Category: gays

Italians, Marriage, Gays, and Fidelity; Cindy Brady, Again; James Franco Smacking Guy’s Bare Ass With A Chicken Wing

Italians, Marriage, Gays, and Fidelity

This is something that surprised me a little. It sounds valid, and I did check other sources. 

An amendment to Italy’s Civil Code would remove references to “fidelity” from the institution of marriage, following the model adopted for Italy’s gay civil unions.

Passed earlier this year, the Italian civil unions bill omitted references to fidelity and marital faithfulness, and referred simply to “moral and material support” and “cohabitation.”

And this is interesting, too.

A 2010 Gay Couples Study conducted by Colleen Hoff at the Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality, San Francisco, found that 47 percent of gay couples had “sex agreements” that specifically allowed sexual activity with others.

You can read the rest here. The bill has passed the Senate and is under review. I know it’s a very conservative publication and I’m linking to it on purpose to prove a point. This is how people who don’t know get an exaggerated impression of gay couples. Here’s a link to another article in the Telegraph.  

I’m not familiar with the study in San Francisco, but I do know a lot of gay couples. And that study was done over six years ago before legalized gay marriage. The gay couples I know are mostly monogamous. That’s just from my personal experience. And they are gay couples of all ages. I’m not knocking open marriages, gay or straight. I just don’t know if it’s realistic to mention gay couples this way without doing extensive research, everywhere, and finding gay couples who are willing to participate. I would never participate in a study like that. I’m on the fence with this one.

Cindy Brady, Again

Last week I posted about how Susan Olsen, who played Cindy Brady on the TV show The Brady Bunch, made gay slurs on the radio and was ultimately fired as a result.

Here’s a new twist…

‘This is only about me supporting Trump. And I still do!’ she writes in Facebook post.

She adds: ‘And by the way, how does one get fired from a job they were never paid to do?’

Whether she was paid or not, LA Talk Radio took her off the air for using anti-gay slurs against a gay actor in a Facebook message made public.

Here’s the rest.  You can read the gay slurs she made at this link.

James Franco Smacking Guy’s Bare Ass With A Chicken Wing

You have to admit that even a new James Franco story is a nice diversion from politics these days. Franco’s actually talking about a scene he did for a film while he was playing James Dean.

‘Well in this version Paul had kind of changed it … there he is picking stuff up and it’s not tea anymore – it’s Kentucky Fried Chicken.

‘And his pants are down at his ankles, his ass is out … I’m supposed to get on his back and like ride him and say like, “Ride the pig! Ride the pig!” and hit his ass with a chicken wing.’

There’s more here, with a video. It’s a good video of Franco being interviewed by Stephen Colbert.

Stepbrothers In the Attic by Ryan Field

The Sneaky Disingenuous Hollywood Actors In the Closet; Cher, Dyslexia, Gays, and Hollywood Fail, Again; University of Indonesia To "Normalize" Gays

The Sneaky, Disingenuous Hollywood Actors In the Closet

This has always been a rough one for me, because I have always firmly believed that no one should ever be forced into coming out as gay. For most people who fall under the umbrella of LGBTQ, it’s a serious, emotional decision for which they have to be ready. And I still believe that. I receive e-mails daily from closeted gay male readers who are fighting with this dilemma every waking minute.

However, there are still a lot of double standards going on in Hollywood these days that are both disingenuous and sneaky. I’m not going into a long rant about this because I know everyone “gets’ it.

Here’s an article that gives 20 reasons why Matt Damon was wrong to tell gay actors to remain in the closet.

So there still are no openly gay leading men, at least on the Major Motion Picture front. It’s a pity.

According to Matt Damon (in a comment he’s since insisted was taken out of context), this is because the career of Rupert Everett, who came out in 1989 when Matt was 19, did not achieve the stardom Everett apparently assumed he was destined for. Apparently this narrative, promulgated mostly by Everett, made a deep impression on Damon.

Damon’s theory, whether he meant it or not, is another version of the old canard that openly gay men can’t be leading men because straight men recoil at the notion and, for women, it ruins the fantasy. Hahaha

You can read the rest here. It’s a list of successful openly gay stars, proving Matt Damon wrong. However, Damon isn’t totally wrong because that same passive aggressive, self-loathing homophobia still exists today in Hollywood. 

Cher, Dyslexia, Gays, and Hollywood Fail, Again

On the surface, this sounds okay. I can even relate to it to a certain extent…again, on the surface. However, I would never be presumptuous…or foolish enough…to even try to begin to understand what life is like for someone with dyslexia. And frankly, I would like the same respect extended to me as a gay man from someone who is still coming from a place of privilege like Cher. 

But while making yet another fundraising appearance for Hillary Clinton this week, the Oscar winner talked about another reason why she feels so simpatico with LGBTI people: her dyslexia.

‘I understand, and I think this is a thing that I share with my gay brothers and sisters, that I understand shame-for-no-reason,’ she said at The Park on 10th Avenue in New York City.

‘I understand trying to overcome what you shouldn’t have to overcome, something that’s just natural, that we are, the people who we are, the colors that we are.’

Here’s a link to the rest.

This is Hollywood fail, and in the same way it always has been. As far as I know, Cher will never know what it’s like to be refused the right to marry legally. And that’s just one thing. 

University of Indonesia To “Normalize” Gays

Evidently, they think they can “normalize” gay people at this university.

Syamsu Qamar Badu, the rector of the State University of Gorontalo (UNG), issued a new set of policies targeting LGBTI people.

This includes a ‘special team’ employed to look out for, and offer ‘counseling’ for, students they suspect of identifying as LGBTI.

