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...]
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...]
Below is my most recent piece for VillageQ.
A few years ago at Pride, an eldergay, upon hearing that I was living with my husband of 13 years (then) and was doing everything in my power to secure the right of every LGBT American to marry the person they love, looked me up and down and said, “Oh, you’re an assimilation queen.” He did not approve. He did not believe that the battles he fought so hard in the 70s and 80s should have led our people to the altar – the purest, most undiluted symbol of banality. As far as he was concerned, gay people had not been excluded from, as much as freed from the asphyxiation of a white picket fence…
Today, June 12th, 2014, you celebrate your 49th wedding anniversary.
I googled traditional wedding gifts and found nothing. It seems that when you get to 49, all eyes focus on the next one, thus dulling the achievement of 49 and treating 50 as if it were a foregone conclusion. So I started thinking, what can I get you that will be meaningful, worthy of 49 years ~ roughly 17,885 days, 429,240 hours, 25,744,400 minutes, 1,545,264,000 seconds ~ roughly, if I did my math right, which I very well may not have ~ but still remain affordable? What indeed??? You just went on vacation. You have more than enough dishes. You have 14,000 sets of mostly complete silver, some of which you can’t really account for your possession of, that you never use. Any [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...]