Singing the Praises of Gay Propaganda

steve-nyman-shirtless-skierAt the end of the summer of 2012, a story of mine was included in EM Lynley’s Olympic-themed anthology Going for Gold.  The collection of eight stories about gay Olympians (and their boyfriends, natch) was something of a Reader Favorite, and has seen renewed interest during the ramp-up to the Games of the Twenty-Second Winter Olympiad in Sochi, which arguably has a higher profile in the Queer community than Games past, due to the visibility and virulence of recent anti-gay laws passed in their host country.  Hell, I’m paying attention, and Michael Phelps doesn’t even ice skate.  Specifically, Russia has outlawed “gay propaganda,” which includes not only art and literature but any kind of public or private speech that seeks to legitimize gay people or equalize their families with any that hew to the more traditional model, in order to Protect the Children from being exposed to these notions.

Laff-a-lympicsAnd frankly, I kind of dig being a part of a project that links Gay and Olympics quite so explicitly at this moment in time.  The International Olympic Committee is not exactly famous for its explicit support of LGBTQ equality.  Yes, we’ve had the Laff-A-Lympics, and the Pig Olympics, and 2014 has already crowned the winner of the Selfie Olympics, but if you travel to Cleveland this summer, you will be invited to enjoy the ninth quadrennial Gay Games, so called because weeks before the First-Ever in 1982, the IOC (and the USOC) sued to block the use of the word “Olympics” in conjunction with this particular sporting event.  More recently, a member of the IOC from Italy called the United States’ inclusion of three gay athletes in its official delegation to Sochi “absurd.”  From where I’m sitting, it takes a certain amount of guts to roll up in a country that has recently chosen  not only to pass, but in some cases to harshly enforce, laws against being visibly gay — you know, lest it harm The Children to behold you — and then go on and be gay on what will, for two weeks, be the most visible stage in the world, but I don’t speak it — maybe that’s what “absurd” means in Italian. Continue reading

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The Year in Review, Things to Do

Happy 2013!2012, we hardly knew ye.  Actually, 2012 was kind of a loudmouth year, and one that many people will be happy to leave behind, but before we send it packing, there are a couple of loose ends to tie up around here.

I don’t do New Years “Resolutions.”  Partly because I feel like the word “resolution” is used by our culture in this context as a synonym for “setting yourself up for failure,” after which point you will presumably be called upon to punish yourself for not getting skinny enough or not running enough marathons or for drinking too much coffee.  My skinny days are behind me, there’s no such thing as “too much coffee,” and one marathon — New York City,  1993 — was plenty, thank you.  I’m not a big fan of self-flagellation (odd for someone brought up in the Catholic tradition, I know), but I’m a firm believer both in setting intentions and in positive reinforcement, and when I meet goals, there’s always a minute of Yay, Me!, and often champagne.  (And maybe a big dinner out, which is why “Get Skinny” is no longer on my list of Things To Do.) Continue reading

Cuz If Loving This is Wrong, I Don’t Wanna Go To North Carolina

An Open Letter to the people who voted for Amendment One in North Carolina, the lawmakers who didn’t have the guts to put civil unions up for a vote in Colorado, and Homophobes Everywhere (cuz so many of them read gay blogs, I know),

You don’t scare me; you have won nothing. I have never asked for permission to be who I am, and I have never asked for validation, legal or otherwise, for my feelings or for my relationships. Vote all you want, but you don’t get a say.  Justify yourselves however you want to; I live in love, you live in fear, and I wouldn’t trade places with you for all the legal legitimacy in the world. I thank your god every day for making me gay, and he puts Michael Phelps on television all-but-naked by way of saying “You’re Welcome.” You were afraid when you went to bed last night — of that same god; of me, who you’ll never meet; of yourself and your own body and mind — and afraid when you woke up this morning, and if that’s what “Victory” looks like to you, please enjoy it. History will one day laugh at you. As I do today.

Sincerely,

The Gayest Guy You’ll Never Know

P.S. This might have mostly been posted as an excuse to post this white-hot photo of Michael Phelps from menshairstyles.net.  You’re welcome…