- November 2022
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.
- August 2022
Last night's biggest primary winner wasn’t a candidate. It was abortion rights.
By a stunning margin, Kansas voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would've given lawmakers the chance to either further restrict or ban abortions in the state.
- June 2022
Europe saw the very worst and the very best of the Pride experience yesterday.
In Norway, a gunman killed two people and wounded 21 at a gay bar in the capital city of Oslo. The alleged shooter was a 42-year-old Norwegian citizen of Iranian origin. He's believed to be a radicalized Islamist with a history of mental illness, and had been on authorities' radar since 2015.
Apparently he fell plum off.
On the advice of police, the Pride parade was cancelled. But several thousand people marched spontaneously, waving rainbow flags and chanting in English, "We're here, we're queer, we won't disappear."
Kudos to them for their defiance. As to chanting in English, perhaps the sentiment isn't as catchy in Norwegian.
The prime minister and members of the royal family laid roses near the bar. Crown Prince Haakon told reporters, "We must protect the right in Norway to love whomever we want."
I'm an anti-royalist, but I feel a sudden urge to curtsy.
Over in the Polish capital city of Warsaw, thousands marched in the Equality Parade, reportedly the largest queer event in central Europe. Joining the Polish paraders were hundreds of Ukrainians, representing LGBTQ organizations from around that besieged nation.
The joint Pride was a marvelous show of queer solidarity across borders—and a reminder of what will happen to the Ukrainian LGBTQ community if the Kremlin wins this war.
Pride was born of struggle years ago in New York City. In Europe in 2022, there's still plenty of struggle to be had. If you attended a Pride this month and your greatest difficulty was choosing an outfit, please keep a thought for our compatriots, abroad and here in the States. We all hope for the day when, in every part of the world, a Pride struggle means nothing more taxing than trying to avoid your ex.
- March 2022
Let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, it was a roller coaster ride of rip roaring reasonableness!
Stephen Colbert of "The Late Show" on Joe Biden's State of the Union address
- February 2022
Team LGBTQ entered the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing with more members than any previous Winter Games. Outsports has counted 36 out athletes from 14 different countries in multiple sports.
But what if these athletes were a country themselves, flying the rainbow flag and blaring Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out” for their national anthem?
Team LGBTQ would have finished these Winter Olympics ranked 12th in the medal standings, just ahead of Italy and Japan.
- January 2022
- December 2021
It's the last day of 2021.
This lousy year began with then-President Donald Trump dispatching his yahoos to the Capitol; I'll never get over the figurative and literal assault on democracy that followed. The pandemic plagued the country and the world the entire blessed year. Inflation hit. The climate changed. The U.S. withdrew chaotically from Afghanistan. Billionaires blasted themselves into space, and alas, came back.
In LGBTQ news, 2021 saw more transgender people murdered in this country than ever before.
I wouldn't blame Baby New Year if he chose to crawl back into the womb.
But the year wasn't a total washout. Looking through the queer lens, I was thrilled that male football, hockey, soccer and baseball players came out, and pleased that "Dancing WIth the Stars" included a female couple and its British equivalent had a male duo. Trans and non-binary folks competed at the Olympics. A male country star came out, and as far as I know, Dolly Parton didn't even have to push him to do it.
In terms of a person of the year for our community, there are many options, but I'm going with rapper and singer Lil Nas X. His music video showing him sliding to hell on a pole and giving Satan a lapdance set the tone early in 2021. All year he was not just ubiquitous, but an unapologetic gay Black man.
And those Uber Eats ads he made with Elton John felt like gay history encapsulated. It's been quite a journey from the Yellow Brick Road to Old Town Road.
So what will 2022 bring? I think it's fair to say expectations are low. After the planet grappled with the Delta and Omicron variants in 2021, my hope is 2022 won't force us to learn the entire Greek alphabet.
Nobody would benefit from that. Not even Greeks.
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