Friday, November 30, 2007
Today, 12,000 flags will be planted on the National Mall in honor of the 12,000 soldiers who have been discharged under Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell. Also today, a letter will be released to Congress, signed by 28 retired generals and admirals urging the repeal of the gay ban. We really may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on this issue and it has me reflecting on my own career in the Army.
I was a JAG officer, a lawyer in uniform, for 12 years. The highest rank I achieved was major. When I was a junior officer, I never encountered issues regarding the gay ban, partly because this was during the first Bush presidency and gays were not on the radar screen. When President Clinton promised to end the ban, the military leadership was apoplectic and commanders at all levels vowed never to let that a mere president force homos on this man’s Army. This was the real reason why
As I became more senior, I began receiving more and more requests for advice on the ban, which obviously put my closeted self in an awkward position. I used all my lawyerly skills to convince commanders that DA/DT was a minefield for them, that the level of evidence necessary to start an investigation was so high and the potential for screw-up so great that they were better off to let it be. In those cases where soldiers outed themselves, I advocated for honorable discharges. Sometimes these efforts worked, sometimes they didn’t. There’s a former lieutenant from
Being gay in the military is an insane life. I know some people find a way to be out to their comrades, but most, like me, were deeply closeted, hyper aware of any slip up. I laughed at the fag jokes and butched it up, but I lost track of my soul in the process. I found myself at 38 years old living in rural south
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Maybe Dennis Kucinich really isn't the perfect candidate for me after all. At a campaign stop in New Hampshire, he actually said he is considering Ron Paul as a running mate. Ron Paul?? Ron Paul is the Republican presidential candidate who wants to remove federal court jurisdiction over abortion cases, abolish the income tax and the Federal Reserve, abolish most federal agencies, legalize gold and silver as legal tender and he worries that the UN wants to confiscate our guns. Paul also is no friend of the gays. He opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment, but on Federalist, states-rights grounds. He does not support same sex marriage or adoption. He opposes any attempts by "rogue judges" to impose same sex marriage on the states and he strongly supports the Defense of Marriage Act.
There's a lot more to both these guys, of course, the most significant being their shared opposition to the war in Iraq, but I fail to see how pro-choice, pro gay rights, pro gun control Dennis Kucinch imagines how he could govern well with Ron Paul, his polar opposite on these issues.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
America has been waiting breathlessly for this key endorsement and now we know - Fabio supports Hillary! Aunt Mildred will now vote for a democrat for the first time in her life. Fabio demonstrated his keen insight into global geo-political affairs with this quote explaining his Hillary support: "When a woman gets pissed off at you, she's going to get you, you know?"
Ahmadinejad better watch his back.
Hat Tip Althouse.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
HRC asked each Presidential candidate to clarify his/her position on the military's bankrupt gay ban, otherwise known at Don't Ask/Don't Tell. First up was John Edwards who said the following:
“It is long past time to end the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy and to allow openly gay men and women to serve in the military. It is critical to our national security that we have the best people in our military. Gay men and women have continually served our country with honor and bravery, and we should honor their commitment and never turn away anyone who is willing to serve their country because of their sexual orientation.
“This is an issue of fundamental fairness – and our military ought to treat everyone fairly. ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ did not become wrong. It was always wrong. Instead of fumbling when people question the morality of the 12,000 gays and lesbians who have unjustly lost military careers, we must repeal ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell."
Nice one. It counters Hillary's lame and false argument that DA/DT was a step in the right direction, and it includes an allusion to Hillary's and Obama's hesitancy to answer when asked if homosexuality is immoral. Hmmm. Maybe I need to rethink this guy.
One more thing, if I may be allowed a shallow moment, gosh that man's handsome.
Monday, November 26, 2007
I survived the parental visit. It went very well, in fact, no buttons pushed, no family of origin issues. It was really a nice visit. My parents have made a real effort to understand me and I am touched by it. Case in point, my father, out of the blue, told me a story that blew me away.
Dad: "You know, there are a couple of fellas in our [Episcopal] church who are of your persuasion."
Sam (not quick on the uptake) "My persuasion? Methodist?"
Dad: "No, your...um...gay persuasion."
