A few years back, during my Logo TV days, I was asked to be Grand Marshal of Orlando Pride. This was a huge honor for me. However, that year torrential rain forced Pride to be moved a month later -- smack dab on Yom Kippur. Oy vey!
Think seeing a lot of red equal signs is powerful? Try looking at images of soldiers brutally beating a gay kid. Talking about the horrific acts is one thing, but seeing them is a far more powerful thing that even the most distracted among us cannot avoid.
Don Lemon dehumanized the African-American community by reducing it to stereotypes, much like the religious right does to the LGBT community. Certainly this is not what Lemon was trying to do, but it was something that he maybe should have realized, given that he is a black gay man.
In response to vicious hate crimes against LGBT New Yorkers, City Council Speaker and mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn is sponsoring an insulting series of classes in "street smarts" and self-defense. As a policy response to these tragedies, Quinn's offer is inadequate and inappropriate.
We are living at a time when the LGBT rights movement is making incredible strides, but whether we really have a "community" is highly debatable. I wonder how we can tell the younger generation that it gets better and not prepare them for the stones that will come from their "community."
Why can't LGBTs play nice with one another? Why do we draw lines and exclude whole groups within our collective community? And most importantly, why do we demand equality from the rest of the world and fail to demonstrate equality within our own?
My hometown, Warwick, N.Y., is a small, rural-suburban town in the Hudson Valley. Data show that Warwick has a higher concentration of same-sex households than much of the rest of the county. I wondered where all those gay people were, so I decided to found The LGBTQ Center of the Warwick Valley.
Having lived in New York for nearly 13 years, I've found that not much has changed for me as far as bullying goes. Bullying within the gay community is very rarely discussed, but gay people are really mean to each other sometimes.
Even if gay marriage were legalized, discrimination outlawed and all the freedoms of one enjoyed by all, our problems would linger. To truly win, we must win the right way. We need to set a good example for gay youth, and we need to display the dignity our enemies deny us.
Because I didn't vote for certain candidates, some of my "friends" ostracized me, ridiculed me for "lacking intelligence" and told me that I was working against my own community. However, if our relationship was based on political ideology, then I'm better off without them anyway.
In June my partner Todd and I, along with our two children, were featured in the Father's Day catalog for JCPenney. The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, but there was one thing that really got under my skin: the negative comments we read and heard from other gay people.
Rupert Everett has spoken with the grace of a toddler throwing a brick. In an interview with the British Sunday Times, he said, among many things, that he "can't think of anything worse than being brought up by two gay dads."
In all the little ways in which we indulge in gossip, snarky talk, and making jokes about other people, we are beaming a clear intention into the ether, and we mustn't be shocked when that nastiness comes floating back to us.
As I left the parade, feeling connected to the gay community and to my city in a way that I hadn't in a while, I realized that the stereotypes that I had tried to avoid by steering clear of Pride actually existed more in my own head than in reality.
While Brian Moylan's "The Secrets Gay Men Don't Want Straight People to Know" is obviously meant as a comical piece, it felt more like a sad reconfirmation of how the media sees gay people relative to straight people, and how gay people are perceived in general.
Is it possible that, as we identified ourselves as a group, we have limited our growth? Are we in the enviable position of not being held accountable for becoming "adults," given our collective abolishment from the mainstream?