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 Real Reason Amy Kushnir is Upset

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...]

May 22, 2014
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Governor Christie ~ Is it Too Much to Ask That You Be Both Honest AND Respectful?

There are a few things that have been going on over here in Jersey during the Christie years that have driven me absolutely insane.  Actually, they’re not going on over here in Jersey, they’re going on in the media’s blind spot to my governor.

The other day I watched Governor Christie at his lengthy press conference.  In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I didn’t make it through the entire thing.  Nearly two hours of watching someone explain why they deserve to be first person on the Titanic’s dinghies is a long time.  We got it.  You didn’t know.  You just heard.  You were working out.  (Not for nothin’, am I the only person who thought that remark was a particularly overworked piece of political theatre ~ wedged in there like a nun at [continue reading...]

January 11, 2014
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Dear Jonathan Capehart ~

I agree with you on many of the points you made in your Washington Post piece about Aaron Schock and I applaud you for reaching out to anyone with actual information that could turn his history of pro-bigotry voting into a history of hypocrisy.

But can you do me a favor?  Can you please not refer to coming out as “an intensely personal journey that involves stages of self-discovery and self-acceptance” as if it is an inherent part of being gay?  It is not.  The journey you refer to is about the shedding of shame.  And we are not born with shame, we are taught it.

If we are going to talk about that journey, however, then we need to discuss its origins.  It is rooted in anti-LGBT votes like the ones Rep. Aaron Shock has [continue reading...]

January 8, 2014
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Dear Governor Christie ~

Today is National Coming Out Day and I have a message for you:  I am gay, and I am boring.  I have led a productive, yet unremarkable life.  I share my unremarkable life with my husband, whom I had to marry in another state.  We are not front page kinds of people.  TMZ has never called me.  Unless something truly unexpected happens between now and the end of my life, my name will not grace the pages of our history books ~ certainly not if Texas has anything to do with it.

I am a performer, writer, activist ~ someone forever “following my passion” and “searching for my place in the world.”  After many successful years as a dancer, I hung up my jazz sneakers and began to search for a profession that could sustain [continue reading...]

October 11, 2013
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Dear Sheriff Wolfinger ~

Dear Sheriff Wolfinger ~

I came across your quote regarding the Boy Scouts lifting their ban on openly gay scouts under 18 in today’s blogosphere:

“It would be inappropriate for the sheriff’s office to sponsor an organization that is promoting a lifestyle that is in violation of state law,” Sheriff Ben Wolfinger said.

Sodomy is against the law in Idaho, he added.

Sheriff Wolfinger, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that you’re confused.  Very, very confused.

First of all, on June 26, 2003, the US Supreme Court struck down Idaho’s sodomy law in its landmark Lawrence v Texas decision.  Forgive me if I’m speaking out of turn here, but isn’t it pretty much your job to know the law?  I can only imagine that if your own job has you stumped, your head must be positively spinning by [continue reading...]

May 29, 2013
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A Thought for the Boy Scouts

Dear Boy Scouts,

I have already sent you my thoughts on your upcoming decision as to whether or not you should allow openly gay scouts and leaders into the Boy Scouts.

You should take a moment to read this short, powerful note from my husband, Richard Darst, a former scout.

I am a gay man.  The Boy Scouts was a big part of my life as a young boy.  Through the scouts I learned so many practical life skills like cooking and first aid.  But more importantly, I learned what it means to be an honest, caring, and involved citizen. I had many dedicated troop leaders, but it would have been wonderful had there been one to whom I could truly relate.  The Boy Scouts of America’s current policy regarding gay leaders saddens [continue reading...]

April 22, 2013
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Updated: Dear Boy Scouts of America ~ It’s Not About Banning Gay Scouts & Leaders, It’s About Banning Honesty

Let’s be clear, the policy debate you’re currently having is not about whether to continue your ban on gays in the Boy Scouts.  The debate you’re currently having is about whether to continue your ban on honesty and integrity within the Boy Scouts.

The simple truth is this:  there always have been gay scouts and leaders and there will always be gay scouts and leaders.  You can not ban them.  All you can do is enforce a policy that forces them to lie about who they are.

A few months ago, on this issue of honesty, you decided not to decide.  At least not just then.  In the statement you made to the press you called this an issue with a great deal of “complexity” and said that “the organization needs time for a [continue reading...]

April 21, 2013
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Dear Matt R. Salmon ~

I almost didn’t write this letter because it feels presumptuous.  It feels presumptuous to me to think I can see the pain and struggle in your eyes without knowing you after watching you on tv for three plus minutes.  And yet, I can’t stop thinking about you, Matt.  I can’t, because as presumptuous as it may be, I see what I see and it breaks my heart.  I want to hug you.  I want to protect you.  There’s so much I want to tell you.

I must first admit that I have no experience in familial rejection.  It pains me to say that we live in a world where I am excessively lucky.  I came out to my parents and my brother when I was 14 or 15 and over the course of the next few years we all learned a lot together.  Sometimes I led, sometimes [continue reading...]

April 13, 2013
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A Letter to Orrin Hatch

Yesterday, via The Randy Report, I came across this quote by Orrin Hatch regarding marriage equality:

“I’ll say this, I do believe this could be solved greatly by a civil-union law that would give gay people the same rights as married people,” said Hatch, who mentioned hospital visitations and tax benefits. “I think we can solve this problem without undermining the very basis of marital law in our country.”

Hatch said he doesn’t believe people choose to be gay, but “I draw the line on traditional marriage.”

Oh Orrin!

There’s so much to say, I don’t even know where to begin.  First of all, I think that at this point in history, witnessing the clear trajectory of LGBT civil rights, it is hilariously pompous and hysterically entertaining for you to let us know where you “draw the line.”  Orrin, I don’t know how [continue reading...]

April 9, 2013
All, Current Events/Pop Culture/Politics, Write the Power
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