Tag Archives: tim alderman

Media Pig! From The Prophetic To The Mundane!

I have always believed in having a voice, and be it right, wrong or indifferent I think people should speak up, and one of the best ways to do that is through  either letter writing, or being included in written conversations on specific issues. There is a lot of stupidity, injustice, prejudice and misinformation going on around us, and it is always important to speak out against these issues.

I have been involving myself in letters and articles since the mid-70s, and have pretty well kept the full record of my involvement. As a way of posting something a bit different, and covering, where possible, the scenario’s that provoked the letters and articles, here is a rundown of my social involvements over time. Funny how circumstances provide the fodder for letters! In my early days, it was always about gay issues – but then you settle down with someone, move to the ‘burbs, and all of a sudden it’s about your local council, or the idiots who inflict their opinions on us through the local rags! Keeps life interesting!

Published in the Catholic Weekly around 1976. I was the store manager for Pellegrini & Co Pty Ltd, in York St, Sydney. A woman had eritren to the Catholic Weekly that Australia had no patron saints, which was inaccurate, as Our Lady Help Of Christians actually was. This is under my old name of Robert Phillips.

Also from around 1976, this article is an interview with the Catholic Weekly regarding the actual Pellegrini store itself. It was sround this time that we had moved the store from its original site in George St, Sydney (in Roma House) to York St.

Around 1978 I left Pellegrini to work for my local menswear store, P&S Michael, who were branching out from the store in Granville, to MacArthur Square in Campbelltown. However, they employed pressure salesmanship – my pet retail hate – so it was a short-lived relationship. I returned to Pellegrini a couple of months later. This is me, modeling clothes for an advert in the local paper.


“Campaign” November, 1981. I was working for Pellegrini in Melbourne, and had just come out. I lived in West Brunswick. The gay clone phenomena had just started, and because of its “macho” imagery, a lot of old queens were whinging about how it was selling out the gay community by adopting “straight” stereotypes. I got fed up with it. My only letter from my Melbourne days.


Two-in-one! Both the smsll photo of myself (right) and Barty Carter taken at the Midnight Shift, and the letter regarding ACON Safe Sex campaigns not hitting the mark would be from circa 1984. Both published probably in Sydney Star Observer.


Beresford Hotel 1985. Christmas function. Photographed with Tony Kelly (right), my partner at the time. More than likely in the Sydney Star Observer.

Article in “Outrage”, October 1985 by Adam Carr under his pseudonym Miles Walker. Adam had visited myself and my partner at the time, Damian, in our flat in Kellett Way, King’s Cross. He was on hus way to a street party. He decided to write a tongue-in-cheek piece about the visit. In the article, substitute Damian for Shane, and Tim for Tony. Notoriety comes in strange ways!

Star Observer circa 1985/86. A politician had made a rather stupid statement that gay men didn’t work in retail! Considering the retail sector relied heavily on gay staff, it just showed his general ignorance.

Star Observer Issue No.30, 20 June 1986. Cleo, my gutter drag persona, makes the front cover, along with Ruby Pollock (front right), and Andrew Carter. We had been to a Queens Birthday party at Geoff Smith & Steve Thompson’s home in Glebe. This photo was raken in The Oxford.

Cleo making it real in an advertising campaign for “Numbers” Bookshop in 1987. This was Cleo’s 1986 Sleaze Ball costume.

Green With Envy party, 31 August, 1986 at 38 Mona Rd, Darling Point. An annual party, put on by Sydney DJ Gareth Paull, who played regularly at The Oxford. A friend, Andrew Todd, asked me to go with him in drag, as he had never done drag before. Andrew had AIDS, and had spent most of the yesr in and out of hospital. He had a great night, and died on Boxing Day that year. I went wigless, and on the far right of this Star Observer photo.

Star Observer August 1987. Montage from The Oxford’s 5th birthday party on 23 August 1987. That is Cleo’s white wig on the top left corner.

