Friday, December 14, 2012

In honor of the "12 Days of Christmas" I thought I would list my "12 Pretend Husbands" - these are the men that are only husbands in my mind. I haven't met most of them. (these are not in any order of importance)

12. Hugh Jackman - Funny, Warm, Talented, Charming - I saw him in "the Boy from Oz" on stage on he was so magnetic. (and he sings too)

11. Alec Baldwin - Lord knows I love a handsome fuzzy man. I love both the young Alex Baldwin I fell in love with (if you haven't seen Miami Blues - OMG he was so hot). The older rounder Alec is still a gorgeous man. I love his liberal brain as well and a talented actor/comedian to boot.

10. Dan Savage - Ballsy, Out there, his opinions and brain seems linked to mine. I've met him in person a few times. Just the person you hope he is. Love him and all he does for the GLBT community.

9. Matt Taibi - Hansome, funny and the champion of calling Wall Street and the Banks on their bullsh*t. A talented writer. I love his big....brain.

8. Tom Hardy - those lips, the crazy unpredictability. He's a wild card. From handsome model type man to muscle tattoed hot man in WARRIOR. What isn't to love. He's the bad boy you're not sure what he'll do next. (and I love an accent)

7. Jon Stewart - So funny and charming. I love his work and have always thought he was very handsome in an off kilter kind of way. I have a feeling I'd be star struck in person if I saw him at Starbucks.

6. Bill Maher - I am not physically attracted to Bill Maher but I love his guts. He says a lot of what I think and doesn't care who he offends. I think he's really funny. A free speech martyr. When I met him I was so starstruck I acted like an idiot.

5. Ewan Macgregor - So adorable. What can you say. Love him in everything he does.

4. Henry Rollins - Young or old. KICK ASS. A punk rock man with a brain. Hell yeah.

3. Gavin Creel - Not traditionally my type at all. He's so adorable and love his voice. His gay activism only makes me love him more.

2. Gregory Harrison - Well when I was a young gay boy I of course loved Gregory Harrison getting out of the shower on Trapper John M.D. - I think his "for ladies only" made for TV movie about male strippers sent me through puberty. However he made this list due to Facebook - since friending him I have learned of his great heart on behalf of the poor, the disenfranchised, minorities and the environment. He's more beautiful to me now.

1. Eric Ripert - I have no idea why but I think Eric Ripert is my husband. The lips, the eyes and his easy smile and charm. I just think he's destined to make me breakfast. (I'll even eat snails)

Yes there are a few others but this is a good list...Gosling I'm still yours baby!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Annoying Audience Moments

I was recently at the Broadway show BOEING BOEING when suddenly during the performance someone behind me started rustling a plastic bag. This went on for awhile and then both the people started sloooooowly unwrapping candies from cellophane. It went on for so long I thought they were joking. In the second act it happened again and I missed a few lines of dialogue. I turned around and said "You can't be serious." The two people looked bewildered.

This made me think of the craziest audience experiences I have had at the theatre. Here are just a few:

During the show CABARET in Chicago at the Shubert theatre a man answered his cell phone during the show and talked on it while walking up the aisle.

At KISS ME KATE on Broadway - a couple who sat in the front row brought a lunchbox. They proceeded to eat from it and sip from soda cans out of straws. All in the sight lines of the cast onstage.

During THE KING AND I on Broadway a little girl was eating corn chips out of a plastic bag during the show. I asked the nanny to have it taken away from her and she told the girl I was a "mean man"

During TALE OF THE ALLERGISTS WIFE on Broadway a woman in the audience kept guessing the last word an actor or actress on stage would say. She kept finishing their sentences. (I'm not kidding)

This leads me to another topic. What is with all the cell phones at the movies these days??? There are so many people checking their messages during the show it's like an electric light show down front. I have to keep looking from the movie because I see lights blinking in my peripheral vision.