Mom: "Yes, they're as nice as they can be. One's a male nurse and the other's a hairdresser. The male nurse even serves on the church vestry."
Dad: "Everybody gets along real well with them. I don't think anybody has said anything bad to them."
It turns out these gay guys don't live in in the tiny town where I grew up (population 4000). No, they live in an even smaller town about 10 miles away. This gay couple lives in a town of about 500 people in the deep south, and they live openly and are active in the community. In South Carolina.
Now, some of you may be thinking so what Sam? Welcome to the 21st century. But I'm blown away by this, and not just because my father actually uttered the word "gay" in reference to men. When I was growing up, there were exactly zero openly gay people in my home town. There was one guy who was rumored to be, you know, that way, and he wore caftans and eye liner and people laughed at him to his face (in retrospect, he was possibly the bravest man I've ever encountered, but as a kid I only knew I didn't want to be like that). I was convinced that I was the only boy on earth who had crushes on other boys instead of girls. I cannot imagine the difference in my life an openly gay couple could have made. Whether I ever spoke to them or not, just the knowledge that I wasn't alone and that it was possible to live a fulfilling gay live could have saved me years of closeted misery.
I occasionally get mailers from my old high school alma mater, which has transformed itself into one of those Christian Academies, with lots of prayer circles and field trips to Hell Houses. If anything, it must be an even worse environment for budding young homosexuals than it was in my day. Now that I know there are at least two gay men living lives of honesty and integrity, I have hope for those young gay kids.
When there is an openly gay couple living in rural South Carolina, the culture wars are over and we've won.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
It's the day before the day before Thanksgiving and my last day at work this week. My parents are on the road even as we speak, and each minute brings them inexorably closer.
There's no turning back now.
I'm on the brink of a holiday with the parents.
Luckily, they always travel with booze.
I will be doing all the cooking and, if I do say so myself, I'm pretty handy with a skillet. My Thanksgiving gift to you is Martha Stewart's decadent macaroni and cheese. This is definitely a special occasion dish. You can find this and many other wonderful recipes in her book which you can and should order here.
Martha Stewart's Macaroni and Cheese
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
6slices good white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
4 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (about 18 ounces)
2 cups grated Gruyère cheese (about 8 ounces) or 1 1/4 cups grated Pecorino Romano (about 5 ounces)
1 pound elbow macaroni
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into the bowl with bread, and toss. Set bread crumbs aside.
2. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, whisking, 1 minute.
3. While whisking, slowly pour in hot milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
4. Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyère or 1 cup Pecorino Romano; set cheese sauce aside.
5. Fill a large saucepan with water; bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 minutes less than manufacturer's directions, until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce
6. Pour mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyère or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, and bread crumbs over top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes; serve hot.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Well, maybe not exactly. You see, my mother is very southern.
Or maybe this...
In any case, they're on the way, driving for 1,000 miles. Mom and Dad don't fly, you see. It's not actual fear of flying that gets them. When they were younger, they flew all the way to Germany, and changed planes and terminals in Frankfurt. That's no mean feat for people who don't travel a lot. No, I think they don't fly because George W. Bush has gotten through to them. I think all the Republican talking points equating fear with patriotism have kept them out of the skies. So, my 84 year old father will drive the Cadillac for 16 hours. I won't mention my mother's age because she always taught me never to reveal a lady's age. Like I said, think this...
Mom and Dad are OK with the gay thing, and I'm grateful that they come to visit us, although I'm sure the folks back home think I'm single because talking about such things just wouldn't be fittin'. I'm also sure my mother still harbors a desperate hope that I'll outgrow this phase and fall hopelessly in love with Miss Texas debutante SMU Tri-Delt who's daddy will toss me a few oil wells 'cause I'm such a great guy. My husband may have dressed like a debutante once or twice, and I may have dreamed of wearing a crown, but that's as close as I'll ever get to that particular maternal fantasy.
Wish me luck.
I love my country, too, baby. This is dreamy, openly gay Israeli singing star Ivri Lider. I guess I'm in the midst of a beautiful Hebrew men theme. Sounds good to me.
