joan rivers

Margaret Cho’s Fashion Police Salary; Jonathan Groff Working It On Broadway; Liverpool’s Gay District Going Wizard of Oz

Margaret Cho’s Fashion Police Salary

Ever since Joan Rivers passed away I’ve been following what’s been happening with Fashion Police and I haven’t always been thrilled. I’m not a Kathy Griffin fan and when she finally left FP and Tweeted about leaving with all that unnecessary drama, I thought there was a lot of hope left for the show…with Griffin gone.

The changes seem to be working, the show is fresh again, and Margaret Cho was a great addition. But Cho wants to set the record straight, so to speak, about her salary.

‘I am not making six figures!’ Cho wrote in a Facebook post. ‘I will earn about $5000 per episode, which isn’t actually very much for me, yet I am proud to make that much because I love to spend time with (writers) Tony Tripoli, Teddy Margas Melissa Rivers, Giuliana Rancic and Brad Goreski.

‘We get up at the crack of dawn and honor our old friend Joan Rivers. We laugh and enjoy each other and remember the magical woman and mentor we have lost. I am grateful to be on the show and I would do it for free. Six figures would be nice though! Who gets that for anything? I don’t even know! Not me!’

The rest is here.

Jonathan Groff Working It On Broadway

No one can ever say Jonathan Groff doesn’t work hard. He seems to be everywhere, including Broadway. He really does seem like the consummate actor who only cares about the art and the craft.  He’s not posting selfies and he’s not trying to outdo himself all over social media. He’s only interested in acting. That’s not easy to find anywhere these days…an actor who wants to act.

The multi-talented star of stage and screen is currently playing the role of King George III in the smash Broadway musical Hamilton.

‘It’s like a drug coming out there every night,’ Groff told Charlie Rose this week. ‘It’s so amazing to be breathing in the air of the Hamilton experience. That alone is so incredibly special and something I’ll never forget.’

He provides the comic relief during a mere nine minutes of stage time.

‘It’s delicious writing. I love saying it every night,’ Groff says. ‘Before I joined the show,. I knew it was nine minutes of show time. I have not gotten sick of (of it). I’ve done it over 100 times.

 There’s more here with a huge close up of Groff. If I were an actor I’d do something like that for free just to get the experience.

Liverpool’s Gay District Going Wizard of Oz

I guess they know they don’t have to do this in Liverpool. Wizard of Oz fandom and being gay is not always one in the same. In other words, there are a lot of gay men out there who have seen The Wizard of Oz once and that was enough. The streets where they live don’t have to resemble The Wizard of Oz.

Maybe they’re going for  high camp in Liverpool with this makeover? I’m not sure.


Stanley Street Quarter, the ‘official LGBT Quarter’ for the northern England city of Liverpool has announced that Eberle Street is to be given a major makeover inspired by the classic film, The Wizard of Oz.

Whereas the gay scenes in other cities are facing tough times, the city of Liverpool is spending £1.4million ($2.1m/€1.9m) on a program to improve the walking connections between the Commercial District and the retail core of the city center.

The article linked to in the above quote is interesting because I’ve posted about that before. Its a piece on how difficult it’s becoming to own and operate exclusively gay businesses…and how many gay clubs have shuttered in the UK.

I don’t live in Liverpool so it’s not something I care all that much about. However, if my township did something like that to my street I would move. I spend a good deal of my life getting slapped in the face with the old gay stereotypes…almost daily…and I don’t feel the need to support them anymore.

You can check the rest out here.  

The Rainbow Detective Series
Saying Goodbye

14 Gay Negative Statements; Honoring Stonewall in London

14 Gay Negative Statements

This article claims there are 14 things you should never say to a gay man. Of course it’s a tongue-in-cheek piece and none of it’s written in stone, however, I noticed a few things I’ve posted about over the years myself and it’s interesting in a general sense to see I wasn’t the only one thinking this way. I thought this line was interesting: “the factory of Sex in the City tokenism.” I’ve used the old TV show Sex in the City so many times as a point of reference I have too many posts up to link to one thing in particular.

