Thinking Out Loud
During the government shutdown in October, my partner, Traci, and I found ourselves in Philadelphia with a handful of useless tickets to the important American history sites there. The irony of not getting into Independence Hall–home of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution–due to governmental stupidity was not lost on us. What's left to do as a tourist when all the big tourist spots are closed?
Creep of the week:
The Values Voter Summit that took place Oct. 11-13 and was an all-you- can-derp buffet of right- wing lunacy. Needless to say, many VVS speakers chose "the homosexual menace" as one of the focal points of their mouth breathing. One such speaker was Star Parker, founder of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, who railed against homosexuality in addition to blaming the government for making black people poor.
Now that we have won the long fight for marriage equality here in New Jersey and the parties are over, we find there is still some fine- tuning to do. The legislature is considering whether over- riding the governor’s veto and writing equality into law is necessary, since the courts seem to have done the job for them. This idea, of course, lets a lot of Republicans and a few Democrats off the hook. More than that, it opens some possibilities that a law, as presently envisioned, would not.
Around the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's holidays, Black gay men who are estranged, ostracized or marginalized from their families often feel isolated, abandoned and alone. "We Are @ the Table– Celebrating Togetherness" is an effort to bring these men together for a sense of belonging, if not to biological families, then to a Brooklyn community of people who share and identify with them.
Dare we talk about the s-e-x in homosexuality? Haven't we all - gay and straight - agreed to leave behind closed doors what happens behind closed doors? Yes, but unless we acknowledge that same-sex couples and single gays are just as loving, complicated, libidinous, sometimes sexual, sometimes not - in other words, just as human and normal -- as everyone else, a large swath of our population will remain disgusted with the whole business.
The AIDS Generation by Dr. Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH, is a powerful, moving and useful book. Not only does it chronicle the terrible years of the plague when a positive diagnosis was almost tantamount to a death sentence it also explores why that word "almost" must be included. A few survived that diagnosis and continue to survive.
There are numerous hagiographies on the Matthew Shepard murder. Twenty years after Shepard's murder, they're being challenged. Are we ready for the tale investigative journalist Stephen Jimenez, himself gay, spins? I had the pleasure of meeting him at his book reading in the Harvard Coop this month. I told Stephen, referring to his book, that perhaps it's easier to kill the messenger (him) than hear his message.
A finalist for the 2013 Terrence McNally New Play Award, "A Most Dangerous Woman" "celebrates the transformative power of art." Written by Cathy Tempelsman, it also won other awards, which brought it to the attention of the Shakespeare Theatre. It is not often that a new play, especially one celebrating the life of an English novelist, has an established director like Richard Maltby, Jr., whose credits include "Ain't Misbehavin," "Fosse," and as co- lyricist "Miss Saigon."
Three organizations will team up for an Affordable Care Act information Town Hall Meeting in Jersey City. The meeting will be held at the Husdon Pride Connections Center in late October to educate the local LGBT community on the Affordable Healthcare registration process.
On September 20, Phoenix Productions presented "Damn Yankees" to a full house at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank. Phoenix Productions is a non-profit community theater, where most of the talent happens to be volunteers. This in no way diminished the spunky, sassy production with live orchestra. Having produced over 100 productions since their beginnings in 1988, this company is no fly-by- night operation.