Now some of you may think I'm just a copy cat because Juice with Junior just did an Ivri post last week. Quick, go read it and then come back. I prefer to think of myself as inspired by Juice with Junior instead of a copy cat, and besides, that much delicious manhood needs to be spread around. I've been listening to his music a lot lately. You can too, on his website.
As a bonus, here's Ivri singing his beautiful rendition of the classic standard The Man I Love from the terrific film The Bubble. This is a great way to start a Monday.
Friday, November 16, 2007
My friend Doug sent me this quiz to find the Presidential candidate who most matches my views. No surprise, Dennis Kucinich came in at 90%. Obama and Edwards tied for 80%. Take it, it's fun.
I love Kucinich, but have to face the reality that he's not going to win. Or even place, for that matter. So, who to support? I liked Obama for a while, but I'm still pissed over his big ex-gay rally in South Carolina featuring the seriously deluded Donny McClurkin. Besides, at the Logo/HRC debate, he came off as uncomfortable and angry. He's kind of handsome, though, if I can be allowed a shallow moment.
Edwards hasn't exactly caught fire with the voting public, and he seems overly polished and slick. Cute, though. Another shallow moment.
Hillary is the queen of triangulation and I have serious reservations about her that I've written about before.
So, I'm back to Dennis, although this picture does give me impure thoughts. Hmmm. This could be a winning ticket.
Georgia, and the rest of the southeast, is suffering from a historic drought. Georgia Governor and intellectual giant Sonny Perdue decided the solution was a great big prayer meetin' with lots of photographers and news crews, I mean lots of good Christian people, askin' the big guy for rain. I suppose the well-fed Sonny could have tried responsible environmental policies, but heck y'all, that's like sompin those comm'nist, Hillary lib'rals would do. Let's show 'em the true power of God's Own Party. Let's pray!
In response, God sent 1/4 inch of rain to taunt them followed by gusty winds to dry out what little good it did. The forecast calls for sun.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tennis star turned underwear mogul Bjorn Borg has launched a blog featuring pics of real-life customers in his products. Submit a picture and get a 5 euro discount on more undies. Most of the shots aren't really that interesting, but it's worth a look-see if only to check out Andre from Brazil.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Jim Neal is an openly gay democrat running for the U.S. Senate from North Carolina, trying to unseat that Republican tool Elizabeth Dole. He wants to bring the troops home, balance the budget, and generally bring intelligence and common sense to the Senate. The Democratic Party is trying to pretend he doesn't exist because he's (gasp) gay and is daring to run for office.
I heard Jim on Michaelangelo Signorile's radio show today and he said that if just 5% of gay Americans would send him $10 each, he would have all he needs to be the next senator from North Carolina and send the homecoming queen back to Kansas. I did it. You can too.
And another thing - is he hot or what!
Andy Warhol's iconic 1963 portrait of Elizabeth Taylor, titled "Liz," is going on the auction block. It's owner is none other than Hugh Grant. It is expected to fetch up to $35 million, which is 10 times what Grant paid for it.
Considering Grant's penchant for hookers, I know exactly what Gloria Wandrous would say...No Sale!
Hat tip to Hedonistic Pleasureseeker
Monday, November 12, 2007
Norman Mailer has died at the age of 84. The author of over 30 books including The Naked and the Dead, he was a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, for The Armies of the Night (1968) and for The Executioner's Song (1979). Mailer will also be remembered for his legendary bitch fights with Gore Vidal. Vidal compared Mailer's book The Prisoner of Sex to "three days of menstural flow." Mailer once head-butted Vidal in the green room of the Dick Cavett Show. Still on the ground, Vidal said "words fail Norman Mailer yet again." On the air, Mailer said Vidal had "ruined Jack Kerouac" by having sex with him. And I thought my friends were bitchy. The two reconciled and remained friends for life.
Let's start out the week with a Bang. Mike Rowe, the host of Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel. His show is a must-see, mainly because he always finds a reason to take off his shirt.
He looks pretty terrific fully clothed, too.Like I said, the older I get, the more I love hairy beary guys.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
No, the batshit crazy "reverend" hasn't yet admited his lust for man meat, rather, he has come out as a fraud. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, Pat Robertson of the 700 Club and that esteemed institution of higher learning, Regent "University," has come right out and left no doubt that he is a big, fat, steaming pile of lying, fraudulent crap. Robertson has endorsed none other than America's Mayor, Rudy Giuliani for president.
