Tag Archive | queer

We need a Rainbow Christmas more than ever!

Nearly naked guy in Santa hat holds present. The words Nice and Naughty are written across his chest.
Nice or Naughty?

Rainbow Xmas 2021 (To the tune of ‘We Need a Little Christmas’ from the musical. Mame)

Slice the pumpkin pie,
And don’t be stingy with the homemade whipping cream,
Crank up the music,
I’m gonna sing and dance to drive the darkness away!

‘Cause we need a rainbow Christmas,
Right this very minute!
Eggnog by the fire,
With lots of brandy in it!

Yes we need a rainbow Christmas,
Right this very minute!
My lyrics may be getting slurry,
But Santa dear, it’s time to scurry!

So fling ’round the tinsel!
Put up more twinkling lights than the whole Vegas strip!
Slice up the pound cake,
I’ve got a great big table of deliciousness, here!

Cause we’ve grown a little rounder,
Dealt with bad news daily,
Got tired of all the downers,
Gone a bit stir crazy,

And we need some loving kindness,
‘Specially over FaceTime,
We need a rainbow Christmas now!

Fill every wine glass,
Then raise a toast to vaccines, essential workers, and
People who mask up,
‘Cause if we work together, we can beat anything!

And we need a rainbow Christmas,
Right this very minute!
Cocktails in the morning,
With bourboned cherries in them!

And I need a toasty lover,
Snuggling by the fire,
I need a rainbow Christmas now!

Yes we need a rainbow Christmas now!

Don we now our gay apparel!
“Merry Christmas! Shabbat shalom! Blessed Yul! Joyous Kwanza! Festive Festivus! Happy Christmas! Happy Hogswatch! Feliz Navidad! God Jul! Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou! Beannachtaí na Nollag! Buon Natale! Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus un laimīgu Jauno gadu! Felix Dies Nativitatus!”

Weekend Update 8/14/2021: Get your jab

As a friend who retweeted this commented: “COVID is not our first rodeo, and the last one didn’t have a vaccine!”

It’s been way too long since I spent part of a Saturday morning composing one of these posts about a news story that I learned about after already assembling this week’s Friday Five. Let’s just hop in:

More Than 90% of LGBTQ+ U.S. Adults Have Received a COVID-19 Vaccine – That’s compared to just 71.3% of the country’s general adult population

More than one person I saw online (most of them either queer themselves or presenting themselves as allies) made a joke about the reason that so much of the LGBTQ community in the U.S. have rushed to get our vaccinations is because we’re all just dying to get out there and start hooking up for sex again.

And I know that is a sentiment many had expressed. Or that they missed going to bars or concerts and so on.

But I’m sorry, the friend I quoted in the caption of the graphic above has hit the nail on the head identifying not just why many of us got the vaccine as soon as we could, but also why most of the queer communities in various U.S. towns and cities, canceled 2020 Pride events mere weeks after the first lockdowns were announced.

For a lot of us, this isn’t the first time we have lived during a deadly epidemic.

In May of 2020, there was one of the Fox /(Propaganda/) network talking heads who tried to get a viral thing going about how all the queers and their liberal friends would stop supporting the idea of lockdown once late June rolled around at Pride Parades were cancelled.

She instead was dragged on social media and news sites with the fact that we’d already canceled the Pride Parades, on our own at least a month previously. I remember just weeks into the first lockdowns that on several queer forums people had already been posting, "We’re canceling in-person Pride events, right?"

I know I’ve told the following story on this blog and else where before: but there was one month in the early nineties where 12 people that I knew personally died from complications of AIDS. In a couple of cases, my late husband, Ray, and I had to decide which of the memorial services we weren’t going to attend. And that was after years of watching vibrant people we knew deteriorate before our eyes and die. It’s not that that was the only time a bunch happened close together, it just happened to be the worst.

For years we watching our neighbors, friends, acquaintances, community leaders, and more suffer and die with virtually no help from government health agencies. There were exceptions. Dr. Anthony Fauci famously (incognito) went to bathhouses and some other places queer men went looking for sex to get a better idea of the cultural reasons that a disease which could be transmitted sexually had spread so quickly. But most responses were like this:

Listen to the Reagan Administration Official and the Entire White House Press Corp Laughing at the AIDS Epidemic

The headline on that particular article at the site doesn’t mention what I think is a crucial aspect of those chilling recordings: most of the laughter you hear at the very idea that the government would concern itself at all with a deadly disease that was perceived as killing gays were members of the so-called liberal media.