In any event, I agree with some of the statements, I’m not so sure about others. The gay community is very diverse. Just last night Tony and I were watching the TV show House Hunters where a gay couple was looking for a property in NJ within commuting distance to Manhattan. They looked at one place in Jersey City in Trump Tower and one of them actually said he would like to live there because he could tell all his friends he lives in Trump Tower…as if that’s the most important thing in the house hunting process for him. We switched channels after that comment. It was too Sex in the City for us. We’re more interested in space, views, future property values, and the pragmatic issues that accompany becoming a home owner, not whether or not we can brag about living in Trump Tower. And, last I heard, Donald Trump wasn’t supporting gay people.

3. “I’m like a gay man trapped inside a woman’s body.”

I know you’re trying to connect with me, but what does that even mean? Does that make me a straight woman trapped inside a gay man’s body? Trust me, there’s a lot more to being gay than enjoying nice clothes and hooking up with dudes.

4. “How do you know you’re gay if you’ve never been with a woman?”

Did you need to experiment with women to know you were straight? What about porcupines? How do you know you wouldn’t enjoy sex with a porcupine if you don’t at least try it?

These are just two of the 14 I thought were interesting, and two I’ve personally heard many times myself. The rest are just as informative and entertaining. There are gay men who love Sex in the City. I don’t understand why. But they do. It’s all about diversity.

You can read more here.

Side note: This one below is for Joan and Melissa Rivers They had a wedding shower (or bachelorette party thing) episode on their reality show last year where the token gay guy went along as one of the girls. Of course I’m sure he’s being paid well, and some gay guys will do anything for a buck. But seriously. It’s time to knock it off.

7. “Come to girl’s night!”

If I’m invited then it’s not girl’s night. Stop calling it that! I’m not a girl!

Honoring Stonewall in London

This is the kind of thing I love to see. When the LGBT community comes together on a global level the way they are doing in London at the 2014 Pride event.

Pride in London 2014 will pay tribute to the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York, a turning point for the LGBTI liberation movement.

You can read more here.

Joan Rivers Defends Baldwin; Gay Thanksgiving Throwback

Joan Rivers Defends Baldwin

The only reason I’m posting about either of these two is because it goes along with the next part of this post, and how gay men like Tony and I have had to deal with being gay and living in a world where gay slurs often hit so hard and with such force it can unhinge the very core of someone’s psychological well-being. The closeted gay Amish friend I have knows what I’m talking about. The gay teen from Brooklyn whose father is a macho cop and uncle a macho fireman knows what I’m talking about. Any gay man who can pass as straight and who has ever feared being exposed knows what I’m talking about.

You can call me pretty much anything now and I’ll live, trust me on that. And that’s because I’ve been called everything there is at one point or another. I might even come after you and enjoy every minute of it. But there are a lot of other gay men who aren’t as secure and when they hear a gay slur it stings hard. Harder than most people would expect. Especially when the gay slur is made with vitriol and used with other pejoratives that conjure the worst associations.

I’ve posted about Alec Baldwin and what’s been happening since he made his “alleged” gay slurs, and not for the first time. And today the elderly entertainer, Joan Rivers, came out and supported him with what I can only describe as some kind of quasi Lenny Bruce freedom of speech defense. And in her attempt to disabuse the notions of Baldwin’s critics and what happened as a result of Baldwin’s public rant she only comes off looking way out of touch with the rest of America at best.

 “Everybody just relax,” Rivers noted, before hurling a series of slurs against Italians, African-Americans, Jews and gays, among other groups. “Everybody’s something, so why don’t we all just calm down?”

