Tuesday, May 31, 2011

This Week's Quote

I'd rather be black than gay because when you're black you don't have to tell your mother.

Charles Pierce

Source: quotegarden.com

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Question of the Week

I'm visiting San Francisco this weekend, so what do you suggest I see or do in mecca?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bad Barney Behavior?

Yesterday I caught part of NPR's "Fresh Air." The show's guest was Gretchen Morgenson, who's co-authored a book called "Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon."

Nothing like hearing about Greed and Corruption to get the Blood Boiling.

I moved from anger to surprise when Morgenson, explaining how mortgage giant Fannie Mae took care of congressmen on the House Financial Services Committee, singled out Barney Frank.

"Back in 1991, when Congress was writing the legislation that would, you know, enhance or improve the oversight of Fannie Mae, or so they thought, Frank actually called up the company and asked them to hire his companion, who had just gotten an MBA."

I shudder to think what he'd have asked for if his boyfriend had gotten a Ph.D.

Fannie Mae did hire the guy. Morgenson said she asked Frank whether this had "put him in a conflicted spot." He said no, that he hadn't been much involved with the 1992 legislation.

"But the record shows that he was very aggressive and really tough on those who were testifying in Congress about reining in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He was very aggressive to, for instance, the head of the Congressional Budget Office at that time, who was trying to call for increased capital requirements and to call for a focus on safety and soundness at Fannie Mae, that Frank really took him apart in testimony," said Morgenson.

Well. We shall see if any of this causes trouble now for the gay congressman from Massachusetts. That man never has a dull moment.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tense in Tennessee

Tennessee has a dreadful new law. No, I'm not talking about the "Don't Say Gay" bill—that piece of legislative ridiculousness still waits in the wings.

Yesterday Republican Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill into law abolishing anti-discrimination ordinances passed by cities and counties. The lawmakers were perturbed with Nashville; Music City had the gall to require city contractors play fair with LGBT people.

What a heavy-handed reaction. Combine this law with "Don't Say Gay," which would ban school lessons that relate in any way to homosexuality, and you have to wonder why things are so extreme in Knoxville. The legislators are running around like a lavender-colored sky is about to fall on them.

Dolly Parton, a Tennessee native and a gay ally, should go have a chat with them. She could get them to simmer down and see sense about gay people. Maybe sing the lawmakers a lullaby. If that doesn't calm them, she could always pass out sedatives.

This Week's Quote

Real lesbians don't hate men; that's what heterosexual women are paid for.

Helen Eisenbach

Source: Lesbianism Made Easy

Monday, May 23, 2011

Squeeze Play

In just a week four male sports figures came out. From the basketball world, Rick Welts, the CEO of the Phoenix Suns, and Will Sheridan, a former player at Villanova, went public. Pro bowler Scott Norton and ESPN sports reporter Jared Max decided it was time, too.

What's going through the minds of other gay men in the sports world now? Perhaps some of them are thinking along these lines:

Jesus H. Christ! Four of 'em! It's a damn stampede. Stampede, hah, probably a rodeo star will be next. "Brokeback Mountain" lives.

I didn't figure on coming out of the closet till I was . . . Who am I kidding, I never figured on it. I just knew I couldn't. Automatic. Like throwing to first. Automatic.

Except for that throw in the fifth yesterday. I threw it to the friggin' cameraman.

Two errors in a week. Not like me at all. Maybe this stuff is getting to me. Maybe if another guy comes out I'll forget how to bat.

I bet it really is easier if you don't play a team sport. Too late for me to switch to pole-vaulting.

That bowler. Bowling isn't a team sport. Or is it? Do two guys ever bowl at the same time in the same lane? Yeah, if they're named Fred and Barney.

It's stupid to say it's easy for guys doing individual sports to admit they're gay. It's never easy.

Being a man is what it's about. Masculinity. "Macho, macho man." Oh, God.

Baseball, baseball, baseball. It's all I've ever been, all I've ever wanted to be. And I got here. The big leagues. Made everybody proud. Worked my ass off. Made me proud.

God, Coach Graham. Made me a great shortstop. And told the freshmen to stop throwing like fairies. Said every ball thrown short in the dirt kicked up fairy dust.

Be a man. Be a man. Doesn’t a man stand up for himself?

