Taking a break from the politics for a moment, I thought it would be nice to address the elephant in the room and talk a little about my breakup with my boyfriend of six years, Justin, for those of you who care. I’ve received so many nice messages from many old friends of this site that I thought I’d fill you in on some of the behind-the-scenes events that have unfolded alongside this election. Because we are friends like that…and because I think it’s beyond marvelous that conservative readers care about two gay guys in Chicago splitting up.
First of all, I am humbled to be cared about by people I’ve never met and will never probably meet. It’s not possible for me to express how cool that is. It is a gift from God, it truly is. Every day, I walk around feeling this love and positive energy surrounding me, knowing that I’ve got friends I haven’t met yet in Texas and Australia and Connecticut and wherever who give an honest to goodness damn about me and who have also loved Justin these last few years as well. The Left enjoys claiming that Republicans hate gays, but I’ve never experienced anything but love from all of you readers out there in conservative ranks. You can never know what that means to me. It is a blessing I carry around in my very core.
I was completely taken by surprise when Justin decided to break things off and end our relationship. That was a completely unilateral move on his part. I had the rug ripped right from under me. In recent years, he had taken to going back to visit his parents in Arkansas more frequently…and each time he’d stay longer and longer. He’s a freelance graphic designer and architect who does design/build, so whenever he didn’t have any projects lined up here in Chicago he’d go back to Arkansas and snag a gig or two down there. But, he started spending less and less time here in Chicago and started to claim that he really hated it here.
In the last few years, something very magical has happened to me that has caused me to be happier than I have ever been in life. I completely stumbled into it and I hope this is what I can do for the rest of my time on this planet. My friend Megan Fox and I literally fell into solving local mysteries and exposing corruption in the Chicago suburbs, completely by accident. She and I walked into the Orland Park Public Library one day and we discovered that the staff there were covering up sex crimes that happened all the time in that building…and when we confronted the library’s management about that, the public officials in Orland Park got together and tried harassing us, intimidating us, and throwing everything they could at us to scare us away. Just like in a John Grisham or John Sandford book. It was unbelievable.
I had only really covered national politics in the past and my personality was always focused on sitting behind my computer and writing my snarky essays on current events and pop culture. I really am not a confrontational person in real life and I don’t like the spotlight; I’m much more comfortable hanging back, taking everything in, writing notes, and then reporting on it later. But, when the elected idiots in Orland Park decided to use the police department to harass and threaten Megan and me to stop investigating the sex crimes in that library, she and I doubled-down and started attending board meetings, canvassing neighborhoods with flyers, protesting, and demanding accountability in what is easily the worst-run public library in all of Illinois. Megan and I uncovered thousands of dollars of improper spending, where library employees were buying themselves fancy meals and taking all kinds of trips and even purchasing gold jewelry for board members. That was in addition to these people hiding incident reports that showed library staff deliberately looking the other way and allowing men to masturbate in the library and even access child pornography on the computers. Instead of calling the police, the library staff would destroy all the evidence so the creeps doing all this would never be caught. But when Megan and I confronted them, the library board members decided to use the police against us to scare us away.
Megan and I were followed and harassed by the crooked cops in Orland Park. We would be pulled over and illegally stopped and bullied and intimidated. The police chief personally ordered Megan to be harassed and threatened over the phone and library employees made false police reports against us, trying to have us arrested in a big effort to chase us off this case. We ended up having to sue both the Orland Park Public Library and the Village of Orland Park for all of the illegal things these lunatics did to us…and we beat them in court on everything.
During all of this, I felt like I was living in a real life version of a 1980s mystery-solving show, which was a dream for me. Megan Fox is one of the best friends I’ve ever had in life…which happens to be a life that’s been blessed with many really awesome friends that I have all sorts of adventures with. But, this time everything finally clicked and I was able to team up with someone to investigate and solve a real life mystery and affect true positive change. Megan and I uncovered a mountain of wrongdoing in Orland Park. We forced several awful people to resign their positions and leave public employment. Some of the money and gold stolen by horrible elected officials was returned and our lawsuits compelled both the library and the village to stop breaking the law as much as they had been doing (for years and years and years, with no one ever stopping them). I am so proud of our results…and of the book that Megan and I wrote about the whole experience (SHUT UP!: The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment.)
