- December 2022
At my Unitarian Universalist church in Seattle today, as part of an Advent sermon on joy, the junior minister told a story that had me laughing more than is probably decent.
Beth recalled how the small UU church she attended growing up in Topeka, Kan., encouraged congregants to express a joy or a sorrow during the service. On one particularly memorable Sunday, her mother shared with the congregation that she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer and planned to undergo surgery. Beth's mother was hopeful, but this announcement clearly fell in the sorrow category.
A transgender woman who followed shared a joy, namely that she would soon be receiving long-awaited chest feminization surgery.
Beth's mother yelled out that the two of them should try to get a two-for-one deal.
Brittney Griner is coming home. Finally. The lesbian Phoenix Mercury star was released from Russian custody in a one-for-one prisoner swap.
While the circumstances aren't perfect—Russia refused to include another incarcerated American in the deal, for instance—Griner will be back with her family after a nine-month trip through hell as a political pawn.
I'm so relieved. And during the upcoming WNBA season, I'm sure I'll be downright pleased when Griner leads the Mercury to victory over my team, the Seattle Storm.
As long as it happens only once.
I bet they asked Herschel Walker if he was ready to make his concession speech, and he said, “Yes, two hot dogs please.”
It seems unlikely to me that you needed another reason to hate Russian President Vladimir Putin.
But he provided one yesterday. Though his full-time occupation is attempting to cripple Ukraine, he managed to find a few moments to sign expanded anti-LGBTQ laws. He's a whiz at despotic time management.
A 2013 law had banned the dissemination of LGBTQ-related information to children. Now "LGBT propaganda" can't be disseminated to adults, which will effectively eradicate all public signs that queer people exist in Russia.
Any action or the spreading of any information that could be considered as promoting homosexuality in public, online, in movies, books or ads is viewed as "LGBT propaganda," and those found guilty will receive whopping fines.
It's all part of an effort by Putin's government to quash opposition, free speech and Western values. Between that and sanctions and all the battle casualties Russia is suffering thanks to Putin's fevered imperial dreams, Moscow these days must have all the charm of week-old borscht.
Fuzzy sound? Yes. But these 12 Gays of Christmas still make the holiday for me.
- 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.
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