In the early years hospital staff didn’t want to treat AIDS patients. What treatments that were offered were anti-viral medications most of which had been developed a decade or so before under military research grants because we were afraid future soldiers would face biological weapons in the field during conflicts. They actually hoped to develop a drug that would allow every soldier to be issued a few pills along with their other equipment and if they thought they’d been hit with a bio-weapon, they could take the pills and keep fighting. Didn’t quite work out.

But they were the only thing that seemed to slow down the virus, even though there were often some pretty severe side-effects.

In the early 90s someone came up with the idea of putting patients on not just one anti-viral, but three or more that each attacked different parts of typical viral replication process. By 1995, the so-called "antiviral cocktails" were approved for general use.

The result was startling.

The August 13, 1998 edition of the Bay Area Report was the first edition in over a decade that didn’t have obituaries of local residents who had died of complications of AIDS.

It seemed like a miracle. Some people who were already very sick and looked like shadows of their former selves seemed to rejuvenate in a matter of months.

Unfortunately, those anti-viral drugs are very expensive. If you need three or more in combination, that makes things even worse. So the cocktails have only performed their apparently miracles in countries that have reliable health care.

And note that it isn’t a cure. It’s not really a miracle (unless you want to talk about the insane profit margins of the pharmaceutical companies). Because in order to stay alive and healthy, people infected with the HIV virus have to take those very expensive drug combinations (which still often have wicked side effects) every day for the rest of their lives.

We don’t have an HIV vaccine. Forty years into the epidemic that still kills hundreds of thousands of people world wide every year doesn’t have a vaccine.

Queer people younger than me, who don’t have the same personal memories of the worse part of the HIV epidemic, still had their lives overshadowed by the disease. Because despite the fact that most new infections in the U.S. these days are straight people (that’s right!), and most of the people who are dying in the so-called developing world are straight women and children, the perception is still that AIDS is a "gay thing." I linked a year or two ago to a poignant story a young cartoonist posted about how when he was 15 years old and had never had sex with anyone, he went to an anonymous clinic for an AIDS test–because all he knew about the disease was the gay people got it. Nothing he had been taught in school or seen in the news or what very few media portrayals of people dying of the disease there were at the time, had conveyed two very important facts: 1) any human can get infected by the virus that causes AIDS, 2) it is most often transmitted sexually.

And part of his story is talking about when he came out in in twenties and started meeting other gay people, virtually all of them approximately his age had gone through a period in their teens where, after realizing they were attracted to members of their own sex, they also assumed that meant they would die young because of AIDS.

My point is, that once these younger queers do find out that his horrible specter which was part of their trauma growing up queer and closeted is a disease that was ignored for decades? Well, their attitude about health issues is a lot like us older queers.

And so that is the real reason that so many of us rushed out to get vaccinated. We know what happens when a health crisis is ignored. And we damn well refuse to take part in ignoring this one.

Miss Piggy was aggressively straight, yet it took decades to acknowledge the existence of Muppets who aren’t straight

I first began following Matt Baum when he was posting regular video news reports on what was then the fight over civil unions vs full marriage equality for queer people. A few years later he branched out into other topics, and over the course of those years I came to realize that we had a bunch of mutual acquaintances. And yet I still have never met him.

One of his projects is producing videos where he analyses ways the queer people and queer issues were handled in popular media, such as situation comedies of the ’70s, ’80s, and beyond. This week, he tackles one of the pivotal people behind the Muppets, who happened to be a gay man, and how that influenced and eventually changed the Muppets.

This isn’t the first I have hear of Richard Hunt and his contribution to one of my favorite media properties, but Matt weaves in video clips and quotes from people who worked with Hunt that I have never heard before. So give it a watch.

I probably should mention that a couple parts of the story made me cry. But I am a really big softie who is very easily moved to tears:

Richard Hunt: The Gay Man Behind the Muppets Richard Hunt - The Gay Man Behind the Muppets


Assuming you’ve watched it, I want to expound a little bit on the topic that I put into the headline. It isn’t just that for many years the corporations controlling the Muppets as well as important performers from the troupe would insist emphatically that, for instance, Bert and Ernie were absolutely not gay. They would (Sometimes angrily) insist that because the Muppets were puppets, they could not possiblye *have a sexual orientation.

Despite the fact the Miss Piggy wasn’t just obviously heterosexual, but she was aggressively so from the nearly her very first appearance. A Piggy wasn’t the only one. Lots of female Muppets had (usually off-screen) husbands and boyfriends. A smaller number of male Muppets had wives and girlfriends.

