Tuesday, January 31, 2012

This Week's Quote

I have been asked to pose for Penthouse on my hundredth birthday.  Everybody is going to be sorry.

Dolly Parton

Source:  Women's Wicked Wit

Monday, January 30, 2012

You Are Invited

I'm thinking of starting a new career.  With the state of Washington on a path to legalize same-sex marriage, it's the right time here in the Evergreen State to get into the wedding invitation business.  For a modest fee, I plan to offer specialized invitation text, suited just for the couple.

I've knocked out some examples.  Imagine unsealing a hand-lettered envelope and withdrawing a regal invitation graced with one of the following announcements:

Benjamin Paul Corday and Jack Simon Mikkelsen request the pleasure of your company in celebrating their union of marriage on Saturday, the nineteenth of May, two thousand and twelve, at one o'clock in the afternoon, at Tacoma Lutheran Church.  Unless the pastor changes his mind again.

Jim and Arlene Trent and Stu and Suzy Levy invite you to the wedding of their daughters, Sarah Elizabeth Trent and Candace Opal Levy, on Saturday, the eighteenth of August, two thousand and twelve, at six o'clock at Golden Gardens Park, Seattle.  Dinner, dancing and writing thank-you notes to legislators to follow.

Sally Ann Miller and Deborah Casey Putnam request the honor of your presence as we marry for a fourth time.  No gifts, please.  We're out of space.

Barry Edward Miller and Archibald Chi Wong invite you to join them in celebrating their marriage in the card room of the Westhaven Retirement Home ten minutes after gay marriage becomes legal.

Mr. and Mrs. Alan Slater hold their noses and invite you to join them as their son David Riley Slater marries that man on Saturday, the seventh of July, two thousand and twelve, at five o'clock in the evening, Bellevue First Congregational Church.

Dinesh and Chandra Gupta request the honour of your presence and blessings on the auspicious occasion of the wedding ceremony of our daughter Ahanti to  . . . a man!  Our girl fooled us again.

Peter O'Malley and Mark Shaughnessy invite you to their wedding on the steps of St. James Cathedral in Seattle on Sunday, June 10th, at 10:00 in the morning.  Dress for possible arrest.

Cynthia Simmons Bartlett and Moonstone request that you get your butts over here to our place on Lummi Island for the mother of all union celebrations to take place on the summer solstice.  Potluck.

Abigail Sage Hernandez-Martin invites you to join her in celebrating the marriage of her Daddy and her Papa at her house in Spokane.  She will look unbearably cute, so you should bring your cameras.

The honor of your presence is requested at the reaffirmation of wedding vows of Grace Branson (formerly Herbert Branson) and Melinda Branson on Saturday, September 8th, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. at their home in Olympia.  Still going strong after 35 years and a few twists and turns!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

This Week's Quote

You live and learn.  Then you die and forget it all.

Noel Coward

Source:  The Mammoth Book of Great British Humor

Monday, January 23, 2012


Two groups fighting for marriage equality in Washington state have just posted on Facebook that a 25th state senator has said she'll vote for our right to marry.  That gives us a majority in the Senate.  That means this thing is going to pass.  That means this Washingtonian is in shock.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Non-Theoretical Question of the Week

When snow and ice have you trapped in a house not your own with two dogs that live to bark, how long before your sanity cuts and runs?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

This Week's Quote

It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Source:  Brainyquote.com

No More Merging

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Gay Travel Buzz

I used to be a travel writer, but these days I'm ignorant about international travel.  I don't even know where gays with money—in this economy, all six of them—go abroad on vacation.

So I asked my friend LoAnn Halden, who both writes about travel and serves as the Media Relations Manager for the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association, where the happening places for gays are.

The short answer is everywhere she's been.  Now, now, don't hate her for that.

The longer answer is a positive one.  As LoAnn wrote me in an email, "The gay world is certainly larger than it used to be."

I hadn't thought about gay travel in that way before, but by the god of lost luggage, she's right.  In years past, if you were gay and out, you likely stuck with the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and western Europe.

Now the whole world might not be your oyster, but you can get your hands on more of the pearls.

LoAnn noted, "Certainly South America/Latin America continues its gay rise.  Argentina and Brazil are leading the way, but I also know gays who love Colombia and we see plenty of gay group trips to Machu Picchu, Peru."

I wonder if any Inca spirits still hanging around those spectacular Peruvian ruins wisecrack when they see yet another busload of men unload, all of them attired in their colorful native garb, commonly known as Abercrombie & Fitch.

Argentina legalized same-sex marriage not long ago.  The Pride Parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is the biggest LGBT Pride celebration in the world.  Gay rights in Colombia have moved forward.  No doubt there are other reasons that Latin America has become a gay destination, but an improving LGBT rights picture is a factor.

"When you see changes in marriage/sodomy laws, like in South America or India, it adds to the buzz," said LoAnn.  Before you know it, gay men from Topeka are feeling the urge to samba.

Some savvy tourist officials around the world know the value of buzz.  When Argentina legalized gay marriage in 2010, the tourism minister of Mexico City, which had legalized gay marriage the year before, offered a free honeymoon to the first gay Argentines to wed.