‘This identification process will not be easy, but we can’t just let it happen if there are male students wearing lipstick on campus,’ Badu said.

You can read the rest here. 

Lipstick on campus? Someone should tell them.

And it’s interesting to note that The Indonesia Psychiatric Association (PDSKJI) still believes “homosexuality” is an illness.





FREE Gay Fiction Excerpt; Susan Sarandon, Hillary, and Gays; Gus Kenworthy and Russian Hotel Room; Nate Berkus True Story

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

You can read more here. 

I know the comments about Hillary are true, but I’m not so sure about Sanders.  According to, 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.


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.”

Rick Santorum & Greg Ball on Marriage; Gays Closeted at Work; Zack Efron Seth Rogen In Drag

Rick Santorum on Marriage

I apologize ahead of time for circling the airport a little with this post. Last week I shared a photo on facebook with someone named Greg Ball. It was something like national teacher day and I thought Greg Ball looked like a nice guy who had posted a nice photo honoring teachers. I’d accepted a friend request from him earlier in the month and I hadn’t seen many updates because facebook only shows what it wants to show in my news feed. I just thought Ball was a guy on facebook, maybe even a reader, and I’m not one of those who vets each an every person on facebook. It’s social media and I want to get to know people I don’t know. Isn’t that the point? The last thing I’m interested in is getting reacquainted with people from high school. Been there done that.

But then something clicked in my head and I went back to check out Greg Ball’s timeline on facebook, just to make sure I didn’t share anything controversial. These days you can’t be too careful and I stay out of politics and religion unless it involves gay rights. The last thing I need is to have people coming after me on facebook for something I didn’t even realize I did. I once posted I ordered flowers for someone from and didn’t know they were anti-gay at the time. In any event, Greg Ball turned out to be a New York Senator. I didn’t see anything controversial on his timeline and he still seemed like a decent guy, but I figured I’d do a quick search just in case. And sure enough, once again, I found a few articles about Ball that date back to 2011 stating he’s anti-gay marriage. So I deleted the photo share and moved on to something else. We’re still friends. I’m not going to block him. We just won’t be sharing each other’s updates and braiding each other’s hair.

It’s not that I have anything against Greg Ball, or his beliefs. I just don’t get why some politicians like Ball seem to think that gay marriage is such a huge threat to society or religion. Doesn’t he think there are religious gay people? Seriously. I often think it’s because they don’t really know real gay people. They only see the loudest voices that don’t always represent gay people all that well. But that’s not a good excuse either, because if you’re a political leader of any kind you should make a point to know these things.

For some reason, Greg Ball now reminds me of Rick Santorum. Santorum is the conservative poster boy for all things anti-gay. Ball is much better looking and in much better shape than Santorum, but he even resembles Santorum to a certain extent. And even though Ball hasn’t been as vocal as Santorum on gay marriage, I can’t help but associate Ball with Santorum from now on. Maybe that’s just as hooded on my part as it is for conservative straight people to think we’re all like the gay guys on Modern Family. But I suppose it’s only natural, especially considering the latest comments from Rick Santorum on marriage.

‘What we need to do is have the father and mother raise those children and that means a man and woman bringing to a child what a man and woman can bring and that’s what we should be focused on,’ Santorum told host Neil Cavuto during an appearance on Fox News Channel.

Personally, I think these are interesting times for all politicians. And a lot of what they say and do now will be following them around for the rest of their lives. Think George Wallace and the civil rights movement in the 1960’s.

You can read more about Santorum here. Greg Ball was just an example of how paranoid I’ve become when it involves sharing or reposting anything on social media.

And just to keep it real, this is what Greg Ball said in 2011. If it comes to my attention that he’s changed his views, I’ll update the post. But I couldn’t find anything recent.

 “Knowing that marriage equality was likely to pass, I thought it important to force the issue of religious protections. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the distinct opportunity of listening to literally thousands of residents, on both sides of this issue, by holding an undecided stance. I thought it was important to listen to all of my constituents and hold an undecided position until the actual bill language was written and everyone’s voice had been heard. Now that the final text is public, I am proud that I have secured some strong protections for religious institutions and basic protections for religious organizations. The bill still lacks many of the basic religious protections I thought were vital, and for this reason, and as I did in the Assembly, I will be voting ‘no.’”

Gay marriage is legal now in New York.

Gays Closeted At Work

Unfortunately, when a lot of straight people think of gay men and what they do for a living they think hairdresser, florist, interior designer, or waiter. I’m not knocking these respected professions. It’s a dangerous stereotype that’s been around for a long time, and the saddest fact of all is that most gay men don’t work in any of these stereotypical industries and they almost always tend to remain in the closet at work. Tony, my own husband, worked in corporate America for twenty years and he never mentioned me or that he was gay. It’s just not something gay men are willing to take a chance on, especially when they have families, car payments, mortgages, and lives that depend on their salaries. And the same goes for women. One of my best friends from Brooklyn is a lesbian and she has been with her wife for thirty years. She didn’t let anyone know about her wife until she retired a year ago from teaching school. I could go on endlessly with examples.

53% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees say they feel uncomfortable to come out, despite support for LGBTI rights continuing to grow.

According to the poll of 806 LGBT people published the Human Rights Campaign, the percentage has barely budged from 51% in 2009.

One in four LGBT responds said they continue to hear offensive comments, including ‘that’s so gay’, in the workplace.

If you’re surprised you shouldn’t be. There’s more here. I think this will change, but up until now only the most privileged like Ellen and Neil Patrick Harris have been able to come out freely without losing their livelihoods.

