Elsewhere

road.jpg 32%: Bush approval rating hits new low.

road.jpg Avenue Q playwright Jeff Whitty is fed up with Jay Leno's treatment of gay material on The Tonight Show. The scribe sent off a letter to Leno, published in full on his website, which sums up his frustrations. Excerpt: "Every single out-of-the-closet gay person has had to say, 'I am not part of mainstream society.' Mr. Leno, that takes bigger balls than stepping out in front of TV-watching America every night. I daresay I suspect it takes bigger balls to come out of the closet than any thing you have ever done in your life."

Sturmanroad.jpg Underwear company 2xist is about to launch a new ad campaign using the art/photography hybrid images of Robert Sturman. A show featuring the new campaign is opening tonight in NYC at the Steven Amadee Gallery in Tribeca. Models will be on hand.

road.jpg Openly gay Canadian federal cabinet minister Scott Brison wants to lead the liberal party: "Brison came out four years ago amid concerns by some of his handlers that it could hurt his chances for re-election in the conservative riding. The same fears arose when he joined the Liberals. But, Brison won the next two elections handily."

road.jpg Are skinheads out for gay blood in Sao Paulo? Or are they just out for anyone's blood?

road.jpg Mike Rogers' BlogActive is on the case of UN Ambassador John Bolton's spokesman Richard Grennell: "Let him what you think of a gay man representing a homophobic administration. Let him know what you think of his defending the US vote with Iran and Sudan on gay rights."

road.jpg Kentucky may have trouble luring businesses to the state because of its anti-gay actions. Lexington executive: "Bigotry is bad for business and having a governor who is obviously bigoted is fundamentally incompatible with business. We go from a backwater state trying to attract business to a backwater, bigoted state trying to attract business."

Feed This post's comment feed

Comments

  1. A humble "thank you" to Jeff Whitty for today's forward-of-the-day. Everyone should send it to at least one straight person on the fence about gay issues.

    Posted by: G-Lock | Apr 24, 2006 5:33:46 PM


  2. I think the Jeff Whitty letter is fantastic.

    You might also want to read this letter by a young gay man to the editor of The Guardian newspaper in the UK.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/gayrights/story/0,,1759928,00.html

    Posted by: Peter Rivendell | Apr 24, 2006 5:39:49 PM


  3. Bravo, Jeff Whitty.

    Posted by: David | Apr 24, 2006 5:41:42 PM


  4. I read the letter by Jeff Whitty. I think it's great that he feels so pationately about his views but nothing will change. We will always be the butt of jokes, always be the cracked out party goers sleeping with one another. I'm so sick of being gay. We are nothing than a genetic defect that is the butt of someones joke.

    Posted by: Matt | Apr 24, 2006 6:13:39 PM


  5. Oh dear. Someone`s having a bad day/week/year/life.

    I don`t think it hurts to point these things out (as Whitty has done) and I think right-minded people take notice and that leads to change.

    Posted by: Peter Rivendell | Apr 24, 2006 7:05:37 PM


  6. Earth to Matt: you don't sound gay.

    Posted by: Tommy | Apr 24, 2006 7:10:43 PM


  7. Matt, your comments sadden me and I can only hope that you will think about ways to deflect the cruel comments of others. I find it a rare privilege to be gay. For those of us who can see beyond the small minded jokes cast by idiots who have obviously not experienced the beauty of life, being gay is an extraordinary gift. My own mother referred to me as "a genetic defect" many years ago, 1987 to be exact. Instead of getting angry, I seized the opportunity to explain in great detail the beauty I found in bonding with other men. I went on to make some very bold predictions about the emergence of gay men and women, all of which have come true far beyond my expectations. Gay people are now very much a recognized part of society. Most straight people believed many years ago that we were a very small minority, far less than 1% of the population. Thanks to Hollywood, television and the willingness of some brave souls to exercise their first amendment rights, most people realize that our numbers are vast. People are coming out at a much earlier age because they see their inner feelings and sexuality validated everyday in mainstream media. As for my mother, she recently told me that her doctor, who practices with six other physicians, told her that four of his partners are married and are having relationships with men on the side. She has also come to know that many of her closest friends are actually lesbians. She has apologized and now sees the big picture at the age of 80. I never would have believed this would come to pass.