I was at a movie where the young girls sitting next to me not only checked their cell phones during the movie but answered them as well. They were talking on the phone during a movie! Then one of the girls who had seen the movie before was yelling out the punchlines!!!!!!

The bad thing is you can't say anything to these people about their behavior. When you point it out this only makes them think you're a jerk and makes the situation uncomfortable. You would think these people would realize they are being rude but they never do.

This is a shame because some of my favorite theatre and movie moments were with audiences who were totally in to what they were watching. I saw HAIRSPRAY when it first opened on Broadway and the audience was so into the show that it enhanced the show. When I saw THE BOY FROM OZ the audience was so in the palm of performer Hugh Jackman's hand that it also enhanced the experience.

I also remember when I saw the movie LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS the audience clapped after the musical numbers. When the STAR WARS movies (and Spielberg movies) used to come out it was so fun to see them with an audience. We were all along for the ride together.

I'm not sure if I'm getting too old or the audiences are getting too rude. In either case it's a shame.*

*PS: To all my friends who are going to reply "too old" - hush up!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The UFC needs to stop casual homphobia

To Dana White and the UFC,

I have been a fan of the "Ultimate Fighter" television show since the first season but I want to protest the casual homophobia in your last episode. (Series 7 Episode 8)

Your contestant C.B was being harassed by another contestant Cale. He called C.B. and Matthew “boyfriends” for wearing the same sunglasses. Let me point out first that there is nothing wrong with men being "boyfriends" in 2008.

When C.B. is asked who he wants to fight he says Cale because he called them "Fags" - you bleeped it out but it was obvious. At that point both your champions laugh and you (Dana White) have a smile on your face. It was this I was most offended by.

If a fighter came in and said he wanted to fight because someone called him the "N-word" there wouldn't have been all that laughing. In fact it's probably likely the person would have been removed from the show for having said that word.

I'm not expecting you to solve the homophobia problems of the typical heterosexual american male. (or in this case the "badass" variety) I am expecting that the UFC be a professional organization where homophobia is not tolerated or accepted.

You have tried hard to build the UFC from it's foundation as a controversial back alley fighting group to a professional sports organization. You lose some credibility if you let your contestants act in this manner without being called on it.

Thank you

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Can you be arrested for tapping your foot?

Like most gay people I've been enjoying the Larry Craig scandal as it unfolds. It's always gratifying to see an anti-gay Republican being exposed as a hypocrite. My friend Jeff though made me stop to look into this matter further. What did he actually do to be accused of a crime? I read the police report.

Senator Craig:

He looked through the cracks of a stall

He tapped his foot

He put his foot on the officer's foot

He moved his fingers around under a stall

I had to stop and think. Is this worthy of a criminal arrest?? He wasn't playing with his privates at the urinal or peeking at others. He didn't show his privates under the stall or something.

I had to think - would I be "dancing on his grave" so gleefully if it had happened to someone else. What if it was openly gay Senator Barney Frank? I'd probably think it was embarrassing for my people but much ado about nothing really. I'd probably think the same thing I thought when George Michael got busted "Why is he looking for sex in a public bathroom??? He has cash and could pay for it. At the very least chat someone up and take them home"

What if it was a celebrity who we truly loved? What if it was John Travolta? (not saying he's gay - ALLEGEDLY as Kathy Griffin would say) I'd probably think "Why doesn't he just come out?" and again he could afford an escort.

I'm not defending people having sex in public bathrooms. They are not intended for that. However I would think at least there should be something more suggestive than that.

I'm a gay man. What if an attractive officer smiled at me in the rest room, if I smile back and act interested can I be arrested? Where does flirting and soliciting for sex cross the line?

What if the officer is playing with himself at the urinal? Is that entrapment if a gay man responds to that action?

Part of the reaction to this scandal is very appealing - the hypocritical gay bashing Senator getting caught soliciting gay sex. Another part makes me sad - He is in his 60's so he was alive pre-Stonewall, maybe he is a victim of homophobia he was taught. A self hating gay man having public sex - that is sad.

