The Vatican
Sistine Chapel, Rome

ictures of this painting high on the Chapel ceiling have been the joy and inspiration of many a man and lad. I first saw it at eleven or twelve in a magazine at my dentist's office. I could not keep my eyes off it. I was transfixed, and I knew on the spot that I loved the male body. It would be some years before I would have adult male/male sex, but immediately I knew that I wanted it. No doubt for religious reasons, the artist had to keep the penis very small, but to a youth at puberty, it was a grand thing to see. As God reaches down to touch Adam in the painting so Michelangelo reaches across the centuries and touches men with the knowledge of who they are. That is what good art always does, and the gay Italian was a master whose work keeps on giving.