    As for the "genetic defect" reference, there is a theory as to why so many people are gay. Nature and the evolution of man have seen a broad spectrum of changes which have allowed humans to adapt to life on this planet. We are entering a period of global overpopulation. It just might be that more people are now born gay to effect population control. Scientists are studying this now and there is no conclusive evidence at this time. Or perhaps, due to the pressures of society, substantially more people repressed their homosexual urges in the past, and the ratios of straight vs. gay have always been the same. Who knows? But does it really make a difference? You are here. Make the most of your gifts and enjoy life to the fullest. If you find yourself repressed by the people around you, then perhaps it is time to consider some radical changes in your life.

    Posted by: Johnny Lane | Apr 24, 2006 7:14:14 PM


  8. Before someone here, as I've read elsewhere, contrasts Leno to that wonderfully sensitive, enlightened, gay-friendly icon Johnny Carson, three words:
    Tiny Tim's wedding. While the fact that we are far more a subject of public discussion now than in Carson's time explains why there are so many more jokes about us [Carson, Doc, and Ed would have at least equalled Leno's number of Brokeback jokes if not surpassed them] does not excuse them, neither does it change the fact that Carson's mocking of us, and that of other comedians of the time, essentially hurt us more because there were virtually no other viewpoints being heard, images being seen.
    Whitty is to be saluted, but he should have addressed it to all of Leno's peers, too, some of whom are often far more vicious, e.g., Jimmy Kimmel and Don "Fudgepack Mountain" Imus.

    Posted by: Leland | Apr 24, 2006 8:05:56 PM


  9. backwater was part of its charm....since city-only fags are usually immensely boring and nothing very surprising....yet, 'twas fairly narrow minded. thanks for the memories....andy, many of these blogs are starting to put me to sleep. kind of reminds me of an experience with a company in amsterdam. it turned out to be pretty drab, xenophobic, and less than illuminating.

    Posted by: ricardo | Apr 24, 2006 8:31:08 PM


  10. UN Spokesman Richard Grennell may support a homophobic administration, however...not only does he have a nice cock, he's also a great kisser.

    Those are two things I support! Rock on Ric!

    Posted by: Stephen | Apr 24, 2006 8:35:08 PM


  11. Someone please, call Exodus International and have them take Matt away.

    P.S. 32%

    Posted by: Chad Hanging | Apr 24, 2006 10:27:29 PM


  12. Poor Matt. He's missing so much. I would not go straight if it were possible (sorry exgays, but I don't buy it). I would no longer be me. Besides I wouldn't know what to do with the guy I love.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Apr 24, 2006 11:21:21 PM


  13. Maybe Matt is not really gay and the reason he is so unhappy and bitter is that there's something gnawing inside him trying to tell him that he is living a lie. Matt, if you're interested in travelling down that ex-gay road there is an introductory quiz that might help: If you don't enjoy man cock in your ass or mouth please check the box and move on to question 2B.

    Moving right along, I recognize the temptation to find something negative in everything but Tiny Tim's wedding was ages ago and it was, after all, Tiny Tim. Tiny Tim paraded himself about as a borderline asexual feminine male oddity at a time when Ward Cleaver was still fresh in everyone’s mind. If someone makes fun of Richard Simmons in today’s environment I recognize to what degree it may be homophobia based and that degree is much less than that which begs that Richard Simmons be mocked. He intends to be annoying. It’s a nervous, unsettled energy he possesses. He begs to be made fun of as any street corner clown. Even I cringe.

    Three words: Syl vesters appearance. If you care to gauge a more appropriate contrast than the dubious one you’ve set up you then need only contrast Carson’s treatment of Tiny Tim in the 60’s with his treatment of Sylvester 20 years later in the 80’s. To the typical Carson crowd Sylvester should have been a freak to be tossed about with howls of laughter. Carson not only let him performed but invited him over afterwards. As a gay child very aware of how the world viewed gays at that time I fully expected him to be humiliated but in fact Carson treated this gay looking and acting but extremely talented person with the utmost respect and dignity and in turn the audience followed suit. I know the crowd Carson was playing to and I know he didn’t have to do that. All I knew was anger and hate towards gays whom the world then defined with GRIDS, pedophiles, etc. and in spite of any stale middle-america jokes he may have made I always appreciated him for that and it was one of the first times I saw a gay person publicly treated with respect. I was as cautiously leery of the world as I am today but in that moment it meant a great deal to me as a gay child.

