Monday, June 25, 2007

Pride and Prejudice

June is gay pride month and I’m always conflicted with how I feel about the manners in which the gay community celebrates their diversities with the rest of the world. I completely understand why we feel it necessary to formally recognize our places in the world, but I don’t understand why we insist on focusing on and exploiting the very things that the majority of the world community recognizes as distasteful and inappropriate. We insist on being accepted as equals by the world community yet we often focus on and advertise our fringe elements the loudest; leather ‘lifestyles’, ‘sex positive’ attitudes and seedy-sexually oriented interests often dominate the gay pride imagery being broadcast out to the masses. The fact is most gay people don’t participate in those sorts of scenarios and most find them in poor taste and as equally out-of-place in the mainstream.

Most gay people I know are hard working, normal men and women who have very mainstream lives. They go to church, volunteer for charity, and contribute to society in real ways. Most believe their sex lives belong in the privacy of their own homes and they do not advertise their specific sexual preferences out in the open. I used to know a pretty famous gay writer/commentator who would always challenge me on these points. He strongly believed that the gay community needed to go way past the line of common decency to prove their points. He believed that by surpassing the boundaries of morality and decency, society would eventually accept a fraction of the gay community’s demands and put us in a much better place than where we started from. I could never agree to that. I don’t understand how exploiting big scary men in assless chaps atop a parade float did anything for the evolution of gay rights. If anything it made people feel further alienated from our community and fuels more discrimination and misunderstanding.

It’s my opinion that the gay community wants to have their cake and eat it too. They bitch and moan about not being accepted by mainstream society yet they refuse to muffle their sexually explosive image. Until I stop seeing male escort ad’s in the back of mainstream gay publications or bare-chested lesbians riding Harley Davidson’s in the gay pride parade I refuse to throw my hat into the ring. Any efforts mainstream gays put forth to help change attitudes and gain legal acceptance will be immediately defeated if the community doesn’t stop fueling the fires of discrimination with their distasteful displays of ‘pride’.

I was glad to see that Elisabeth Edwards was a marshal at San Francisco’s pride parade this past weekend. While I know without a doubt it was a pure political move, she did show up and say some nice things. Another step in the right direction was having several gay veterans of the Iraq War serve as grand marshals. Their inclusion in the parade shows SF has come a long way from having their parade headlined by famous drag queens or popular gay porn stars. I’m hoping this is an indication that the pendulum in finally swinging in the right direction; Away from an emphasis on the line of demarcation between the gay community and the rest of the world and closer to a message of unity and understanding. That’s how movements become mainstream.

80's Fabulous

A Family that hairsprays together, stays together.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

SGWM seeks......

OK so im 0 for 3 on the internet dating thing. I made a conscious decision a little over a month ago to put myself out there and try to meet some interesting guys for dinner, dating, etc. I put a legit personal ad on a popular social networking site in hopes of attracting someone Id find decent and interesting. I got a lot of responses and narrowed them down to three, all of which I met for some din din and convo. Like falling dominos from hell, the dates got progressively worse. The first guy wanted kids so badly that he almost insisted that I agree and start the adoption process after our dinner. When I slowed him down to a normal “back-to-earth” pace, He made it quite clear that he felt that our priorities weren’t aligned. So I left that date feeling like some sort of curmudgeonly, child hater who isn’t appropriately contributing to the progression of the human race. And here I thought everyone knew that only lesbians marry and conceive children on the first date. Guess Not.

Candidate number two was about as much fun as a trip down a slide made of razor blades into a pool of rubbing alcohol. I had to beat conversation out of him and he asked me exactly one question about myself. I think dates should be like good sex, 2-way experiences where both parties equally participate. I do a bang up job of getting to know people in very short periods of time. In my opinion there’s no better way to cut awkwardness than with a barrage of questions that keep the conversation flowing. I am amazed at people who will just sit there and let the awkward silence choke the life out of the situation. It was clear this guy was NOT a fun person, and I have put a permanent moratorium on fun vacuums.

My third date was the most promising. We had spoken on the phone several times and our personalities jived nicely. He was a little out of my typical target demo. Had very little direction in his life and a mediocre job that he didn’t seem passionate about. I tend to appreciate very career oriented, upwardly mobile types who have big lives, big jobs and present big possibilities. I really liked his personality so I gave it a shot. It was immediately apparent after a few minutes of conversation over dinner that the socio-economic differences between us would be a problem for him. He never asked what I did for a living, and continuously commented on how he’s always dated “rich” people who tried to “own” him and how terrible that was. Clearly I am not someone who try’s to date and “own” less fortunate people, but It felt strange hearing that. After our dinner, I tried to sneak back to my big Mercedes and drive off unnoticed, as I’m sure that would have just put him off even more. To his credit, he did call to thank me for the date, so I guess poor people have manners too (insert grain of salt here people).

I have no doubts that I will stumble upon the right person sooner or later. I refuse to rush it though. Every time I stop looking, it falls right into my lap. I must say though, it would be nice to spend time with someone significant again. As my life continues to pull itself up to new plateaus, im convinced that someone out there is really missing out on a lot of fun courtesy of Mr. EyeQue. I hope that doesn’t make me sound too much like a cock-a-hoop (look it up). I do think i'll take my hunt off of the internet and out into the real world now. Atleast then the crazy will be immediatly evident and I can save both parties a lot of time and trouble.