So let's get this straight, the same man who blamed gays and lesbians and abortion doctors for 9/11, the guy who said that Orlando would be hit by hurricanes because of gay days at Disney World, has endorsed a thrice married, serial adulterer, cross dresser who is pro-choice on abortion and is kinda/sorta all right with some gay rights (or at least he doesn't want to throw us off cliffs). Pat has declared that gays and abortion, over which he has scared untold millions of little old ladies into sending him their social security checks, "pale in significance" compared with the fight against "radical islam."
This seals it. Pat Robertson's religious right movement has never about religion at all, but purely about politics. Pat was more than willing to throw his "values" under the bus to hitch his wagon to the front runner. Pat craves fame and power and only fame and power and long ago sold his soul for 30 pieces of Republican silver. Now, he's finally out of the closet about it and Rudy has the "coveted" crazy old fag endorsement.
Maybe he's gone crazy with grief over the death of his lover, Falwell.
The House of Representatives has passed the Employment Non Discrimination Act which provides employment protections to gay and lesbian Americans. This is historic and cause for celebration. We have come so far in a relatively short time.
I know Bush will likely veto it, but this bill's passage will make it easier to pass it again when we have a President who actually cares about Americans. The toothpaste is out of the tube and even George Bush can't stuff it back in.
I also know that this is a trans-less bill, and that's regrettable. But I believe there is something to be said for incremental progress. We should take our victories when we can and build on them. I realize that I would probably feel differently if I were a "T" instead of a "G" but I still believe strongly that this is a significant victory for all of us.
Watch Barney Frank's emotional speech on the House floor as he stands down the Republican thugs. It's hard to watch it without getting choked up.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Someone recently suggested that I take a little quiz. I should make two lists: one with 10 dead people whom I would like to have met while alive, and another with 10 people I'd like to hang out with in heaven. I was to make the lists quickly without thinking a lot about it and see who pops up. Apparently, this exercise was intended to create one list of important historical figures like Abraham Lincoln and another of fun people like say Jim Morrison. My lists were a little different. They overlapped. All 20 were people I'd really like to hang out with, talk with and experience. There were no Lincolns or Einsteins. Here they are:
People I would like to have met:
1. Jacqueline Kennedy
2. Harvey Milk
3. Henry David Thoreau
4. William Haines
5. Kitty Carlisle
People I'd like to hang out with in Heaven:
1. Ethel Merman
2. Jacqueline Suzanne
3. Isadora Duncan
4. Oscar Wilde
5. Judy Garland
OK, first impression, that list is really, really gay. Even Thoreau. Especially Thoreau. I think most are well known, except possibly William Haines (pictured), who I greatly admire. Anybody who said he'd rather have taste than either love or money must have been deliciously gay. Haines was a top Hollywood star, one of the few to make the transition from silents to talkies. In fact, he was a top 5 box office star for 5 years running. He lived quite openly with his partner, but when Louis B. Mayer told him he had to marry a woman, he said fuck you to the movies and walked away. He became the most sought-after interior designer in Beverly Hills and made a fortune. He and his lover stayed together until death parted them. In other words, he lived life on his own terms, like everyone else on this list.
What I really created was the most amazing cocktail party list in history. Imagine it. Judy and Ethel in a fight to the death to be the center of attention. Nobody ever stole focus from those dames. Jacqueline Kennedy gracefully above it all, talking theater with Kitty Carlisle, literature with Thoreau and Wilde, antiques with Haines, and dance with Duncan. Isadora (can I take your scarf?) dancing as if no one is around. Harvey Milk torn between discussing changing society with Thoreau and bowing down to Judy. Oscar Wilde tossing off witty bon mots while trying to get handsome Billy Haines to a back room, all while Jackie Suzanne takes notes of all the juicy parts to put in a heavenly novel.
Apparently I admire people who defy convention and do it their way. What would your list look like?