Zack Efron Seth Rogen In Drag

Maybe it’s just me once again, but I thought it was funny the first few times I saw Seth Rogen camping it up in gayface with James Franco. I even posted about it a few times. But frankly, it’s starting to get on my nerves and I think it’s time for Rogen to move on to something else. It’s getting tired. I’m sure there’s something else a big, strong, strapping straight guy can do for amusement other than gayface.

Fallon occasionally dresses up as a teenage girl on The Tonight Show to host ‘Ew!’ – a series of spoof skits of programming on the TeenNick cable channel.

Previous stars to appear as friends of Fallon’s teenage girl alter ego Sara have included Lindsay Lohan and the skits have Fallon shooting the show out of Sara’s bedroom.

There’s more here with a photo. I think it would be wiser for Rogen to focus more on those painful roles he’s been taking on in recent years rather than focusing on drag as a straight man. If you don’t believe me just try to sit through The Guilt Trip or This Is the End. A few wasted hours of my life I’ll never get back.

Palm Beach Stud by Ryan Field

His Only Choice by Ryan Field
The Preacher’s Husband by Ryan Field

HGTV Supports Gays; Neil Patrick Harris Naked; Michael Sam NFL Draft

HGTV Supports Gays

There was a new TV show scheduled to come out on HGTV starring twin brothers, David and Jason Benham, this fall. However, after a few questionable issues about the brothers surfaced online, HGTV decided to cancel the show before it even aired. Among other things, a right wing web site posted information about David Benham and his anti-gay opinions.

Those plans have changed after the website Right Wing Watch published a post labeling David Benham as an ‘anti-gay, anti-choice extremist.’

The site posted a recording of the twin on a talk show host speaking about ‘homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation’ and also spoke about ‘demonic ideologies’ spreading in colleges and public schools.

There is also a YouTube video of David Benham speaking at the closing of an abortion clinic last year.

This is how the out-spoken twin anti-gay brothers who had the deal of a lifetime in the palm of their hands responded:

‘With all of the grotesque things that can be seen and heard on television today you would think there would be room for two twin brothers who are faithful to our families, committed to biblical principles, and dedicated professionals. If our faith costs us a television show then so be it.’

My only comment is something I’ve said before on the blog more than once. If you are going to do anything in the public eye, and that thing you are doing isn’t political or religious, shut your big mouth on religion and politics or be prepared to suffer the consequences. This isn’t about free speech or gays bullying the poor twin brothers. This is about free trade and good business practices. HGTV is not a government owned business and many of their viewers are women and gays. I’m sure HGTV doesn’t want to alienate a large chunk of their audience. Last I heard, nothing on HGTV is political or religious. So I look at these things from a purely pragmatic POV and I really feel for people in business who don’t. I have seen the exact same thing happen to authors who speak too often and too loudly on politics and religion, and it doesn’t matter which side you’re on. You’re still going to piss a lot of people off. So unless you’re running for public office, or Pope, keep the religion and politics to yourself if you know what’s best for you. And really, don’t we already have enough politics already. When I tune in to watch House Hunters or Property Brothers I only want to hear about real estate.

You can read more here, where there’s a photo of the twin anti-gay brothers who just screwed up the best deal they ever had.

Neil Patrick Harris Naked

Neil Patrick Harris is on the cover of Rolling Stone, and he’s not wearing anything but a bow tie and a top hat over his groin. Whether or not this is actually Harris or it’s been photo shopped remains to be seen.

In an interview to be published on Friday (9 May), Harris shares how coming out publicly in 2006 has actually helped his career rather than hurt it.

‘Some actors don’t get hired because you can’t look into their soul and see what they’re like, because they’re kept guarded,’ he says. ‘Once all the cards were on the table, I got more opportunities than ever.’

I’m not certain other more serious leading-men types would agree with Harris. I think they still have to be careful about coming out if they want to get the big bucks in feature films like the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey. Just look at what happened to Matt Bomer. It’s still okay for a straight actor to play gayface. We applaud that when Matt Damon does it. But we haven’t worked out all the kinks with gay actors playing straightface. Rock Hudson doesn’t count, even though he should be considered the greatest actor in the history of film just for those scenes with Doris Day.  

You can read more here.

Michael Sam NFL Draft

This week openly gay football player, Michael Sam, will make history when they start drafting players. I think he’s a huge hero and inspiration to all gay men who have never fallen into the typical gay stereotypes. He shows us that there are many different aspects to being gay. It should be interesting to see how things turn out next week.

‘I’ve been thinking about this moment since junior year of college,’ Sam said in an interview Wednesday with Good Morning America.

‘It’s a very nervous time and a very exciting time. I’m ready for it.’ He added: ‘Where I go doesn’t matter as long as I get to play.’

While Sam is not expected to be a top pick, the league could face a major PR crisis if no teams choose him.

Sam will also receive the well-deserved Arthur Ashe Courage Award this July. He also makes a point of letting us know that he’s not the only gay guy in the NFL and that others are still in the closet.

There’s more here.  

Palm Beach Stud by Ryan Field

His Only Choice by Ryan Field
The Preacher’s Husband by Ryan Field

Gay Grindr Murder/Rape; Yelp Review Controversy; Penis to Rooster Leash

Gay Grindr Murder/Rape

I posted about a young man from Canada who was raped and robbed in the Philadelphia area a few weeks ago after he hooked up with someone through Grindr  and now there are two more incidents in the Philadelphia area to report that are even more frightening. This time an adorable, talented young guy was murdered, and a public prosecutor was arrested for allegedly raping a sixteen year old boy…all allegedly through Grindr.

Here’s the incident that involved the murder:

It was awful. I don’t think there are any words that could actually describe what I felt or even my family,” Dino’s sister Una Dizdarevic said.