For the last ten years, I’ve worked as a ghostwriter, putting out a book or two a year for other people….but SHUT UP! is the first book I ever published under my own name. Ghostwriting pays the bills and keeps food on the table and I am grateful for the opportunities it provides me…but there is no greater sense of accomplishment or pride in life than looking across my desk and seeing SHUT UP! sitting there, with FOX/DUJAN on its spine. It took Megan and me a little more than two years to defeat the corruptocrats in Orland Park and it was an immense labor of love to distill everything that happened into our book. I can’t describe the joy I feel when I walk into one of the public libraries that carries it and I can step over to a shelf and see our book sitting there, alongside other works on the First Amendment and public participation in government. I just feel so fulfilled by the whole experience, like a dream of mine came true in a world where almost no one’s dreams ever really come true.
The kid from Cleveland who grew up in the ruins of a once-great American city and who somehow found his way to Chicago and got caught up in the craziest political period in our nation’s history managed to somehow become a citizen sleuth and amateur detective who beat the bad guys, lived to tell the tale, and wrote a book about it.
But, there’s a price to pay for anything worthwhile in life…and it turns out that Justin hated all this citizen sleuthing.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around that, because when Justin and I met it was back in 2010 and I was running this website at the time. We actually met because his mother, CarolAnne, was a longtime reader of mine who somehow found me in the 2008 campaign. Justin was living in Chicago and CarolAnne would tell him about me and would send him links to things I wrote and he always kept his eye out for me in Boystown. I was in my early-30s then and still hung out in the bars a lot, looking for stories and being part of the LGBTQUIXOTE community (or however many letters have been tacked onto that since I last checked). That all feels like a lifetime ago to me — and the bars of Boystown are all faded and dying these days, due to the Millennials all switching over to Grindr or Scruff apps and skipping the whole nightclub scene — but I met Justin because back then gay guys still hung out in bars and that’s how you met people. And he wanted to meet me because he liked what I wrote.
In retrospect, I can see how things changed and I can remember flashes of Justin getting uncomfortable as my focus switched from the national spotlight to these things happening in Orland Park and other suburbs around Chicago. There’s a weird irony here, because back when we first met and I was punching hard against the Obama Regime and getting crazy death threats from the Left (and sometimes the Right as well), Justin thought this was all really exciting and fun and interesting. I think it’s because we both knew that the sickos sending me hatemail were all in their mothers’ basements somewhere and would never try anything against me in person. That’s one of the benefits of focusing on the federal level of politics: while people might not like what you write, it’s unlikely they will come after you in real life and they will probably just be content with cyberstalking and harassing you electronically.
But, Megan and I were targeted in real life for going up against the public officials in Orland Park. I’ve talked about what the corrupt cops did to us, but Megan also had dead animals left in her yard and her children were threatened. One really creepy troll scared the absolute hell out of all of us when he sent Megan photos of her backyard, like he was in her yard taking them. Those were accompanied with weird cartoons of a rabbit and birds…right before a dead rabbit and dead birds were left in her driveway and her car was vandalized. The police, of course, would do nothing to help her because the police all stick together…and since the Orland Park Police were harassing us the other police departments didn’t want to look too hard into any of the harassment. I think this was because they were afraid they’d find that it was Orland Park Police officers who were leaving the dead animals or sending the threats. I’ll never be able to prove that, but I would bet my life it was those crooked cops in Orland Park who were behind all of it. They are truly sick individuals who believe they can abuse the public any way they please and always get away with it. In Chicago, it’s hard not to sympathize with protesters who have a beef with the police…because around here not all police officers are the good guys.
