Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I'm simply stunned at the devastation caused by Katrina. I have friends and close family in some of the hardest hit areas. Although I know my family is safe, I don't know if their property survived. I have no word on my friends.

When something like this happens, it's always tragic, but when you know people involved, it makes it that much more personal. I'm moved by many of the stories I have heard the past few days - stories that are simply amazing. I hope against hope that things turn out fine for my friends who live in Gulfport. Although I feel confident they are alive, I worry about their house. I worry for my grandparents' house near New Orleans.

I find myself thinking strange thoughts, such as I wish the hurricane weren't named after a friend of mine, although it fits in some ways. The Katrina I know is a large woman, not fat, but more of a linebacker build. I can laugh that for such a large storm, the name is appropriate, but my friend is one of the most gentle people I know and this destruction doesn't warrant her name applied to it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Is it a good time to be gay?

I often wonder if this is a good time to be gay. It seems like we have the most tolerance and acceptance than ever before, including more recognition of our rights from companies and states, yet the attention and outpouring of hatred towards gays and lesbians must be at an all time high.

Sometimes I wonder if it was easier when it was something nobody talked about. People may or may not have known, but it was left unsaid. People weren't out campaigning to not just prevent you from having the same rights as they enjoy, but to make your life a crime. Worse, people weren't using you as an excuse to gain power and influence, raise money, or advance their own political agenda. Certainly it happened to a certain extent, but not on the national scale it has now, when our civil rights are threatened and I've more than once thought seriously about moving abroad. Not to be histrionic, but there have been days when I genuinely felt as if one more step to the right could land gays in concentration camps.

I have no doubt this will pass eventually and one day, Americans will look back on this time and think about how primitive we were as a society. So, yes, in many ways, I believe that today is better or will at least lead to better times. It's just a tad uncomfortable living under heat of the spotlight.

Quote Unquote

I was quite pleased with myself for coming up with "never piss off a drag queen" while facilitating a Safe Zone presentation on Monday. I was describing the Stonewall riot; at the end of the workshop my co-facilitator announced an annual campus drag show participants could attend and I reminded the group that, if they went, to "not piss off the drag queens."

Here's some more interesting and original quotes, courtesy of Rex Wockner. I love Matt Foreman's statement:

There has been zero negative effect. The only people who have beenaffected by the decision to allow same-sex marriages [in Massachusetts]are a few people who lived across the street from a couple of lesbiansand had to buy them wedding presents. That is clear to people inMassachusetts. No one -- credibly -- argues now that this has had anegative effect on anybody. We knew that would be the case."--Gay U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., to the Seattle Gay News, July 29.

"We have sanitized and intellectualized our cause to the point ofabstraction. Our argument is always about -- you know, you get a betterdental plan if you're married. Stuff like that. But marriage is just acode word. The fight is really: Are we equal humans in society or not?The right wing goes for the gut and we respond in this completelysterile way, talking about academic issues like the 1,038 rights thatare denied us. It's kind of like John Kerry in the presidential race."--National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman tothe Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Aug. 13.