Friday, August 29, 2008

leader of the whos

For the first time in my life, I watched a ‘Presidential’ speech. True, it was the concession speech, but still. Maybe saying I watched my first political speech would be more apt. For some reason, I, as have many people, have been more invested in this Presidential campaign, than I ever had before. Four years ago, I hated both candidates so much that I didn’t vote. I am now in a similar position. I hate both the candidates. But, I am going to vote, even if it is not for one of them. From the very beginning I had my sights set on Giuliani. Nearly every stance he took was something I agreed with or was even excited about. Of course, he lasted all of two seconds in the race. And even though I have never been able to stand Hilary, for some reason, I was kind of rooting for her, and would probably voted for her, even though I disagree fundamentally on a lot of her issues.
It seems that it would be so easy to either be Left or Right, instead of floating somewhere in the middle. It seems that to vote for someone who doesn’t really stand up for gay equality, but at least thinks it should be legal for a gay person to be admitted to the hospital where their ‘spouse’ is sick or dying , I also have to vote for someone who would make it a free for all for abortion, not think twice about our National borders, and attempt to turn our society into a socialist government. I like the Capitalist way of life, even when I have not be able to work it towards my own advantage. On the other hand, I can vote for someone who believes more along the same lines as myself in regards to the financial and security needs of our country, but who also sees me as someone who should not have the right to have kids (through adoption) or the right to marry the man I love. In the past, I have always put the needs of the rest of my country above myself, not willing to vote on someone simply because they hate gays and lesbians less than the other guy. Even so, I have yet to see our borders secured, Osama captured, or a return to a more foundational economic system (yes, I am a flat tax guy, I think. . .). So, maybe this time, I say, ‘Screw it, vote for the guy who at least claims to see me as someone mostly human.’
I am anxious to see the debates between Obama and McCain, not that I can force myself to vote for either. I am fairly certain I can’t. If I could trust what Obama said last night, I wouldn’t think twice. I wanted to believe him so badly; his speech had elements that I had never heard from a political leader before. However, from what I know about his record and other stances he has taken in his life, I found much of what he said contradictory to his actions.
I love my country and want to see it stay strong, become stronger, retain its values while growing and progressing. I wish that there was a man or woman that could be believed, could be trusted, could be strong, even if not perfect. No longer will I vote for someone who does not see me as their equal (not that Obama does either), but how can I vote for someone who opposes my beliefs in so many other ways?
Maybe it is enough that I think it matters to even ask the questions. Ever since I could vote, even when I have, I have always just shrugged my shoulders and said, ‘What’s it matter? It’s not like anyone does what they say or anything actually ever changes or gets better.’ Maybe it can. . .

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Simple Hero

Since I don’t feel like the five or six magazines that I subscribe to are enough, I, at times, see a magazine cover at the checkout stand of the grocery store that I have add to my attempt of single handedly destroying the rainforest with pictures of celebrities. Such was the case when I saw this week’s issue of People magazine. On the COVER was Ellen and her new wife Portia. On the inside was a four double page spread (that’s eight pages for those of you attempting to multiply2x4—I know it’s not easy, the other day I wrote 8x3=18 on the board during my math class---Thank God for that Master’s Degree—Blech).
I was struck by several things. One, how beautiful both of them are and how gorgeous their wedding was. Two, how perfect the ceremony seemed, it made me like Ellen even more. It was a simple and elegant at home wedding with nineteen or so family and friends in attendance, no huge stars, just those who were truly close to the brides.
The main thing I was struck with is that I wasn’t seeing this article in one of my political or bubble gum gay mags that I subscribe too. It was in People! Granted, it wasn’t Newsweek, Time, or Evangelicals Anonymous, but still! I take it as a huge sign of a brighter future to come.
Last week at the gym, the Ellen show was on the TV in the locker room. There were about seven or eight of us in there. An older man (foreign, I couldn’t place his accent, Swedish, or some such) stood up on his bench, I’m not sure why, and started asking everyone which one was the wife and which one was the husband, repeatedly. Finally, he finished by looking at one man in particular and saying, “I tell you, some people are just sick.” I think I was the only one who was gay in the locker room, so I was surprised when no one spoke up in agreement or added to the situation. Everyone looked at him in a mix of bewilderment and repulsion. Of course, such a response was necessary from the fact of him standing on the bench to address the room. Too bad he was fully dressed, that would have added some irony to the story. . .
I am sure cynics would say that the People feature isn’t much of a success. They would say that Ellen is benign, that people don’t really see her as a real lesbian; she is just Ellen an enigma of sorts. I say that is what makes her so perfect! That’s what the average gay man and lesbian are. They are just people. The beautiful thing about Ellen, unlike Rosie who got bitter and harsh in her voice and appearance after coming out, continues to get brighter, softer, and happier. She is one of few true heroes that the gay culture has. It will be interesting to see what happens to the marriage initiative this November in California. Maybe people won’t care, but People magazine let Ellen and Portia show the world what exactly would be outlaw from fear, prejudice, and hatred.
Thank you, People, for giving adequate coverage of a real, genuine, and loving couple.
Thank you, Ellen and Portia, for your shinning example of gay marriage to our culture and your brave contributions to life. Best wishes on your marriage and your life together!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


There are several observations that I have found, while not earth shattering, of interest during the first three days of the Democratic National Convention being in Denver. The most pleasant is the sight of all the police. On one hand, it is rather off-putting to see clusters of eight or more cops on every street corner, holding three foot long clubs. It should inspire a feeling of safety, but it has more of an effect of heightening the sensation that the world is about to explode. The part that has been enjoyable is seeing the truth in the cliché of the hot cop. Granted, the ratio is not as great as the stereotype would have us believe, but with such high numbers police presence, I can attest that the taskforce does indeed have a wide selection of officers who live up to every handcuffing and billy-club fantasy. It is also true that if you put an average Joe who would never draw too much attention on his own in police garb, his hotness level elevates a minimum of ten points.
The thing I have found most humors is how the city has responded to having the convention in town. Every surface was scrubbed clean, even the alleys. Fountains that I have never noticed before and ones that I thought were just statues are now spewing water. Buildings have a fresh coat of paint. Christmas lights (white ones) are covering every tree on the 16 Street Mall. The homeless have been either shipped off, sent the zoo or the movies (I’m not making this up), and/or given brand new clothes, a hair cut, and a bath. I never realized before how much I use a person’s appearance to asses their status in life. I didn’t even realize that I asses other people’s status. However, more than once, I have been befuddled by a well dressed and pleasingly groomed man or woman digging through the trash, begging on a street corner, or seemingly peeing in one of the suddenly repaired fountains. It always take me a second after wondering why they are engaging in such behaviors before I remember that the homeless have undergone a makeover in the attempt of making them more acceptable. While I love all these changes, its wonderful to have your city looking good, flowers overflowing everywhere, the sounds of water splashing everywhere you turn, I find it the height of hypocrisy. Aren’t the republicans the ones who are supposed to be heartless about the homeless, about wasting water, and needing everything to be high class? Yet here we are trying to make the homeless less homeless simply by dressing them and cleaning them and doing our best to make them invisible, blend in, or disappear all together. Here we are, in a drought, with water overflowing from all our fountains. All to ‘deceive’ the democratic elite.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never loved being downtown more than right now. I wish the DNC was here every week. I’m just sayin’. . .