dowager countess

Maggie Smith Quotes Downton Abbey: My Interview with Gay Philly; Why Gays Need Benefits

One of the things I love about following the PBS series, “Downton Abbey,” is the one-liners that come from Maggie Smith who plays the Dowager Countess. I was a fan of “Upstairs Downstairs,” and other TV shows like this but I don’t think I have ever heard such clever lines so continuously each week. I love the show for a multitude of reasons, including the way it’s written, but the one-liners keep me waiting for each scene Smith is in. The interesting thing is she is the ultimate snob, and in the same respect she’s usually spot on in her assessments about people, places, events, and things.

DOWAGER COUNTESS “Oh my dears, is it really true? I can’t believe it. Last night he looked so well. Of course, it would happen to a foreigner… It’s typical!”

MARY “Don’t be ridiculous.”

DOWAGER COUNTESS “I’m not being ridiculous. No English man would dream of dying in someone else’s house. Especially someone they didn’t even know.”
 
***** 
 
DOWAGER COUNTESS “The question is, will she accept Matthew?”
 
CORA “I’m not sure.”
 
DOWAGER COUNTESS “Well if she doesn’t, we’ll just have to take her abroad. In these moments you can normally find an Italian who isn’t too picky…”
 
You can read more here, and see a few photos of Smith as the Dowager Countess.
 
 
 
I was recently contacted by a writer with Philadelphia Magazine who works in the G Philly section. He was interested in a post I wrote about the late Joey Stefano, former adult entertainment star, and getting a general sense of how I remember Stefano.
 
You can read the post I wrote about Joey Stefano here, and here’s a link to the G Philly web site.
 
I will post more about this when the article is published. As a side note, I’m always talking about how things like this…Joey Stefano and the time period in which he lived…are a huge part of gay culture. And as long as I’m around I plan to continue to talk about gay culture from a gay man’s POV. In other words, I’m not pandering when I do this. I’m only talking about facts, and the adult entertainment industry. And how gay men look at the industry is, indeed, a huge part of gay culture. …Even though there are some who would like us to think otherwise.
 
 
 
Another thing I’m always talking (harping) about is the need for gay couples to share benefits, which is something legal marriage would allow them to do…just like straight couples. Right now, as it stands, even though certain states like NY have legalized gay marriage, it means nothing, absolutely nothing, on a federal level. I repeat: It. Means. Nothing. Each state does things a little differently, and if you are a gay couple, like so many I know personally, and you live out of state part of the time it can get even more complicated. I won’t even get into inheritance taxes now.
 
This next article speaks loudly about a solider who died from breast cancer and her partner is not eligible to receive one single benefit.
 
 Charlie Morgan didn’t get her last wish.

On Sunday morning, the New Hampshire National Guard soldier succumbed to Stage IV breast cancer after a long battle against the disease and a federal law that now leaves her widow with none of the benefits a grateful nation bestows on its straight warriors.

As I wrote here on Thanksgiving, Morgan, who came out as a lesbian on MSNBC in September 2011, the day the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy became history, hoped she would outlive the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Clinton-era law forbids Karen, her legally married wife, from receiving the survivor benefits other military widows get.

That money would have gone a long way toward helping raise their young daughter Casey. Just like the death benefits Charlie’s mother got when her soldier husband died in an accident during the Vietnam War went to pay for food and a roof for young Charlie.

You can read more here. It’s one of the better articles I’ve read on the topic in a long time. And, take note how they mention it was the “Clinton-era” law that keeps the survivor from receiving any benefits. I hear a lot of my gay friends ranting and screaming about politics all the time, and yet they fail to realize a lot of what they are screaming about isn’t as black and white as they might like it to be. In other words, this isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue. This is an LGBT issue and we need to fight in all directions, because if that were not the case our newly re-elected President would be moving faster to legalize same sex marriage across the board instead of playing politics with the good old boys. It’s nice that he thinks gays should be legally married, but now it’s time to do something about it. And yes, I do mean rush, because there are older gay couples who are still fighting this discrimination daily. And frankly I can’t think of one thing more important than basic equal rights. If you don’t have them, not much else matters anyway…as the Dowager Countess might say.

Photo attribution, here.