- November 2022
I just called my daughter and her wife—who are expecting a baby next spring—to let them know that this Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act!
Sen. Chuck Schumer
The good news is Singapore's parliament has decriminalized sex between men.
The bad news is Singapore's parliament has also amended its constitution to fend off court challenges that could lead to legalizing same-sex marriage.
Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam summed up this approach by saying, "We will try and maintain a balance . . . to uphold a stable society with traditional, heterosexual family values, but with space for homosexuals to live their lives and contribute to society."
If the homosexuals can live in a "space" barely wide enough for a drag queen's eyelashes.
For the last several years I've been lucky enough to enjoy a sumptuous Thanksgiving dinner at the home of friends. I'm not the only orphan and stray who attends, and yesterday the guests included a man I'd met once before, who works for a legal organization bent on preventing "government overreach and abuse."
Is your spine starting to tingle?
I'm not one to argue for the sake of arguing, and on holidays I definitely strive to keep the peace. I can't remember how it all started, but at one point our hostess passionately pontificated on how the Constitution omits her as a woman, and while the conservative fellow seated next to me seemed sympathetic on the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe, he proceeded to reel off a host of Fox News talking points, from crime in the cities to people flooding over the border.
When he declared that gun control helped bring about the Holocaust, Ms. Keep-the-Peace couldn't keep her yap shut. I never thought I'd leap into a holiday fracas over politics, as so many have done around the dinner table over the past few years, but there I was. Participating in the new American holiday tradition.
But you know what made the whole scene more painful? I'd swear by the hem of Harvey Milk's sweater that this man is a closet case.
He's about 60, and single, and my friends are unaware of any past romantic attachments with women. My gaydar shrieked the first time I met him.
When he spoke of Seattle's downtown having grown terrifying due to the presence of so many homeless, addicts and mentally ill people on the streets, I actually agreed there's a problem. But my arguing that a host of reasons caused the problem fell on deaf ears. That part, I decided as I drove home later, wasn't important to him. These people scare him, so they're bad. Causes are irrelevant distractions to such a black and white thinker. So is empathy.
In his world, right and wrong are clearly delineated, and simplistic. He lives in a box. In a closet. He's a geometric marvel.
If he started letting in other thoughts—like perhaps that Honduran woman and her child have a reason for swimming across the Rio Grande, or Chris Evans is hot—would he fall apart? Or be reborn?
All I can say for certain is we were a lively bunch between dinner and dessert yesterday, and that whole notion of tryptophan in the turkey causing sleepiness is for the birds.
Image by Monstera at Pexels
What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?
I figure we could all use some good news: Last night, transgender woman Amy Schneider won the "Jeopardy!" Tournament of Champions.
Schneider said in a statement she plans to continue representing the trans community. "Being in places where people like me haven’t been before, it’s a very powerful thing to do."
Especially right now.
Tell me if I'm being too touchy.
Yesterday was an emotional day. It was Transgender Day of Remembrance, and it was the day we all found out about the killings the night before at Club Q in Colorado Springs. So my emotional equilibrium was in doubt by the time my sister and I went to hear humorist David Sedaris give a reading in downtown Seattle.
Not helping that equilibrium in the least was the fact that, both at dinner and later at the show, I spotted a woman I've long had a crush on clearly on a date that appeared to be going just splendidly.
Anyway, I remarked to my sister as we ate that I expected the very openly gay Sedaris to acknowlege the painful events of the day. But he didn't. Not a word. And that irritated me.
Were my nerve endings just too raw? Did I expect too much from a celebrity with a huge straight following? Was it unreasonable to hope for a balm for sadness in an atmosphere of amusement?
I really don't know. But I'm still irritated. Do you think I'm being too sensitive?
No need to add any asides about my having been trapped in a restaurant and a theater with my crush and her date. I already know I'm too sensitive about that. Fortunately, I'm able to see the humor in the situation. I'm planning a screenplay.
This morning I was prepared to post about its being Transgender Day of Remembrance, when we hold up and mourn all the trans folks lost to violence in the past year.
Then I read about last night's shootings at an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs. An armed 22-year-old murdered at least five people and injured 18 others.
Two competing stories about the loss of innocent queer lives. If Nov. 20 were a person, it would be in the fetal position.
Let's talk about Facebook. Briefly. I can't take much, either.
I don't pretend to understand why the social-media behemoth chooses to place some of the posts on my General Gayety page before thousands of people, while others receive an audience of two. All I know is very few folks saw a recent post about my new book, and I can't have that.
My memoir is called "Fun With Fred: Life With OCD and Hoarding." It's available at Amazon and IngramSpark, and if you like General Gayety, chances are you'll enjoy this honest and funny take on living with wretched mental disorders.
And in the event Facebook will only amplify posts that contain trending words, well, here: Taylor Swift. Donald Trump. Prince Harry. World Cup. Nancy Pelosi. Inflation. Plant-based. Abortion. Philadelphia Eagles. Nothingburger.
Offhand, I can think of only one person who'll benefit from Donald Trump's announcement that he's running for president again.
Every reporter in America will be obliged to mention that Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th U.S. president, the only chief executive to leave the White House and come back again four years later for a second term, as Trump aims to do.
Thanks to the Donald's ambition, anger and narcissism, Grover will be having a moment. Not bad for a guy who's been dead 114 years.
Last night on the PBS news, anchor Judy Woodruff introduced a segment with these words: "As results of the 2022 midterm elections continue to come in, one trend is clear. It was an historic year for LGBTQ candidates vying for state and federal office."
I went glowy all over.
Reporter Laura Barrón-López then noted that Tina Kotek in Oregon and Maura Healey in Massachusetts will be America's first two lesbian governors. With Colorado reelecting Jared Polis in Colorado, a record-breaking three states will be led by LGBTQ chief executives.
I'm going glowy all over all over again.
Barrón-López said that "2022 marked the first time there were queer candidates on the ballot in all 50 states." I've heard the number was 49, but I like her number better. It's so round.
In New York's 3rd Congressional District, two gay men faced off, a political first. Republican George Santos won, which is unfortunate, as he's a Trump fan who attended the Jan. 6 rally, supports Florida's Don't Say Gay law and opposes abortion.
In a word, yuck.
But in other Congressional news, Vermont has its first woman headed to the House in the person of lesbian Becca Balint; Eric Sorensen will be the first openly gay person to represent Illinois; and Robert Garcia of California will be Congress's first gay immigrant.
A rainbow wave indeed.
And there's more. "It was also a history-making election for transgender candidates running for state legislatures," remarked Barrón-López. Zooey Zephyr and Leigh Finke are the first trans people elected to the legislatures of Montana and Minnesota, respectively, and James Roesener of New Hampshire became the first trans man elected to any statehouse in the country.
We know state legislatures have been vomiting out anti-transgender bills lately. Seeing that in Montana is why Zephyr ran for office. Now the anti-trans legislators in Helena will have to deal with a real, live trans person in their midst.
I'm not sure whether it should be police or sociologists standing by.
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