    The only qualified way to mention Johnny Carson in the same breath as Imus, Kimmel, etc. is to highlight their dissimilarities rather than to paint them with the same brush of homophobia.

    There’s a guy I used to work with who was so decidedly gay, so unnaturally feminine, so militantly (not to mention hypocritically) politically gay with all the stereotypical rhetoric of the close-minded, self-righteous of someone who just can’t live outside a strictly gay environment. Everything he did was gay. His umbrella was gay, his do not disturb sign on his cubicle was made of a string of rainbow colored paper clips, his idea of diversity was demanding that his personal opinion not be challenged no matter if another black or gay person had a different point of view than he and if you didn’t tow the gay line he would snap at you as easily as he snapped whenever anyone tried to ask him to do his job. He was 40 years old and still on a 20 year long process of discovering his feminine side which by now you’d think he had trademarked and bottled. Everything that came out of his mouth was gay and intended to dare anyone to make a face or laugh inappropriately so he could make a case out of it and sue which he tried to do when he was fired for rampant and well-documented insubordination. In this large company there wasn’t a single gay person who liked him. He referred to electrical outlets as orifices, he referred to men as honey, he used only purple ink to write on pink post-it notes, he vogued during lunch to music only he could hear, he disembarked the bus like Nora Desmond waging her comeback, his cubicle looked like a tacky gay novelty shop of every tired stereotypical over zealous gay teenager would plaster all over his room the weekend of his grand coming out party.

    He was the living embodiment of decidedly bitter gay hostility defined solely by his gay sexuality. If he could have made a career out of being gay he would have but only the most wretched sufferers of gay damage would have bought his wares. When I first started that job I recognized him immediately as a potential anti-gay target because he was such a queen and I was fully prepared to defend him at my peril as I’ve risked my life in small redneck towns to protect and defend the undesirables within our own community who without a helping hand would have surly been beaten or killed. Yet within a week I came to dislike him immensely and even after a year I still never heard any of the straight guys - whom I came to be friends with even inviting them to my gay wedding - say a single offensive word about him being gay. I came to dislike him for the same reason everyone else did: BECAUSE HE WAS A FUCKING CONTRIVED PUT-ON MESS OF AN ASSHOLE!

    Contrast is best applied when you’re able to view presumably comparable scenarios in their proper context.


    Posted by: Chad Hanging | Apr 25, 2006 12:01:41 AM


  14. Hey Matt! Speak for yourself!!!

    I went through a period where I thought the same thing. Right after I came out, I dove head first into the West Hollywood pool. After a fucked-up (and fabulous) two years, I thought "Is this all there is?"

    Turns out I was wrong. That was eight years ago now. I look back at the cracked-out queen that I was and I can only laugh (and count my blessings).

    Are you sure you're tired of being gay? Maybe you're just tired? Maybe YOU should put the crack pipe down and stop sleeping around? It worked for me!

    Posted by: Stephen | Apr 25, 2006 12:28:09 AM


  15. Thank you to Jeff Whitty for writing such a powerful letter. It needs to go out to more people than just Jay Leno. I couldn't have done a better job myself. In this day and age, it's still hard to believe that gay people are mocked by supposedly liberal and open-minded people. Yes, I do have a sense of humor -- but no one will take any of us seriously on any issue if stereotypes are allowed to remain and be fodder for comedians such as this.

    I am a gay man and am not effeminate and don't possess any of the 'stereotypical' traits -- so much so, that people are often totally surprised that I am gay. (I do not see anything wrong with any man who IS effeminate and 'obviously gay' -- but that is not the point). If the stereotype is to be mocked, I don't see how any progress can be made. Obviously, if people are surprised that I am gay, it is because that they are conditioned by the stereotyope that is perpetuated and fed to them by comedians, media, etc. And that stereotype is made fun of and made to represent a joke -- us. If straight people see that gay people are actually just as diverse as they are -- and can be just the SAME as they are, except who they are attracted to, then more progress can be made. Unfortunately, Jay Leno and others are not anywhere near this. They need laughs to keep the ratings up, and unfortunately gay people are the ones to pay.