All of this really freaked Justin out more than I realized at the time. He hated coming to board meetings with Megan and me and eventually started refusing to go with us. This is when he began finding excuses to stay with his parents more and more often. After our success in Orland Park, Megan and I started being flooded with requests to investigate corruption in other suburbs too. This, again, was a dream come true for me…because I really felt like Megan and I had become this mystery-solving team. I always included Justin in that team as well, because in the beginning he was there with us, always along for the ride. But he really started distancing himself after the threats evolved from just cyberstalking into the police harassment and the dead animals and all that.
He never really had a conversation with me about any of this at the time but I think he was really genuinely scared that Megan and I were going to be murdered or that he was going to be hurt by one of these lunatics. Megan and I took on the case of a school board that was being terrorized by an insane board member. We confronted this person and her husband didn’t like his wife being called out, so he came to a board meeting and threatened us. That really freaked Justin out because that guy was so unstable and appeared to be prone to violence. This happened again when Megan and I worked a case in the suburb of Tinley Park and we were threatened again with physical violence for exposing the corruption there. Megan had to even hire an attorney to seek a restraining order against one lunatic who had started stalking her and threatening her in person.
So, that’s the background of Justin starting to distance himself from the direction my career was taking. He’s never even read SHUT UP! and I doubt he ever will. That should have been a big warning sign for me…that here Megan and I finally finished this magnum opus that we’d been working on for over two years and he showed no interest or excitement in the book at all. He actually seems to hate that we wrote it because I think he hated living through it all.
The last straw for him seems to have been my starting to speak out against Islam, because Justin believes that I am going to be murdered by Muslims at some point for this. It really freaks him out that I speak openly about how wrong it is for the US to import Muslim colonists into our country. But, ever since the Orlando massacre I just think that we all need to be brave — especially gay men — and stand up to the globalists that want to bring tens of thousands of Muslims to America, where these people will refuse to assimilate and will instead setup little colonies where they will grow Islam’s influence over America. I believe it is the single biggest civil rights and human rights issue of our time to stop Muslims from killing gays and abusing women all over the world. But, because Muslims murder people they disagree with, everyone is so damn afraid to stand up to them.
I don’t particularly like Milo Yiannopoulos (I think he is a crude and vulgar self-promoter most of the time) but dammit if the guy isn’t brave and heroic for daring to speak out against Islam and how Muslims murder gay people all the time. I really admire Milo for having that courage, just as I admire Pamela Gellar for being so brave and fearless in her pushback against Islam. It boils my blood when Hillary Clinton says that we are not at war with Islam. Try telling that to Islam…or to any of the gay men and lesbians who have been murdered simply for existing…including all the gays massacred by a Muslim in Orlando…or all the other Americans killed by Muslims everywhere else. Islam sure as hell is at war with us and anyone who doesn’t see that is as dumb as Neville Chamberlain and his naivete towards Hitler.
At the end of the day, Justin felt scared that he’d end up in the crosshairs being aimed at me and believed I had made myself too vulnerable on the ground here in Chicago. I don’t think he ever anticipated that I would morph from a pundit and columnist writing about national politics to someone running around Chicagoland pissing people off on the local level (where a lot of unstable people would get upset and want to retaliate in person). Taking on the murderous death cult that is Islam was a bridge too far.
I can appreciate that being the boyfriend of a writer is different than signing up to become part of a gay remake of Hart to Hart and living the mystery-solving on a daily basis. The mystery-solving and FOIA investigations and everything else that goes into this really has taken over my life. I am working four different cases right now, as well as working on the next two books that Megan and I are putting out as sequels to SHUT UP!. While this is all great for me, in that I have found what I think is both my purpose and my passion, Justin’s not excited at all with First Amendment issues and busting public bodies for violations of the Open Meetings Act or Records Retention Act or Local Library Act or whatever case I am working on. He finds a lot of this boring…and the things that aren’t boring are super scary. He never dreamed of growing up to be a mystery-solver.
So, one day when he came back from a visit to his parents he pulled up in front of our building without his big computer that he always took back and forth from Chicago to Arkansas. He had very little of his stuff with him in the car, when he would normally have brought everything back when he returned from his visit. He very casually told me that he had decided that he wanted to live back in Arkansas and that he was breaking things off with me and that was that. He also said that he doesn’t think he wants to be gay anymore and that he wants to get back into Pentecostalism and that he’s certain that Chicago is going to be destroyed in a nuclear attack.
