- September 2021
After 18 years together and two children, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and Marlon Reis made honest men of each other last week, marrying in a traditional Jewish ceremony.
Every wedding guest was required to test negative for COVID.
I wonder whether, instead of a glass, the grooms stepped on a test tube.
Over the summer, Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player to come out as gay.
So he was already making history as the first openly gay NFL player to appear in a regular-season game when he stepped on the field during "Monday Night Football." But in a Hollywood-esque turn of events, Nassib forced a fumble in overtime that led to his team's game-winning touchdown.
I think it must be said here and now that any athlete who comes out going forward won't be expected to be the hero of the next game. Announcing your orientation to the whole world is a scary affair. After you come out, you're a winner if you can simply remember which sport you play.
In the lead-up to today, the 20th anniversary of 9/11, I've heard frequent laments for the national unity we Americans felt and displayed in the days after the attacks. This isn't surprising, considering we're now a nation of fissures.
I remember that feeling. A complete wuss where needles are concerned, even I was prepared to give blood. As much as they needed. As long as they knocked me out first.
But I also remember that, for some, unity wasn't on the agenda.
Two days after the planes flew into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Jerry Falwell appeared on Pat Robertson's "700 Club" TV show, and offered this: "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way – all of them who have tried to secularize America – I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"
Robertson heartily agreed. During a period of monumental national sorrow, America's two most prominent conservative Christian leaders chose to demonize queer people and our fellow travelers.
After an outcry, Robertson blamed Falwell. The televangelists couldn't even manage unity in their disunity.
Looking back, I suspect the issue was partly timing. The nation was too raw. If they'd waited a month to blame gays and feminists and liberals, they might've been better received, not come across as heartless, vicious toadstools.
I guess they just got caught up in their enthusiasm for sharing God's love.
Clearly, there has been a lack of imagination about how much can go wrong.
Last week minor-leaguer Bryan Ruby became the only active professional baseball player to come out. In July Nashville Predators prospect Luke Prokop announced he's gay, making the 19-year-old the first NHL player, active or retired, to come out. In June Carl Nassib of the Las Vegas Raiders became the first active NFL player to come out.
What on earth are they putting in Gatorade these days?
- August 2021
Brody Neville was facing a bleak 12th birthday.
When the Canadian youngster came out as gay several months ago, his friends dumped him. So his mom did what modern parents do: She put out a call on Facebook.
Neville arrived at a Calgary park on Saturday, and saw what he assumed was an unusually large crowd waiting for the ice cream truck. But the dozens of people weren't there to celebrate overpriced ice on a stick. They were there to celebrate him.
Family, friends and strangers gave him presents. Drag queens performed. A fire engine stopped by—probably to the relief of the drag queen who'd performed a monstrous split.
"Thank you everybody for this," Neville told the crowd. "This is the best day of my life!"
I'm not crying, you're cry . . . oh the hell with it, I'm crying.
Josephine Baker, the St. Louis-born performer, spy and activist, will be reinterred on Nov. 30 in the Panthéon monument in Paris, the first Black woman to receive one of the highest honors France bestows on its citizens.
Baker moved to France in 1925, where her career as a singer and dancer exploded. During World War II, she joined the French resistance. She was the only female speaker at the 1963 March on Washington.
Baker was also famously bisexual. I assume she is not being honored for that . . . although we are talking about France here.
If there is a supreme being, he's crazy.
My Romanian sister-in-law speaks terrific English. As a banker, Julie has occasionally needed to use the phrase "in arrears." She just told me how she used to believe the phrase was pronounced "in the rear."
She thought that for quite a while, so I have to assume she never said those words to a gay man. His raucous laughter would've tipped her off the minute she warned, "If you don't pay this credit card bill, the bank will have you in the rear."
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