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Frank Bruni: Visibility Helped Change Minds in New York

Openly gay New York Times op-Ed columnist Frank Bruni writes about what he believes is one of the biggest reasons marriage equality finally made it's way to New York state: those who once opposed same-sex marriage had their minds changed by the gays and lesbians in their lives:

Bruni "Why such widespread backing, from such surprising quarters? One major reason is that the wish and push to be married cast gay men and lesbians in the most benign, conservative light imaginable, not as enemies of tradition but as aspirants to it. In the quest for integration and validation, saying 'I do' to 'I do' is much more effective — not to mention more reflective of the way most gay people live — than strutting in leather on a parade float. We’re not trying to undermine the institution of marriage, a task ably handled by the likes of Tiger Woods, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Edwards and too many other onetime role models to mention. We’re paying it an enormous compliment."

"But an even bigger reason is how common it now is for Americans to realize that they know and love people who are gay. AIDS had a lot to do with that. This month is the 30th anniversary of the disease’s emergence, a ghastly dawn chronicled in the current Broadway revival of 'The Normal Heart.' And it’s worth pausing to note how drastically the epidemic raised the stakes of secrecy and silence, pulling homosexuals from the shadows. If we wanted people to take up arms against a scourge associated primarily with gay men, we had to make them appreciate how many gay men they were close to."

"Over the last quarter-century the love that dared not speak its name turned into a veritable motor mouth, to a point where the average American, according to an astonishing Gallup Poll last month, thinks that about 25 percent of the population is homosexual. Hardly. But that perception underscores how visible gay people have become. And familiarity changes everything."

Read the entire piece here.


Frank Bruni to Be First Gay NYT Op-Ed Columnist in Paper's History

Longtime NYT writer Frank Bruni is moving to the op-ed pages to write an anchor column there, according to the paper's Media Decoder blog:

Bruni “This column, which will be a new anchor feature of the section, will be a sharp, opinionated look at a big event of the last week, from a different or unexpected angle, or a small event that was really important but everyone seems to have missed, or something entirely different,” [Andrew M. Rosenthal, editor of the Opinion Pages] said. “It will fast become a destination for our readers with Frank at the keyboard.”

He added that Mr. Bruni would also write a column one other day of the week, most likely Thursday.

Mr. Bruni, 46, is the first gay op-ed columnist in The Times’s 160-year history. He said he would take on a wide variety of subjects in his writing.

Bruni has covered presidential campaigns for the paper and served as food columnist for five years.

Frank Bruni Named Times Op-Ed Columnist [nyt]


Towleroad Guide to the Tube #527

BILL O'REILLY: Jon Stewart has gone off the rails.

THE COVE: A new documentary about dolphin killing in Japan.

FRANK BRUNI: The former NYT restaurant critic discusses his aliases.

BRUNI II: Salon's Kerry Lauerman interviews Bruni about his anonymity and weight loss.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.


News: Harry Potter, Jamaica, Frank Bruni, Jiu Jitsu, John Barrowman

 road

Walter Cronkite dies at 92.

Road Episcopal Church seeking growth through "inclusivity".

Harrypotter

RoadGay overtones in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince?

Road WATCH: Cyndi Lauper and Lil' Kim deliver Nelson Mandela a birthday performance of "Time After Time".

Road Former Lt. Dan Choi speaks at premiere of Silent Partners, a mini-doc on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", in L.A.

Road NYT restaurant critic Frank Bruni on his unhealthy relationship with food: "I’d read some of the articles [on Karen Carpenter. I’d actually taken a weird sort of comfort from them, because they included details like her possible use of ipecac to make herself vomit. I’d never even heard of ipecac before. The articles included pictures of her looking cadaverous. I’d need several three-day fasts or two weeks of protein shakes to close in on bony."

Road Paula Abdul plays hardball: demands $20 million for Idol return.

ReadRoad Graffiti artist imploring New Orleans to READ.

Road Registered nurse in Australia calls for elimination of gays: “I certainly wouldn’t want him giving me my dose of morphine."