Yes, technically, puppets don’t have a sexual orientation. But it is exactly equally true that they don’t technically have voices, either–those are provided by the humans operating them. Just as the personalities are provided by the operators and the script writers.

I’m glad that the people currently running the Muppets have finally begun embracing the truth the queer people are everywhere and that we’ve always been here. A lot of the world still doesn’t understand that when someone identifies they are gay, it is not about sex. Just as when a conservative businessman introduces people to his wife, we aren’t "shoving out sexuality down your thoart" — we’re just telling you about ourselves and at least one of the people we love.

Happy Freedom Day!

A bi guy and a gay guy – it’s cartoony versions of my husband and me!
New York, USA – June 24, 2012: Men dance while riding a float in the New York City Gay Pride Parade 2012. Thousands came out in support.

Saturday Five (community, truth, strength, love edition)


It’s Pride Weekend! This Sunday is the 52nd Anniversary of that fateful night in Greenwich Village. Time to celebrate!

I’m on vacation to both attend the virtual Locus Awards Weekend and celebrate virtual Pride. I worked Monday through Wednesday, and as usually happens when I’m going to take some time off, they were extremely busy days. So I was exhausted, and have been sleeping in a lot. Add to that the heat wave that was been roasting most of the country finally hitting us, and well, I’ve been having trouble being productive. Which is why this post is a day late and will be a bit different than usual.

So here is this week’s day late Friday Five: one headline I felt needed it’s own topic, the top five stories about Pride, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories about queer milestones, and five stories about everything else (plus some things I wrote plus a notable obituaries).

This Week in It’s About Time:

‘Sesame Street’ features 2 gay fathers for 1st time in 51-year history – "Love is love, and we are so happy to add this special family to our Sesame family."

This Week in Pride:

The Untold Truth Of The Stonewall Riots I’m not sure "untold" really belongs in the headline. I’ve linked to similar stories that do their best to sort out the myth from the verifiable regarding the riots over the years, but still a good story.

Military tells off trolls complaining about Air Force Pride event starring ‘Drag Race’ queens – Critics said the show was proof that the U.S. military will soon be dominated by Russia, China and North Korea

Biden declares “Pride is back at the White House” after designating Pulse a national monument – Biden signed historic legislation as he was surrounded by the victims’ families and other modern-day trailblazers. He then spoke about his administration’s pro-LGBTQ record and his son Beau’s desire to advocate for LGBTQ people

British, Canadian and US embassies fly Pride flag in Russia, where ‘gay propaganda’ is illegal

This is America: ‘If your Pride isn’t intersectional, it’s not Pride’

Stories of Interest to Queers and Our Allies:

Louisiana Governor Vetoes Anti-Trans Sports Bill

Study: Most LGBTQ+ Adults Have Faced Threats of Violence

Stonewall Inn Says No to Anheuser-Busch After GOP Donations

A principal tries cutting off a student’s graduation speech. He finished it anyway – School administrators also allegedly tried to get the graduate to remove his Pride flag. He refused

America’s Got Talent auditions “the world’s gayest boy band”

This Week in Milestones:

Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters hits a milestone! 7,500,00 hits and counting! But what comes next?

Gay WW2 Hero Alan Turing Memorialized on New British £50 Note; ‘A Celebration of His Remarkable Life’

Carl Nassib’s Coming-Out Is a Gay NFL Fan’s Wish Come True

International soccer star Kumi Yokoyuma comes out as transgender – One of Japan’s most recognized soccer players didn’t feel safe to come out until they were in America: “I had to explain to them what Japanese culture is like and why I felt the need to hide.”

Valley athlete to be first female LGBTQ wrestler in Olympic history

Other Stuff This Week:

Chauvin sentenced to 22½ years for the murder of George Floyd – Chauvin briefly spoke before sentence was handed down and expressed his condolences to the George Floyd family

Scientists hail stunning ‘Dragon Man’ discovery

WA State health officer Dr. Scott Lindquist is "raising the flag" about the gamma variant, which is causing "more breakthrough cases proportionately, and hospitalizations"

Justice Alito’s Massive Concurrence in Favor of Expanded Religious Freedom May Have Scared Off Two Conservative Justices

Police search for clues after body of missing local artist was found in popular Seattle park

In Memoriam:

Joanne Linville Dead: ‘Star Trek’ Romulan Commander Was 93

Things I Wrote:

Loki is Set on the Trail of ‘The Variant’

The Vaccine is Free – Let people know!