There's no denyin'

Damn this girl is hot!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

No Matter What You Say..

Eurotrash fascinates me!

Honoring Houston

I’ve been in Houston for the last 2-days for some meetings and have taken quite nicely to being back in my old city. Houston was the first town I moved to after college and it will always hold a very special place in my heart. This town taught me a lot about myself and I always look fondly back on the time I spent here.

In between meetings I have slowly visited all of my old haunts. While so much has changed, it seems like most has also stayed the same. I drove by the house I lived in Montrose and it looks exactly the same. Porch swing and all. My favorite place in the entire city, Rice University’s campus is essentially the same, with many more buildings, all well done in Rice’s classy architectural style. I ate at Café Express and had coffee at Empire Café, which used to be a weekly ritual for me and some of my old partners in crime. The townhouse I lived in is still intact in the Galleria, which is hard to believe given all the new construction over that way. I remember the rent there being $600 a month. Of course that was split between my roommate and I. The crippling effects of the major market crash in the 80’s that shook Houston to its core still had it’s privileges even in the late 90’s. Even then, I used to cringe when I wrote a $300 check every month. I thought that was a lot of money.

I had a meeting downtown in one of Enron’s old buildings which bring back all sorts of memories. When I lived here Enron owned Houston. My roommate traded energy there and I hitched my wagon to his star on several occasions and enjoyed some of the over-the-top parties they threw. Having experienced firsthand the powerhouse that Enron was makes what happened to them almost unfathomable.

Unfortunately many things about Houston remind me of Mark. I discovered a lot about this town with/through him. I remember climbing to the top of the Transco building with him and checking out the incredible view. Running around memorial park even when the air quality was so poor we were warned to stay inside. Driving down to the ship channel and visiting the San Jacinto Monument, which we had all to ourselves at dusk. I drove by the apartment complex he lived in today, it was hard.
For all it’s shortcomings, Houston treated me well. It provided the backdrop to my personal metamorphosis and wrapped its big greasy arms around me in a way that I will never forget. While I know I could never move back here, I will visit again and reminisce about the incredible times I had within these seemingly never-ending city limits

Friday, June 15, 2007

Second Class Citizenship

Tommy Thompson opens mouth and inserts foot...again

Monday, June 11, 2007

Recipe for Life

My friends and I have a quasi-tradition on Sunday mornings, we whip up a big-girl brunch, drink bottomless mimosa’s and talk shit until we practically lose our voices. This typically takes place at the Mayor of Tarrytown’s house (aka Stratocade) and the guest list varies; friends, new people, boyfriends, leftover one night stands and the like. Before he was throwing hams in San Francisco, Kelly successfully anchored the Austin social scene and his extensive rolodex coupled with his exquisite kitchen skills helped start this tradition. We have forged on without him, although never with as much gusto (or alcohol induced debauchery).

Brunch is by no means a “gay thing”…but it really is. Personally I think we use it as an excuse to drink on a Sunday mornings, but more importantly it gives us the opportunity to excise our inner Barefoot Contessa and outdo one another in the kitchen. Gays (and Paula Deen) have perfected Sunday brunch and my friends and I are no exception. I actually took the time out on Saturday afternoon to pre-make some anchor items. Ham and Asparagus Breakfast Strata and French Toast Soufflé. I’m thinking it really doesn’t get much gayer than that. Well maybe except for this tragic example.

My point here is that some people may think that being gay excludes you from typical Norman Rockwell family traditions like sit down dinners at home and Sunday afternoons on the porch. I can report that my friends and I are doing both quite successfully. I can almost guarantee the company is more interesting and the drinks are much stiffer on our side of the street. I think I speak for most gay people I know when I say that we treat our friendships as familial. When I think about growing older, I think about doing it golden girls style with my best friends, not with one significant other. While im sure by then we will all have some one special in our lives to share personal moments with, I know it will be my friendships that will continue to usher me through life’s ups and downs and most likely that will be done over Brunch.


French Toast Soufflé

10 cups white bread cubes
1 (8 ounce) package lowfat cream cheese, softened
8 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
2/3 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Place bread cubes in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in milk, half and half, maple syrup, and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Pour cream cheese mixture over the bread; cover, and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, remove souffle from refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Top with fresh strawberries, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, and serve warm.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Denver Stands Out.

I got wrangled into another speaking gig this week in Denver. I spent all night throwing together a powerpoint preso that looks like I didnt do it the night before. Mission accomplished I think. Since the weather was so nice today, I took some time out today to walk around the city. Good town these folks have here.

Things I noticed:
1. Very clean- maybe thats just downtown where Im staying?
2. Very WASPY- Again, maybe just downtown.
3. Crisp Architecture. Almost euro-styled.
4. Lofty- Lofts, lofts everywhere. (S&K, glad you got out when u did)
5. People will stand in line for over 2 hours for a free 4 dollar burritto. (Chipolte gave away free food today in exchange for can goods).
6. Can't beat the mountain views.

Some quirky photos I took: