Susan Sarandon, Hillary, and Gays
Susan Sarandon tossed a little shade in Hillary Clinton’s direction with a few honest, accurate comments about Hillary’s stand on gay rights. You can’t knock Sarandon for this one. For the most part, she’s right.
The actress and activist lent her star power to a Bernie Sanders rally in Iowa on Thursday (28 January) evening, where she blasted the former secretary of state for voting for the Iraq War, taking money from Wall Street and ‘equivocating’ on issues such as gay marriage.
‘It’s one thing to be for gay rights and gay marriage once everybody else is for it. That’s not difficult,’ she told a crowd of Sanders supporters.
Sanders, on the other hand, is ‘untainted’ and ‘has managed to consistently be on the right side of every issue the correct side of every issue that reflects my concerns,’ she later told DailyMail.com.
You can read more here.
I know the comments about Hillary are true, but I’m not so sure about Sanders. According to Time.com, Sanders was did not always support gay marriage…support being the key word.
But his record on gay marriage is more complicated than he now makes it sound. While Sanders generally opposed measures to ban gay marriage, he did not speak out in favor of it until 2009. That’s still ahead of Clinton, who released a YouTube video announcing her support in 2013, as well as most other Democratic Senators, but not as early as he’s now casting it.
So Sarandon is partially correct. But I do like…love…what Sanders said here:
“I’m not evolving when it comes to gay rights. I was there,” Sanders told the New York Times earlier this year.
That word. Evolving. It’s been used by Hillary too many times and I’m not too thrilled with it. An apology might be more appropriate.
Gus Kenworthy and Russian Hotel Room
When Gus Kenworthy tried to check into a hotel room in Russia with his boyfriend he got an interesting surprise.
‘I had been in Russia the year before for the test event with my boyfriend and they wouldn’t let us check into the hotel room. They were like, “Two guys can’t be in the same bed,”‘ Kenworthy tells Attitude magazine.
Kenworthy, 25, came out publicly last fall and remained firmly closeted during that competition and during the Olympics.
‘It felt shitty,’ he said of being closeted at that time.
‘I wasn’t worried about being targeted necessarily, because nobody knew that I was gay but I still felt uncomfortable knowing how Russia, the country and the government, felt about me,’ he says.
You can read more here. Since coming out, Kenworthy has become somewhat of an inspiration and example to gay men all over the globe. And it’s really mostly about what he says and how he says it. It’s always good to hear from him.
Nate Berkus True Story
If you’ve never watched Nate Berkus on The Home Shopping Network, you’ve missed something interesting. He’s not only talented, but he’s also honest, up front, and you never get the feeling he’s pushing anything too hard.
Berkus also has an interesting story to tell, a story that trumps those of most people, gay or straight. I’ve known about it for a long time, but in case you didn’t…
It was a decade earlier that photographer Fernando Bengoechea had been swept out to sea when a tsunami struck Sri Lanka where the couple had been vacationing. Berkus managed to survive the disaster that took more than 30,000 lives but the pain long remained.
‘I didn’t know how to articulate what I needed from a new relationship,’ Berkus says in a new interview with his mentor Oprah Winfrey on an episode of Where Are They Now which airs Sunday (24 January).
When Tony was hospitalized, near death, in the summer of 2007, I remember catching an interview with Berkus late at night by accident, and at the time he was a huge inspiration to me. I thought if Berkus can go through all that, I can get through all this. And I did, partly thanks to many of the things he said in that interview.
I also love his white sheets.
You can read the rest here.
FREE GAY FICTION EXCERPT THE RAINBOW DETECTIVE AGENCY: RANCHO MIRAGE
Here’s an excerpt from my upcoming book in The Rainbow Detective Agency series, Rancho Mirage. It’s going to be the last book in the series…for now. And I wanted to tie up a story line with one of the minor characters. I tie up a few other things as well. The following excerpt is from a part of the book where Blair and Proctor attend a small LGBT business conference in Rancho Mirage, CA, where they get into a little more trouble than they expected. Blair is not too thrilled to be there either.
On the way down to the banquet room, Proctor reached over to adjust Bob’s black tie. “You look nice tonight, too, Bob. You certainly do dress up very well.” He said this on purpose. He adjusted Bob’s tie in a seductive way on purpose as well. He’d already complimented the way Bob looked and he’d been completely ignoring Blair to see if he could get a reaction from Blair.
Blair looked down at the floor and frowned. “No one said anything about how I look tonight.” He was talking to Proctor and everyone knew it.
Proctor smiled and reached over to adjust Blair’s tie. “I’m sorry. I’ll fix that. You look better than any man has ever looked in a formal tuxedo, and better than any man will ever look again.” Then he patted Blair on the cheek and smiled even wider.
