It was one year ago that Noah Willoughby came to live with us. Boy, had that been a hell of a week too! Stressful beyond words!

First I was in terror that he’d change his mind! I was in fear that he would realize he’d made a terrible mistake and was going to decide he wanted to stay with his ex in Hawaii. I was stressed he’d miss his plane and how complicated that would be because coincidentally, a year ago today was right before we were heading to Midwest Men’s Festival and there we would be at a campground with no WiFi and really no cellphone reception so how would we even know when/if he was coming?

Then the REAL true stress was that R had some health issues and was in the hospital! Scary stuff that turned out to all be okay, but it was the first time that R had been in the hospital instead of me. It is quite a thing to be on the other side! And that also meant we thought I was going to have to go get Noah from the airport without R, and while I could do that, we’d wanted the magick of us both picking him up. And of course we didn’t know when he’d get out of the hospital and how that would effect him going to MMF!

As to the why it’s a coincidence that this was also a year ago before we were going to MMF, you have to understand the dates move around. The way you figure out when MMF is, is that you find the last Thursday of the month of July and that is the last day/10th day of Festival. Ten days before is the first day. So last year and this years MMF winds up in the middle of the month. Next year it will be the last ten days of the month exactly.

Anyway, all those naysayers who said the Three Bears would never last were — W.R.O.N.G. — wrong! We have grown strong and we will be around a long time to come and I am happier than I’ve ever been and I know it is safe to say…we are all!

Love and Peace
BG “Ben” Thomas



Two more days! YES! And well… To be accurate it really is four…. MMF officially starts at noon on Tuesday, but for many many years now we’ve been going early. Or at least I have.

To explain, we would go and set up our camp sight on the Saturday or Sunday before Festival. We sell sarongs there because it is hot hot HOT this time of year and it’s too hot to wear much of anything, and despite the photo below and the set of photos that landed me in Facebook jail, we’re not a naturist/nudist event (although there are a handful…. Continue reading


One of the things I love about Festival is the night. It’s different than the city, even though I live in midtown, and am not surrounded by big buildings. I am still surrounded by city lights.

Out at Camp, in the middle of nowhere, the night is beautiful! So quiet. Well, of city sounds. It is filled by the Children of the Night! Frogs and owls, night birds, crickets and the yip-yip-yipping of coyotes.

The stars! Oh, the stars! You can see Scorpio and Cassiopeia and sometimes I can find Taurus, and of course, the Big Dipper. And…the Belt of the Milky Way across the sky!

And this year, Festival *starts* with a Full Moon! You can bet there will be a Ritual as well.

Years ago, at one of the first events R and I ever went to out at Camp Gaea, there was a full moon. We were at the big Talent Show and I needed to run by our campsite. I was shocked when I got there! That moon! OMG! I could actually, literally, read by moonlight! I looked up at it in the sky and felt awe and reverence and I knew why the moon had been worshiped.

As luck would have it, I had purchased a Thoth statue—as far as I know the only male deity of the moon—and I cast my sarong aside and danced naked in the silver white light of the moonlight in his/her honor.

I was never the same.

This year, I will honor the moon again. And the stars. And the owls and crickets and coyotes and nature.

And my fellow men. Maybe I’ll see some of you there!

Gentle Ben

Something WONDERFUL Happened Tonight!

I got to have dinner with my daughter through my ex-husband. While he and I were together, some dear friends, a lesbian couple, came to me and asked if I would…donate…so they could have a baby. And they wanted me involved in the child’s life.

I said no. But for a very “good” reason. I already had a child. But my husband, who longed for one of his own, did not. This seemed like the perfect solution. “D” became the genetic father. And a beautiful baby was born with four parents.

Sadly, neither relationship worked, the four parents went our separate ways, and because same-sex marriage was not legal, I had absolutely no rights and l thought I would never see her again. It was heartbreaking.

Then, to my surprise, several years ago, she reached out to me! With approval of the moms! And it’s been wonderful!

Her name is Jessy and she is amazing! Intelligent, witty, loving and kind, and beautiful! And gosh, her children! Also, beautiful and a delight.

Jessy lives in Michigan, so I don’t get to see her often. Every few years. But each time is better than the last. She really wanted to meet R and Noah this time, but R had to work, and we leave for Men’s Festival this weekend. But she got to meet Noah and he loved her.

And she even made a vegetarian dish for Noah! Did I say she is fabulous? She is!

I asked her all kinds of questions and tried to catch up. I’m so very proud of her and hope to see her soon.

I love you, Jessy! And thank you for a wonderful evening.

❤ ❤ ❤


It seems so strange that Midwest Men’s Festival is almost here! Hard to believe. The year FLEW by. And it is also the beginning of The Three Bears living as a triad. Noah showed up just as we were getting ready to leave. It will be his second Festival and the true mark of one year of our relationship.

Midwest Men’s Festival is an energetic and energizing gathering of more than 100 men. MMF will continue its experiment in community by celebrating our 38th anniversary of continuous gatherings this year! While it is often described as a community that exists for only 10 days and 9 nights a year, upon returning to Festival, previous attendees greet each other with “welcome home.”

Founded as a gathering of men working on building community and alternative ways to be men, Midwest Men’s Festival arose out of the feminist movement of the late ’70s & ’80 and has been happening every summer since 1982.

Midwest Men’s Festival is open to self identified men 18 years and older of all persuasions from all locations, and welcomes gay, bisexual, queer and questioning men. No one is “in charge” of this event; all members share equally in consensus decision-making, and each member is responsible for sharing in those functions necessary to the group.

I am sure there are many who thought MMF would not last, but this year is the thirty-eighth! Wow! We’ve gone for right around twenty of those years. Also there are few I bet who figured the Three Bears would last. I remember telling my gay dentist and he looked me right in the eye and said, “It’ll never last. Those things never do.” And I thought, “Never last?” “Those things?” Well, we did last and we’re going strong. I am sure a big part of it is people don’t understand triads or more than three people together. Oh well!

What a wonderful gathering this will be! Soon I will be home with all my beloved Faerie brother. And it’s going to be a blast!

Gentle Ben


As most people know who follow me, each year I got to a nearly two-week event called Midwest Men’s Festival.

Oh, Men’s Festival! My whole year *revolves* around MMF. I’ve skipped going to funerals, christenings and even a weekend in Arkansas to see my brother—who I hadn’t seen in five years! That’s how important MMF is to me. It’s first and foremost over everything else.

I stumbled unto Men’s Fest. I’d been hearing about it for several years, but I couldn’t find it. Festival eluded or evaded me. Like it didn’t want me to find it.

And then suddenly I did!

And oh, those first days…I quickly discovered that Midwest Men’s Festival was *nothing* like I thought it would be, nothing like I expected. I wasn’t even sure I was *supposed* to be there.

But then the magick happened and I found that Continue reading