A Little Romance

The other night, prompted by something or other he’d seen on Facebook, my husband turns to me and asks, “What’s the most romantic thing I’ve ever done for you?”  Easy, I think, because obviously the most romantic thing he’s ever done for me will leap to the front of my memory and right out of my mouth.  An awkward silence ensues, followed by hemming and hawing, until eventually, and visibly disappointed, he says, “Well, whatever it was, it must not have been that romantic.”

popeyes biscuitsIn truth, our daily life is not exactly a series of Grand Romantic Gestures.  And your friend who acts like hers is?  She’s lying. But I find romance in the little things.  In the occasional springtime bouquet of irises he’ll bring me, which he knows are my favorite flower because they are purple.  In coming home from a trip to a candlelit apartment and a glass of wine.  Hell, I think it’s super romantic when he brings home Popeye’s without me asking him to and he gets my order exactly right; for a writer of gay romance, I’m not especially hard to wow. Continue reading

Advertisements

It’s Never Easy to Say Goodbye. Except When It Is.

I want very badly to let Fred Phelps’ death pass unremarked upon, mostly because of how I imagine it would aggravate the crotchety old attention whore.  But he spent so much of his energy foisting himself onto the queer consciousness, I feel like saying my piece will help me send his bullshit karmically packing along with the rest of him.

Fags R Cute (reddit)

If the frightened and tight-hearted bigots of Westboro have taught us anything, it is that not every death is a tragedy.  The passing of Fred Phelps is not a loss to the American Community, the Brotherhood of Man, nor even, according to what I have read, to most of his family — a legacy, it is tempting to speculate, on which he might have hoped to improve.  He chose the burden of hate that he lugged through this life, and he can take it with him when he goes — he neither needs nor, frankly, warrants any from me.  I wish him a more forgiving god than he would ever have wished for any of us, though still I hope he planned ahead and packed mostly for exceptionally warm weather.

It seems that Westboro doesn’t believe in funerals for its members, which I find a hilariously convenient tenet of their “faith.”  I’m annoyed that there won’t be a funeral for the most famous funeral-crasher since Harold and Maude, but not for the reason you might expect (or for that matter that I would have expected of myself).  The only thing that was ever sacred to this man, his megalomaniacal family, or their quasi-political fund-raising-organization-masquerading-as-church was media attention, and the most fitting send-off I can imagine would be for the number of vociferous, sign-waving picketers at his own going away party — be they from military families or the gay community or families or victims of the numerous tragedies he sought to exploit or just the fair-minded community at large — to total Zero. Continue reading

And Yet None of My Bullies Were Fat…

diet coke guyThere’s a Golden Girls episode where Blanche meets a guy at the library, agrees to go out on a date with him, balks when she realizes he’s in a wheelchair, and hilarity (naturally) ensues.  At one point, the girls find themselves sitting around the kitchen table hashing out the pros and cons of Blanche’s latest romantic entanglement — you remember that episode, right? — and Sophia weighs in:  “Just because a man’s in a wheelchair,” she says, “doesn’t mean he can’t satisfy a woman.”  Invited to elaborate, she unspools one of her famous Sicily stories.  “Picture it,” she says (and I paraphrase here), “Sicily: 1918.  A man in a wheelchair satisfies a woman.  It’s a short story but I think it proves my point.”  In this spirit, the following post:

When I was in the eighth grade (nearly thirty years ago, I am aghast to calculate), our school was one block from the nearest 7-11, and, with unfettered access to the Big Gulp soda fountain, I became what might charitably be described as a fan of Diet Coke.  I had only recently grown tall enough that my body stretched my weight up and down rather than from side to side, and I wanted to stay that way, and it had the word “diet” in it — if one Diet Coke could make you skinny, imagine the miracles that 200 fluid ounces a day could make manifest.  On the very first day (literally Day One) of high school, therefore, I didn’t even hesitate — why would I? — to plunk in my two nickels or whatever vending machines cost in those days and order up my Diet Coke come lunch time.  I wish I was exaggerating, but the hostile, shitty, faggot-bashing, limp-wristed lisping “Diet Coke” heckling started up before the actual can even clunked out of the machine, and it carried on for two years, until I transferred schools.  You read that right: I was intimidated and verbally hassled by the same eight or ten dickheads every single day (they did take weekends off), for two years, because I drank a fucking Diet Coke with my lunch.  A few of my so-called friends bailed on me, one or two of the gayer ones actively participating in the bashing bullshit to deflect attention from the faggoty gold bracelets with which they dripped, but my friends who had the balls and the strength of character to stick around were heckled by association, some to an extent of which I have only been made aware in recent years.  All because of a can of pop.  (Well, that, and a crippling fear of Self, with which I truly hope those guys grew up to come to terms, not that it’s my job to wish them well.)DIET COKE