The offer was "in recognition of tolerance, but also to promote gay-friendly tourism in Mexico City," said Tourism Minister Alejandro Rojas.  No "idiota," he.

Rojas said gay tourists are respectful, discerning and shell out 47 percent more than straight tourists.  It's a wonder every tourist official from Belize to Benin isn't courting us.

Geez, 47 percent.  As nations around the world grapple with LGBT rights, which is still an oxymoron to far too many of them, it would make sense for local tourism authorities to worm their way into the discussions.  Especially with the world economy as it is, those charged with boosting tourism should quietly chant "47 percent, 47 percent."

As LoAnn mentioned, the nation of India made a welcome, landmark, really-big-deal change.  In 2009 the Delhi High Court struck down Section 377, which made homosexual sex a criminal offense.

Last month LoAnn visited India on a trip for LGBT travel journalists, sponsored not by Indian authorities—apparently they don't want to woo us yet—but by those in the private sector, like tour operators, travel agents and hoteliers.  Word of that 47 percent has reached the Ganges.

LoAnn posted her India pictures on Facebook, and I for one drooled like a fool.  I must start travel writing again.  The next nation to improve its LGBT laws, I'm there.  Guess that rules out Vatican City.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Perks of the Job

In a photo posted yesterday on her Facebook page, Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire poses with baby rainbow cupcakes, a gift from Seattle-based, lesbian-owned Cupcake Royale, I assume to thank the governor for her support of marriage equality.  I can't speak for Gregoire, but that would be graft I could live with.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Question of the Week

What's your reaction to Kristy McNichol coming out?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pope Assigns Us Awesome Task

Pope Benedict kicked off the new year by declaring gay marriage is a threat to humanity's future.

Apparently the pontiff will not be pussyfooting around in 2012.

On Monday, before an audience of diplomats posted to the Vatican, the pope said same-sex marriage was among several threats to the traditional family.

Glad we're not the only one.  That really would be more responsibility than we can handle.

Benedict said that "pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman."

"This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself."

Lordy.  If we're going to destroy humanity, we need to get a move on.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

This Week's Quote

I do want to get rich but I never want to do what there is to do to get rich.

Gertrude Stein

Source:  The Quotable Woman

Monday, January 9, 2012

RuPaul Sashays Into New Hampshire

I can't improve upon this post from Jason Volack of ABC News, so here it is in its entirety.

For RuPaul, Ron Paul Confusion Is a Real Drag 

MANCHESTER, N.H. - RuPaul is giving it a twirl and walking the political catwalk to disprove once and for all that he’s not presidential candidate Ron Paul.

The confusion started four years ago when the actor, model and drag queen was mistaken for libertarian-leaning presidential candidate Ron Paul, 76.

Despite the obvious physical contrasts and their 25-year age difference, the star of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” was peppered with questions mostly concerning her presidential platform. “They get confused when I tell them that my platform is six inches and is covered in rhinestones,”  a flabbergasted RuPaul, 51, said.

His mission is simple. He’s in New Hampshire to have his picture taken with the Texas congressman so America can once and for all not confuse the two, although he concedes that his pussycat wig and high heels do make a fierce political statement.

“Our founding fathers wore wigs, did you ever think about that,” said the performer who was born in San Diego as RuPaul Andre Charles.

The drag queen diva says he’s best suited to serve America by finding its next drag queen superstar.

When asked what Ron Paul’s drag name would be, RuPaul quickly retorted “RuPaul.”

Well, one thing in this piece could have used improvement--consistency of pronouns.  And now for your viewing pleasure, here's RuPaul in Manchester, N.H.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Love in Fatigues

gay blog: His Airman, My Marine - Photo of Gay Soldiers Goes Crazy Viral
This picture of an airman and his marine has gone viral, reports unicornbooty.com.  First the welcome-home smooch between naval lesbians, and now this adorable photo.  It seems we can't get enough of these post-DADT images.  I await cuteness from the Coast Guard.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Question of the Week

Do you think Washington state will grant same-sex marriage rights this year?

Helluva Day in the Capital

Yesterday my partner Anne and I journeyed from Seattle to Olympia, Washington's state capital, to see history being made.  I won't drive through a monsoon for just any old reason.

The day before we'd gotten an alert from Legal Voice, the organization that fights for women's rights in the Northwest and a partner in the coalition pushing for marriage equality, that Gov. Chris Gregoire intended to deliver a speech on marriage.  Legal Voice asked Anne, who suffered the slings and arrows of inequality in the past, if she'd be willing to talk to the press, and Anne agreed.

Legal Voice expressly told us to keep mum about the governor's speech.  A few hours later, The Seattle Times blared the news.  I want it clearly understood that I'm not the one who talked.  As sorely tempted as I was to blab by blogging, I'm innocent.  A veritable picture of virtue.

Speaking of pictures, here's one I pilfered from Equal Rights Washington of the scene outside the governor's office as we waited to be let in.