I’ve also posted about Rivers before, too, and how she often treats gay men as if they are pet poodles. I understand that a good deal of her thoughts and even her comedy material is generational and she comes from a time when the only openly gay men were the poor souls who couldn’t hide in a closet even if they tried. But the world has changed in the past decade, not all gay men are the same, and many of us don’t appreciate being treated as if we are a side show at the circus. At the risk of sounding like an angry gay man, it’s time to start giving all gay people the respect other minorities receive and that includes caution with words. It’s not that we don’t have a sense of humor either. Ellen makes us laugh and she’s not hurting anyone.

You can read more about Rivers here.

Gay Thanksgiving Throwback

Tony and I have a great deal for which to be thankful and we don’t take anything for granted. We’ve been through life and death situations and survived, we’ve been through opening businesses that were risky and did well, and we’ve been through living as a couple when gay marriage was still just a concept. For the past five years or so we’ve hosted a big Thanksgiving at our home for both our families. One year we emptied our living room and rented ten large tables and chairs so everyone had a place to sit. It varies from year to year because like all families brothers and sisters go to in-laws, take vacations, or just stay home and do their own thing. This year is smaller, with only twelve people, but the fact that we actually host Thanksgiving still blows me away.

We met in 1992 in December and our first Thanksgiving was in 1993. We went to separate Thanksgiving dinners because that’s what was expected of us. We both come from similar family backgrounds and neither of us was out of the closet at that point. In my case my family knew and it wasn’t discussed. In Tony’s case they had no idea. And for the first fifteen years of our relationship/marriage, that’s how we spent Thanksgiving day. For a while we became friendly with an older gay couple who hosted Thanksgiving dinner later at night each year. So Tony would go to his family, I would go to mine, and then we would meet up in separate cars later that night to be with other gay people. At least thanks to these friends we had a chance to spend part of Thanksgiving together. But just imagine for a moment what it would be like if you weren’t able to spend major holidays with your spouse for reasons beyond your control. Sure, we could have come out totally and slammed everyone at one time. But for us that’s not how things were done. And I know we’re not the only ones who lived this way.

But it started to get tired fast. Here we were living as a married couple and we didn’t even get a chance to spend holidays together because of the fact that we were gay. I never pushed Tony with the issue about his family because I knew it was a sensitive topic and I didn’t want to hurt him. You do those things for people you love and you make sacrifices. All that changed in 2007 when Tony was hospitalized and almost died. I’ve posted about that before and I’m not getting into it again. But that’s when I met Tony’s family for the first time, under the worst circumstances imaginable. Thankfully, it turned out to be a good thing and we supported each other through his illness and came out stronger because of that. I think of his family as mine now, and he’s the same way with my family. And since then life is much easier for us because of that time. It’s also better because we are living in different times and more and more gay people are coming out, getting married, and fighting for equal rights. However, I know there are other gay couples just like us doing the same things we used to do. And when I hear gay slurs, and I hear people defending gay slurs, it reminds me of all the holidays we missed and all the good times we lost when we were younger.

The first home we lived in was a town house about eight miles from where we live right now. But it wasn’t New Hope where things are more progressive, and we were smack in the middle of a cookie cutter town house development on a cul-de-sac in suburban Philadelphia, Newtown, PA. We were so busy back then we rarely took much notice of what was happening around us. But one Thanksgiving weekend in 1998 while we were putting up Christmas decorations outside our neighbor’s little boy said, “We should put up lights just like the fags next door, dad.” The father grabbed the kid and pulled him inside fast. We listed the town house the following week and moved to New Hope six months later so we’d never be placed in that particular degrading situation again.

I know I’ve told that story before somewhere, but when I heard about Baldwin and now Rivers, I felt like telling it again so people will understand the magnitude of what the word fag means to us.

The Cheney Sisters!! Joan Rivers Fights Back

The Cheney Sisters!!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cheney_inauguration.jpg


Former Vice-President Dick Cheney’s daughters, Liz and Mary Cheney, are at odds over gay marriage. Mary Cheney is a lesbian and she’s married to Heather Poe (in the article I’m linking to they refer to Poe as Cheney’s “partner,” not wife…must have been written in a state where marriage isn’t legal yet) and Liz Cheney is running for office in Wyoming and she made a statement recently stating she’s for the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman.