Outrage Magazine 1988. Mardi Gras photo, taken at the Art Gallery of NSW. Darby Wilcox (left) and myself about to scatter the ashes (mixed with glitter) of Don Tickle, who had died from stomach cancer earlier that year. His ashes were scattered along the parade route.

Star Observer June 1988. Montage from ANZAC Day at The Oxford, 1987. Don & I, in army drag, at bottom of photo, right hand side.


“The Bulletin” August 1987. An interview in The Oxford regarding how we felt about living with HIV. Being still early days in the history of the pandemic, this all sounds a bit naive now.

Though labelled “Locker Room”, this was actually taken in the Midnight Shift circa 1997. Tony Kelly to the right.

Circa 1986. The premier, Neville Wran, commented on cinema’s banning condom advertising due to them being perceived as not “family friendly”. Nothing like sticking your head in the sand, as far as I was concerned. Evidently I was allowed to see it on television, but not in the cinema?


A series of photographs taken by the Sydney Star Observer circa 1987. We had a Nuns, Priests & Prostitutes party to celebrate my flatmates birthday. The patty was an afternoon affair held at our apartment in Bourke St, Darlinghurst. A group of us went out to the Oxford Hotel after the patty, where these were taken.

My backside, in leather chaps & thong, makes an appearance in – of all things – a lesbian magazine – LOTL (Lesbians On The Loose), at a Sleaze Ball. Also circa 1987.

Outrage No.63, August 1988. Someone from Adelaide was laying shit on Mardi Gras…obviously decided not to have a great time…and succeeded! The tone of the letter will give you some indication of his gripes.

Poster for “Dancing Through the Decade”, New Years Eve 1989, at the Wentworth Function Centre, University of Sydney. Put on by the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation (BGF), DJs were Rob Davis & myself.

2 articles from local papers (names unknown) who reported on the opening party for “Expectations”. Expectations was a fetish store I managed for a short while, situated on the second floor of 159 Oxford St, Darlinghurst. Owned by Paul Jones, as was Numbers Bookshop, and the Den Club. In the first article I am in the top right photo, and in the second article the left side photo.

All I can remember about this photo was that it was taken in the Midnight Shift, and probably sometime between 1990-1993. I think I was in it due to my DJ work. It was published in the Star Observer.

Star Observer May 1990? (Date very difficult to read). Oxford DJ roster for what would seem to be Mardi Gras week, seeing as a Recovery Party is listed.


The Star Observer, 5 October 1990. The Oxford Hotel DJ Roster. I was a resident DJ at The Oxford from 1990-1996. This is probably the first roster I was on.

Star Observer, January 1991. Australia Day week DJ roster at The Oxford.

“Wentworth Courier” 22 September 1994. As usual, Oxford St as a shopping strip is going to hell on a hot rail, and everyone just seems to argue about what needs doing. The need for a retail plan for Oxford St should have been a council priority.

Star Observer, 31 January 1995. Myself & Marcus Craig (right) at the opening of his mixed-media gallery exhibition “Odyssey”. The air brush painting in the oicture was donated to the Luncheon Club.

Capital Q – 6 April 1995. People having a bash at HIV people because they are not relying more on alternative therapies.

The Daily Telegraph, 6 February 1997. Having attended the opening of a gorilla exhibit at Taronga Park zoo, all I could really see everywhere was McDonald’s – the exhibits sponsor – advertising. Way over the top!

Sun Herald, 16 March 1997. Someone whinging about forms of address to customers in retail stores.

Positive Living, June 1997. My response to an article they ran on CMV Retinitis, something I was well & truly knowledgeable about.

Capital Q 1997. My one attempt to jeet a potential friend or partner through the gay classifieds. I opted for the fully out there, warts and all approach. All those that I met were either serial classifieds users, or just plain nut cases. I met Michael, from Rose Bay, who I had a brief “thing” with just proor to meeting David. I still have the letters from guys who responded…more than I expected.

