Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What Would Harvey Milk Have Thought About Hugo Chavez?

I love Sean Penn the actor. And I would love nothing more than to see Milk, Gus Van Sant's new biopic about Harvey Milk, the first openly-gay elected official who was gunned down by a fellow politico in San Francisco in 1978.

But Sean Penn's support of Hugo Chavez disgusts me, and for that, I refuse to support his film.

Let's put aside the fact that Hugo Chavez's socialist revolution would leave Sean Penn and other limousine liberals like Kevin Spacey and Danny Glover and Naomi Campbell penniless, or the fact that Hugo Chavez has made it his life's mission to undermine democracy, or the fact that Hugo Chavez actively supports the FARC rebels in Colombia - you know, the terrorist, drug-smuggling group that still has 700 hostages and held a few Americans hostage for nearly six years - let's put all of this aside for a moment and focus on Chavez's alliance with Mahmud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran.

What would Harvey Milk have thought about a man who is BFF with a terrorist whose government persecutes and kills gays? What would Harvey Milk have thought about a man whose mentor is Fidel Castro, a dictator who sent gays to concentration camps?

When Hollywood celebs get on their soapbox to rally behind the leftist flavor of the month they need to make sure they have all of the facts about the world in which these figures live and operate. Hugo Chavez' Bolivarian revolution is complicit in the drug trade and in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians - it's that simple. Chavez is not the polar opposite of George Bush, he's the polar opposite of human decency and democracy - he shouldn't factor into the conservative/liberal debate.

For his irresponsible comments and anti-American values, not only should Sean Penn have his citizenship revoked, he deserves for his movie to tank.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I Said it First - Gays are the New Blacks

Well, I asked it. Nonetheless, it seems that yours truly is on the same wavelength as the folks at The Advocate, whose current issue explores the emergence of gays as that "other" group in our society whose rights are not God-given but rather the subject of popular debate.

Remember when I was ahead of the curve and called our fabulous President-elect but then Dem-candidate the Antichrist? Then five months later the McCain camp released an ad implying the same thing?

Forgive me the self-congratulatory post...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Who Knew the Gays Wanted to be on eHarmony?

Just when you thought Bravo TV and America's Next Top Model were endearing the gays to America, someone had to get stupid and file a lawsuit against eHarmony on the grounds that the site "discriminates" against gays and lesbians by not having a same-sex dating portal. Ever hear of Manhunt,

Doesn't eHarmony have the right to set up straight people with other straight people?

Now the gays are all over the place - we're going after churches who won't let us marry and dating sites that won't let us look for sex on the web. Remember, Proposition 8 is hateful legislation and it needs to be fought - so let's focus our rancor on legislative bigotry and not target the right to assembly. It'd be one thing if eHarmony was firing its gay employees solely on the basis of sexual orientation, but it's a private business and it has the right to decide who to offer its services to.

And speaking of Prop 8, the battleground is not in front of churches and war tactics should not include harassing worshippers - that only gives conservative Christians more ammunition for their "Godless, lawless gays" argument.

I'm surprised the Mormons haven't set up camp outside bars, restaurants and community centers in Chelsea or West Hollywood because that's exactly what we deserve to have happen to us.

Kudos to HRC for a smart, targeted program that aims to educate Americans on the real "gay agenda." Today's e-mail blast lays out their program to engage the public in areas that matter: at home, at church and in local government:

Thank God someone is thinking with their head.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Day Without Gays?

One more post from what is really a riveting training on online engagement - we're actually encouraged to be on Facebook during the session! Anyway, the gays are planning a strike and this poses a connundrum for GCL. I work for a way gay-friendly agency so I don't like the idea of depriving my employer of my brilliant ideas for a day - it's not like I work for the Mormon Chuch, after all. But it's all about community, right? So what to do? I'm going to run this past my fellow gays to see if it's worth it...James and I could use a day off but seriously, if a strike ensues, there needs to be some activity around it. A day off to watch Golden Girls is kind of disgusting when we're supposed to be fighting for our rights.

Event Info Host: David Craig
Type: Causes - Protest
Network: Global
Time and Place Start Time: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 at 12:00am
End Time: Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 12:00am
Location: Across the United States
Street: Main Street

DescriptionWe are calling for a nationwide strike and economic boycott by all members of our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered community AND OUR STRAIGHT ALLIES on December 10th, 2008, International Human Rights Day.