    His letter needs to be published in the NY Times, Washington Post, and every major newspaper in the country.

    Posted by: kyan | Apr 25, 2006 2:02:42 AM


  16. I seem to recall a whole bunch of y'all having a far more lighthearted view on Leno's rather stupid horse routine. 'Lighten up' was the watchcry. Wha' happen?

    Personally, I'm with those offended less by 'Tonight Show' fag jokes than by how fucking weary the program is. Leno lives under constant pressure to hang onto a dying audience; expecting civilized - or even clever - humor there is like watching Maury to better understand unwed mothers.

    Interesting story, Chad.

    Posted by: Jacko | Apr 25, 2006 8:02:44 AM


  17. WOOHOO! Incisive letter

    Posted by: patrick | Apr 25, 2006 10:05:07 AM


  18. Selective memory is often triggered by individual epiphanys, as evidenced by Chad's absurd attempt to wash away the historic record of Carson's weekly menu of mocking gays just because of his own epiphany from the treatment of Sylvester. I don't recall Carson asking Ellen Degeneris tips of muff diving either, but such exceptions were just that. Tiny Tim was catnip and caviar to Carson, who loved playing the role of Official Mocker for Mr. & Mrs. America of anything outside the "norm," and particularly of gays. If ever anyone was in a class by himself, Tim was, and regardless of what his actual sexual orientation was [he was married three times and daughter Tulip is grown with children of her own], Carson obviously booked him so often only to mock as the ultimate symbol of the poor, silly, sexless homosexual. Simmons played the same role, as he does now for Letterman et al., and his pathological need for attention and to embarrass himself did not exonerate Carson nor them. Carson [Kressley] is a screamer-come-lately.

    But back to Carson, Johnny. To say he was guiltless simply because he was not as vicious as Imus is as stupid as saying American gays shouldn't protest our treatment here just because we're not being executed as in some Arab countries. Better than the Sylvester exception, Carson's MO about the MOs [and his cowardice when confronted] is best documented by an anecdote by singer Wayne Newton—for Carson, at least, the Clay Aiken of his day.

    "I decided I'd had it with being a sissy joke, and that's when I confronted Johnny Carson. Wherever I went, I used to hear that Carson was telling gay jokes about me. I sent him messages asking him to stop. Then, one night in 1973, I was watching his show and during his monologue he said, "I saw Wayne Newton and Liberace together in a pink bathtub. What do you think that meant?" I got so incensed that I decided to do something about it ...

    Driving over, I hardly spoke a word. When I get angry I tend to be like the calm before the storm. And this thing had been building for a long time. When I walked into Carson's outer office, his secretary said, "Can I help you?" I said, "No, thank you. I think he can." I walked right past her and into Carson's office ... Carson just sat there ... shocked ... I remember every word I told Carson. I said, "I am here because I'm going through a personal dilemma in my life. I want to know what child of yours I've killed. I want to know what food of yours I've taken out of your mouth. I want to know what I've done that's so devastating to you that you persist in shooting at me with those persistent gay jokes." Carson's face went white. He said, "But Wayne, I don't write these things." I told him I'd feel better if he did and he asked me why. I said, "because at least it would mean that you're not a puppet, that you aren't just reading malicious lies written by some writer who crawled out from under a rock. It would be better if you did hate me. At least you'd have a reason for your lies. I'm telling you right now it had better stop or I'll knock you on your ass." Carson was shaken. He said, "I promise you nothing was ever intended in a malicious way. I've always been a big fan." And then he went through all this crap about how much he liked me. He just kept talking and it was obviously a nervous apology. But he never again told Wayne Newton jokes. In fact, I even did his show after that."

    And that, girlfriend, was "mighty real."

    Posted by: Leland | Apr 25, 2006 3:08:05 PM


  19. Jeff Whitty? The same Jeff Whitty who made his fame and fortune from a musical - Avenue Q - that celebrates politically incorrect humor a la "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist?"

    Excuse me???

    Posted by: Alan | Apr 25, 2006 4:57:59 PM


  20. Oh Leland. I am an optimist so I will always hope for the best from you.

    Posted by: Chad Hanging | Apr 25, 2006 7:58:26 PM


Post a comment







Trending


« «Scissor Sisters Emerging from Latest Cocoon« «