Vice-President Cheney issued this statement:

“This is an issue we have dealt with privately for many years, and we are pained to see it become public,” the statement reads, according to NBC. “Since it has, one thing should be clear. Liz has always believed in the traditional definition of marriage. She has also always treated her sister and her sister’s family with love and respect, exactly as she should have done. Compassion is called for, even when there is a disagreement about such a fundamental matter and Liz’s many kindnesses shouldn’t be used to distort her position.”

The Vice-President does support gay marriage in states where it’s legal.

Evidently, Liz Cheney doesn’t and she’s going to not only go down on the wrong side of history she’s going to be remembered as the woman who stabbed her own gay sister in the back to get a vote.

You can read more here. It’s actually one of the saddest things I’ve read in a long time.


Joan Rivers Fights Back

When I saw this I wanted to post about it, and not because of the actual content, but more from a social media POV. I’ve started to see a lot of high profile people slam each other on social media, as if this is their new voice…and vehicle…to say and do whatever they want. In this case, Jennifer Lawrence decided to slam Joan Rivers and Rivers’ TV show, Fashion Police, because Lawrence, thin as a rail, thinks FP is promoting the wrong body image for women. Rivers fought back this time.

Lawrence said:

‘The world has this idea that if you don’t look like an airbrushed perfect model. You have to see past it. You look how you look, you have to be comfortable,’ she said during the Q&A.

‘What are you going to do? Be hungry every single day to make other people happy? That’s just dumb.’

Rivers took to Twitter:

Calling out the Hunger Games star, the 80-year-old nastily spat: ‘It’s funny how Jennifer Lawrence loved @E_FashionPolice during Awards Season when we were complimenting her every single week…

You can read more tweets from Rivers here. But I think it’s interesting that the article states Rivers “spat,” and Lawrence “shared her refreshingly candid views.” Now if that’s not biased I don’t know what is.

And I didn’t notice Lawrence looking a pound overweight. I could get a grasp on this coming from Gabourey Sidibe, and even feel the need to support her. But coming from privileged Lawrence it loses luster, so to speak.

You know, I happen to agree with the First Lady, Michelle Obama, on this topic. We should be conscious of everything we eat, and not for vanity reasons or body image. We should be eating for health and if looking good and being thin is a side effect of that I don’t see how being hungry can hurt. We have a serious issue with weight and medical issues in the US, and as people get older these issues due to weight only get worse. But Lawrence only seems concerned with body image. But more important, Lawrence mentions women only with regard to body image, as if this doesn’t even affect men. Has anyone else seen all the ads for ripped bodies and washboard abs? They hock men with unrealistic photos and images that most likely aren’t even real. Maybe I’m the only one. Maybe this is just a woman’s issue. (That’s sarcasm)

But back to my original point. Last week I saw a male C-list celebrity slam Miley Cyrus for the way she dresses and the way she acts, on facebook. I doubt Cyrus saw this because this guy isn’t important enough to make big news, however, if she had seen it she would have been justified in fighting back. In other words, now in the age of social media when people are so free to throw the first proverbial punch online they need to be prepared for what they might get in retaliation. I personally learned that lesson a long time ago on a smaller scale in the writing community and I’ve had things happen to me where I would react in a totally different way now. 

Michael Vick Cancels Book Signing; Joan Rivers’ Lesbian Kiss; "He’s Bewitched"

In an unfortunate turn of events, football star, Michael Vick, canceled his book signing schedule and a book tour that would take him to Atlanta, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Whether or not he will be signing books in other states is unclear.

The reason for the cancellation was that Vick has allegedly received death threats that stem from his involvement with dog fighting. After serving time in prison for this he’s been outspoken about his mistakes, rectifying his mistakes, and he’s supported the Humane Society. The book he wrote is titled, “Finally Free,” and the canceled book signings were to be held in Barnes & Noble stores.