Dizdarevic, who lived on North 13th Street in Spring Garden, disappeared Wednesday.

On Friday, his body was discovered with blunt force trauma to the head on Parker Street near 9th Street in Chester.

His sister, Una, came in from their home state of Kentucky.

“He would just light the entire room up itself. He was so intelligent and so many people cared about him,” Una said.

Police sources say it appears Dizdarevic met up with someone on the social app, Grindr.

You can read more here. Chester, PA, where the body was found, is about a twenty minute drive south on I95 from center city Philadelphia where the victim lived. It’s also one of the most dangerous places in the Philadelphia area.

And this next piece about the male public prosecutor allegedly raping a sixteen year old boy he met through Grindr happened in the Wilmington, DE area, not far from Philadelphia.

New Castle County police say 34-year-old Daniel Simmons faces four counts of fourth-degree rape. Simmons is a deputy attorney general assigned to the county’s Misdemeanor Trial Unit.

Police say Simmons met the boy through a social media app called Grindr and not during the performance of his public duties.

The attorney general’s office says in a statement that Simmons has been placed on administrative leave. The office approved warrants for Simmons’ arrest on Friday. Attorney General Beau Biden did not make any comments.

You can read more here. For those who don’t know, good old Beau Biden is the son of our esteemed smiling Vice-President, Joe Biden. I don’t know if that statement about this creep meeting the kid through Grindr instead of while on duty is supposed to make this better somehow, and frankly I don’t even know why they would make that comment. It makes no sense. But then good old Beau wouldn’t want to be associated with something like this.

In any event, you guys who are out there working the net with Grindr and other hook up sites like it should really pay attention to things like this. We’re living in a very dangerous world now and the Internet is the old wild west where anything that can happen will happen. Don’t assume anything. And never trust anyone you meet online. You just can’t be too careful. All that hope and change and happy dance stuff you’ve been hearing about online is not going to help you out when you meet up with a sociopath who doesn’t care whether you live or die.

Yelp Review Controversy

I’m not linking now because I’m too lazy, but I have posted about Yelp reviews several times, with respect to fraud and fakery and all kinds of gaming. But this is the first time I’ve seen something like this in public. Business owners are now claiming that if they don’t pay Yelp to advertise on a monthly basis their reviews dip from five star to one star, and it hurts their businesses tremendously.

“We do get a lot of traffic from out-of-towners,” Bevilacqua said.

Bevilacqua says a big part of his business was driven by positive online reviews – that is, until last year.

“I went from being 4.5 stars to 1 star,” Bevilacqua said.

Multiple glowing reviews on his profile were suddenly hidden, filtered in a hard-to-find section Yelp says are “not recommended” The reason, Bevilacqua believes, is he turned down advertising pitched to him by a telephone salesman from Yelp.

“It was a lot of money; it was like over $300 a month just to do advertising,” Bevilacqua said.

Brian Dunn from Dunn and Danese Insurance in Drexel Hill has also been battling with Yelp after he stumbled across a negative review, the only one on his site from a disgruntled customer.

None of this surprises me. I once had a bad experience at this shop, in Doylestown, PA, and I left several reviews in several different places letting people know just how bad the experience was. One of the places where I left my review was Yelp and they didn’t even put it up. At the time, this led me to believe that the business was paying Yelp to advertise and to balance reviews in their favor and I stopped leaving reviews on Yelp altogether after that.

So I guess it works both ways, and just like on Amazon or any other place where reviews are being left you can’t trust a thing anymore. I know I’ll never bother wasting my time with Yelp after my own personal experiences there as a consumer. But I would like to know where the FTC is?

Don’t. Trust. Any. Online. Reviews. Anywhere. People who are in business for themselves and who aren’t getting a weekly paycheck depend on a certain amount of business in order to survive. They aren’t getting government handouts. They are working seven days a week in most cases to survive. It’s the same thing with authors and career writers. And I know that I wouldn’t want to be responsible for hurting someone’s income because of a corrupt review system. It’s bad luck to hurt people that way. It’s bad karma. You could wind up going broke yourselves, or you might even drop dead the next day. Karma works.

Penis to Rooster Leash

A performer was recently found guilty of exhibitionism in Paris because he did something that involved hooking a leash to his penis, and then hooking the leash to a rooster. Doesn’t that sound artistic?

South African born performance artist Steven Cohen has been found guilty by a Paris court over a September 2013 public performance in which he danced in platform shoes in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower with a rooster tied to his penis by a leash.

The 51-year-old Artist danced for around 10 minutes before being arrested by police but maintains the performance was not intended in any way to be sexual.

You can read more here. There’s a photo of him in a headdress, but nothing with the penis tied to a cock. The comment thread seems to think he’s either an idiot or unhinged. You know how I’m always talking about those gays on the fringes getting the loudest voices, and how they often make the rest of us look bad, well this guy is the perfect example.

Jiri Tlusty Gay Kiss; Republican Gay Support; Gays and Homophobes Hugging

Jiri Tlusty Gay Kiss

As a gay man I have to admit I find this interesting. Two young guys, holding each other, tongues out pointed toward each other, and they aren’t gay. Of course it’s all about context with things like this, but at a glance, without knowing any back story, it’s interesting to see a photo of Maple Leaf Rookie, Jiri Tlusty, in such a homoerotic pose.

Lil bit of gossip here… there were some shots on the net of Jiri Tlusty on a gossip site “tonguing” another guy, which honestly doesn’t really mean anything, and the tonguing was more of a silly pose for a picture… but then this same gossip site dug a lil deeper… and released probably the first ever self-nude shots of a hockey player… at least that I’ve seen.. lol.

