To My Beautiful Husband, On Our 15th Wedding Anniversary ~

June 24, 2000. Signing the ketubah. Notice how my father is the only person paying any attention to the rabbi. My mother is rubbing Rick's bald head, for luck I guess.

I’ve reached the conclusion recently that couples should spend their lives together first , and then get married. Later. After everything has happened and the whole grand opera is coming to an end.

Life is hard. It’s trial by fire. And sometimes marriage is trial by friendly fire. I think it’s important to see how someone handles stress and hurt and loss and joy and winning and losing before making that most weighty of commitments. I think one should experience how their partner deals with being stuck in traffic, with dog vomit on the new rug, when the job comes to an unscripted end, when a parent [continue reading...]

June 24, 2015
All, Inside Voice
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The Day I Got Schooled by a Tony-Winning Diva Backstage at the Tonys

In 2004, I was fortunate enough to be on the Tonys with the cast of Fiddler on the Roof. It was a moment in my life I’ll never forget, for many reasons. One of those reasons is because I got a smackdown by a Broadway diva and Tony winner.

Randy Graff was playing Golde to Alfred Molina’s Tevye in that production and it just so happened that I was standing next to her backstage at Radio City during a Tony rehearsal. It was the same year that Wicked opened and while we were waiting in the wings, Idina was singing Defying Gravity. I thought she sounded a little rough around the edges and for some reason I felt compelled to share that opinion with Randy. She was having none of me. She turned to me, annoyed, and [continue reading...]

June 6, 2015
Arts & Entertainment, Inside Voice
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Dear Giorgio ~

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...]

April 21, 2015
Inside Voice, Write the Power
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The War Against (Jewish) Christmas

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...]

December 24, 2014
All, Arts & Entertainment, Current Events/Pop Culture/Politics, Inside Voice, Uncategorized
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A Genuine Apology, A Marriage Devastated

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...]

December 13, 2014
All, Inside Voice
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When a Wedding Aisle Becomes a Line in the Sand

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.)

August 30, 2014
Featured Posts, Inside Voice, Uncategorized
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Jack McFarland Is a Faggot and So Am I

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.

No offense.

It’s always there.


Let’s break it down into two parts, shall we?…(click to read the full post of VillageQ.)

August 30, 2014
Arts & Entertainment, Current Events/Pop Culture/Politics, Featured Posts, Inside Voice
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Fanboy Thanks a Hero

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...]

July 21, 2014
Featured Posts, Inside Voice
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Listen to Your Mother ~ I Love You Anyway

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...]

July 9, 2014
All, Featured Posts, Inside Voice
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To My Husband, On Our 14th Anniversary ~

Our wedding ~ the 1st one ~ felt like a graduation. In my head, I knew it was the beginning of something, but really it just felt like an ending. A destination. I had found him. The one! You!!! Our wedding was the exclamation point that followed the long and occasionally winding sentence of my dating life. How was I supposed to know that that moment under the chuppah was less exclamation point than ellipsis? Hey, you don’t know what you don’t know.

So I married you. The man I loved. The man who had me not quite at hello, but so soon after that that loved ones flew to my side to check out both you and my mental state. I remember saying to my mother, only a few weeks after we [continue reading...]

June 24, 2014
All, Inside Voice
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