emails asking you for more.  People are always going to be like that, quite sad, don't you think?  

Your readers should feel priviliged enough as it is to be reading your diary.. so there really shouldn't be any need for them to ask anything that would seem out of line.  Okay, sure, an email asking for some explanation to something you wrote would be okay; "why's", "how come's", "didn't you think's" should be out of line.  Like you said, you shouldn't let strangers criticize your life.

For some strange reason, I feel that I have totally forgotten the point my email, and instead I just ended up reiterating stuff you have mentioned.  I did have a point when I began.  In any case, thank you for sharing with us a major part of your life, and if you decide to pull your diary, I know you do it for the right reasons.  Thanks for hearing me out.  I think my two cent's worth has been spent....

Just one of your many readers,

Date: Mon, 09 Mar 1998 09:38:44 -0600
Subject: I know how you feel

Sometimes people criticize folks just so that they themselves look better. Don't let those people get to you Justin.  They are just not cofortable in their own insecurities.  Maybe you need to take a sabbatical from the diary.  get your head on "straight" as it were! hahahaha... finish up the semester then see what kind of feedback people give you.  hey you deserve a break sometimes too..

Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 11:39:27 -0700
Subject: From a Christmas Card Sender: My Apologies...

Dear Justin:

I just checked out the diary today, and am saddened that people are treating you so badly.  I have only written you once, years ago, to say how I liked your diary.  I guess I should have sent more praise over the years to counteract the criticism, but I didn't want to overload you with email.  I have enjoyed your diary since it started and have enjoyed greatly watching you grow and change.  Some idiots out there criticize to make themselves feel better, and that is sad.  I apologize for those people, and for not sending more frequent praise.  The Christmas card I sent was well received I hope.  Hope things get better, I don't want to see the diary go away.

Hoping things get better,

Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 16:42:11 EST
Subject: hi there

I just wanted to apologize for all the jerks online who are ruining your journal for you.  I really enjoy reading it and hope you continue writing it.

I find it interesting how people can judge others so harshly.  Especially when they have no journal of there own on line to compare it to. 

Anyway.  Thanks!

Date: Mon, 09 Mar 1998 21:33:09 -0600
Subject: Hey, what's going on?


First you're on hiatus. then a big blank page with some kind of strange rage at the bottom. What gives, my good man? I thought that you had grown a thick skin and flames didn't really concern you. Well, something  tussled your hair and I think that you are thinking if it all worth it. You know that that ain't so! For every flame email you get there must be a thousand guys who are reading and noding - the great silent majority. Anyway, I read your entries, not for your sexual escapades (so much) as for your outlook on life - how you view the world. I enjoy reading your entries. Don't stop!!!

If you think that putting your life on public display is not what you want to do then why don't you limit your entries to the guys that pay membership only. I always wondered what extras my membership entitled me to. Why don't you put a tame version of your entries for public view and more insightful entries for your members. (Sorry, I've got a 56k modem already) So, now if you get insulting email from a member - zip! - he's not a member anymore.

In other matters: I flew to San Diego last week and thought about contacting you, but resisted. San Diego was great (as compared to Wisconsin), sunny, highs in the 70's (as opposed to Wisconsin with a raging winter blizzard!). Well, I hated to come back. What was I doing in San Diego? I'd tell you but it's a secret!

Hey, its March 9th!! Looking forward to your next entry ;o)


I also got these three faxes:

If I've omitted your letter about the diary being pulled, my apologies. Please let me know and I'll see if I can't find it in my "In" box.

Click here to go back to the current diary entry.

© 1998 Justin Clouse


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