Star Observer January 1998. Dawn O’Donnell’s 70th Birthday Party at Paddington Town Hall. My self & Phillip Metcalf attended as representatives of PLWHA. Photo is not clear as enlarged from a very tiny shot. I am in the rear, far tight.

Capital Q 23 January 1998. A letter in support of my friend Marcus Craig, regarding the closure o a gym in the Pride Centre.

Capital Q 30 January 1997. The response of the gym owner to my and amarcus’s letter regarding its closure.

Wentworth Courier 1997. My gripes about life in Bondi! A true nightmare of a place to live in, esprcially in regards to transport & infrastructure.

Star Observer 30 October 1997. A letter expressing my thanks HIV services.


Star Observer 1998 – Myself (left) and David st the 1998 Mardi Gras Party. We had been in the parade, and are photographed here in the PLWHA Time-Out Room…a dpace set aside for guts with HIV to have a break during the party.

Star Observer 1998. Mardi Gras Fair Day 1998, probably the last I attended. I am to the far left of the photo in 3/4 shorts.

“Talkabout” July 1998. Alex Crystal had sent a letter to the editor critisizing an article I had written. Not only had this person not ever been as seriously ill as I had been in 1996, he had no empathy for the long recovery process, the psychological implications of surviving AIDS, nor coping with ongoing life with disabilities.

Probably Star Observer 1998. Mardi Grad parade entry for PLWHA – Dick Van Dykes on Bikes.
Sydney Morning Herald, 22 October 1998. A letter responding to the mass closures of banks – a trend that was soon to reverse.

“Talkabout” No.91, Octoger 1998. A esponse to a letter critisizing my friend Marcus Craig for representing gay men with pisitive body images in his art work. Some people need to get a life!.

Sydney Morning Herald 10 November 1998. A letter regarding the fifficulties of obtaining work after serious illness, and when you are older.
“Net” Magazine, April 1999.,The mire everyday aspects of life, and dealing with technology.

Sydney Star Observer 8 July 1999. A letter of thanks to The Oxford for awarding me a special prize for having entries in the BGF Bake-Off since its instigation.

Sydney Star Observer 3 August 2000. The Oxford had undergone yet ANOTHER renovation, but this time a whole lot of poker machines had been added. Holding a charity auction in a place where money was being fed into machines was a bit ironic.

Good Weekend Magazine, 29 October 2000. A letter regarding an article they did on Stephen King, after his quite serious accident.

Wentworth Courier, February 2001. Letter regarding back-packers dumping inloved furniture etc on the footpath when they move on.

“Internet” Magazine, Issue 69, July 2002. Yet more mundane technology problems.

“Delicious” Magazine, February 2002. A great food magazine, if you enjoyed a LOT of tunning around to grt all the ingredients together for a recipe.


“DNA” Magazine, No.26, March 2002. A response to an article regarding gays, and religiiys dogma.

Sydney Star Observer 27 June 2002. Photographed at Arq with my winning entry in the Condiments & Preserves category, at the annual BGF Bake-Off. in 2002.

“DNA” Magazine, March 2003. A letter regarding an article in their Februarybissue regarding workplace bullying. The very start of the letter is missing.

“Sunday Life” Magazine, December 2003. My response to a fery touching article on coming out as gay to ones parents.

“DNA” Magazine, February 2004. A tongue-in-cheek lettet regarding their very sexy photo shoots.

Sydney Star Observer, 28 April 2005. My having yet ANOTHER dig at the Student Services Union at UTS. I had bern at loggerheads with them for years over compulsory inion fees. Unfortunately, my original oetter regarding this is missing.

Daily Telegraph, 28 April 2005. The impossibility of getting work, even part-time, as you get older.

Daily Telegraph, 1 June 2005. Response to a ketter regarding the absence of small birds in our gardens.