No goddamn way. If I came out, told the whole world I'm gay, I'd be screwed! Don't think they could actually fire me, but I'd be sent down to Little League.

My teammates would freak. Well, not Adam. Or Jake. They're pretty cool. And Juan has a gay brother. Len, with his "faggot this" and "faggot that" would probably wanna fight. Others just flat wouldn't talk to me. But others would ask me about being gay I bet. Could I handle that? Being the dugout homo expert?

Here's the thing. If I got honest, I could stop dating in the shadows. Maybe even snag me a handsome Hollywood type. Or a third baseman.

The fans? Probably mixed. Mostly good. The away fans, that's gonna be bad. They'll boo me, yell all kinds of crap. "Hey Frazier, do you like fair balls or foul balls?"

Ownership? Too busy screwing 20-year-olds to notice. Old Mac? He won't get it. But he stands by all his players, so maybe . . .

So if I came out, it would be mega-stress. Dealing with the reactions of everybody, from the ball boys to the media. On the other side, there's the stress I have now. Living a lie. Which is kinda getting to me.

Damn those four! All my life I've had peer pressure to stay hidden. Now I've got peer pressure to come out!

I suppose that's cool in a way. Barriers are falling. Boom.

Okay, okay, I'll make a deal with myself. I'll definitely come out when I retire. And I'll think about coming out sooner. Jesus, maybe I'll join the next wave. It'll be me, a hockey executive, a swimmer and a play-by-play man. But one of them better go first.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Our Role in the Rapture

The Rapture is tomorrow. That's according to Harold Camping, the 89-year-old who heads Family Radio, a network of Christian radio stations. Camping has gotten more than 15 minutes of fame out of his prediction that May 21 is the date when good Christians will shoot off to heaven.

I've read how Camping arrived at that date by examining biblical passages and employing mathematical calculations. What I hadn't read, until I went to Family Radio's Web site today, is that gay rights are an indicator of the end.

These fundamentalists never miss an opportunity, do they?

But this time we're not being blamed for a simple hurricane or bird flu. This time we're to blame for destroying the world. Camping is a fellow who thinks BIG.

On the Family Radio homepage here on Rapture Eve, amidst articles about Judgment Day "facts," sits an offering called "Gay Pride: Sign of the End." We're the only group to be singled out like that. Such an honor.

Camping starts his commentary with this: "The world-wide success of the Gay Pride/Same Sex Marriage movement is a dramatic sign provided by God to warn the world that the world is on the threshold of Judgment Day."

Apparently God supports Prides—I always thought that was Absolut's job—in order to show the end is near. Humans are supposed to grasp the "obviously parallel situation" with Sodom. It had a bad end, so people today can expect the same.

Our desire to be treated equally has brought the world to the abyss. Geez, when I went to Pride the most I hoped for was candy and stickers. Ending the world never really entered into it.

Tomorrow, when Camping finds he's still on terra firma, how will he react? Shrug? Wail? Kill himself?

I hope not. I hope he begins to think differently about everything. But I doubt he will. More likely he'll recalculate a new Rapture date. Until that date, we'll keep doing our part by fighting for our rights. We're on a mission from God.

That Is So Takei

Have you heard about Tennessee's "Don't Say Gay" bill, the one that forbids teachers from mentioning homosexuality in the classroom? George Takei has, and he's released a video in which he makes a selfless, hilarious offer. Check it out.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Question of the Week

If you don't expect to be transported to heaven on Saturday, do you plan to participate in the post-Rapture looting?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Taking the Low Road

Since my budget for publicizing the General Gayety blog is beyond limited, I often use the free options.

Recently I got what I paid for.

I've been placing ads on Craigslist touting my humor-driven LGBTQ site. Someone named Trish, or someone using her e-mail address, sent this reaction: "You fags make me sick, normal people don't want to see that shit."

I stewed over whether to react, and if so, how. Carp at her for assuming I'm a guy? Make fun of her run-on sentence?

Should I take the high road and write a treatise on how society has conditioned her to react that way and I'd be happy to help her sort out fact from fiction?

This is what I wrote back: "Off to Oz with you. You need a heart and a brain."

I didn't take the high road. I took the yellow brick road. I'm not proud of attacking back. But the hate can be so wearing.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

This Week's Quote

The Lord is my Shepherd and he knows I'm gay.