The jock/sports theme makes it even more interesting because so many gay men in high profile sports still aren’t ready to come out yet, if ever.

You can read more here, and see a photo of Tlusty in the pose I described above.

Towerload did a short piece here, too.

There were allegedly nude photos of Tlusty as well, but the links don’t work anymore and they’ve evidently been taken down. He says he’s not gay. I believe him. But I still think it’s interesting. I’m not saying this is the case here, but I’ve seen plenty of photos where straight guys mock gay men with photos like this more often than not. Most of the time it’s not meant to be harmful.

Republican Gay Support

This to me is inevitable, and only because I know (and have always known) so many gay Republicans who are nothing like the GOP most people think about when they hear something stupid coming from the Christian right wing. Don’t think Michele Bachmann when you think gay Republican. In fact, I would even say safely that out of all the gay people I know at least 40% are gay Republicans and they can’t stand Michele Bachmann. They aren’t Fox News fans either, and Sarah Palin makes them cringe, too. The gay Republicans I know almost always agree with the gay Democrats I know on social issues, however, they don’t agree on fiscal issues. It’s not my belief because I’m an independent, but I understand it. Unfortunately, the tolerance level is low with the gay Democrats I know and there’s often a lot of passive aggressive discrimination and intolerance happening behind the scenes in the gay community. And, due to aggressive peer pressure in the gay community I also know many gay Republicans who remain in the proverbial closet for fear of being bullied.

There’s an ad out now with young people of all races who are Republican who aren’t the typical stereotype we usually associate with the GOP. And I think that as readers and authors the people who come here to read my posts are interested in keeping up with things like this…because the world is changing and not everything is what it used to be. Politics is changing, too. And the Republican party knows that if it’s going to survive they can’t continue on the same path. This is especially true when it comes to gays. They lose independents like me if they don’t change, and independents like me wind up voting for the lesser of two evils instead of for the best candidate. It’s how I’ve voted, literally, since 2007. I have not left a voting booth since 2007 feeling happy about my vote. Aside from the fact that there are plenty of gay Republicans both out and in the closet, there’s been a huge shift in opinion in the past few years for gay marriage and equal rights. I personally get private messages all the time from both gay and straight Republicans telling me how frustrated they often get because they are pro-gay.

In any event, this article talks about how the new Republican ads are being “lambasted” as pandering. But I’m not so sure that’s true…at least not completely. All political ads pander in one way or another from all sides. And frankly, I wouldn’t put anything past the Democratic party at this point, especially in an election year when things don’t look that great for them.

However, gay activist Jeremy Hooper has discovered that even though the official Republican national platform opposes same-sex marriage, one of the GOP’s bespectacled spokes-hipsters, Scott Greenberg, once posed for a photo with the gay-married reality show couple The Fabulous Beekman Boys. Hooper writes:

If (Greenberg) is as pro-LGBT as appearances would lead me to believe, it would actually make sense that the GOP is going this direction. After all, it’s only a matter of time before they have to become an LGBT-accepting party, if they want to be in the ballgame at all.

Read more:

Here’s the actual link.

If you are interested in politics it’s an interesting article with more links. I’m not a huge political fan because I don’t trust any of them. But from a social POV I think it’s worth looking at simply because no one wants to remain antiquated in these changing times. The political landscape in general (and the disappointments in what be all believed was real that we’ve all learned to live with) since 2007 in the US are vast when compared to what’s happening today. And even though the entire gay community went dead silent in the previous Presidential election when it came to the very first openly gay man ever to run for President, Fred Karger, whom I posted about often, the changes are going to happen whether people like them or not.

For me, following Karger’s campaign was more about my fascination with a gay man actually running for President. I got to see that in my lifetime, just like African Americans got to see a man of African descent become President. As a gay man I think that’s important. I feel the gay candidate deserves that support from me. I wish I’d seen that same support from the gay community. Since then, Karger has worked tirelessly to support same sex marriage. Once again, he was gay and ran on the Republican ticket. I haven’t seen one Democrat work as hard as he has for gay marriage, and take such little credit for it.

Gays and Homophobes Hugging

An experiment called “First Hug” put gay people and homophobic people together for the first time. It was posted on Youtube and so far has received over one million hits.

The video is a parody of “First Kiss,” a video that asked 20 strangers to kiss, produced by clothing company Wren. “First Kiss” has inspired other spin-offs, including Tonight Show host’s Jimmy Fallon’s version with kittens and puppies.

“First Hug” begins with the strangers talking before they hug.

“Why did you ever think it was a sin?” a gay man asks a woman.

“Because it says so in the Bible,” she replies.

A man asks a gay man,” “How do you kiss another guy? I don’t get that.”

“The same way you kiss another girl,” the man replies.

Despite different viewpoints, the pairs end up hugging it out.

“I’m still normal, you’re still normal,” one woman says.

You can check it out here, where there are link and a video.

Gays and Steroids; Gay Teen Killed with Skateboard; 250 Words

Gays and Steroids

This article interests me because I don’t think I’ve ever seen it addressed so openly before. It talks about how gay adolescents are more likely to use steroids than straight adolescents. And even though I usually don’t like articles that draw conclusions like this, I have to admit I wasn’t surprised in this case. Think of the aging circuit boy living in a warm climate all year round now who still can’t put down the steroids to save his soul. I remember noticing this trend in the 90’s, where a nice-looking gay man would suddenly appear bigger, more muscular, and take on an almost superhuman look. They never offered an explanation about the sudden transformation and no one asked. But we all knew it wasn’t because they were working out harder.