I enjoyed the wait, picking out Washington LGBT luminaries like Grethe Cammermeyer, Margaret Witt, Charlene Strong, Marsha Botzer, Sen. Ed Murray and others.  I had a great chat with a rabbi from West Seattle, and when she confessed to nerves about talking to the media, I put on my press hat and did a practice interview.  By God, she was ready.

Eventually we were let in, with some of us bound for the room where the governor was to speak, and the rest of us off to the overflow room to watch the video feed.  And watch we did:

The governor gave a forceful and emotional speech.  We clapped, we laughed, and as usual, Anne cried.

Gov. Gregoire threw her full weight behind marriage equality in the Evergreen State.  "It is time, it is the right thing to do, and I will introduce a bill to do it," she declared.  She spoke of her long wrestling match with her faith over same-sex marriage while in office, a struggle that's now over, as she told reporters, "I feel so much better today than I have for the last seven years."

When she walked into the viewing room we gave her the reception she deserved, which appeared to move her.  That was only fair, since she'd moved us.

Then, with former governors watching from their portraits, media members interviewed some of us.  This was Anne's time, and I all but hurled her at a reporter I recognized from, I think, public access.  She spoke clearly and comprehensively, while I fulfilled my role of smiling partner in the distance.  It wasn't hard to smile, because I was deeply impressed at how well she was doing.

Anne was there in part for the purpose of speaking with the press; I'm a journalist.  But guess who got pulled into Anne's next interview?  Here's a hint, via a Legal Voice photo:

Apparently I felt so turned around I decided to close my eyes.

Guess which of us reporter Bryan Johnson used in his segment on the Channel 4 5:00 news?  If you feel compelled, this is the link.  Anne thinks she looks like a doofus while I talk.  I'm still kicking myself for being ungrammatical.  "I'm idiotic, and you're illiterate," Anne summed it up this morning.

I guess that makes us the perfect couple.  We'll know pretty darn soon whether the perfect couple can marry in the state of Washington.  With Gov. Gregoire's vigorous backing, the odds just got a lot better.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

This Week's Quote

We're Not Perfect, But They're Nuts

Barney Frank's suggested slogan for the Democrats in 2012

Source:  The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Jan. 2 episode

Monday, January 2, 2012

Perry and Lawrence v. Texas: Oops!

Rick Perry jumped into the Republican presidential race in August, and a spate of verbal blunders followed.  The Texas governor is on gaffe-ing gas.

He flubbed the voting age, the date of the 2012 election, the number of justices on the Supreme Court and the name of Justice Sotomayor.  Perry infamously blustered during a Republican debate that he would do away with three cabinet agencies, then couldn't remember the third.  On that occasion, Gov. Goodhair, as the late columnist Molly Ivins called the impeccably coiffed Perry, went flat and lifeless.

Recently Perry explained to Iowans the need for the Keystone XI pipeline, saying, "Every barrel of oil that comes out of those sands in Canada is a barrel of oil we don't have to buy from a foreign source."

I hear a line of beavers has taken up a defensive position on the Canadian side of the border.

Now we can add to Perry's record another sinkhole where knowledge should be, this time concerning a matter of major importance to the LGBT community.  In Cedar Rapids, an audience member at a campaign event asked Perry about Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 landmark Supreme Court case that struck down the sodomy law in Texas and nullified such laws across the U.S.

As far as Perry was concerned, he might as well have been asked about Ali v. Frazier.

"I wish I could tell you I knew every Supreme Court case.  I don't.  I'm not a lawyer," Perry responded, according to National Journal.  After the event, Perry told a reporter he didn't know what the case was.

That's incredible.  Lawrence v. Texas began shortly before Perry became Texas's lieutenant governor, and the Supreme Court heard and decided the case while he was governor.

This case began in Texas, affected Texas law and concerned his cherished conservative social values.  It gave us gays the right to diddle each other with impunity, for heaven's sake.  Yet Perry couldn't remember it.

What will he forget next?  The Alamo?

ABC News blogged that in Perry's 2010 book, "Fed Up!  Our Fight to Save America from Washington," he referred to Lawrence v. Texas as one of the cases in which "Texans have a different view of the world than do the nine oligarchs in robes."

Apparently at one time Perry did remember the court case.  And the number of justices on the Supreme Court.  Or at least his ghostwriter did.

Maybe he has to learn so much these days—like the name of North Korea's late dictator is Kim Jong-il, not "Kim Jong the Second" as Perry dubbed him—that facts he previously knew are falling out of his head to make room.  Anybody standing near him should look out for falling objects.

Back at the Blue Strawberry coffee shop, after being asked about the Lawrence case, Perry changed the subject:  "We can sit here and, you know, play 'I gotcha' questions on what about this Supreme Court case or whatever, but let me tell you, you know and I know the problem in this country is spending in Washington, D.C.—it's not some court case."

Actually we have a number of problems in this country.  One of them is a Texan who believes he should be president even though his brain shoots blanks.

As it happens, John G. Lawrence, one of the two plaintiffs in Lawrence v. Texas, passed away in November.  I have every confidence that when someone mentioned to Perry that John Lawrence died, the governor responded, "Poor Eydie.  Now who will she sing with?"