Why Coming Out and Being Out Matters, or, Homophobes react to Carl Nassib’s coming out

Why Coming Out and Being Out Matters, or, Homophobes react to Carl Nassib’s coming out

Las Vegas Raiders Defensive End, Carl Nassib, becomes the first queer NFL
play to come out while he is still active in the league.

Carl Nassib—former All-America football player for Penn State, who has since played in the NFL on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Cleveland Browns, and currently the Las Vegas Raiders—came out as gay earlier this week in a video in which he also announced he had made a large donation to the Trevor Project, and explained why people ought to also donate to the largest non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of suicide among LGBTQ youth.

Members of his own team and leaders within the National Football League management immediately chimed in with messages of support and congratulations. The internet erupted with other people reacting with encouragement—given that other gay NFL players have never felt it was safe to come out, and the only gay player who was out before he was drafted was not met with anything that could be described as a welcoming attitude from the league just seven years ago.

So it was a bit of a surprise that the league seemed to be reacting supportively.

Not everyone reacted quite so well: While NFL player Carl Nassib comes out, homophobes go overboard pretending that they don’t care.

All of those homophobes have been screaming that they don’t care, and then making the angry bad attempts at sexual insults. Coincidentally, on one of my other blogs, another homophobe sent me some angry messages in response to my posting of several Pride Month images. The phrase, “No one f—ing cares!” was repeated several times in those messages, too.

First, anyone who angrily yells or posts a comment asserting that “No one cares” when a queer person expresses anything about their lives, has just admitted that they care entirely way too much. They have also admitted that they are hateful bigots who lose their temper any time they are reminded that not everyone is straight.

Nassib responded to the people those (disingenuous) questions asking why he has to make an announcement. “Studies have shown that all it takes is one accepting adult to decrease the risk of an LGBTQ kid attempting suicide by 40%. Whether you’re a friend, a parent, a coach, or a teammate — you can be that person.”

One of the first studies to show that was published by the George H.W. Bush administration. Bush tasked the National Institutes of Health with determining how to reduce teen suicide, and the conclusion was that the most teen suicides would be if parents were encouraged to tell their children that they would still love and accept them if they were gay.

This is one of the reasons I say every year around National Coming Out Day and during Pride Month that queer adults should be out. It makes your life better not to constantly hiding a secret and fearing discovering, but it also makes it more likely that younger queer people will live—period.

So, I’m happy for Nassib. Even if it does mean that I have to reinstate the search on my DVR to record Raiders games, again.

Las Vegas Raiders Defensive End, Carl Nassib, patiently explaining why it’s important for queer adults to come out.
Archive photo: Penn State defensive lineman Carl Nassib runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Five years after the Pulse massacre, what can we do?

49 people were murdered that night. Don’t forget them! https://people.com/crime/orlando-pulse-shooting-tributes-to-49-victims/


Mayor Dyer: Honor Pulse victims by making Orlando more inclusive

Biden Marks Pulse Anniversary: We Must Acknowledge Gun Violence’s Particular Impact On LGBTQ Community

Joe.My.God – My Pulse Memory: Their Phones Kept Ringing

Pulse Shooting Survivor Brandon Wolf on the Meaning of June 12

It’s the fifth anniversary of the worst mass killing of queer people in U.S. history. Before the 49 victims of the Pulse massacre, the worst single event had been the UpStairs Lounge arson attack on June 24, 1973 in New Orleans.

I see that certain news sites and deplorables are once again trying to push the narrative that this event was a hate crime directed against queer people. I explained why they are wrong last year: Four years after the Pulse massacre and don’t feel the need to re-hash everything, other than to point out the the shooter’s own father was one of the people who thought the club had been picked because of how much his son hated queer people and that his son had ranted a lot the week before the shooting about how marriage equality was proof that American culture had embraced evil.

On this night five years ago, a lot of people were at Pulse celebrating Latinx Night as one of several Pride Month activities at the bar. They went out to have fun, to dance, to be with other queer people. To celebrate life. To celebrate Pride. To celebrate the concept that love is love.

Forty-nine of them never came home that night. I don’t personally know any of them, but when I am reminded of that night, I cry just as hard as a did when I was first reading news reports of the even the next morning. Because queer people are my tribe. Queer people are my community.

And the biggest fear I have had since realizing I was gay, is that some day a hater is going to kill me or someone I love because we’re queer.

Four years later, the Pulse massacre is still a gut punch.

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