Because LGBT workers, business owners, consumers and taxpayers contribute over $700 billion to the U.S. economy each year and should not be treated as second class citizens. See

Because general strikes and economic boycotts are a powerful weapon in the history of non-violent protests. See For many of those protesters, their actions came at a cost, but they understood that we must be willing to make sacrifices to fight for equal rights, including the right to marry.

Because Civil Unions are only legal in the state that offers them. Civil Unions don't include the 1100 marriage rights and benefits provided by the Federal Government. Separate but not equal is discrimination.

Because every couple in America has to get a marriage certificate from their state, whereas religious ceremonies are optional. No church or religious institution has or ever will be forced to marry anyone.

Because marriage should be a Right for all Americans, regardless of gender, race OR religion.

Because until ALL are equal, NONE are equal.


Strike: call in gay, shut down your business, take the day off.

Boycott: don't buy anything or spend money.

Participate: visit for a list of volunteer and/or protest opportunities.

Communicate: we need everyone's support!

Our co-sponsors include:
GAYS ON STRIKE (on Facebook)

WHY THE NAME "A DAY WITHOUT GAYS"? The name was inspired by the film A DAY WITHOUT A MEXICAN and the nationwide strike in 2006 called A DAY WITHOUT IMMIGRANTS, protesting proposed immigration laws.

Anyone interested it the facts regarding Proposition 8 should go to:

If I Could Sing, I Wouldn't Spin

I'm in training right now to be a more strategic publicist - and props to my agency - it's been drilled into us that we're not in the business of spin. And even bigger props to our instructor who woke me up from my morning stupor by asking us to put our interaction with the press through a "Battle Hymn of the Republic" test. In other words, if you can hear the trumpets blaring, you're doing the media, and more importantly, your client, a disservice.

But really, this is just an excuse to link to Judy Garland's stirring rendition of "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The W Effect and Madam Secretary of State

If I've learned one thing over the past two years of watching the Presidential campaign it's that I don't have the energy for politics. How Hillary Clinton has managed to not slap a b*** or grab Barack Obama by the ears while screaming "it's mine, mine, mine! dammit it's mine" is beyond me. Homegirl is like the nice lady at the supermarket who lets everyone cut in front of her because they just have a bag of Skittles or a canteloupe. And you know where nice gets you? Behind Sarah-Africa-is-a-country-right?-Palin.

Or so you would think.

President-elect Obama is now dangling the prospect of a cabinet position to Hillary -Secretary of State, yo. Holla! But the same forces who are in talks with Hillary are also leaking information to the press with the explicit purpose of inciting riot around Bill Clinton's dealings with foreign governments. The Obama camp is deliberately casting a W-effect over the Clintons by suggesting to the press that Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and China are part of the never-ending list of Bill Clinton's bedfellows.

My friends, the campaign is over. There is no reason for Barack and Hillary to pretend they like each other - as a wise friend once said, "spare me the faux." Hillary should check out and come back to New York and focus on being a Senator. An airport-security type of Senator, you know, the "g'ahead" type that plays on her cellphone while dynamite and alarm clocks go through the conveyor belt. If asked to vote on an issue, she should just hold up a sign that reads "Fine, whatever. I have a coffee break in 15 minutes."

After all, look what blind ambition and faith in the American electorate got Hillary: 18 million cheap shots at her and now her husband's philanthropic efforts.

The Obama camp is not on Hillary's side as we can see by the qualified support they've drummed for her appointment.

It's not worth it, girl.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Studio Make-Over

I told you I was gonna do it. Below are pix from our studio renovation which took two months to happen. You wouldn't know that painting and redecorating 400 square feet of space could take so long, but it does. And I'd do it all over again.

The goal: Turn our studio into a plush refuge that reflects James' sensibility and my penchant for flash. The big issue for us was controling the light in the space, which for a while came from a corner lamp and the whim of our solar system. We installed track lighting in July and from there set out to redo the entire space.