Sydney Star Observer, 5 October 2006. David had, in a drunken moment at that years BGF Bake-Off, won an auction bid on a cake (bloody awful) and 2 Sleaze Ball tickets. We attended the party, and had an absolute ball, not at least helped along by some Ecstacy.


“The Glebe” 12 July, 2007. I take issue with people who are just unpleasant individuals. No wonder the dogs nipped him!

“The Glebe” April 17, 2007. After some demolition work in New Canterbury Rd, Dulwich Hill, some old painted shop signage appeared on the side of a remaining huilding, which had originally been hidden. I contacted the local paper, and they did a piece about it. The signage can be vaguely seen in the background.

“The Glebe” 1 May, 2007. My involvement in a local protest about removing a small park at the topnof Marrickville Rd that had historical significance as a tram turning-circle. I’m in the background, dark glasses & cap to right of picture. I’m holding Benji, my dog.

“Good Weekend” Magazine, 18 August 2007. A letter regarding the joys of childhood, which won me “Letter of the Week”, and the prize attached ton it – a weekend for 2 at Pepper’s Convent, in the Hunter Valley.

“Inner West Courier” 16 March, 2010. Local Treens rep is trying to thwart a much-needed recamp and extension to Marrickville Metro, and has obviously never shopped in our area.

“DNA” Magazine No.121, 2010. In praise of a redhead make-over! Yum!

“DNA” Magazine No.124, 2010. A dig at a VERY boring Mardi Gras parade.

Inner West Courier, 2 November 2010. A whinge about cuts to mowing services that sre leaving yhe areas looking like jungles.


Sydney Star Observer, 23 March, 2011. A dig at a columnist who accused fit, healthy older guys of being posers.
A note to the Sydney Mirning Heralds “Column 8” about something locally amusing.

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Dripping In Chocolate Pt.I

Sucked in!

Here you are thinking I’ve written an article on my love of chocolate and the sexually deviant things you can do with it, when in fact it is an article on nutrition. That is not to say that chocolate is not good for you in moderation, though a jar of chocolate body paint can cause all sorts of …outcomes, the least being weight gain.

Diet and exercise, diet and exercise! Don’t people like me love to bang on about it! Hardly a day goes by where at some stage you are not going to run into those three words. They are becoming a modern day dictum, and with the increase in morbid obesity (well, obesity in general really!) in modern society, expect to hear a lot more. It’s all well and good to roll your eyes, let your belt out another hole or two and start buying your clothes from the Big Men’s department in “Target”, but sooner or later you are going to have to pay the devil. If you are slim, don’t fool yourself into thinking that you will stay that way forever. Gravity will eventually have its wicked way, and it’s not going to be pretty!

A lot of the blame for our current move towards junk and fast food fixes is media and advertising driven. They keep telling us how time-poor we are, how busy our lives have become, and how we need to make things easier for ourselves. Fast food chains upsize deals and give you more and more junk for your buck (look for the healthy alternatives if you find yourself in one of these establishments.Everyone has them now). Cooking programs tell us that to be good in the kitchen we need a degree in Frnch cooking, every kitchen appliance that has ever been made, three hours to prepare a simple dinner, and a cuisine vocabulary that would befuddle the best of us. I’m a qualified chef and I wouldn’t (or couldn’t) be bothered with a lot of the kitchen antics that we are subjected to on television. Quite simply, the pure joy of food and cooking is being taken away from us.

And we can’t overlook the obvious…our food culture is tied into tradition, and our families. One is left feeling that the advent of “meat and three veg” as a basis for our meals arrived with the convicts, and hasn’t changed a lot since. Fortunately as a counter-balance our love affair with Asian food ever increases, and it is perhaps here we will find our way to a healthier diet.

