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When’s the last time I was hugged? I can’t remember. It’s been so long it seems. A month ago? Two months ago? Social distancing has all but rendered the time-honored practice obsolete.
I do remember that I always found hugging to be pleasurable, uplifting to my inner being and imagined self-worth, and, however brief in duration, gratifying and reassuring that I was welcome in the improbable scheme of things in this crazy world.
I fully expected to do my share of hugging to my many LGBTQ friends and associates during Ferndale June Pride 2020, but this ever-exciting and powerful rainbow event has been postponed to a future time.
During the past 10 years, I’ve attended Ferndale and Chicago Pride Parades. Chicago’s 2019 event drew over 1 million celebrants and spectators.
As for hugging, I’ve been tempted to emulate a young gay guy I saw at Chicago Water Tower. He held up a sign that boasted, “I give gay hugs! For free!”
As far as hugging goes, in spite of the fact that I’m somewhat over the hill, I can match hugs with guys much, much younger than me. Clothes on. Clothes off. (Any takers?)
The noun “hug,” by the way, is derived from old Nordic hugga. It means to comfort. It’s a Germanic word antecedent mean ‘to capture’, ‘to enclose’.
According to a YouTube video worth googling, there are 15 different kinds of hugs, each indicating a different meaning to this physical bonding, from amorous intimacy, friendship reassurance, buddy-buddy and touchdown scoring.
Now in vogue is a new kind of hugging: Zoom hug-ins and Facetime one-on-ones. Each is best prefaced with a caring remark such as, ‘Hey (Dear Friend, Love of My Life, Neglected Relative, etc.), while I can’t hug you in person and still be six feet away for safety, accept this virtual 20 seconds as a well-meant approximation of the real, honest-to-goodness act on my part!”
If you want some inspiring music and images to encourage your reluctant venture into virtual hugging, listen to and watch Tom Rosenthal and Billie Marten’s ‘Hugging You” on YouTube. It has accompanying pictures of huggers straight and LGBTQ, young and old and that are touching in mood and memory.
And please know and rest assured my many PG readers, if only I could, I’d hug you one by one.