Road Coalition of groups opposing 2010 marriage ballot measure to over turn Proposition 8 in California grows: "The Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club -- the nation's oldest LGBT Demo club -- thinks 2012 would be better, too. After hearing a presentation from San Francisco pollster Amy Simon this week, the club's board decided -- after much debate -- that there might not be enough time to right the wrongs of the last campaign."

JamaicaRoad Gay-bashing thrives in Jamaica: "It is impossible to say just how common gay bashing attacks like the one against Sherman are in Jamaica — their tormentors are sometimes the police themselves. But many homosexuals in Jamaica say homophobia is pervasive across the sun-soaked island, from the pulpit to the floor of the Parliament."

Road Male model fix: Evandro Soldati.

Road The homoerotic undertones of mixed martial arts: "Brazilian jujitsu doesn't just look like gay sex, it feels an awful lot like it too."

Road CBS censoring Big Brother 11 slurs. Houseguest: 'If someone's a racist, they should be portrayed as one. You shouldn't edit it to make them look good.'

Road South Florida lesbian couple celebrates 70 years together: "In 1939 Leto and Magazzu met at a party in New York. Caroline thought Venera was stylish. Venera thought Caroline was funny. After a courtship of about a year, Magazzu, a teacher, and Leto, a telegraph operator, moved into a tiny house in New York. They spent most of their lives there, with only close family members and closer friends knowing about their relationship. Magazzu, a former Army medic, said she often fought the urge to tell others, but feared what  'outsiders' would think. She believes society back then was more receptive to two women living together than two men -- or at least less inquisitive."

Road Angela's Ashes novelist Frank McCourt dies.

Road WATCH: New trailer for Where the Wild Things Are.

BarrowmanRoad Actor John Barrowman walks away from on-set 80 mph car crash.

Road NYT on Torchwood: Children of Earth: "Russell T Davies, the Welsh writer and producer who revived “Doctor Who” and created 'Torchwood,' has thrived by taking the low-rent, knockabout style of the original “Doctor Who” and giving it a nighttime-soap-opera gloss. This has meant, for one thing, employing much better-looking actors...It has also meant amping up the sexual tension and pushing against some of the same boundaries Mr. Davies did in his breakout show, 'Queer as Folk.' On 'Torchwood' Capt. Jack Harkness (Mr. Barrowman) and his aide-de-camp, Ianto Jones (Mr. David-Lloyd), are now a full-fledged, kiss-on-the-lips couple."


New York Times Restaurant Critic Frank Bruni Comes Out?

New York Times chief restaurant critic Frank Bruni's review of Robert's Steakhouse at the Penthouse Executive Club, which offers female strippers in addition to what Bruni says are some fine steaks, reveals something about Bruni many have suspected and speculated about, but according to some food bloggers has never been listed on the menu until now.

BruniBruni's review is peppered with passages like this which describes his entrance with three apparently like-minded friends:

"We were strangers to such pulchritudinous territory, less susceptible to the scenery than other men might be, more aroused by the side dishes than the sideshow: underdressed, overexposed young women in the vestibule, by the coat check, at the top of the red-carpeted stairs up to the restaurant, on the stage that many of the restaurant’s tables overlook."

And if there was any interest in strip, it was of the steak variety:

"She said she was running low on cabernet. I took the cue and asked if I could buy her a fresh glass. 'Yes,' she said. 'And you can pour it on my toes.' Didn’t happen. And when one of her sorority sisters sidled up to us to pose a question not commonly uttered in fine-dining establishments — 'Is there anyone I can get naked for?' — the response was silence. On this visit to Robert’s and on subsequent ones, I was derelict in my duty, failing to sample much of what the restaurant had to offer."

And Bruni's end note:

"With a job like this one the learning curve is endless, and it takes you in directions you never expected to go."

Bruni is currently in a major feud with restaurant mogul Jeffrey Chodorow after Bruni gave his Kobe Steak House a "zero star" review. Chodorow took out a full page ad in the Times slamming Bruni. Wonder how Chodorow will feel once he sees that a steakhouse in a strip club beat his meat by one star.

Where Only the Salad Is Properly Dressed [nyt]


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