“Oh, you are an evil, cruel man,” Blair said. He glanced at Proctor and almost laughed. “I see I’ve taught you very well. Now you’re beating me at my own game.”
“And you love every minute of it,” Proctor said.
Bob laughed. “Okay, guys. Calm yourselves. Before you rip off each other’s clothes, the elevator is about to stop and the doors are going to open.”
“They can’t help themselves,” Vina said to Bob. “They’ve been like this since the beginning. They argue, they insult each other, they complain, and then they make love. It’s their game. It’s what they do best. I’m used to it. You’ll get used to it eventually.”
Proctor and Blair exchanged a glance and shrugged at the same time, as if they had no idea what Vina was talking about.
Before Blair had a chance to reply, the elevator opened and Bob said, “Should I pretend I’m Vina’s escort tonight?” He smiled at Vina. “I don’t mind in the least. I would be honored.”
Proctor thought that was one of the nicest things he’d heard all week, however, he had other plans for Vina. “No. You’re with us tonight, Bob, and I don’t care who wonders about it. The whole point of Vina being here is to meet new people and have a little fun for a change. If guys think she’s with you no one will come over to her.”
“I don’t mind,” Vina said, with a shaky voice. “I’ll let Bob be my escort. It’s fine with me. Maybe I should take things slowly tonight.”
Proctor stepped out of the elevator and they all followed him toward the banquet room. “Don’t get nervous now, Vina. You’ve come a long way and this is no time to back out. I have a feeling you’re going to be very surprised tonight.” Although Vina wasn’t a raving beauty there was something about her general appearance that exuded sex appeal. It was the kind of sex appeal that came from a combination of several small physical flaws. When her slightly crooked nose and all of her other unusual features came together they created a look that resembled a cross between a younger version of Donatella Versace, Lady Gaga, and Melania Trump.
“Should I say anything?” Vina asked, as they approached the banquet room.
“About what?” Proctor asked.
“Should I mention I’m a transgender person to people?”
Blair smiled. “You take this one, Proctor. It’s too easy.”
Proctor knew what Blair was thinking. He put his arm around Vina and said, “Absolutely not. You don’t have to say anything to anyone. You are who you are and you have to learn how to be proud of that. If and when you get to know someone better you can tell them whatever you want. But in the beginning, just be yourself and that’s all that matters. Most people will figure out you’re a transgender person on their own and they’ll either love you for it or they’ll walk away. You don’t need the people who walk away. Let them go with pleasure.”
“That’s how I’ve always handled it,” Bob said.
They all looked at him and tilted their heads to the side at the same time.
“I’m talking about being gay,” Bob said. “I never came out of the closet. I never made any announcements that I’m gay. Here I am. This is who I am. If you don’t like it kiss my ass.”
Proctor smiled. “I like that. It’s crude, but I like it.” Even though they were only ten years apart in age, Proctor came from a time when coming out was looked at as a sign of pride and strength. It was peer pressure, too. You had to come out in order to be accepted in the gay community. However, he’d noticed that younger men like Bob were opting for a different approach and he couldn’t blame them. In fact, he was starting to question a few things in his life.
“Okay, enough talking,” Blair said. “We’re starting to overthink again. Let’s just get in there and get the bad food and listen to the bad music so we can get this night over with.”
“Stop complaining,” Proctor said, glancing into the crowded banquet room. “You might have the best time of your life.”
Blair reached around and grabbed his ass. “Not until we go back up to the room.”
As Blair had predicted, the food turned out to be overcooked beef, some kind of soggy vegetable medley, square potatoes, and a wedge of iceberg lettuce. They were seated at a table of eight near the dance floor with two other generic gay couples from California. One was a middle aged married lesbian couple where the older one wore a man’s tuxedo and the younger wore a frilly white little Miss Muffet dress. The one wearing the tuxedo was a dentist and the one in the Miss Muffet dress was, so she claimed, a stay-at-home-mom. It wasn’t until she showed Proctor photos of their “children” on her phone that Proctor got the full message. When she held the phone in front of him and started scrolling, all he saw were pictures of cats.
The other couple came from some little town in the mountains Proctor had never heard of…and didn’t care to hear more about…and they ran a touristy gift shop called Where the Ember Glows. They were the quasi, amateur creative gay types Proctor always ran into at these conventions and conferences. The older one was about fifty pounds overweight. He wore a tuxedo jacket he couldn’t button, a red plaid cummerbund, and a matching red plaid kilt instead of pants…a mistake. The younger one…and he wasn’t much younger…wore a black tuxedo with a rainbow cummerbund and matching rainbow tie. This guy looked as if he’d stepped out of a Disney movie. He was bean pole thin with a chin so long and pointy Proctor was afraid Blair might ask him if he wanted to build a snowman.
