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...]
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.)
Several times a week people tell me I look like Sean Hayes. The conversation usually goes something like this:
Random person: You remind me of that guy from Will & Grace.
Me: Sean Hayes? (Blank stare.) Jack? Just Jack! (I make Just Jack hands.)
Random person: Yeah. No offense.
It’s always there.
Let’s break it down into two parts, shall we?…(click to read the full post of VillageQ.)
I’ve written before about the differences I felt in the experience of growing up Jewish and growing up gay.
As a Jewish kid I had a bris, was sent to Hebrew school and had a Bar Mitzvah. My cultural identity was passed on to me at the dinner table with the kugel. My pride in that identity was handed to me in books, movies, heroes. Sandy Koufax! (Also, Sandy was left-handed. See, left-handed Jews can do anything!) It seeped through the very pores of my house. It was something my family shared and that my parents found not just important to pass on to us (me and my brother), but something absolutely necessary to our upbringing ~ to the composition of our characters ~ to the men they wanted us to become. And frankly, it wasn’t just important to them, it was necessary for them. Necessary for them to know they [continue reading...]
Below is the piece I wrote and read for North Jersey’s inaugural production of Listen to Your Mother.
I am so very proud to have been a part of this remarkable group of writers, artists, moms, people. Click here to see the other pieces that were read/shared in the show. It was truly a remarkable piece of theater. If you get a chance to see a production of Listen to Your Mother next Mother’s Day, go! It is an incredible experience.
I Love You Anyway
I love you anyway.
That was my mother’s reaction when I came out of the closet. I was 13, maybe 14.
It was the best she had at the time. It would be years before she would begin to understand how those words were almost perfect. Nearly. But perfect [continue reading...]
Dear Amy Kushnir, Duck Dynasty cretins, Benham brothers, Adam Carolla, and every other human being who has ever squealed about their First Amendment rights being taken or lamented the rise of the Gaystapo, the Gay Mafia, or the Gay Thought Police or who has worried about the rise of “gaytheism.” (Personally, I love “gaytheism” and intend to use it to describe my own personal religious views.)
This letter goes out to all of you ~
The reason you’re angry is quite simple, and understandable really. In a sense, I feel bad for you, because your world has changed so radically, shifted so quickly, so thoroughly, that you don’t know which end is up.
The shift I’m referring to is that your LGBT bigotry is no longer a monologue. When you speak, when you spew your bile, we are no [continue reading...]