Rev. Troy Perry

Source: allgreatquotes.com

Monday, May 16, 2011

Roundball Revelation

This morning I leaned over to pick up my copy of The Seattle Times and the first thing I saw, in huge letters, was "I'm gay."

I'd like every day to start this way.

Next to those words at the top of the front page sat a guy I didn't recognize holding a basketball. The teaser read, "Rick Welts, who rose from (Seattle) Sonics ball boy to president of the Phoenix Suns, targets a taboo in men's team sports."

Oh my God. The president of an NBA team. There was nobody around so I high-fived the fence.

Rick Welts has taken the step no active player has. He now joins the one former player to come out, John Amaechi in 2007, as gay guys with guts. I think we're closer to the day when an active men's professional basketball player will come out, thanks to Welts and Amaechi.

As an aside, I vote for that player to come from Portland, because then he'd be a trailblazing Trail Blazer.

The story in The Seattle Times, actually a New York Times piece, explained how Welts, 58, met with David Stern, commissioner of the NBA, to declare he was gay. "His eyes welling at times, he also said that he planned to go public."

Stern, who already knew Welts was gay, promised his support, the men hugged, and the next day Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant called a referee a "faggot." The basketball gods have exquisite timing.

Speaking of timing, we're currently deep in the NBA playoffs, so it's hard to say how much media attention the coming out will get. Welts could be pushed out of the sports pages in favor of a story about LeBron James' favorite shoelaces.

The president of the Phoenix Suns came out, summed up my newspaper, because "he wants to pierce the silence that envelops the subject of homosexuality in men's team sports. He wants to be a mentor to gay people who harbor doubts about a sports career, whether on the court or in the front office. Most of all, he wants to feel whole, authentic."

If I were keeping the stats, I'd credit Welts with 40,000 assists and one slam-dunk.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Question of the Week

Do you plan to read Chaz Bono's new book or see the film about his transition?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Delaware Gets Civil

Last night Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed a civil unions bill into law. Delaware now becomes the eighth state to legalize civil unions or domestic partnerships.

The signing in Wilmington was a big celebratory event, organized by Equality Delaware. The Democratic governor signed the bill before a jubilant crowd of over 600 people.

The Equality Delaware folks have a sense of humor—they held the event at a theater called The Queen.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Presbyterians Push Forward

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has approved the ordination of gays. Presbyterians have been debating the issue for 33 years. Their jaws must be exhausted.

The church will change its constitution to allow openly homosexual folks in same-sex relationships to be ordained as ministers.

Two years ago, the bulk of the church's regions, called presbyteries, voted no on ordaining openly gay ministerial wannabes. This time around enough of those presbyteries switched their votes to yes, which surprised church officials.

Was the turnaround a result of divine guidance? Nope, exhaustion.

The Rev. Gradye Parsons, the church's highest elected official, told The New York Times he thinks votes changed partly because church members are plain tired of this debate.

“We’ve been having this conversation for 33 years, and some people are ready to get to the other side of this decision,” said Parsons. “Some people are going to celebrate this day because they’ve worked for it for a long time, and some people will mourn this day because they think it’s a totally different understanding of Scripture than they have.”

The lesson in all this is gaining equality sometimes means waiting 'em out. Often when dealing with faith communities, we need to have the patience of Job. Or a Chicago Cubs fan.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This Week's Quote

If Nature had been comfortable, mankind would never have invented architecture.

Oscar Wilde

Source: Quotationary

A Mom for Marriage

Click here to get weepy.

This op-ed piece by Iris S. Blumenthal ran in the New York Daily News on Mother's Day. It's headlined "For Mother's Day, I Want Marriage Equality: Give My Son and His Partner the Right to Marry."

New York lawmakers will soon be deciding on same-sex marriage in the Empire State (see below). I defy them to say no to Iris.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Nuptial News

There's been a lot of marriage news lately. But enough about the Royal Wedding.

On these shores, the struggle for same-sex marriage has been as wobbly as a tipsy bride.

Look at Rhode Island. Hopes were high that Little Rhody would become the sixth state to allow gay marriage. But House Speaker Gordon Fox announced the legislation wouldn't pass the Senate, so he was backing civil unions instead.

Rhode Island started off down the aisle, then got cold feet.