Monday, November 5, 2007
The Episcopal Church is continuing it's seemingly endless and painful eruption over gays, specifically, Bishop Gene Robinson (pictured), the openly gay bishop of New Hampshire. Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefforts Schori has said that those who focus on homosexuality need to "refocus" and she has threatened to discipline the Bishop of Pittsburgh who is taking steps to take his diocese out of the Episcopal Church. A few dioceses have already left and a few big churches have re-aligned themselves with the churches in Nigeria and Uganda. The Church under Schori has already called a halt to the consecration of gay bishops, or as they put it, to "exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion."
This tactic, of course, represents caving to the small-minded, homo-obsessed bigots who will never be satisfied until Gene Robinson is burned at the stake. Schori is dreaming if she thinks telling the idealogues to "refocus" will have the slightest effect. I was raised Episcopalian and this uproar over gays is nothing new. In 1976, when I was a budding young homosexual living deep in the closet in a small town in the south, a new prayer book was introduced and many people were upset at what seemed to me to be minor changes. At the same time, the General Convention declared that homosexuals are "children of God." You would have thought they had endorsed devil worship. I will never forget a church meeting at our country church, supposedly about the new prayer book, that quickly degenerated when an old man stood up and yelled out "What About The Homos?!" The prayer book merely gave them cover for their anger over gay acceptance.
Episcopalians put on airs about being educated and sophisticated, but when it comes to same sex love, they are no better than the Bible-thumpin' snake handlers. Many people left the Episcopal church over gays and the prayer book in the 70s and "Anglican" churches began to sprout around the south, echoing those white flight segregation "academies" of 10 years before. Most of those churches foundered over the next decade or two.
These same kinds of people are ranting and raving today and threatening, and( in some cases) leaving the church. I say let them. Let them set up their little churches associated with the church in Nigera and Uganda. Good luck. They will face the same fate as those Anglican churches of the 70s. A church based on what it's against instead of what it's for will never flourish in the long run (unless it's called Southern Baptist). Let them go, Bishop Schori. I know it will mean that the Episcopal Church will be smaller and different and less wealthy, but shouldn't a church, of all institutions, stand it's moral ground, even in the face of harsh storms? By compromising its principles, the Episcopal Church is just postponing the inevitable showdown that has been brewing since 1976. I say bring it on, bigots. God can take it.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Civil Unions are coming to Ireland. First there was marriage equality in Catholic Spain, now civil unions in Catholic Ireland. This is a great step forward for justice and equality and further evidence of the waining influence of the Catholic Church.
Add Ireland to the growing list of countries that grant their citizens more rights than the US.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
I'm glad to see that rotten old corpse and his gang of freaks hit hard, and picketing the marine's funeral was utterly reprehensible, but I can't help remembering that they picketed the funerals of many gay men who died of AIDS and nobody noticed or cared. Picket military funerals and suddenly state legislatures pass laws and federal judges order big damage awards. We're still second class citizens.
A police sting in a public restroom on an interstate in Bedford, NY nabbed 20 men having sex in public. Guess how many identify as gay? Zero. Nul. Nada. 19 were married (to women) and one was, natch, a Catholic priest.
This was not gay sex. It was homosexual sex practiced by miserable "straight" men who can't deal with their lives. Gay men don't need to debase themselves in that way.
It's 2007 guys. What are you waiting for? Come out already.
Remember the Washington state Republican who resigned after sex with a gay porn star? The police report has now been released and this defender of family values is seriously kinky. According to the report, State Rep. Richard Curtis began his boys night out getting a blow job in a video store, while wearing women's stockings and sequined lingerie. Yes, that's right, sequined lingerie. Then, still in ladies' undies, he took a prostitute/porn star to a hotel where he paid him $100 to top this champion of the traditional family. Curtis then asked to bearback the whore, who initially said no until Curtis agreed to pony up $1000. After a little unprotected flip-flop, Curtis fell asleep without paying up, so the trick stole his wallet.
So, we have oral sex with a man in a public place, in women's lingerie - sequined lingerie no less- we have anal sex for money with a porn star (they're all porn "stars"), and barebacking for more money. Oh yeah, and extortion. And a stethoscope and rope were found in the hotel room. I don't even want to think about what they were for.
Wow, all I did this weekend was go to the movies. My gay lifestyle is looking mighty boring.