For those contemplating a healthier lifestyle, especially losing weight, are unfortunately going to find that it is useless to exercise without changing your dietary habits, and vice versa. There is NO easy fix, so the desire to move forward and improve your lifestyle must first and foremost be a positive drive and desire on your part. Diets are, at their best, a short term solution to weight loss and at their worst are capable of actually damaging your health. They are alsounsustainable in the long term. The whole key to healthy eating is very simple…common sense, and not depriving yourself of the things you enjoy but eating them in smaller quantities at longer intervals. You may not believe me now, but eventually you will lose the desire to eat a lot of these things at all. Good, healthy eating is about variety, what you cook, what you put in it, how you cook it and how much you serve. Recent advise suggests that we are better off eating 5-6 small meals a day instead f the three large meals we currently eat. And don ‘t forget; breakfast IS the most important meal of the day!

HIV people face a number of problems as far as nutrition goes, and like the condition itself varies from person to person. We are beginning to understand that long term dosing with our medications can potentially have serious health implications. You dan’t take the number of pills we are prescribed over a long period of time (for many of us it is going to be a period of 40+ years) and not expect some problems, especially coronary, renal, mental, and the possibility of cancers. It worries me, so I’m sure it worries you! I have made a lot of drastic changes to my life, albeit at this late stage when I’m approaching 60. It is no longer good enough to shovel in the meds, put on heaps if weight, eat unhealthy food, sit around doing nothing and expect everything to tick along nicely forever. You simply can’t live from blood test to blood test, and expect things to get better if you don’t take the actions to help improve the situation.

So as an ageing HIV demographic, what are the things we need to concern ourselves with, and keep an eye on? Well, the sme old culprits that we have all been trying to pretend aren’t the problem. High cholesterol (the bad type); too much fat, sugar and salt in our diet; too much processed food especially in the form of quick-fix meals, canned and bottled pantry items; way too much fast food of the unhealthy kind; and a tendency to see cooking, especially just for yourself, as a chore. Few people stop to think that it takes about 15-30 minutes to heat a ready-made meal. You can make a healthy salad with grilled or pached chicken and oil-free dressing, or a stir fry in the same time…and be a lot healthier for it. I know from personal experience in the past that a daily intake of cigarettes, alcohol and shit food is not going to give me the nutrition to lead an active, fulfilling life…yet still we do it – or at least USED to do it. So I’m her to give you some strategies for change, simple effective ways to shed the kilo’s, and get those blood test results scoring an A+…and it ain’t gonna hurt a bit. Well, maybe a little bit!

Tim Alderman
Copyright 2014

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Daily (Or When The Mood Takes Me) Gripe: Gay Sex Sites

Fuck me! I must be close to 160yo in Gay Years…at least that is how old I feel by the time I’ve wondered around a couple of the gay sex apps that are available. We politely like to refer to them as gay “dating” apps but let’s keep it real! If you have a profile on one or more, you check them regularly for oinks, woofs or squeals…whatever, then you are either hunting for a fuck, or a good dose of rejection! More of the latter than the firmer if you are several centuries old, as I am!

The very first site I joined, the only thing I lied about in my profile stats was my age – I knocked 10 years off it, being deluded enough to think it would make a difference. Everything else I was upfront about…perhaps a bit too much! It must have taken me about 20 tweaks to get it right…though still no action. I oinked guys…all to no avail….they oinked me, then when you tried to get a little bit of action out of them….there was always an excuse…I’m too tired!…I’m turning in for the night…etc etc! I had subscribed to this group, so I was paying money to play silly-buggers with a group of guys who just didn’t seem to care. I made a sort-of-friend out of it…thought he’d be a goer originally when I started messaging him, but when I finally got him to visit, he had more hang-ups than a charity phone-in! I’m still not sure where it’s going. As for the site…I’ve moved on.