Overall, 21 percent of gay or bisexual boys said they had ever used steroids, versus 4 percent of straight boys. The difference was similar among those who reported moderate use – taking steroid pills or injections up to 40 times: 8 percent of gay or bi teens reported that amount, versus less than 2 percent of straight boys. The heaviest use – 40 or more times – was reported by 4 percent of gays or bi boys, compared with less than 1 percent of straight teens.

The peer pressure and body image issue in the gay community is as strong as it is with women. In many cases I’ve seen first hand the air-brushed muscular body we see in male magazines is an obsession, not to mention a race against the clock to remain young and muscular forever. The article goes on to state that this group needs to be studied in more depth.

They have no idea the side effects they will face down the line. I’ve seen that, too. It doesn’t end well for the steroid crowd.

You can read more here.

Gay Teen Killed with Skateboard

A gay teenager was humiliated and beaten to death in Brazil by a group/gang of young men between the ages of 16- 23 years old.

The gay teen was on his way home after partying in the famous LGBT area of Frei Caneca in Sao Paulo.

When the gang confronted their victim, they stripped him of his shoes, mobile phone and public transport ticket before he was punched, kicked and repeatedly hit on the head with a skateboard.

The gang has a history of targeting gays in the area. This time it turned out to be fatal.

You can read more here.

250 Words

I’m linking to this new web site about book publishing by Simon & Schuster on the side bar if anyone wants to check it out in the future. If you scroll down I try to keep an updated list of web sites I find interesting at all times because I often do that when I go out looking at other blogs myself. If you’re using a mobile device I think you have to go to the web version, though.

 The site will publish original essays by authors, as well as interviews, reviews and commentary about the publishing business. The site will include stories and interviews with authors across the industry, not just those published by Simon & Schuster.

You can read more about it here. And check out the site yourselves, here. I’m glad to see it. We’re lacking these things in publishing and it will give authors at least some kind of platform. I’m assuming all pieces will be around 250 words in length.

Free Gay Excerpt; Russia: No Kid Contact; $5 Book Trailers on Fiverr

Russia: No Kid Contact

I’ve posted so many times about Russia, the Olympics, and the anti-gay atmosphere over in Russia I’m not even going to link and I think everyone knows most of it by now. Russian TV personalities who take part in bad Russian sitcoms want gays burned, and now Vladimir Putin says gays are welcome at the Russian Olympics but they have to stay away from children.

Speaking to volunteers today (17 January), LGBTI people ‘can feel calm and at ease’ while visiting Russia. But he emphasized no gay person will be arrested as long as they do not speak to anyone underage.

You can read more here.

I still call for a ban on the Russian Olympics. If this were any other minority in the US, and Putin made a statement like this about any group from African Americans to Asian Americans, I can’t help but feel the US would be looking at this differently. But because it’s gays we’re supposed to take it with a smile, be good sports, and keep our mouths shut so everyone involved with the Russian Olympics can make money. There’s something very seriously wrong with this. And Putin knows what he’s doing and he’s sitting back laughing at all of us.

Where did our leaders go? And what happened to all the promises we’ve heard? It’s amazing how many go blank at times like this. At the very least, I keep hoping there will be some kind of surprise from the Obama administration about all this that no one expected. Even if it’s just s small slap in the face to Putin. But I’m not getting my hopes up too high.

$5 Dollar Book Trailers on Fiverr

I’ve posted about the web site Fiverr before. It’s a web site where people will do almost anything for five dollars, from sing you a song to write you a book review. Even though I’ve never used Fiverr myself for anything, I do go there sometimes to check out the ads for pure entertainment. In spite of the controversy about authors who allegedly pay for good reviews and ratings, I feel safe posting about it because my hands are clean, so to speak.

I’m also not holier than thou. Just because I’ve never used Fiverr to get book reviews doesn’t mean I’m completely against others who do use them. In fact, I’ve been thinking differently about it for a while and if an author can get an honest, good review from fiverr for five dollars how different is that from getting an honest good review from Kirkus by paying hundreds of dollars because Kirkus has a “reputation?” If anything, Kirkus is the one screwing people over by charging that much.

The people who review the books on Fiverr claim they are legit and they claim they’ve read the books. And if this is the case, I’m not sure I see anything wrong with it. There are many other furtive things going on in publishing we don’t hear about. Book review web sites who do claim to be holier than thou are “in bed” with public relations firms that promote big name romance authors. We don’t hear about that often. Authors who claim to be self-publishing are going through the “services” of literary agents who are publishing professionals and not all are disclosing this as openly as they should be. We don’t hear about that very often either.

So if Betty Jane Author indie publishes a book, pays for an honest review and rating at Fiverr, and gets a few more people to read her book from that review, I just can’t seem to find anything criminal about it. Again, this is assuming the books are read and reviewed legitimately. But even in that case we can never be certain if anything is legit, which is why it’s important to vet all reviews while book shopping.

So when I spotted this ad for book trailers for five dollars last night I figured I would share it with other authors. I don’t know anything about it, and I don’t know how it’s possible to do a thirty second book trailer for five dollars, but this ad claims it can be done.

 I’m an indie film maker with a feature film under my belt.  Let me help you create a trailer for your book using your photographic images.  (Note: You need a license for any images you did not create yourself.) 
For $5, I will create a 30 second Youtube video trailer (.H264 format) that will display:

You can read more here. And for those who don’t like my opinions about Fiverr, remember I stated that I’m still not totally sure, but I’m not ready to slam them either. If Kirkus can do it why can’t Fiverr? I like to think there are still some good honest people out there reading and reviewing books. And if they are willing to do that for five bucks, I not ready to judge them yet. The fact that I don’t do it myself has more to do with my own vanity as an author than any strong moral convictions. I like to get my reviews, good and bad, the hard way. For free and from readers. But I might be thinking differently if I were a new author starting out.