I really don’t know what the real reason is that he left me. I think the “I don’t want to be gay anymore” is a lie because it’s unfathomable to me that anyone would not want to be gay. I mean, seriously, have you seen Chris Pine? Chris Pratt too. And then there’s Chris Evans. I haven’t branched further than famous Chrises and I’m solidly secure in the belief that being a gay man and appreciating the absolute gorgeousness of really handsome other men is a marvelous thing. So, I don’t know where Justin is coming from there.
I also really don’t know what it’s like to have parents anymore, because my mom and dad didn’t want a gay son and I’ve had no relationship with them since I decided to openly live as a gay man over a decade ago. Justin’s parents love him and want him to be there with them in Arkansas and that’s where his heart wants to be, with his family. To me, Justin had become my family here in Chicago and I saw things as the two of us against the world. I wanted the gay Hart to Hart and I hoped to have him alongside me as Megan and I (and other mystery-solvers I know) racked up wins and kept taking on cases. Justin had been bellyaching for years about living in Chicago and how tough it was to survive here, with the City doing something new every other week to harass residents and invent ways to ticket and fine everyone. The way the City operates frustrates Justin…but it just amuses me. It’s like living in the Puzzle Palace and always having to be on your toes, always geared up for a fight. I think it’s exciting living here but Justin thought it was exhausting.
So, in the last few months before he left me I started looking into the two of us buying a house together out in the suburbs. A friend of mine was planning to leave the area and I thought about Justin and me buying his place, which had a big back yard and a historic farm house in a really affordable area right by a train that I could take back and forth to the city whenever I wanted. I thought about Justin and me getting a dog, slowly fixing up that little house, planting a garden and restoring the yard to native flowers and woods (instead of all that damn grass and blank lawns that the suburbanites all love so much). In my fantasy, we even got a goat and a duck pond and a bee hive or two. I totally rocked that living-in-the-rural-suburbs unrealistic dream world.
But, Justin wanted to leave the City and I loved Justin so I dreamed of ways to make it all work. I could keep doing my mystery-solving and writing my books and he could have all the things he claims he loves most about Arkansas (animals, trees, gardening, quiet streets, etc.) and that little farmhouse with two acres would be a great compromise (since I could hop on a Metra train and head downtown whenever I wanted).
I think Justin pulled the plug on us before I took any further steps towards making any of this happen. In some alternate universe, he never broke things off and maybe he and I are fixing up that farmhouse or preparing the garden for winter. Truth be told, I find it hard to believe the two of us could have pulled any of that off. I’ve only lived in cities and am not a handy guy. Neither is Justin, really. I think the two of us would have failed miserably as suburbanites. So, it’s merciful that he decided for the two of us that we would never even try.
It took me a very long time to get over the absolute shock of him leaving me. He has never seemed to have any emotions about this, which is very like him. He’s a Millennial so everything is always about what he wants and how he feels and what he thinks is best for him. I’m a Gen-Xer, so the feeling of being left…of someone leaving me…is hard for me to process. I feel like it’s a door being slammed in my face, but Justin’s brain sees it just as closing one chapter and opening a new one for himself with no hard feelings. His generation is just very different from mine.
You can bet that I’ll never date another Millennial. Justin and I had a 10-year age gap and that was psychologically too much. I also never understood his fear of Chicago being destroyed by nukes or where that fear of a nuclear bomb comes from. I totally don’t have any of that, and I grew up during the tail end of the Cold War.
