Guy Seiler was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1955, the fourth of nine children in a German Catholic family, and raised on a wheat farm to the steady drumbeat of chores and church. He knew from an early age that he was gay. Remarkably, he felt no shame. It helped that he had a cousin named Diane. Together, they played dress-up for hours with Diane’s mom’s dresses.
Guy went through public school, graduated from Kansas State University, and in 1977 moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico to begin a nearly 25-year as a teacher and school administrator. After teaching middle school language arts and high school drama, Guy served as assistant principal at Albuquerque High for two years, principal of Los Lunas High School for four years, and for another four years he was superintendent of public schools in the small town of Mountainair, an hour south of Albuquerque.
But Guy’s most life-changing moment came in 1996 when he met Bert Herrmann, who had come to Albuquerque looking for land to build a sanctuary for handballing, more commonly called fisting. Bert had written Trust, the definitive fisting manual, which covered everything from hygiene to the spiritual components of fisting. By 2000, Guy and Bert had committed themselves to each other as life partners. Together, they created the fisting retreat Bert had dreamed of in Tajique, New Mexico. But Bert became ill, and in 2013, he passed away on the island of Maui.
Today, Guy divides his time between New Mexico and Maui. OUTWORDS came across his and Bert’s story through a chance meeting, and it seemed like a unique opportunity to capture not only Guy and Bert’s story, but also to shine a light on an often misunderstood or parodied aspect of gay sexuality. On a chilly morning in February 2018, Guy warmly welcomed our team to the sanctuary he and Bert built.
Just two weeks after his OUTWORDS interview, Guy was in Palm Springs, California visiting friends when he was introduced to Juan-Manuel Alonso – another OUTWORDS interviewee. Guy and Juan-Manuel promptly fell head over heels in love. OUTWORDS can claim no credit for bringing these two men together – but we still feel like proud parents to their blossoming relationship. And we are quite sure that wherever Bert is, he is celebrating, too.
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