The other reaction I have is defensive. Some of the people reacting to this scandal are not reacting negatively because he was soliciting for sex. There are people reacting negatively because he is Gay. There is lots of Homophobia swirling around this debate from the Republicans. (and the Press - Tucker Carlson was making Gay bashing jokes)

This is a scandal because he pleaded guilty, his anti-gay voting record and the past complaints leveled against him. But I ask you - should people be arrested for tapping their foot?

Friday, August 24, 2007

No End In Sight - You must see this film!

I saw the documentary NO END IN SIGHT about the war in Iraq and it's haunting me. I had made many assumptions about why the Iraq war had gone so horribly wrong. I thought I knew the whole story. I didn't and I blame our truly inept media. (another blog on that is coming)

I had an assumption that the military and especially the leaders of the military were totally on board with every decision coming from Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Paul Bremer. Despite the public face supporting The White House the military did not agree with key decisions being made.

The current insurgency that is causing the high loss of life for the Iraqi people and wounding/killing our own soldiers is a direct result of several bad decisions. (Here are a few - just a teeny tiny sampling)

#1. Not having a plan for reconstruction or what happened after Saddam was out of power.

This has caused food shortages, water shortages, electricity shortages and deteriorating conditions that have led to a lack of respect for American occupation in Iraq. The constant horrible conditions and frustrations have caused the Iraqi people to turn against us.

This also caused major looting of weapons later used against our soldiers.

#2. The decision to disband the ba'th party - the political leaders who were already working with our military to come up with a post-Saddam infrastructure for Iraq. Making them unemployable and vocal critics of the Americans who they were supporting previous to that action.

Once there was no semblance of rule the different factions in Iraq have gone on a power hungry struggle throwing the country into civil war. This has led to people grabbing power who may even be worse than Saddam Hussein.

#3. The worst decision of all - disbanding the Iraqi army. Making an enormous group of young military trained (and armed) men unable to find work to support their families. They were willing to work with the American military but once that happened they turned against us. They are the insurgents killing our soldiers now.

If only we had done the correct things - none of this had to happen.

Worst of all - the military leaders on the ground in Iraq knew all this. They were trying to tell the leaders all this information (and did) but the leaders had made up their mind what they were going to do. Out of political ignorance and arrogance our soldiers are now losing their lives. (and creating extremists and/or terrorists)

This had a huge effect - now the Military had to look at Iraqis as "the enemy". They started putting Iraqis in prisons, raiding their homes etc etc to keep themselves safe. (and yes some abuses followed too) This caused the Iraqis to hate us further - no longer liberators but occupiers. (this image helps extremists gain new members)

To the American Military the Iraqis no longer became the people they were working with but the people to be afraid of.

Paul Bremer should be held accountable for every death that has occurred since he was put in charge of Iraq. He has so much blood on his hands. Of course he can share it with Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and more.

The funny thing about this documentary was that I didn't feel it was hugely "anti-Bush" - if anything he comes across as detached and delegating the decisions to others. It's like Ronald Reagan with the AIDS crisis - you can't prove he knew what was going on but you can blame him for NOT knowing.

It isn't a Michael Moore hatchet job or partisan propaganda film.(and unfortunately not a laugh to be had unlike Moore's films) People from the Bush administration, military leaders, soldiers are all interviewed. I think it's very fair in that way. You can't tell this story without placing blame.

Overall I came across with a feeling of sadness and hopelessness. We can't now go back and correct those things we didn't get right. If we stay we can't fix it and nothing good is going to happen if we go. However since it's not going to make any difference either way I say "Bring our boys home".

The fact that I got more information on the different factions in Iraq, the reasons things went downhill and the current state of affairs from a documentary and not our news outlets is staggering. (but I sure know lots about Paris Hilton!)