My inspiration: Gilded fantasy. Back in the days when I used to paint in high school my work always had deep blues, a touch of gold and lots of swirls. Without knowing it, I reverted to those same themes with this project. With gold and champagne accents throughout, my rug and coffee table both have my "signature" swirls and our walls "pop" with one of my favorite colors: turquoise blue.

So who did what? James installed our shelving, our curtain rods and ensured the functionality of other vital home accoutrements - specifically our internet access -as I plowed through walls and kicked cables out of the way to turn this place into Gianni Versace's rendering of Versailles. I picked out the couch, our rug and our wall colors while keeping the sturdy, earthy and James-y pieces that my beloved owned before we met.

One could say this design project is an exercise in sustainability as the only thing we tossed during the renovation was the couch. Everything else was kept and repurposed, including our first coffee table, which James carefully retiled about two years ago.

Stay tuned for an invite to the champagne unveiling.




Couch, Rug: Safavieh
Glass Coffee Table: Housing Works
Glass Armoire, Tiled Coffee Table, Leather Chair: ABC Carpet & Home
Floor Lamp: West Elm
Wall Colors: Ralph Lauren (Blues), Behr (Gold Trim)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

First Come the Gays

Our heads are on the chopping block.

As conservatives struggle for a point of view and a rallying cry for their disheartened soldiers of "faith," hate and isolationism, an easy target has emerged for this group's ire: the gays.

Sure, there's still abortion to worry about and Christmas is right around the corner, so some troops will have to be sent to guard nativity scenes at government buildings, all in an effort to keep Christ in the celebration of a pagan holiday. But social conservatives are an industrious bunch, and where John McCain would fail as a multi-tasker, the "silent majority" is ready to work tirelessly to thwart any sort of social progress.

My friends, I'm scared. Here in my ivory tower overlooking seventh avenue I can see the pitch forks and torches coming towards Chelsea. Crowds on both sides of the debate need to be appeased.

But I'm not sure if protesting in front of the Mormon Church is going to change this. On the one hand, it's horrible that a tax-exempt entity is blatantly funding a partisan agenda that is taking away citizens' rights. But in the end, Proposition 8 was put forth before the people of California to vote on and the people made their choice. How would the Dems feel if a bunch of Republicans started protesting in front of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta when Obama was elected?

If the Mormom Church poured money into Prop 8 so too did the left to preserve marriage for all citizens. Funding is not the problem. The problem is that gays are still the "others" and our access to rights, to all the benefits of citizenship, is still a matter of debate. Again, 50 years we were invisible and the "other" group was African Americans. With growth comes pain and right now we're feeling those pangs of evolution - and while I support vocal condemnation of a social scheme that questions the rights of particular groups, I do not think the church is the place to launch an offensive.

The gays should do what we do best: kill the haters with charm. I'm thinking billboards, acts of civility and community building. Instead of protesting, let's spruce up our city schools, let's create the communities we want to live in and lead by example. That doesn't mean we're going soft, it means we're rising above the fray to effect the change we all want to see.

The truth of the matter is that we're not wanted right now, so we have to lay claim to our place in society. What that steak in the ground looks like is entirely up to us.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This Makes Me Smile

Stupid James and the first gift he ever gave me - a stuffed panda whom we named Fernando. We've had 'Nando for 4 years without incident, thus making us excellent parent material.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Are Gays the New Blacks?

Until the U.S. elects an openly gay man or a lesbian to the Presidency, I wonder: are gays and lesbians the new blacks?

With a black man on his way to the White House it seems the baton of victimization is being passed on to the gays. Case in point: the overwhelming support by black residents of California in support of Proposition 8.

It's been said before that today's civil rights movement is lead by gay men and women who are fighting for their right to be married, and are demanding the same respect and protection from their government as their heterosexual counterparts.

While our society has evolved so that you won't see gay men and women hosed on the streets for protesting in front of hate-mongering churches who don't have to pay taxes and therefore have money to spare to mettle in their neighbors' lives, today's political maneuvering is even more astute and more viscious as bigotry is metted out with a smile.

