Yesterday Barack Obama became the first president ever to mention gay rights in an inaugural address.
In what was the first inaugural address to even use the word "gay", Obama reaffirmed his turn of support for same-sex marriage.
While delivering a passage on equal rights, the president said, “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.”
“It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began,” he continued. “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law. For if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”
I watched the address on the news last night, as well are the inaugural poem delivered by Richard Blanco, a Latino man who was the first openly gay poet selected for the job, and I was moved. Visibility is so important as the world evolves and becomes a more equal and respectful place.
And on an equally gay note... didn't First Lady Michelle Obama look absolutely amazing? The Jason Wu dress, the new hair, wowza....
I don't remember who recommended The Paternity Test to me, but whoever did I owe them a thank-you. What I thought was a cute light read about an upscale urban gay couple trying to have a baby a la The New Normal --- but, uh, hopefully funnier --- turned out to be much more substantial and involving.
A thirty-something gay couple, writer Pat and airline pilot Stuart, leave busy New York for quiet Cape Cod, running away from Stuart's serial infidelity and towards baby making. Looking for a surrogate, and after interviewing a bunch of unsuitable candidates, they discover Debora, a charming Brazilian woman married to an American, Danny. Debora and Danny have a young daughter, and of course their own drama behind the scenes.
The Paternity Test is about the comical and serious adventures of Debora’s many insemination attempts. It also touches on gay marriage, monogamy and infidelity, homophobia, Jewish identity, urban vs suburban living, and even the Holocaust and Jewish continuity.
Lowenthal’s snappy dialogue moves the story along and reveals complexities among the characters, and Pat’s first-person narration provides insight into the often conflicting motivations behind parenthood. While I cannot relate at these people wanting babies at all, I found it fascinating to peek into the mind of a gay man wanting a baby.
Pat's misgivings and insecurities cause a host of complications and Pat’s relationship with Stu is put to the test. The other story lines about Debora and Danny's marriage, and Stu’s sister’s struggles with fertility, are parallels to the main plot, where issues of family, identity, desire, and responsibility collide.
Michael Lowenthal's characters are complex, flawed, entertainingly ignorant of their flaws, and real, complicated people. Something I really like aboutThe Paternity Test was that I did not figure out where it was going. There are some big twists, which isn't exactly what you expect when reading a character-driven novel.
There is more to The Paternity Test than meets they eye (hey, there is a pun in there somewhere)... this is a poignant tale of a relationship going through challenging times, mixed in with good laughs and unexpected plot twists. Read it.
Jodie Foster is a two-time Oscar winner, a role model of child star growing up right, an acting icon and a pretty great director too. And as she said over and over again last night, yeah she is 50.
Foster gives great acting - The Accused was devastating and smart, Silence of the Lambs was creepy and smart, Contact was epic and smart, even Sommersby was touching and semi-smart. Granted, Nell blew, but we all have our missteps.
Long rumored to be a lesbian, she has been quoted as referring to her former partner, the woman she has two kids with, but never publicly came out. Until last night at the Golden Globes. Sort of, maybe came out.
Back in 2008, gay magazine Out ran a cover titled The Glass Closet with pics of Jodie Foster and Anderson Cooper, saying was long overdue for them to come out (Cooper came out in 2012).
Foster's not coming out always bugged me... her crappy movies in later years (hello Flight Plan) also bugged me... her dogged defence of homophobic anti-semite Mel Gibson really bugged me... so lately not so much a fan.
In a much talked about seven-minute speech (Hey, I tweeted about it all night), Foster "came out" as single, prompted the crowd to cheer her on, said she didn't have to come out as she had a million years ago, talked about the good old days when privacy mattered, said she didn't want to be the kind of star with a fragrance and reality show, paid touching tribute to some of the people in her life, and said something about magic sticks and making sounds that no one hears... what the hell, Jodie Foster?
Girls star Lena Dunham called the speech "mind-blowingly beautiful"; Zero Dark Thirty's Jessica Chastain called it "incredible"; I am more on the big gay fence. But did she come out? Or refer to being already out? And she did not use the words "Gay" or "Lesbian" even once. When a reporter asked if this was a coming out speech, Foster replied that the speech "speaks for itself"... uh, no.
I was all over the place with this speech -- I was confused, then I was annoyed she didn't fully come out, then I was touched by the parts about her mom and her ex, and now I think I am unsatisfied -- Foster is one of the most famous women anywhere, and she could have stepped up to the opportunity and said "I'm gay", which millions of kids would have heard. Some very scared very lonely closeted gay kids... and she didn't. I am not impressed.
I somehow feel that as a member of the gay community I should applaud a mega-star coming out. After all, visibility is important. However, I am not doing that. Jodie Foster came out all wrong... she sounded bitter, she said she wants privacy but there she is on prime time TV, she mocked people who come out a different way.
Yeah, we all hate fucking Honey Boo Boo. Big deal. You don't have to do a trashy reality show to come out... look at Ellen DeGeneres or Neil Patrick Harris or Anderson Cooper or Lance Bass or Jim Parsons to see it done right. Those people are braver than you --- at least show them some respect.
Foster tried to be cute by "Coming out as single" but then didn't come out as gay, she acted bitter that she was expected to come out, like it is beneath her. She mocked people who publicly come out... hey lady, I know standing up and saying "I'm gay" is difficult, I have done it. More than once. But it is powerful for anyone who does it. And with someone as big a stage as Foster has, it would be even more powerful.
I found this fun site, Glass Giant, where you can customize your own old-time Wanted poster... upload the pic, choose the name, and the crime, and voila.... another totally practical use for an old Halloween pic of the world's cutest canine!
Someone who hasn't been on our culture vulture radar for quite awhile, early American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino, is back on gaydar this week and not in a good way. Fantasia, who has a truly amazing voice, won an early round of idol, released a few albums, hit number one with the single I Believe, won a Grammy, was on Broadway, had a tabloid-topping affair with a married man, attempted suicide, had a second baby, and then pretty much vanished off the radar, hopefully to fix up her life. And now she is back, with this Instagram posting:
So the world has gone mad, we are doing thing the bible says we should not be, weed is legal, gay marriage is legal, and so on.... what the fuck? Since the inflammatory post appeared, Barrino’s account drew the ire of angry fans, who posted words of disappointment on the singer’s feed.
A quick response from her management was released: Comments made by Ms. Barrino through her Intragram account were recently taken far out of context, and the purpose of this release is to set the record straight. Ms. Barrino is not now, nor has she ever been an opponent of the LGBT community. She has supported and performed at numerous events that are sponsored by the LGBT community. Whether it’s through a live performance or placement on social media, Ms. Barrino uses every opportunity to reach out and connect with her fans, all of her fans.”
Fantasia later deleted the post, and took to Instagram with a pink photo lined with Hello Kitty images and a rebuke of Internet bloggers: It has been brought to my attention that something I said was taken out of context... I, Fantasia Monique Barrino, don’t judge anyone because I don’t want to be judged. The gay community is one of my largest supporters. I support the gay community as they support me. Bloggers please stop misrepresenting the facts.
Really? We misinterpreted your words? They seem pretty clear to me. Gay marriage shows the world has gone mad... oh no, that's not offensive at all.
Okay you are clarifying and saying it is about how people shouldn't judge... not sure I see a solid logic chain there, but let's run with it... you are angry that people are judging you. Who is judging you? Simon Cowell eight years ago? Gays who paid to see your Broadway musical? Singers who still actually generate hits?
I am not buying your explanation. But hey I could be wrong, maybe you aren't a homophobe... but then you are a moron. Some people should just stay off the internet.