Showing posts with label Straight. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Straight. Show all posts

Monday, January 07, 2013

Soon Every Day Will Be A Gay Day

Several years ago--many, actually--after I moved to Miami, Carlos and I went to Disney World. I'd been to Disneyland but not yet to the World. So, we did the Magic Kingdom and Epcot and had a really great time. Our last night, wee stayed late for the fireworks and found a beautiful spot beside a pond to watch the night sky light up.

As we were leaving, feeling all aglow, I took Carlos' hand in mine as we walked out of the park. Just ahead of us, a Lesbian couple was doing the same. Just ahead of that couple was, well, this guy, who looked back at The Lesbians and The Gays holding hands and said, "What do you think this is? Gay Day?"

To which one of the Lesbians replied, "Every day is gay day."

And the guy smirked, but kept moving. I like that story because it could have gotten ugly, but it just turned into a giggle and a smile.

Joel Diaz and his friend, Ethan, after a night out, decided on getting some people, and headed to a popular spot in their Columbus, Ohio neighborhood. As they stood in line at Mikey's Late Night Slice--apparently the pizza is that good--Joel and Ethan began holding hands.

Gay day, though not so much. At first.

A customer in front of the two men turned around and told the men to, ahem, cut that "gay shit" out.

There weren't a couple of Lesbians standing by to utter the line, "Every day is gay shit" or something, but something else, quite lovely happened that night. Almost every single person in the line that night made it clear to that guy to cut that Homophobic shit out.

And while Joel and Ethan, and another gay friend of theirs, stood up for themselves, and told the man that he couldn't speak to them like that and they wouldn't take his bigoted remarks at all, it was the straight people in line who stood up the loudest.

Of course, as bigots do when they get called on their hate, he continued spewing venom, ignoring the entire crowd. And that was when the people working at Mikey's shouted to the man that they would not serve him because he was spewing hate. They said they support everyone in our community and that he should get out of line because they would not be serving him. He begrudgingly got out of line and walked away escorted by a friend who had been hanging back.

How simple is that? Stand up against hate. Say something, do something, non-violent, and the hate has no place to go, except home.

Joel wrote up his story for a Facebook post and shared it with friends, who, of course, shared it with friends and so on and so on. Suddenly the post had gone viral and people everywhere--even in a small town in South Carolina--began telling the story of standing up against hate.

And the more it’s shared the more people stand up. The more people realize it was just a couple standing in line for pizza and holding hands against the cold. And what's not to like about that?

Stories like this give me hope for the future--especially as more states fall into the Equality Column. People, straight people, are beginning to finally realize that being gay isn't "shit" it's just being gay. And two men, or two women, holding hands in Columbus Ohio or in the Happiest Place On Earth should be treated no differently than any other couple anywhere else.

Read Joel Diaz's tale at HuffPo Gay Voices

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stand Up Please; One Of Our Straight Allies Has Passed

She was a housewife; she was a mother. She was raising her children like all mothers do. But then, in 1974, back in the days when being gay was considered a mental illness, Adele Starr's son came out, and everything changed.

For the better.

See, even though, back in the 70s, and before that, and, sadly, still today, parents often blame themselves when a son or daughter comes out as gay, or even bisexual or transgender. There's a lot of speculating about what was done 'wrong' to make their child so very different. But Adele Starr wasn't having that.

Instead, Adele Starr founded a new group in Los Angeles, a support group, for parents of gay children, friends of gay people. Her group became known as PFLAG [Parents and Friends of Lesbians And Gays] and she was that group's first national president.

Adele Starr, that mother for all gay men and women whose own mothers pushed them away, died last Friday night in Santa Monica at age ninety.

It was just two years after her son came out to her that Adele Starr founded the group, then known as Parent FLAG, and now as PFLAG, a gay rights and acceptance organization. And Adele worked hard for the group, even speaking on the steps of the US Capitol, way back in 1979, at a march for gay rights. Two years later she became PFLAG's first national president, serving in that position until 1986. After that she continued to work for gay rights, marriage rights, equal rights.

We have our gay heroes, whose names we all remember, but sometimes we forget our straight allies who have marched with us and fought with us, along the way.

So, take just a moment, today, to bid farewell to Adele Starr and thank her for being a mother to those of us who may have lost ours the day we said those three words.

"Mom, I'm gay."

Adele Starr Obituary

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Who's Normal?

Oy! All this hubbub about men's figure skating and who's manly and athletic and who's flamboyant [read: gay] and out there.
I mean, here we are in the 21st century for crying out loud and we're caught up in gender-identity issues and who's a real man and who maybe isn't. Haven't we moved beyond the Marlboro image of he-manlyness? Or, is a man really a man if he's tough and rugged and, well, doesn't ice skate with a pink tassel on his shoulder?
NBC and the Olympics have pissed me off with their continued discussions of athletic, traditional Evan Lysacek [read: hetero] and the flamboyant Johnny Weir [read: homo]. They act as though Evan is more of a man because, while he wears feathered gloves and sequined body stockings on the ice, he doesn't wear corsets and tassels, and primp and pose, and skate around with a tiara of roses. And you get the feeling that the judges scores are not based solely on artistic and technical merit, but costumes, hair and make-up, with a little, life off the ice thrown in.
So, did Johnny place so low in the standings because people don't like his brand of skating; or did Evan place so high because he's the safer, man's man choice?
I think it's fear.
Fear of saying, Wow, Johnny is flamboyant and wild and marches to his own drummer, but, damn, he can skate! Fear of looking a little too gay, whatever that means, if you happen to enjoy the athletic prowess and in-your-face razzle-dazzle of a man who doesn't say he's out, but isn't really in, either.
And it's also fear of guilt by association. I know first hand, because people have been asking me for a week how I feel about Johnny Weir. It's like they all gather around and talk about him, and then, as a group, vote to bring the discussion to the in-house queer.
Do I like Johnny Weir? Hell yeah. He skates to his own drummer, he wears whatever the hell he wants, and he acts how he chooses. His skating, his personage, his life, are a big Fuck you to anyone with a hang-up about what makes a man a real man.
So, then I don't like Evan Lysacek? No, I like him too. He is a bit more traditional, if we forgive the feathered gloves and sequins; he does seem a bit more athletic. But that doesn't make him a man.
Last I checked, having a penis makes you a man.
Johnny Weir scares people because he's Johnny Weir; he's this year's Adam Lambert. He doesn't fit the mold of ice skaters of years past. He doesn't talk of athleticism and quads, he talks about "rockin' the tassel." As for Evan Lysacek, he doesn't scare people; he'll do fine as 2010's Kris Allen on ice. He's the guy next door who, because he doesn't tassel and corset, must work harder at being a manly-man skate. A lot of folks like the Kris Allens and Evan Lysaceks because they seem so normal. But normal isn't all it's cracked up to be. I imagine Michelangelo wasn't normal; or Da Vinci; Gertrude Stein wasn't normal. k.d. lang, who blew the roof off the place during the opening ceremonies, isn't what people might consider normal.
Which is another way of saying there is no such thing as normal.
Johnny Weir is normal for Johnny Weir; flashy costumes, over-the-top quotes, flourishes, are normal. Evan Lysacek is normal for Evan Lysacek; athletic, good looking, a few feathers in Johnny Cash black.
Neither is bad. They're both just different.
And different is good.
And it's normal.