Oh…did I mention I have a disability? Yep! 60 AND disabled. Also HIV*.!I copped the fucking triple whammy there, didn’t I! Severely vision-impaired! Totally freaks people out so it seems. I don’t know why! Maybe they think they are going to have to help me get around! Or that I might need some sort of care! Or that I mightn’t be able to find their cock or arse! Or maybe I’ll look like a total freak! Though I am more inclined to think I am seen as damaged goods, and that they do, in reality, just discriminate! There! It’s said! Discrimination is rife on these sites. And it is not just against disabilities! It is ageist, racist, hiv-status, cock-size discrimination. WTF!

Gay men and they discriminate! It’s not all that fucking long ago that we were the ones yelling discrimination when they wouldn’t give us law reform! And gay men whO discriminate against HIV+ guys I just don’t get at all!

I have 4 apps on my iPad. The grand total of encounters to date is – i skittish non-event; one sexual encounter at 4am after a bottle of wine and which I choose to forget; 2 actual fulfilling sexual encounters with really nice guys; and one guy waiting for me to arrange to have a coffee with. This out of probably close to 60
profile checks over all the apps. And not including the twinks-having-a-wank-while-I-do-dirty-talk-chat with them.

But some guys deserve to get nothing, I have to say. If you are going to put a body shot up…don’t hold your breath or hold your hands above your head to try to look slimmer…you look like you are trying to look slimmer! Don’t NOT not put in a photo…I don’t care if you are bi or otherwise…no photo, no chat;; DON’T put photos of flowers, or trees, or your dog, or a beach in place of a profile picture; don’t lie about your age,or cock size; look up the word “defined” regarding body type, in a dictionary; say SOMETHING about yourself or what you are looking for as well as your stats; be honest and upfront. If you are going to put “Prefer not to say” in every field, you deserve to be ignored!

And for the guys who use them…stop being wankers! Develop some ethics; stop discriminating; learn some manners; treat others as you want to be treated; respect others beliefs, and feelings; stop being self-indulgent; and, for heaven’s sake….

Develop some humanity!

Tim Alderman
Copyright 2014

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Daily (Or When The Mood Takes Me) Gripe: The World; The Country

What is it with media these days! They have always been prone to exaggeration, to embracing “the big whopper”, but this current usage of the terms “The World….or The Country…” is now at the stage of true annoyance!

“The photo of the Royal baby George that The World has waited for.”

“The photo’s from the celebrity wedding (insert name) that The World has waited for!”

” The video of Beyonce That Everyone is excited to see!”

“The ebola fear that has terrified The Country

“The shots of our Princess Mary that The Country has been waiting for!”

Well fuck me…I must be a totally boring moron…none of these things interest, excite or terrify me…or millions of other people!

Every time I hear it now, I cringe! But of course it is modern media, so what else should I expect.

This is the dumbing down of news that the current media indulges in. The theory seems to be that if they say something often enough, no one will notice it. Wrong! Some of us do! This is tied into giving things like celebrity weddings prominent places in news reporting ahead of items that really do have importance. There was a time when these news snippets – especially anything regarding Celebrity – would have been at the tail end of the news, if indeed mentioned at all. In this perverse world we live in, Celebrity takes prominence over all else. It is a very sad indictment of the world we live in. Plagues happen; wars are being fought; people are being murdered; earthquakes and volcanoes are destroying peoples lives. But Beyonce is dancing! This is all about making trivial issues more important than they are!

Look at the state of our jokingly named Current Affairs! Tradies ripping people off; neighbourhood disputes; how many germs and bacteria live on a kitchen sponge; people ripping off social security; someones home being trashed by tenants. In my book, Tracy Trimshaw has lost all her reporters credentials by reporting on this rubbish! Could explain why The Project has a huge following.

I’d like to think that real news would become real news again, but I think disappointment will be my lot.

That being the case, i’d at least like to hear news readers and reporters tell us that…..Some People would be interested in photos or videos of aroyalty and Celebrity…NOT the whole world or country!

Believe it or not…there are still some intelligent people around!

Tim Alderman
Copyright 2014

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