Recently, you said:
“A homosexual man is a man 100%. He does not need to dress homosexual…When homosexuality is exhibited to the extreme — to say, ‘Ah, you know I’m homosexual,’ — that has nothing to do with me. A man has to be a man.”
Let me tell you a little story, Giorgio. I am Jewish. I don’t believe in God and I am not religious, but I am Jewish. As far back as my family tree goes, on both sides, I am Jewish. I wasn’t raised particularly religious, but we were Jewish. As I was growing up I came to understand that my father was both an atheist and someone who abhorred all organized religion. At one point I said to him, “We don’t believe in God. We don’t go to shul very much. We’re not Jewish.” That didn’t go well. He looked me right in the eyes and said, [continue reading...]
Oh, come on! Stop it, pixie Valerie Perrine! I’m getting married. Can’t we do this later?!?!?
She smacked me hard across the face.
Get it together, she scolded.
I was suddenly über-conscious of the fact that I was standing before friends and family, witnesses. I wondered, are they witnessing this?
Frantically searching the room I found only gentle smiles, soft tears, long-time couples holding hands, welcoming us into the fold. But not a concerned face to be found. Nothing.
I checked back in with my very-soon-to-be husband. Using his eyes again as anchor, safe, and compass, I regained my balance, placed myself in context, took a deep breath. A wedding. My wedding. Guests. Nausea. Breath. He, too, registered nothing of my experience. Shaking my head vigorously, I Etch-a-Sketched away the bad dream and questioned the intelligence of getting stoned and falling into a Village People [continue reading...]
I have found asylum in your eyes. They swirl like warm cigar smoke and when the world is too much I curl up in their curls. I wonder if you see me differently through each pattern. If I change as you change. I wonder. I know you have unanswered questions about me too, for it’s our mysteries as much if not more than our compatibilities that accounts for our electricity. And it is our electricity that has led us here, to trade I for we. Officially. Legally. Eternally.
I love you. That’s all I know. I love you. I want you by my side as my unknowns become known. And I want to stand by you as you experience the same thing. That’s it. It’s so simple. That is the entire scope of my dream: that we should discover this life together.
I found this recently, crumpled in the back [continue reading...]
I don’t remember it all that well.
Comes in waves, like heat off a desert highway.
It doesn’t feel real. Or like it happened to me.
These are the lies I tell. The lies that have assumed the shape of truth. I’ve tried telling the truth, but have been greeted with skepticism. A furrowed brow. A tilted head. A voice that pitches up or eyes that narrow slightly. All tells of doubt. Doubt of the veracity of my story. A refusal to take my word for it and a need to dig further. For years I feared the digging. Feared what it would mean for me ~ for those implicated ~ for my LGBT brothers and sisters. So I lied.
What are you talking about??? Such conspiracy theories. About me?!?? Please!
But I don’t want to lie anymore. Can’t hide. I came out of one closet only to find myself in another. But a [continue reading...]
There’s a war going on alright. And it is, in fact, a war against tradition ~ a Christmas tradition. But it’s not a war that Fox News is going to cover. I’m speaking, of course, of the war on Jewish Christmas.
Everyone knows that Christmas is the day Jews make a pilgrimage to the best Chinese food restaurants. (Yes, the best. Greasy Kung Pao? We’re never coming back. My people don’t play when it comes to Chinese food.) Once we’ve consumed 14,000 calories (most of that in the Shrimp Fried Rice ~ don’t judge ~ keeping kosher “in the house” is another fine tradition), we make our way to the movies. It’s a day Jews spend together that dates back thousands of years. Or maybe just 20 or 30. And maybe it’s really just an American Jewish [continue reading...]
Allow me to brag for a moment. I have a pretty solid marriage. I hesitate to write that because putting it out there feels like an invitation for bad things to happen. A moment fixed in time that all but begs for a Google search should things ever go to shit. But after 16 plus years, we’re still madly in love with one another. And perhaps more importantly, we’re still madly in like with one another. And on most days we somehow manage to squelch the impulse to stab one another with one of the dull, rusty, turn-of-the-century butter knives we received as a wedding gift. Most days.
But recently we came upon a pothole in an otherwise smooth journey. Well, a crevasse, really. A canyon. A large canyon. Ok, fine, the other day we reached the [continue reading...]
Right now you should be getting down to this. sick. beat.
Considering the picture above, it’s a wonder how I was ever successfully in the closet. But, with the exception of the kids at school who called me a faggot, I think I was. Coming out, something I did slowly over the span of a few years, freed me, as it frees everyone who does it.
But the fact that we have a closet to come out of, the fact that a closet still exists, is a big, giant flashing sign that for all of our breathtaking gains, we have a lot more work to do.
The very idea of coming out implies that there was a going in. It’s a moment that for many of us occurs before conscious awareness, before understanding, before we even have words for it. And it demonstrates that we, as gay kids, have received the message that to stay safe, we must lie ~ that what we [continue reading...]
Below is a piece I was commissioned to write for Amtrak’s Ride with Pride series.
The piece just went live and I think the timing is perfect…right before National Coming Out Day.
Coming out is more than making that one big announcement. It’s an everyday choice. Every time we meet a new person or find ourselves in a new situation, there’s a choice. This is a part of LGBT lives that straight people likely don’t even know exists. Sure, straight people reveal personal information every time they talk about themselves, but they probably don’t pause as often to weigh the cost of doing so. The speed bump at that interview when we consider if using the correct pronoun might cost us a job. A catch in the throat as we wonder if telling the truth might put us in danger. The nanosecond between synapse and tongue when a million variables are weighed [continue reading...]
I have written before about how Rick and I have gotten married quite a few times, the first time being on June 24, 2000. What I haven’t written about were the family members who conscientiously objected to our wedding. Bigotry and ignorance, given the sheen of legitimacy by calling them religion, prevented my mother’s first cousin’s wife from sharing in our joy that day. She felt that she could not witness our union – that she could not celebrate with us. Her husband, my mother’s first cousin, stood with his wife. They did not attend our wedding. They did not RSVP the invitation. They sent us neither a gift nor even a note of congratulations. Nothing…(Click to read the full post on VillageQ.)