Free Gay Excerpt

I think this is Friday, at least I hope it is. I’m not completely sure because this week…and month…has gone by so fast. There are reasons for that I’ll be posting about soon. It has something to do with our impending marriage in Vermont, a Supreme Court Justice, and a film documentary. But until it’s all absolutely, completely, and totally official I’d rather not get into the details until next week.

In any event, here’s an excerpt from my newest release in the Second Chance series. This one is titled, His Only Choice, and it’s about 30,000 words. I’ll be posting a cover preview sometime this weekend. I’ll also post a release date, too. Until then, here’s the blurb and a short excerpt.


In this third installment of the Second Chance series by Ryan Field, His Only Choice, Lance has to figure out a way to deal with the fact that his partner, Davis, of twenty years will be traveling extensively in Asia and leaving him alone for long stretches at a time. So Lance plunges into making important changes to the small brick and mortar bookshop he owns in New York’s Hudson River Valley to keep it competitive with the rising popularity in e-books. He’s also trying to deal with turning forty years old and it’s not working out well. In order to fill the lonely hours when he’s not working, Lance joins a gym and meets a very young personal trainer named Sergio who makes him feel so young and desirable again he starts lying about his age and telling Sergio he’s only thirty-five years old.  

Like other books in the Second Chance series the story bounces from present to past a few times and the choice Lance has to make to get his second chance isn’t clear until the story is in full swing. But there are more than a few sexy gay surprises to keep m/m readers wondering what will happen next, which include whether Lance will ultimately choose his safe, quiet life with Davis. Or will he choose to go another round with dark, sexy Sergio with the weight lifter’s body and scruffy rough beard?
On Sunday nights, Lance Johnson didn’t get home from work until almost midnight, partly because it was his usual night to do the extra weekly cleaning in the pizza shop’s kitchen and partly because it was poker night for his partner of ten years, Sergio. As part owner of the pizza shop, Lance maintained certain routines and kept detailed lists of things he had to do.

On this particular Sunday night, he scraped a speck of melted cheese from the wooden block next to the cash register and sighed aloud wondering if he’d remembered to order more cardboard boxes on Friday. The last time he’d forgotten to do that Sergio had to make a run to the next town and buy pizza boxes from their competitor and Sergio hadn’t smiled about this.

Lance wiped the wooden board clean with bleach solution and sighed again, making a mental note to check his supply list before locking up that night. He glanced around the clean perfect kitchen looking for one more thing to do, hoping to kill time. It was eleven fifteen and he only had to walk out the back door in the kitchen, turn to the right, and climb up a flight of faded old deck stairs to get to the apartment he shared with Sergio.

When he spotted a few crumbs on the brown tiled floor beneath one of the pizza ovens, he crossed to the back and pulled a broom from a small closet near the sink so frayed at the bottom it turned sideways. He took his time sweeping the crumbs and even bent down to see if there were more crumbs beneath the oven. He could never predict how long Sergio’s Sunday night poker games with his buddies would last. It all depended on who was winning and who ran out of money first. If one of the guys was on a winning streak the game would end at midnight and Lance could go to bed. If the winners were balanced they could all wind up playing into the early hours of the morning.

After he swept, he went over the exterior of the already shiny pizza ovens with a wet cloth one more time. Then he bleached the back kitchen stainless steel counters and double checked his order list from Friday and found he had ordered the cardboard boxes after all. At five minutes to midnight, he removed his white apron and hung it on a hook near the back door and glanced around one last time. He set the burglar alarm and stepped out into the cold January night. The dumpsters overflowing with a weekend’s worth of garbage had become invisible to him by then. It wasn’t as bad in the winter as it was in the summer. The twenty degree temperatures made everything feel cleaner and toned down the smell of rotten tomatoes and partially eaten slices of pizza.

As he climbed the back stairs he heard the deep hollow voices of men laughing and joking around. They played cards at the kitchen table, an old fashioned affair with a pale green Formica top, chrome trim, and green Naugahyde chairs…a dinette set…that dated back to the 1950’s. Sergio had been promising him for the past ten years they would move eventually to their own home and rent out the apartment above the pizza shop. It wasn’t that they didn’t have the money. The pizza shop did well and Sergio was now part owner of the local gym. It’s just each time they reached the point where it was time to move Sergio found another investment and promised they would move right after that. Sergio seemed comfortable in the apartment; he rarely left town for longer than a day at a time.

At first, it was the time Sergio wanted to invest in the stock market. He’d received a tip from one of his clients at the gym and he’d invested all their money in one stock claiming they would become millionaires overnight. The stock failed and it took four years of scrimping and saving to replenish all they’d lost. After that, Sergio wanted to invest in a landscape company that only planted fake shrubs and plastic grass. They lost everything in that venture, too, and wound up working another four years to save up enough for a home. And when they reached that point again, Sergio was offered the opportunity to invest in the gym where he’d been a trainer for years and he literally begged Lance for permission to do this. Unfortunately, they learned some gyms are not huge money-makers and it takes years to get back an initial investment. The only reason the owner had asked Sergio to invest was because his cash flow had been dwindling to nothing. So Lance went back to working in the pizza shop seven days a week, scrimping and saving for another shot at owning his own home again. He’d once owned a home with his first partner but that seemed like another lifetime now.