Vick spokesman Chris Shigas said the threats, first reported by McManus, were “very disturbing.” Since his release from prison, Vick has spoken publicly at Humane Society events. ”We understand that a lot of people out there will never forgive him,” Shigas said (via Philly.com’s Les Bowen). “But at what point do we say a line has been crossed?”

We’re living in interesting times. I’m a dog owner, one is a rescue. I’ve been involved with local Humane Society organizations since I was in high school…before it became the chic thing to do. I have never been to a dog fight, I know nothing about dog fights, and I don’t plan to ever know anything about dog fights. But I do think it’s interesting that people who are so concerned about dogs and keeping them safe from harm would threaten the life of a human being. If there’s something humane in that, I’m missing it. It would be nice to see a follow up on this, and to learn that whoever made these death threats was found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Joan Rivers’ Lesbian Kiss

I wrote a post once about how I sometimes find it offensive when comedians joke about gays in a way that promotes the same old stereotypes, and that gay men aren’t pet poodles for straight women. However, I’m not without a sense of humor and I often laugh at these jokes if they’re done right. I have many friends who are straight women and they don’t treat me like a pet poodle. I even make these myself sometimes…I’m all for self-deprecation. I write erotic romance and if you can’t laugh at sex sometimes what’s the point? Sometimes sex is funny.

Recently, Joan Rivers had a scene on her reality show, “Joan Knows Best,” where she kissed a lesbian, and this time she nailed it. Not only did she redeem herself, she did it with humor and the attitude that there’s no shame at all in a lesbian kiss.

Joan Rivers’ self proclaimed “lesbian” kiss and Rivers’ Costco book ban dominates the new season of Joan Knows Best premiere tonight on WETV. Joan Rivers makes out with a lesbian in a on-screen kiss tonight.

You can read more here.

The underlying message here is shame. Once you take the shame away from being gay there’s nothing left to worry about. And Joan Rivers did it with comedy this time.

He’s Bewitched

Being that “He’s Bewitched” has been on the bestseller list again at Ravenous Romance, I thought I’d post an excerpt that’s never been published before for free. As readers, we do get good excerpts at places like Allromanceebooks.com, but I think readers like more sometimes. So I try to pick out interesting things in the book and do them here on the blog.

This is a scene from the book where the main characters are taking a road trip in a vintage 1962 Lincoln Continental to Provincetown….as some gay friends I know refer to it: The Holy Land. A good deal of this book was written with parody and sarcasm and it wasn’t meant to be taken as seriously as other books I’ve written (thank you to one book reviewer, Gerry Burnie, who got it a long time ago). But I did make a few points I feel strongly about. And all the sex scenes at the infamous dick dock are based on experience. There are those who would lead us to believe there is no dick dock in P’town. They are lying.

They left Manhattan after eating large breakfasts in a crowded restaurant in the West Village. Michelle directed him out of the city, along the busy Henry Hudson Parkway. She wore a white cotton dress, and her hair was pulled back in a French twist; a few thin strands fell from the sides and blew back because the top was down. Eloise’s tight, sprayed hair never moved, but she wore a scarf anyway. She sat up front with Brett. In the backseat were Rhys, Michelle and Tag. The little designer dog carrier sat between them in front of the rear fold-down arm rest. “Watch the signs for the Merritt Parkway, Brett,” Michelle said. “I will,” said Brett. He’d been driving this route all his life and knew all the short cuts to Cape Codby then.

He wasn’t speaking much that morning. He was concentrating on how well Michelle and Rhys seemed to be getting along in the back seat. While they laughed and joked about a book they’d both read, he watched the road and hunched forward to change lanes. Michelle’s face was animated and bright, and her arms, waving around in the rear view mirror, went up every time Rhys said something clever and funny.