While the lesbian couple and the two guys from the mountain town were talking about how much they “adored” a political candidate, Blair leaned into Proctor’s side and said, “How much longer do I have to endure this nightmare?”
Proctor rolled his eyes. “Be patient, Blair.” He glanced over at Vina and saw she was staring at the dance floor with a sullen expression. He was so hoping she’d meet someone new and fresh that night and it didn’t seem to be happening. “The music hasn’t even started yet.”
“Oh, I can’t wait,” Blair said. “Let me see, will it be Barry Manilow or Air Supply?”
Bob overheard that comment and laughed. “It can’t be that bad,” he said.
Proctor remained silent. He knew it could get much worse.
Blair tilted his head and said, “You wanna bet?”
“Finish your dinner like a good boy,” Proctor said, pointing to Blair’s plate.
Blair pointed to Proctor’s plate and said, “You didn’t finish yours.”
“I’m allergic,” Proctor said, trying not to laugh.
Bob looked confused. “You’re allergic to beef.”
Blair jumped in before Proctor could reply. “He’s not allergic to anything. He just says that whenever he doesn’t want to eat something he doesn’t like. And people always believe him.”
Bob shrugged. “Well if you two aren’t going to eat anything can I have it?”
Blair picked up his plate filled with overcooked beef and switched it with Bob’s empty plate. “Here you go. Be my guest.”
As he sat there listening to Bob and Blair, and then listening to the two other couples at their table, Proctor realized just how diverse gay people really are. Even though Blair and Bob were a lot alike in many ways, even they had their differences. It made Proctor wonder about a lot of things in his life he’d always taken for granted. When he’d been younger he’d always just assumed that all gay people had similar interests and things in common and the older he grew the more he realized that wasn’t true at all. In fact, he hadn’t mentioned anything to Blair yet, but he was seriously thinking about changing the name of the agency. The Rainbow Detective Agency had seemed like a good name at the time, but he was starting to wonder whether or not it was too inclusive now with the world changing so fast.
When the music started to play, the first song turned out to be an older Ricky Martin song Proctor hadn’t heard since the 90s. He didn’t have to look at Blair this time. Blair poked in in the ribs with his elbow and said, “And there you go. Time to Macarena. Just hit me over the head with a two by four and be done with it.”
“Well at least it’s not Barry Manilow,” Proctor said.
“Don’t worry, that’s coming soon,” Blair said.
Proctor turned to Bob to see if he wanted to dance. Blair hated to dance and Proctor didn’t want to force him into anything else that night. He wasn’t sure how Bob felt about dancing so he decided to ask. However, as he looked at Bob he noticed Bob’s plate was empty. He’d eaten his dinner, Blair’s dinner, and he’d just finished Proctor’s dinner. “How can you eat so much and keep that fantastic body?”
Bob shrugged and said, “I never had a weight problem. I can eat as much as I want and I can eat anything I want. Do you want to dance?”
He asked so casually and without warning Proctor smiled. “Yes, I’d love to dance.”
As Proctor stood and reached for Bob’s hand, he was about to lean over and whisper into Blair’s ear. He wanted to ask Blair to dance with Vina if no one else came along. However, he didn’t get a chance. Right before he leaned over a tall, dark attractive young man walked over to Vina and said, “Can I have this dance? My name is Charlie Kilpatrick and I’ve been watching you since you arrived. I hope that’s okay.”
Vina shot Proctor a glance and Proctor smiled and sent her an encouraging nod.
Vina looked up at Charlie and said, “I’m a transgender person.”
Blair smacked his forehead and said, “So much for not saying anything at first.”
Proctor poked Blair in the head with his elbow this time.
Charlie said, “I know that. I told you I’ve been watching you for a while and it doesn’t matter one way or the other to me. I’d like to dance and get to know you better.”
“You would?” Vina asked, as if she couldn’t believe her ears.
“Yes, I would,” Charlie said.
Proctor smiled and winked at Vina. “Go dance with him. Have some fun.”
For a moment, Vina hesitated. She stared at Proctor, took a quick breath, and then she finally stood up. Proctor watched Charlie lead her onto the dance floor. When she tripped over her own feet…in her defense, she wasn’t used to wearing such high heels…Charlie smiled and helped her gain her balance without making a big deal of it. He simply placed his palm on the small of Vina’s back and they glided away from the tables as if they’d known each other for years instead of minutes.
The lesbian couple and the guys from the mountains stood up at the same time and they headed to the dance floor. Bob pulled Proctor closer and Proctor turned to Blair and asked, “Are you sure you don’t mind being left all alone here?”
“We can stay here with you,” Bob said. “We don’t have to dance.”
Blair shook his head and waved them off. “Go dance. I’m fine. I’m sure they’ll be serving the melted vanilla ice cream soon and I’ve been waiting for that all night.”