Fox, interestingly enough, is openly gay. Advocates of same-sex marriage are openly angry at his decision. Martha Holt of Marriage Equality Rhode Island said in a statement, "We cannot support legislation that establishes a second class of citizens in Rhode Island."

When Vermont granted civil unions 11 years ago, they were the cat's meow. Now many consider them something the cat dragged in.

Marriage activists have unusual company in their opposition to civil unions: the Catholic Church and the National Organization for Marriage. These anti-gay forces want lawmakers to reject the legislation because civil unions, they say, are a stepping-stone to gay marriage.

Let's hope so.

In other marriage news, we turn now to that all-American boil, Donald Trump. When talking to a New York Times reporter about his opposition to same-sex marriage, Trump used a golf metaphor.

"A lot of people—I don't want this to sound trivial—but a lot of people are switching to these really long putters, very unattractive," said the kind-of-sort-of Republican presidential candidate. "It's weird. You see these great players with these really long putters, because they can't sink three-footers anymore. And, I hate it. I am a traditionalist. I have so many fabulous friends who happen to be gay, but I am a traditionalist."

Yes, the Donald is comparing your relationship to a golf club. Fore!

If he becomes president, he'll see to it that America doesn't resort to gay marriage or ugly putters. Because he's a traditionalist—who's been married three times.

Let's check out the poll conducted by Public Policy Polling that revealed a majority of Republicans now support some form of legal recognition for gay couples.

Most thought gay couples should receive a notarized certificate reading "Nice try" and a $5 Dunkin' Donuts card.

Actually, of the more than 1,000 Republicans nationwide who were polled, 12 percent favored full marriage rights, and 39 percent favored civil unions. That's a total of 51 percent in support of legal recognition, compared to the 48 percent who believed gay couples should have no legal rights, and ought to move to the Yukon.

Finally we head to the state of New York where it appears the legislature will vote on marriage equality pretty darn soon. In 2009 same-sex marriage died in the Senate. What will the Senate do this time? Both sides are pushing like mad. Oh, the drama.

Former President Bill Clinton, a New York resident, weighed in. He released a statement through the HRC that said each time this nation has extended rights to those previously denied them, America has become stronger, so let's do it again, New York.

I keep picturing Bill in a spangled red, white and blue suit, backed by the Rockettes.

Chelsea Clinton helped kick off statewide phone banking in Manhattan. She made some phone calls, and told the volunteers she was proud of her father's stand. She said, reported The Advocate, "I am unabashedly biased toward my parents, and I am also unabashedly biased toward the right to marry."

Clinton herself got hitched last July, and she said marriage equality would be a fine first-anniversary present. Indeed, the traditional first-anniversary gift is paper. A document with the signature of the governor of New York would work nicely.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mom's Day

For a great Mother's Day cartoon, click here.

I wanted to put the image on my site, and I probably wouldn't have been caught, but I prefer to be legal and moral about these things. Being legal and moral in the case of this cartoon would've meant signing a licensing agreement and paying more money than I make in a month.

So I'm settling for sending you to the source. The solution for the indigent blogger.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Good Question in Minnesota

It appears that the state of Minnesota will be voting on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

Despite Steve Simon's rhetorical flourishes.

If you haven't seen the video of the Democratic state representative making several good points as he speaks against the amendment, check it out here.

Simon's takeaway line was, "How many more gay people does God have to create before we ask ourselves whether or not God actually wants them around?"

I've pondered his question. I have two answers:

1. 24,835,947.
2. If God stopped making straight people, the point would get across faster.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

This Week's Quote

The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing—and then marry him.

Cher

Source: An Uncommon Scold

Monday, May 2, 2011

White House Wedding Bells

Bill Yosses, the executive pastry chef at the White House, married Charlie Fabella Jr., a teacher, in Washington last week.

What I'd like to know is this: Is it customary for whoever resides in the White House to give staffers a wedding present? If so, what will the Obamas give the newlyweds?

Laura Bush hired Yosses in 2007. When Michelle Obama arrived, his job changed. Obama prefers that dessert be an infrequent visitor to family meals. Since she champions healthy eating, Yosses now finds himself tending the White House garden and beekeeping.

It's a new, healthier day at the White House. For a wedding gift, Yosses and Fabella can expect a treadmill. Or his and his free weights.