There were times when he felt guilty about his relationship with Michelle. They were as close as brother and sister, but sometimes he felt as if he’d let her down. She would have been the perfect fag hag if only he’d been the flamboyant, limp-wrist type who loved chick flicks and shopping. But his idea of shopping was walking into a store and buying the first outfit he saw on display so he could get out fast. And his idea of a good movie was usually an action adventure film starring Bruce Willis. When they saw “Brokeback Mountain” together (she’d dragged him there), she was so excited that a gay film had finally hit the mainstream she couldn’t stop bouncing and chattering in the ticket line. And he just stood there and smiled, nodding his head and agreeing with everything she said. And after the movie, when she’d raved about how well they’d treated the subject, he smiled too. But he didn’t agree with her. He saw fatal, fundamental flaws that only a gay man would notice.

The Merritt Parkway was smooth and simple. But I95 North was stocked with traffic when they reached New Haven. The endless road construction was still going on. In the afternoon sun, you could see waves of heat rippling up from cars; an impatient idiot in a large SUV kept dodging in and out of lanes. It was stop and go for a ten mile stretch, and after that you could barely do 50 miles per hour. So Brett got off 95 and took a short cut up I395 North toward Providence.

When he finally passed through Providenceand reached The Fall River Bridge in Massachusetts, he took a deep breath and sighed. Depending on conditions, The Cape was usually a four or five hour drive from New York. And when he reached Fall River, the trip always seemed to go faster. He knew he was close to the bottom of The Cape; he could actually smell the salty, ocean air. He’d never actually been in Fall River, but he loved it just the same because it meant he was almost home.

Then halfway across The Fall River Bridge the rear end of the car started to bounce and wobble. It was the same bouncing that had happened in Maryland when the tire had gone flat in Martha Falls, but now it was even worse. Eloise had been dozing. She jumped up and pressed her palm to her throat. He slowed down and inched to the far left lane. Good thing the left lane was closed for construction work (even though there didn’t seem to be any work going on), because the old Lincoln didn’t have automatic flashing lights. Thankfully, it was safe there and they wouldn’t slow down the flow of traffic.

What the Stars are Reading, Writing, and Karina Smirnoff’s Comments on Fifty Shades of Grey

I always find it interesting to read what’s being read and talked about in the mainstream. Usually I get this information from magazines like Time and People. Of course Time is more conservative, but I think People magazine’s articles about books are probably more accurate when it comes to the mainstream. I also like the fact that People magazine is now posting, on the address label above my name, “People now on select tablets!” Evidently, they know where their market is headed.

Sigourney Weaver is reading “Catherine the Great,” by Robert K. Massie. She says this about it:

“History is fascinating, and she was fascinating because she actually tried to abolish serfdom. She was way ahead of her time.”

I’m not running to Amazon to get a copy any time soon.

Anna Kendrick is reading “Writing Movies for Fun and Profit,” by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon. She says this:

“They’re from Reno 911. Even if you have no interest in screenwriting, it’s hilarious – I was snorting reading it.”

I’ll pass on this, too. If I’m going to read about screenwriting, I don’t want to snort. There are plenty of bad romances out there I can buy to do that.

And, Karina Smirnoff is reading, of all things, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” by E.L. James. You have to love what she says:

“Friends told me it was a must-read, so I finally gave in and bought it. It’s definitely the kind of book that makes you blush, yet it’s so well-written.”

If she freaking blushes at FSoG, she’d drop dead reading one of my books. But I digress. I do think her two comments about friends telling her to read the book, and about how well-written FSoG is are very interesting. I liked FSoG, but wouldn’t call it well-written, or poorly written. It is what it is. But this is what the buzz is all about when it comes to mainstream bestsellers. Word of mouth.

And last but not least, Joan Rivers has a new book out titled, “I Hate Everyone…Starting with Me.”

