Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Okay, I loved the movie. Andrew McCarthy’s blue eyes popped in every scene. It helped that his entire wardrobe was blue. Annie Potts quirked it just right as the record shop owner. (Sigh. Remember when there were record stores?) Molly Ringwald’s whimsical fashion creations were so avant-“Project Runway”. And Duckie? I still feel sad she spurned him. If things had gone differently, he may never have had to endure becoming a Malibu roommate with a drug-addled, dwarf-bashing TV “star”. Yep, poor Duckie.

Thank you, John Hughes, but it’s time to put “Pretty in Pink” to rest. Indeed, now is the time for “Power in Pink”. Tomorrow being the last Wednesday of February is Pink Shirt Day (aka Anti-Bullying Day). Haven’t heard of it? Well, Pink Shirt Day began in Nova Scotia, Canada in 2007 and gains in recognition each year. When a male student wore a pink shirt to school five years ago, he was ridiculed by peers. In response, two high school seniors bought fifty plain pink tees and students showed up in pink clusters all over school the next day. The masses overtook the bullies, not by some act of vigilante justice, but by making a true fashion statement.

Pink Shirt Day is a day when bystanders can choose to be visible. Bullying, harassment, taunting, ridicule must stop. For all their bravado, bullies don’t have real power. Real power isn’t gained through coercion or through instilling fear. The targets of bullying also lack the power. Bullying occurs because there is a perceived imbalance of power. Bullies seek out the most vulnerable. It is the bystanders who can create change. They can speak up against the bullies. They can comfort and protect the victims. They can do the most to create a culture of not just tolerance but acceptance.

It doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter how far removed you are from the impressionable, often brutal high school years. I’ve ironed my pink shirt and I have my pink tie. In fact, I go pink once a month. The annual event raises consciousness, but like that Christmas food bank drive, it is only a start.

By all means, though, please start. Show yourself. Wear pink on Wednesday. If someone asks why, don’t cop out with some lame comment about being pretty or needing to do laundry. Let our youth know that today doesn’t have to be like yesterday. Homophobia and all kinds of bullying must end. Let them know there is hope. Indeed, show them there is power in pink.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Is there a gay way to open a bottle of ketchup? A gay way to fill the gas tank? Wipe down the kitchen counters? I suppose I could hum a Barbra Streisand song, but “The Way He Makes Me Feel” isn’t all that hummable. It’s a song for the shower.

I haven’t posted anything of late because nothing gay has come my way. I haven’t had a disappointing coffee date with someone whose destiny is to be featured on a future episode of “What Not to Wear”. I’ve overheard no one telling inappropriate gay jokes in line at one the local Safeway. And I didn’t tune in to watch Ricky Martin’s appearance on “Glee”. (Confession: I did YouTube a clip. Am I the only one who thinks our beautiful Ricky got a little carried away at the tattoo parlor? Note that “Ink it like Beckham” is not a catchphrase that has caught on.)

Sometimes life just goes on: timesuckingferrycommuteemotiondrainingworkchaostootiredtoprocesstelevisionsitcoms.

I don’t ogle at anyone in the thrice daily Starbucks line. No, I only curse (silently) all the humans standing between me and my next caffeine hit. When did it become acceptable to process $2.18 grande coffees with credit cards? And the too chatty barista? I only wish he’d shave his scruffy eyesore of a beard. (Yes, I get cranky when going through withdrawal.)

I don’t try to outrun fit guys in unitards on the treadmill beside me at the gym. In fact, there are no unitards at my gym. (That’s a good thing.) I only hit the gym on weekends. And I opt for the exercise bike instead. It’s so much more conducive to allowing me to read Writer’s Digest or, ahem, Entertainment Weekly. (What?! I can’t possibly relate to the gym’s reading options: Marie Claire or fitness rags with overtanned, oiled up, steroid-injected cover boys.)

I don’t even hit Home Depot to ponder home improvement projects. In truth, my own DIY possibilities involve gallons of paint and I’m not very motivated to freshen up the third bedroom. I never go in there anyway.

It’s not like I’ve lost my gayness. It’s just in screen saver mode. Waiting for a user. A browser will do. Still here. Not disgruntled (except during aforementioned caffeine deficits), not overjoyed. Quietly existing.

Madonna’s new CD comes out soon, doesn’t it?

What time does Anderson Cooper’s talk show air?

Maybe I should YouTube old Ricky Martin videos. Pre tattoos. Pre-“She Bangs”.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Oh, here it comes again. Valentine’s Day. My local drugstore had the displays up on New Year’s Day, but the holiday is officially in my face when my Starbucks cup has a big red heart on it. Somehow the brew seemed bitterer as I drank it. (Seriously?! Bitterer is a word? My Microsoft grammar check prefers it to more bitter. Alrighty then.)

Yes, I am not in love with Valentine’s Day. No surprise since I am not in love at all. I don’t need a day to separate me from the haves. I can feel it every day If I want to. True, this day is not about me at all. The have nots simply need to find other things to pass the day. Sudoku. Oven cleaning. Old episodes of our hero, “Mary Tyler Moore”. (She still rocks those bell bottoms.) If you’re in love, lucky you. You don’t really need a day to tell your partner how you feel, but throw in your support for Hallmark, Hershey’s and other providers. No doubt about it, I would too.

My disdain for the day came relatively late in life. Back in elementary school, I had teachers who admonished students and parents that all children in the class had to receive cards or Be Mine heart candies. Or both. My teachers taught me that Valentine’s Day is for everyone. Liars. They also colluded with my parents in feeding me lovely ideas about Santa, the Easter Bunny and that creepy bedroom imposter, the Tooth Fairy.

In high school, I learned the truth. V-Day is for the select few. In Texas, the girls who already flashed their boyfriend’s class ring and wore his letter jacket received roses, mums or balloons. Public displays of affection became more obvious as the couples took over the courtyard benches for hand holding, hugging and kissing. It was just as well that I was sexually confused back then. I didn’t stand a shot at enticing either gender with my overly enthusiastic case of acne and my white boy afro. I had a pick that I kept in my back pocket to poof it up several times a day—big on big hair. (Maybe I was harkening my inner Janis Ian as I wallowed in the words of “At Seventeen”.)

Even when I fell in love for the first time, Valentine’s proved to be a disappointment. Before going for dinner, John handed me a wrapped gift, eager for me to open it. I tried to follow mature unwrapping etiquette, tugging at the taped folds instead of savagely ripping the wrapping to examine my first ever V-D present. John beamed with anticipation. Look at him, I thought. He truly loves me. At last, Etta, at last.

I pulled back a corner of the wrapping to reveal the back of a picture frame. Yes! I’d finally reached Have status. A photo of us I could proudly display in my apartment! Uh, no. As I flipped the frame over, it was just John in the pic. In drag. From a time before we were together. Hmm. He laughed with glee. What a drag indeed.

I have only a week to wait out the holiday. There will be no online messaging, no coffee dates during the awkward interval. You don’t start something right before Valentine’s. Truth be told, holding off is not a sacrifice. It’s just part of my V-D whine.

I’ll get through it. Always do. Janis Ian, Jann Arden and Adele can keep me company. And tomorrow I’ll be ready. I’ll remember to bring my plastic mug to Starbucks and pass on the paper cup with the heart. It’s better for the environment. And my psyche.