Posted by jos76 on May 31, 2008
About seven years a go, there was a new sitcom called Some of My Best Friends. The title comes from the familiar phrase that I heard so many times in college, “Some of my best friends are gay.” My read when hearing this was, “You don’t scare me. I know people like you.” The TV show starred Jason Bateman and Danny Nucci. Jason Bateman played a character named Warren who is a twenty-something writer living in New York. He is a writer who has just ended a relationship with his boyfriend. While looking for a roommate, he comes across a straight, Italian guy from Brooklyn and he decides to move in. The comedy and mayhem ensue.
The character of Warren is a normal guy for the most part, even a bit conservative. He has a friend (played by Alec Mapa) who is his more flamboyant side-kick. I have seen all seven (yes, seven) episodes of this sitcom. It only lasted a few weeks. Compared to Will and Grace, it is much better written and funnier. So, why did Will and Grace last several years while this show was cancelled after only seven episodes? My guess is that it is because the characters of Will and Jack represent what people think gay men are like and they believe the over-the-top, flamboyant, promiscuous lives that these characters lead.
The character of Warren, in my opinion, much more closely represents regular gay men who are looking for, or are in, a relationship. But, people may not be ready to accept the normalcy of a gay relationship and still choose to look at gay people as a source of comic relief. Don’t get me wrong, I think Jack and Karen are funny (the show should have been named Jack and Karen instead of Will and Grace), but this representation of gay people does not help our cause. Unfortunately, this is all that the viewing public is ready for. Maybe in a few years we can get another show about a “regular” gay character that lasts more than seven episodes.
Scene with Jack from Will and Grace
Scene from Some of My Best Friends
Posted in Friends, Fun, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: alec mapa, danny nucci, Gay, jack, jason bateman, karen, lgbt, marriage, relationship, sitcom, some of my best friends, tv, Wedding, will and grace | 1 Comment »
Posted by jos76 on May 17, 2008
We had a lot of choices with our wedding ceremony. Dac and I chose everything from the color of the chair covers to the words of our minister. As a mentioned in a previous post, we were married by Dac’s sister-in-law’s father who is a (now retired) minister in the Unitarian Universalist Chruch. He also married Dac’s brother and sister-in-law. How many families can claim that the same minister married two of the siblings in one family, let alone one of the siblings having a gay wedding?
Prior to the ceremony, Rev. F sent us several versions of same-sex and heterosexual wedding ceremonies. We looked through all of them and pieced together the best parts of all of them into our ideal ceremony. The ceremony began with Pachelbel’s Canon (played on piano and cello by friends of Dac’s from high school) as Dac and I came down the isle on the arms of our mothers. Dac went first, he’s younger. Then Dac’s mom’s best friend, CC, and another friend of ours sang Ubi Caritas to set the mood for the ceremony.
One important part of the ceremony was the very end, when the minister pronounced us married. It was so great to actually hear him say: “By the power invested in me by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I now pronounce you married.” This was a very traditional ending to a not-so-traditional ceremony, but it was very powerful to be able to make this claim in front of our family and friends.
Posted in Faith, Family, Friends, Politics, The Past | Tagged: ceremony, chair covers, Gay, gay marriage, gay wedding, lgbt, Massachusetts, minister, Pachebel's Canon, Ubi Caritas, Unitarian Universalist | 1 Comment »
Posted by jos76 on May 10, 2008
Family is so important. Growing up and dealing with teenage angst can be near impossible without the help and support of friends and, most importantly, family. Dac and I have been lucky. I do think that it is important, though, that we all understand that it is not always so easy for the young gay kid growing up in a difficult situation. These statistics are from Lamda Legal (A National Civil Rights Organization) and GLSEN (Educators Network):
Gay youth are 4.5 times more likely than non-gay peers to skip school because they feel unsafe.
31% of gay students had missed at least an entire day of school in the past month because they felt unsafe based on their sexual orientation.
Nearly one-third of LGBT students drop out of high school to escape the violence, harassment, and isolation they face there – a dropout rate nearly three times the national average.
Gay youth are 4 times as likely than their non-gay counterparts to have attempted suicide.
84% personally had been verbally harassed at school (that is, called names or threatened) because of their sexual orientation.
39.1% had been physically harassed (by being shoved or pushed) and 17% had been assaulted.
As supported as Dac and I are now, we look back at our school days and unfortunately identify with many of these statistics. I’m sure that any parents would not want this for their child. This, however, does not stop many extreme-right socially conservative politicians (Huck, Mitt, Bush, …to name a few) from working toward a school system that excludes any positive recognition of gay people.
I’m sorry if you came hoping to get something a bit lighter this week, but I saw Bill O’Reilly on TV today saying we should not “teach kids about being gay in school,” and I had to use this opportunity to show how misinformed he (and FOX news) really are.
Posted in Faith, Friends, Politics, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: bill o'reilly, drop-out, FOX, Gay, gay marriage, gay wedding, GLSEN, harassement, Lamda Leagl, lgbt, school, youth | 4 Comments »
Posted by jos76 on May 3, 2008
Once we figured out where and when our wedding was going to take place, we had to get to work on the details. We were very lucky to have many people help us with various aspects of the ceremony and the reception. We decided to use two ballrooms at a Marriott hotel about twenty minutes from our house.
One of the easier projects was deciding whom to invite. This was simple. We did not have to worry about all those extended family members that we met once when we were seven years old. We just invited all of our friends and family that have been supportive of our relationship. Dac and I are very fortunate to have the support that we have, so the list grew pretty quickly. We have both made it a priority to always work with and for people that respect us. Now, we live in Massachusetts where it is practically illegal to disrespect our legal marriage, but we have just the same been very lucky in finding employment situations in which we do not have to hide each other. Because of this, about half of the people that we invited were colleagues and our supervisors.
One day, just before the day when we had hoped to get all of the RSVPs back, Dac came home a little upset. When I inquired what the problem was, he told me that one of his co-workers told him that he would not be able to attend. This was a relatively new co-worker, but just the same one that Dac had come to know quite well and respected a great deal. When he asked him why he couldn’t make it, he replied, “I don’t believe in gay marriage.” This came as a total shock to Dac who did not see this coming. If either of us had the slightest idea that someone was not supportive, he/she was not invited.
Dac inquired further and found out that the guy was Catholic and his priest had told him that he should not attend the wedding because it was not in line with the Catholic conception of marriage. It seemed a bit odd that this person had befriended Dac and had even asked about me several times, only to withdraw his support at the last minute, based on the advice of his priest.
Needless to say, the friendship between Dac and his co-worker was never the same. However, there was no bad blood. This entire situation was just a reminder to us that no matter how much support we have, we must keep a thick skin because you never know how things might turn out.
Posted in Faith, Friends, The Past | Tagged: catholic, co-worker, Gay, gay marriage, gay wedding, legal, marriage, marriott, priest, relationship, support | Leave a Comment »