I agree with Justin that Chicago will one day suffer an attack by Muslims. This is inevitable, especially with the numbers of Muslim colonists that are being shipped to places like Orland Park in Chicago’s suburbs. These monsters are bound to strike Chicago at some point…but when they do they will blow something up and cause chaos for a week or two and everyone in Chicago will rally together and mend. We will heal and keep on going. Chicagoans can be jerks sometimes, especially when they look the other way when it comes to corruption, but you can bet your life that when Islam attacks our town that everyone in the city will put aside their petty crap and will rally together. This was proven back in 2011 when Chicago was hit by the Snowpocalypse/Snowmaggeddon Blizzard that dumped many feet of snow everywhere and totally crippled the freeways. Thousands and thousands of cars were all of a sudden trapped and then quickly buried all along the lakefront…and instead of being jerks and laughing about this or preying on the victims, Chicagoans all came together to dig out of the mess and help each other. Black, white, rich, poor, whatever…they all pulled together in the crisis. And that’s what happens here whenever there is a crisis.
So, while Justin claims he is scared of what Islam is going to do to us — and he’s convinced that I’ll be one of the people killed when it happens — I think that Chicago will recover and survive and end up being stronger than ever after whatever that attack will be, whenever Muslims choose to do that to us. We are on the same page that it will indeed happen but we just differ wildly on what will happen in the days that follow. I also don’t believe those monsters will really setoff a nuke here…because if they really ever get the capacity to do that, I can’t imagine they would pass up the chance to use that on New York City or Washington. Why on earth would they elect to nuke Chicago instead of those bigger targets that would make more monsters in Mecca or Riyadh so much happier to see destroyed? Give me a break. Chicago is not that important to Islam and most Muslims probably have no idea where this place is on a map.
I really don’t know what my future holds anymore, because I had mentally been “Kevin & Justin” for so long that it’s hard thinking of myself in single terms again. I’m already doing riskier things than I would have done if Justin was still around. There’s a story I’m chasing in one of the suburbs where I think the mob might be involved in the corruption going on…and that’s totally something I wouldn’t have dared go near in the past, since that’s a hornet’s nest that could lead to a lot of trouble if poked. Now that it’s just me again, I don’t really care what happens to me and I’m interested in what I can uncover and write about. I’ve also been able to take a few more ghostwriting gigs that I would have had to pass up if Justin was still here because he wouldn’t have liked the people I was writing for and he would have complained about them. I’m looking forward to the day when I can stop taking ghostwriting projects and can just survive by putting out three or four of my own books every year, but I’m not there yet. Some people I end up working for can be real jerks. Most of them screw me over and try to stiff me or cheat me in some way, but that’s part of the game. I have many friends my age who followed the straight and narrow path in life and are bored out of their minds and hate their lives…while I am pretty much living the dream, even if it’s a struggle. Since there’s no going back now, it’s the only thing I will probably ever know.
The last thing I think I want to say about all of this is that I will always love Justin but it’s a very Whitney Houston/Kevin Costner at the end of The Bodyguard kind of thing. You know how I love me some Whitney. Remember at the end how she’s on her plane and the music starts up and she makes the plane stop and she jumps off and has that one last kiss with her bodyguard Frank…and part of you wants her tell him to get his cracker ass on that plane so they can fly off and be together? But, it’s obvious that the two of them are not what they really need and that they really do want something different from life. They had the adventure they were supposed to have together…but now that adventure is done and they have to part (on very good terms).
I would have never broken up with Justin and he and I would have been together for the rest of our lives if he hadn’t ended this. I still think he made the wrong choice in leaving all the opportunities that are here in Chicago because I don’t know what kind of life there really is for anyone in Arkansas. I don’t even want to get into that whole thing of him not wanting to be gay anymore and not wanting to be in a relationship with a man, because I think that’s just something he said to me and I do hope he ends up with a nice guy who will love him and take good care of him.
Just like in Whitney’s song, I really do wish the best for Justin…which proves to me how much I really love the guy and always will. Through all of this, as painful as it was for me, I never once was mad at him for leaving. He shocked me and pulled the rug out from under me…and I just kept hearing in my head and in my heart that if I truly love something I have to set it free. And I did love Justin, so I let him go and have never wished him anything but the best. I want him to have a really terrific life filled with joy and happiness and everything great and good.