At least they had the pizza shop, which wasn’t the most glamorous business but always generated an income.  After Sergio’s parents were killed in a freak auto accident that involved a donkey cart and a loose goat while they were on a trip visiting family in Italy, Sergio inherited the pizza shop and he and Lance moved right into the apartment over the shop where Sergio’s parents had lived. This all happened the first year they were together and Lance was still running a little bookshop in town that he’d been trying to expand into a full time money generating small business. But then e-books started taking over, people stopped buying print books as often, and Lance couldn’t figure out a way to run both businesses at the same time. So he took over the pizza shop and shuttered the little bookshop he’d loved so much. The pizza shop was a sure thing; the bookshop was questionable. And Lance and Sergio were in no position to choose glamour over reality. When Lance had left his first partner for Sergio, he’d left with nothing but the clothes on his back.

Lance opened the back door of the apartment and entered the kitchen. The guys at the table all turned and shouted in his direction. Sergio was at the head of the table, Sergio’s best friend, Marco, was at the other end, Joey and Mike were on the right, and a big guy who owned the auto body shop in town, Frankie, was on the left.

“There’s my hot little piece of ass,” Sergio said, as he held the cards closer to his chest and looked up at Lance.

Although things had changed a lot with gay people since they’d first met in 2012, Lance still felt awkward when Sergio said things like this in front of other people. He sent Sergio a look and said, “Be good.”

Judy Blume/Lena Dunham; No E-books for 70%?Gay Fired Catholic

Judy Blume/Lena Dunham

This looks fascinating. There’s a “mini” book coming out that focuses on a personal conversation with Judy Blume and Lena Dunham. (Dunham is the star of TV show “Girls” and I’ve posted about her here a few times. For the first time, gay characers are portrayed well on her show.)

Here’s more about the book: “What does surprise, though, in this 80-page book chronicling the pair’s first meeting and a conversation that touches on writing, celebrity, sex, censorship, and favorite breakfasts, is just how naturally the two get along. The generation gap doesn’t stand a chance—perhaps because Dunham and Blume have reading in common.”

From Galleycat.

I think the book is supposed to be about 8,000 words, but it’s only coming out in a limited run. I’m not certain if it will be launched in digital format (I really hope it is, and that the publisher “gets” digital). If it is, I’m buying it.

No E-books for 70%?

Speaking of digital format, this is one of those articles I just find hard to believe. And the main reason is that e-books sales rise in some articles, and then fall in others, and no one knows WTF to believe anymore. There’s been a long running small scale poll over at Nathan Bransford’s blog since (I think) 2007 where he polls his blog readers about whether or not they’ll switch to e-books. I’ve followed it each year, and each year the numbers reading e-books seem to rise. You can check that out here. He does a follow up post with links to other years. What’s been amazing to see is how some who stated they would NEVER switch to e-books have changed since 2007. I would consider his readership a mix of elite and mainstream. And with Bransford’s poll, there’s no hidden agenda, so I tend to believe it more than other things I read.

In any event:

The main reasons for preferring print are that these consumers like the look and feel of a real book, they don’t have to strain their eyes to read print and they like putting books on the bookshelf.

“The Evolution of the Book Industry: Implications for US Book Manufacturers and Printers” report also revealed that college students prefer print textbooks to digital textbooks, for reasons of concentration. According to the report, respondents reported that a digital display is too distracting.

Interesting. I have bad eyes, from years of working on a computer. I only read e-books because I can adjust the size of the print. Last study I heard in September many college students, in order to offset the cost of rising tuition and student loans, aren’t just reading e-books, they are downloading from sharing sites in digital in questionable ways.

From my post in September:

This morning on a local Philadelphia news channel, the morning anchor, Sheinelle Jones, mentioned the rising cost of a college text book, which she said is about $200.00. Then she started talking about social media messages she’d received on the topic from college students headed back to school this month, and carefully discussed how some students are getting around this by finding digital books in places where it’s not allowed.

So just by judging from what I see around me, and from what I see younger people doing, I find it hard to believe 70% absolutely refuse to read e-books. They even went so far as to say most e-books downloaded aren’t read. I think there’s a way for companies like Amazon to track that, and I find that statement hard to believe, too.

So take all information like this with that proverbial grain of salt. I only read e-books, and so do most of the people I know. And the ones I know who don’t are the types who can even figure out how to use the TV remote control.

You can read more here, because it’s interesting.

Gay Fired Catholic

I saw this on my local Philadelphia news earlier this past weekend, and Tony and I looked at each other in shock. A young (gay) Catholic school teacher in Philadelphia was fired because he filed for a marriage license in New Jersey. According to what I saw on TV, the teacher phoned in, said he would be late, and also said he was filing for a marriage license. The principal and some other priest in charge, called him into the office when he arrived for work and fired him on the spot. The underlying message seems to be you can be gay, but you can’t get married or let anyone know you’re gay.

Michael Griffin worked at the Holy Ghost Preparatory School for 12 years teaching French and Italian. He said that although administrators, including the principal, knew he was gay, he never had any major conflict with the Catholic administrators until Friday.

Griffin said he was fired on Friday after he had emailed administrators to tell them he was going to file for a marriage license and would be slightly late to work.
From what I’ve also heard, the teacher allegedly went to this same school himself.
Tony and I live in the northern suburbs of Philadelphia in New Hope where there are gay bars and restaurants. One night we were at a gay bar with friends and a group of priests from a school just like the one mentioned in the article above came into the gay bar, in street clothes, and they had a blast. And I’m going to be writing a long personal post in the near future about two gay priests Tony and I both knew very well for many years. We celebrated holidays with them, and birthdays. But in all the years we knew them we had no idea they were living double lives as Catholic priests. We didn’t have a clue. And that’s not hearsay or third party information. It happened and I was there. It creeped me out for a long time. But I don’t mind posting about this after I read things like the piece about the school teacher above.
The Catholic church needs to look deeper into its own gay roots. (Side note: I went to 12 years of Catholic school and I’m more than familiar with the practices.)