I think it's your duty to see NO END IN SIGHT. I'm just warning you that you will not forget it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Why gay men love Tammy Faye!

I'm mourning the loss of Tammy Faye. Not because I'm religious - I'm not. Not because she was larger than life - she was. Not because she was a camp classic - that's a given. I'm mourning Tammy Faye because she was a televangelist/religious personality who didn't discriminate against gay people. She embraced them and shared her love with them.

Tammy Faye didn't play it safe when it came to gay people. On her PTL show she embraced gay men who were dying of AIDS - she didn't call it "God's wrath"like her contemporaries were doing. She was there to hold a hand and offer comfort.

Later Tammy hosted a show called "The Jim J. and Tammy Faye show" with openly gay (and flamboyant) Jim J. Bullock. It was hilarious to watch him make off color remarks and her go "Oh Jim!". They obviously got along great and I thought it was hilarious. (No one else watched it was gone in a flash)

She also appeared on "The Surreal Life" a reality show where "D-list" stars live together in a house. She got along with people like porn star Ron Jeremy and anger prone Vanilla Ice. She was very accepting and motherly to all of them. By the end they were all sad to leave her. She had that supportive way about her.

Tammy befriended 2 gay filmmaker Fenton Bailey & Randy Barbato. They made a documentary about her called "The Eyes of Tammy Faye" . She did lots of interviews with the gay press to promote it - always talking about love and acceptance.

Perhaps the thing that says the most about Tammy Faye Bakker is how her son Jay Bakker turned out. He rebelled against his father and family, became an addict, got lots of tattoos & piercings. He eventually cleaned up and decided he also wanted to minister but to people like himself. He started preaching in bars to the punk rockers, goth kids and tattoed outsiders.

Jay started to get a decent following and religious organizations started to fund his church. Jay met with a gay person who said they didn't attend church because they weren't welcomed there. Jay then had a revelation that this anti-gay stance the church has is un-Christian and morally wrong. Christianity should be a place of acceptance for all people.

When Jay told his congregation of his change of heart, it didn't go over well, it also didn't go well with the people funding his church. They pulled all of their money. Jay tried to spread his message of tolerance on speaking engagments but congregations didn't want to hear his message about accepting gays. (You could hear the crickets chipring at one African American church) Jay stuck to his beliefs, pretty much lost everything and had to start over.

When Jay told Tammy about what was happening she hugged him and told him to keep doing what is right. Despite everything Tammy did raise a nice boy and a good man.

I'm sad to see Tammy Faye's big heart disappear from this world.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Why "Chuck and Larry" isn't funny for gays

A new movie comes out today with Adam Sandler and Kevin James as straight firefighters who pretend to be gay to get domestic partner benefits. I haven't seen the film but supposedly it's full of stereotypes and is offensive. I don't judge movies before I see them but in this case I'm offended by the very premise of the movie, let me explain why.

Four months ago Janice Langbehn and her partner Lisa Pond (with their 3 children) were going to take a cruise from Miami to the Bahamas. (They have been partners for 18 years.) Lisa was stricken with a brain aneurysm in Miami.

The University of Miami, Jackson Memorial Hospital did not recognize her or their children as part of Pond's family. They were not allowed to be in the emergency room and Janice could not make decisions for Lisa's care.

When Lisa was taken to the emergency room a social worker at the hospital told them they were in an "anti-gay state" and needed legal documents before Janice could see her. Legal documents were faxed authorizing Janice to make medical decisions for Lisa. She still was not invited to be with her partner or told about her condition.

The last time that Janice was able to see Lisa was when "Last Rites" were delivered. Lisa Pond died without her family being around her. If they had been legally married there would have been no question that Janice could have held Lisa's hand while life slipped away from her.

This is just one situation - there are about 20+ benefits that gay couples do not get even as domestic partners that they would get with legal marriage.

So forgive me if I don't think a comedy about straight guys wanting to have a gay marriage to get the "benefits" is funny. It's insulting and sad.