There's a great opinion-piece in the LA Times that delves into the disconnect between the needs of black voters and the gay community - basically, equality doesn't mean the same thing for everyone and us gays haven't been smart about the needs and sensitivities of the communities whose support we need for the protection of our rights. Writer Jasmyne A. Cannick, who is an African-American lesbian, breaks it down:

"White gays often wonder aloud why blacks, of all people, won't support their civil rights. There is a real misunderstanding by the white gay community about the term. Proponents of gay marriage fling it around as if it is a one-size-fits-all catchphrase for issues of fairness.

But the black civil rights movement was essentially born out of and driven by the black church; social justice and religion are inextricably intertwined in the black community. To many blacks, civil rights are grounded in Christianity -- not something separate and apart from religion but synonymous with it. To the extent that the issue of gay marriage seemed to be pitted against the church, it was going to be a losing battle in my community."


There's nothing a white gay person can tell me when it comes to how I as a black lesbian should talk to my community about this issue. If and when I choose to, I know how to say what needs to be said. Many black gays just haven't been convinced that this movement for marriage is about anything more than the white gays who fund it (and who, we often find, are just as racist and clueless when it comes to blacks as they claim blacks are homophobic)."

I guess it would be tacky for gays to walk around black neighborhoods in California saying "I voted for Obama, hit me back." At the same time, I'd like to point out that the same religious values that the black community is holding on to are the same values that have been used to justify slavery and Jim Crow, but I get it, I chose to be a fruitcake, blacks didn't get to choose their race. Still, this makes no sense to me.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Proposition 8: And You Gays Thought Cali Was the Sh**

Suckers. Proposition 8, the hate-monger legislation that's on the ballot in California to decide the fate of Ellen DeGeneres' marriage, is poised to put an end to same-sex marriage in the state. Fine, the people have spoken and we get it: Californians are a biggoted lot.

When it comes to gay marriage my stance is this: once we settle the mess in Iraq, squash Al Qaeda (for those that may have forgotten about AQ they came out right after NKOTB and just before NSync hit it big), fix the economy and secure healthcare for all Americans then we can start worrying about preserving "traditional" marriage. Not to copy David Letterman's ill-fated Uma-Oprah bit at the Oscars, but really this is a matter of Al Qaeda - Gay Marriage, Al Qaeda - Gay Marriage...hmm, which should America worry about more?

What's struck me most about the Proposition 8 debate is the money that's been raised to support this bill - nearly $38 MILLION! Don't you love conservative thinking?Whereas their pick-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps ethics decry welfare and financial support for "entitlement" programs, private, biggoted citizens have NO problem forking over an average of $818 to disrupt the lives of their fellow tax-paying neighbors.

And that scares me.

In Arkansas, the state's electorate has voted to ban adoption by unmarried couples, a move hailed by social conservatives as blunting the gay agenda. I must not have gotten the memo on that because my agenda doesn't include children (it does include obtaining an Hermes collier de chien, these fab Dolce & Gabbana shoes and securing the position that will let me afford these items)but whatever, I've never been hip to what the majority of gays are doing.

The rest of the country, however, is. That means I have to step my vigilante game up, that means I have to arm myself with knowledge on how our system works so I can slap a redneck or some fundamentalist Christian with some facts. I'm sick of being America's issue, but if that's the game I'm forced to play, then I'm absolutely in to win. Of course you know this means war.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Barack Obama Elected President of the U.S.

The car horns are honking, my neighbors are cheering, windows have been thrust open over Seventh Avenue here in Chelsea and the helicopters are buzzing overheard. We're celebrating the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency of the United States.

We're celebrating the will of the people. We're celebrating the re-claiming of America from the tired rhetoric of hate and division. This is democracy, this is possibility, this is the America we all want to believe in.

Today's the Day

Our national nightmare is almost over. Eight years of the Bush-Cheney administration, an ordeal that saw two of the most loathsome figures in our political system impact rise to power, is coming to an end. Eight years of peddling hate, lies and mobilizing fringe elements of our society under the banner of "family values" has not only reduced our country's influence and prestige in the world, it's also robbed many Americans of their belief in the great things that this country can do. If George W. Bush can be President, I wonder, what's the point of being an American?