It received three and a half stars (four stars being the best) by the People magazine book reviewer. And I’m not surprised. I’ve read two of Joan’s non-fiction books in the past and she’s not only a bright, articulate author, she doesn’t hold back anything. You get what you pay for.

This line alone would tempt me to buy this book:

“Just once I would like to see a Chinese couple adopt a gay baby.”

The review also says:

“Joan Rivers is extraordinary, but she’s not for the easily offended…or for anyone who gets offended at all.”

It takes a lot to offend me. But I know that’s not the case with so many these days.

Joan Rivers and Bethenny Frankel: Gay Men Aren’t Pet Poodles

(Update to post: You can see how much reality TV I watch. I was informed I spelled Ms. Frankel’s name wrong. I will make that change. If I missed one, please forgive my grave error.)

Poodles and gay men are two of the most misrepresented groups in the world. When most people think about poodles, they think about prissy, high-strung dogs who yap all the time and prance around in silly haircuts and rhinestone collars. When most people think about gay men they think about what they’ve seen on TV shows and films like “Sex in the City,” where every strong woman has at least one effeminate gay friend to hang out with. Trust me on this, poodles are nothing like that and neither are gay men. I have two poodles and the reason why I have them is because they are one of the smartest, strongest breeds out there. I used to show Irish Setters in obedience. I got tired of losing and got myself a poodle. Whenever I stepped into a ring and I saw either a poodle or a German Shepperd I knew I was screwed. Poodles can also be as vicious as Pit Bulls, and they prefer to be outside catching snakes instead of inside on fluffy pillows. And, like gay men, if you cross a poodle not only will he snap back fast but he’ll never forget you crossed him.

But this isn’t about dogs. A few things prompted this post. The first was a comment I read a few weeks ago by an older gay author and book reviewer whom I admire a great deal. He read an article where someone asked Joan Collins how she feels about gay men and she allegedly replied by saying something about how much she loves gay men and never likes to go anywhere without one. The gay male author I admire posted something like this in reply: “Why do I now feel like a pet poodle.”

Another reason why I’m posting about this is because I was asked to participate in a TV reality show a few weeks ago. A producer in Hollywood contacted one of my publishers and asked if she could recommend someone. My publisher recommended me and the producer contacted me right away. From what I gather, it’s a reality show about romance authors…romance authors in general, not just m/m romance authors. I answered a few questions, replied nicely, and spent a lot of time thinking about this reality show over that weekend. Ultimately, after I answered the basic questions, before it went any further, I declined and thanked the producer for considering me. I did this partly because I’m a writer, not a TV personality and I love what I do as a writer. I also declined because I’ve seen the way these reality shows represent gay men…very poorly…and I didn’t want to wind up as someone’s pet poodle. I think you feminists out there can relate to this with regard to beauty pageants, and the way women have always been represented (or misrepresented) in beauty pageants. I was never a fan of beauty pageants for this reason. It’s basically the same reason why I declined on the reality show.

The main reason why I’m writing about this now is because Tony and I accidentally watched two reality shows on TV this week I rarely ever have time to watch. One was a show by someone I’d never even heard of until I watched the show and googled her name: Bethenny Frankel. The show is about Bethenny Frankel’s life (a reality TV diva from what I gather), in general, with the same quasi reality theme all these shows have…even though it all looks completely staged and there isn’t an ounce of reality to it.

But there was nothing else on, so we didn’t switch the channel. In one scene, Bethenny and an older woman with a very negative attitude go shopping. And guess where they go? That’s right. To the gay guys who own a posh high end furniture gallery in New York. I think Ms. Frankel even commented about how much she loves to visit her “boys,” (meaning her gay male friends) on her way into the gallery. This scene mirrored every single offensive “Sex in the City” scene with gay men being treated like women…just one of the girls…I’d ever witnessed. Tony and I watched for a few minutes, rolled our eyes, and promptly changed the channel. You have to understand where we are coming from. Tony was a corporate executive who traveled the world for twenty years until he started his own company. He worked with strong women in corporate and they always treated each other with mutual respect. No one, trust me on this, ever treated Tony the way Ms. Frankel treated the gay guys who owned that store in New York. If they had, they wouldn’t have been able to speak for a month (smile).