It’s been long enough now that I don’t have any part of me that wishes he would change his mind and come back. That ship has sailed and those wounds have healed. The shock is over for me too and I’m returning to normal, looking at a future where it’s just me for the time being. I really enjoyed being in a long term relationship. Justin was the third one of those that I’ve ever had and I hope he won’t be the last. But, that’s really up to God and whatever the plan is for me.
I’m focusing on getting out my second book with Megan and having that published next month (or at least in time for Christmas). I’m looking for my next cases as a citizen sleuth and wrapping up some projects I’ve been working on for a while that Megan and I were able to bring to good resolutions. I’m starting to put myself out there more again to network and meet new people and discover more mystery-solvers and adventurers around Chicago. The one downside in being a couple instead of a single guy is that Justin never liked going out and wasn’t very social…so a lot of my connections atrophied while I was with him. I’m rediscovering who I used to be and reconnecting with people now and rekindling old friendships. Which is all a lot of fun (if sometimes exhausting, but in a good way).
I’ve come to a point where I can honestly say that Justin’s decision was probably the right one, in that he and I really did see the world in two very different ways. He is 100% convinced that America is doomed and he wants to live in fear and terror of that crumpled into a ball. He likes reading what I call “fear porn” and freaking himself out over the latest Conspiracies of Doom, just like this mother does every day. I spent six years trying to show him that DOOM! is not a drug that people should be freebasing but I never got through to him. He really thinks this is the End Times and he’s all about the Rapture coming and all of that stuff that Protestants seem to be very into.
I’m still a Catholic boy from the ruins of Cleveland at heart. Old school Catholic, pre-Vatican II…so, the good kind of Catholic who was taught to suit up in armor and do my part to help the armies of angels battle back agains the demons and all the powers of Hell. I believe that our country is worth fighting for and that our world is being challenged with unimaginable evil…but that it’s our duty to resist the temptation to become depressed and curl up and surrender. A battle worth winning is never easily fought. Nothing worth accomplishing is ever easy. But I feel blessed to be alive at this critical juncture in history where perhaps something I think of or write or do in real life will be the thing that brings the Establishment’s house of cards crumbling to the ground and annihilates the globalists who want to destroy America. This is what I think all of our destinies can be, all of use who feel connected to the Rebellion against the Establishment.
Justin really has given up and wants to focus on everything ending and the world as we know it being destroyed whereas I want to stand and fight and keep pressing forward. Maybe someday I’ll find a really cool guy who’ll love me and want to fight with me to the very end. I would really like that, but if it never happens then that’s fine too.
I know that whatever happens I’ll always have friends like you though, the ones who care about me (and about Justin) and who always so kindly and sweetly ask about us and our relationship. There are a lot of people out there, even amongst the supposedly Tolerant Left, who feel that a relationship between two men (or two women) doesn’t matter. One of the worst people I’ve ever met in this life, the mother of one of my exes (Louella), once told me that the breakup of a gay couple is like a cockroach’s funeral. Who cares?, she said. It wasn’t a real relationship anyway.
So, Justin and I didn’t end up lasting forever and we were not destined to be one of the great romantic couples in history, but six years together for two men is like 60 years for a straight couple, all things considered. I really loved him and I tried to be a great boyfriend to him, or at least as best I could ever be. I would have been his husband and been with him for keeps but that’s not what he ultimately wanted. I am okay with that and at peace with it and have come around to believing it was for the best.
I hope he learned some good things from me and appreciates our adventures, just as I know I learned a lot from him and feel he added so much to my life that I am taking forward with me. I hope all of you who cared enough to read all this will always think fondly of Justin and that you will all wish him well. I told that to all of my friends: that this isn’t an ugly breakup where people need to take sides and hate my ex because they’re my friends and that’s what I need for them to be supportive. This is really a situation where things ran their course and our story came to the only end that was ever possible, I guess. I will always love him, but I know in my heart that the two of us ended up not being what either of us needed. The last six years together with Justin will always have a special place in my heart…but now it’s time to set my sights on a future flying solo, at least for a little while.
© 2016, Kevin DuJan. All rights reserved.
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