And so the past two years for those of us who are a watching this spectacle called politics a little more closely than the average American have been intense. As a right-of-center Democrat, I've had my ups and downs with today's candidate. I've gone from being on the brink of tears at his speech at the 2004 Democratic convention and throwing my support behind his candidacy based on his stance on Iraq, but then supported Hillary when I realized that she was the victim of a treacherous assault by the Democrats. I was offended by the Democrats after they sold me Bill Clinton back in 1992 as some sort of God-send only to ditch his brilliant and thoroughly capable wife in favor of a more fresh and thoroughly untested candidate. I saw Obama as a line-cutter, I didn't think it was his turn to lead, and so I supported Hillary.

That was until June of this year when it became clear that Obama was the Democrats' choice. And then I panicked. I threatened to vote Republican and cursed the Democrats for throwing away the election. Barack HUSSEIN Obama? I couldn't believe it. Not only were the Democrats traitors, I thought, but they were also stupid and deserved to lose. Secretly, I resolved to just not vote at all.

But then in the past few months Obama has revealed himself as the kind of person I do want in the White House. While the McCain camp flung high school cafeteria insults at him Barack just went about staging a spectacular convention in Denver (which followed a spectacular world tour that was marked by record crowds in cities across Europe and the Middle East). We finally have a Statesman running for office and it's a beautiful thing.

I also admire the fact that Obama doesn't trade in fear tactics. He's not trying to scare Americans about their gay neighbors or the French, all he has to do is point his finger backward to eight years of Bush-Cheney or direct the public's attention to the possibility of Sarah Palin running the country. Or at the unraveling of John McCain, who was once a visionary leader and then forgot the most important element of being a successful leader: be yourself. By turning himself into a consort of the wack right wing, espousing rhetoric and issues that shouldn't matter in an election to the highest office in the world, John McCain became a puppet for a dying institution.

So I'm off to the polls now and I'm voting for Obama. Yes, I've taken cheap shots at him over the course of the campaign and I've even tried to rattle some cages by supporting John McCain. But I want you to know that I wholeheartedly support the Democratic candidate, that while I questioned the procedure and thinking that landed him in this privileged position I do not question Obama's character or his ability to lead.

Finally, as a person of color, I have to say this: I have never been more proud of my country.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Team McCain for the Undecided: A Chart!

People in communications love a good chart. Spare the thinking, just tell your boss what they need (want) to see in a chart that shows deadlines, or, in a competitive mash-up, how your brand trounces the competition.

Knowing the pain of producing charts to explain why communications programs do and don't work, I honestly feel for the the poor folks on Team McCain. Right now these guys are probably scrambling to explain to their boss why the words maverick, terrorist and hockey mom - words that were surely the product of painful brainstorming sessions where tons of options for "how can we kill Obama with one word" were scrawled on to dry-erase boards and circled emphatically based on the group's consensus - haven't resonated with voters.

So it's back to the dry-erase boards for these maverick minds and now, under the hum of fluorescent lighting, with the dull crunch of industrial carpet at their feet and minds hopped up on Red Bull and bad coffee, the work of turning a losing campaign around with less than 72 hours begins. In a moment of clarity or desperation - depending on where your loyalties lie - someone jumps from their chair, spilling bad coffee across the table - and says "I got it! Let's put together a chart that shows how much Obama sucks!"

Someone probably rushes to the dry-erase board to write OBAMA SUX, then circle it emphatically, and off an intern goes to come up with the following:

To whoever came up with this ridiculous chart that looks like a seventh grader's homework on "Current Events," all I can say is "girl, I feel you." I've been there - cursing, muttering, pulling my hair out and thinking "I don't know why your product sucks and why people won't buy it but it's midnight on Friday and I'd like to go home!" The result of this panicked thinking is usually something that's as uninformed, desperate and ridiculous as this chart that has been mailed around to those of us who subscribe to Team McCain's e-mail feeds.

And while the person assigned with this masterful work of mediocrity (which could have been redeemed had they inserted a column marked Terrorist, under which it would say McCain - NO, Obama - Not Sure) shuffled over to their desk to figure out how to use PowerPoint, I can imagine the team de-brief taking place under the aforementioned fluorescent lights:

"OK, who's feeding media the story about Obama's illegal alient aunt? Let's kill the Bill Ayers push - do we know whose side GayConservativeLiberal is finally on?"

It sucks to be on a sinking ship. Fortunately for McCain's staffers, the bow is about to break.