Skipping ahead: Picture it: The airplane the other day, from LAX to Denver.  A big gay flight attendant serves a Diet Coke to an honest-to-God (according to his leather jacket, leather hat, t-shirt, and tattoos) Hell’s Angel.  And this burly, bearded, busted-up-lookin’ biker dude, when offered the can, demurs, satisfied with a little 6-oz. plastic cup of it.  Which is fine; I’m way past the point of judging people by what they order to drink on the airplane (although not above judging them by how they order it.  “Would you like something to drink?”  “No, thank you.  Just a black coffee and a tomato juice.”  OK, if those aren’t “to drink,” I’m gonna need to know just what the hell you are planning to do with them before I serve them to you…).  You want a Diet Coke, I’m happy to serve it to you, and you wanna split the can with your tough-as-nails wife, frankly, I think there’s a certain romance in there somewhere.  But I’d be lying if I said it didn’t strike me; would those Regis dipshits have had the nerve to laugh at this guy?  To belittle or berate him over a beverage choice?  And pay for it — if you’ll allow me to rhetorically ascribe imaginary and stereotypical violent tendencies to a man who was perfectly friendly to me — by spitting their teeth into a puddle of their own blood in the parking lot?   I doubt it.  And not least because by now I bet they all drink the shit on airplanes, too.  A big reason that being bullied is so frustrating is that it can be so frickin’ arbitrary.  I was an easy target, and self-loathing has to go somewhere, although a better place to put it would be Away.  I’m out now.  I’ll never be skinny again, and I don’t drink more than a 6-pack of pop in a year.  I serve a million Diet Cokes a year, to every kind of person, without even thinking about it.  It struck me funny the other day, is all — this dude as butch as they come, and all the shit I had to put up with?  Like I said, it’s a short story.  But surely it proves some kind of point…

My Boyfriend’s a Girl


fishnet lips
Trust me, I’m as surprised as you are.

OK, it’s not quite as dramatic as it sounds; he’s not an actual girl.  He didn’t secretly begin life as one, nor is he in the process of transitioning into one.  But he has started dressing up as one for fun and profit, and it’s taken some getting used to.  We spend a lot more of our disposable income on makeup than we used to, for one thing, and there are feathers everywhere.

Our Favorite Queens from RuPaul's Drag Race Season 3

Our Favorite Queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 3

Last summer — our eighth together, mind you, with nary a whisper of “I want to be a drag queen” in the interim — we were glued to Season Three of RuPaul’s Drag Race on Netflix.  Jared has seen every season, but I have not.  I have only seen Season Three.  Over and over again, because RPDR is produced in such a way that I am riveted to every episode, even if I’ve seen it several times before.  Knowing the outcome before we even sit down to watch a given episode, I’m still on the edge of my seat by the second commercial break, yelling my commentary and critique at Jared, at the television, and all up and down Facebook each time, because my ideas and opinions stay fresh like that.  (Don’t roll your eyes at me.)  Raja totally deserved to win, but I still root for Alexis Mateo each time around, just in case RuPaul does Drag Race like the movie Clue and there might be a surprise ending.  But really, as long as they keep sending Carmen Carrera home, I’m happy. Continue reading

These Are Days

I once knew a boy called Richard.  “Richard?” you say, “I must know more!”  Never let it be said that I don’t know how to scoot my reader to the edge of his seat.

After thirteen years in San Francisco, I am now back where I started, in Colorado.  Denver, to be quite precise.  Nineteen blocks from the house I grew up in, to be even more so.  When I visit the old neighborhood in San Francisco, a Big Gay Memory of some kind lurks around nearly every corner.  First dates, tearful good-byes; here is where I ignored the drunken heckling of a passing mendicant and slipped the ring on my husband’s finger, and there you see roughly where my pants hit my ankles while stumbling home from a particularly memorable Dyke March.  Yes, fond memories at every turn.  Who are you to judge me?!  Oddly, though, even though I grew up here, in Denver there is really only one such corner.  Probably due to its proximity to Cheesman Park, the one place in 1980s Denver that two men might not be harassed for holding hands, I had more than one Big Gay First (of most of which I’ll spare you the cowboy boot-related details) on the corner of 9th and Gaylord.  Richard’s mother worked with my aunt in Washington, D.C., on the staff of a Congressman from Oklahoma, and we had more than one Big Gay Adventure (last one, I promise) in the District, but when I think of him, I always remember him standing on the corner of 9th and Gaylord.  Where, in jean shorts and a cardigan sweater, he would secure his place in history as the First Boy Who Ever Kissed Me. Continue reading