And Ms. Frankel’s show wasn’t even that bad, at least not considering other shows I’ve seen. I wouldn’t even be writing this post if I hadn’t watched the Joan Rivers, “Joan and Melissa” show last night. Again, Tony flipped to the channel by accident and we wound up watching something we normally wouldn’t watch. I’m a fan of Joan Rivers. She’s been around for a long time and I respect her survival instincts. Of course I believe her show is as much about reality as I believe the candidates running for President right now. But it’s not a bad show either; I like bologna. Some of the lines are hysterical. I was enjoying it…and then the classic gay guy pet poodle came on and Tony and I wound up rolling our eyes again. In Joan’s show, the gay guy is a middle aged comic who opens for Joan before she goes on and does her act. I’m sure he’s paid well for what he does. He’s just one of the girls, which is classic in regard to how reality TV shows and Hollywood have been treating gay men for years. In last night’s show, this guy put on his make up and went to a bachelorette party with all the women, and Joan actually referred to him as the “sister” she always wanted to have. Evidently, he doesn’t mind this at all.

Now I do know this is a combination of generation gap and money. Joan comes from a time when the only openly gay men were the most effeminate and enjoyed being treated like pet poodles…for a buck. Again, I’m not knocking these guys because they did what they had to do to survive in a world where there weren’t LGBT rights. No one talked about diversity and tolerance back then. In some ways, it’s still like that to this day and we, as gay men, have a long way to go in the self-esteem department. Joan also knows how to get a laugh and what people will laugh at. And gay men behaving like prissy women are right up there at the top of the funny ha-ha list in stand up comedy. They all do this; it’s not exclusive to Joan Rivers. And we all know there is no limit to how far anyone will go when it comes to making money.

The most interesting thing about all this is that some of the most powerful gay men in Hollywood were not openly gay and they were not treated like pet poodles. Joan Rivers and Bethenny Frankel wouldn’t have treated Rock Hudson or Merv Griffin that way. I do know that there are, indeed, gay men who like to be treated like one of the girls. I’m not slamming them in this post and I really don’t care how they choose to live their lives. I want to make it clear that I’m not discriminating against them. It’s just that I often wonder where the Al Sharpton hero is for the gay male community when someone does or says something offensive with regard to gay men. I’ve always been the first one to laugh at myself. I wrote about a burping dick once and I’ve been writing parodies for years. I think I have a sense of humor. But I also think it’s time that we stop laughing at gay men the same way we have stopped laughing at people of African descent, or Asian descent, or any descent for that matter. I don’t like it when things get PC and people have to stand on guard constantly. But there should be some lines drawn so all gay men aren’t misrepresented and exploited to the mainstream public in such obvious ways. We’re fighting for some serious rights and we need to be taken seriously in order to get them. I feel strongly about this with regard to the way women are treated, too. I just don’t comment about it often because I’m not a woman and I don’t feel I have the right to do this.

I’m also no one’s pet poodle. Neither is my partner, Tony. I would rather go to a funeral than suffer through a bride’s bachelorette party…even if Joan Rivers was paying me to do it. Just the thought of going to a bachelorette party makes me want to scratch my nuts and spit on the sidewalk in retaliation. I’m not one of Bethenny Frankel’s “boys.” I don’t like to shop, arrange flowers, or pick out fabrics. I like fast cars, straight vodka, and a good cigar every once in a while. I like sex with men, but that doesn’t make me a woman. I don’t like to gossip, shop for anything, or listen to Broadway show tunes. I know more than a handful of gay men who are just like me and feel the same way I do. And for every single gay man who doesn’t mind being treated like a pet poodle…or who is willing to be treated like one for money…there are at least ten more who wouldn’t allow it to happen.