Friday, July 25, 2014

Edie Windsor; Eric Stonestreet: Bossy, Fussy, Bottom; HIV Cures; Free Gay Excerpt: Small Town Romance Author

Edie Windsor

When I think of the SCOTUS ruling in June 2013 I'll always think about how this moved gay marriage forward, and I'll always associate it with Edie Windsor. I'm linking to an article about Windsor where she talks about how she felt earlier in her life, pre-Stonewall. She wasn't an activist at the time, but you might be surprised to learn what actually changed her life in many ways.

'When Stonewall happened, I was really this ignorant middle class lady who said "I don't see why I have to be identified with those queens,"' Windsor said in an interview posted Thursday (24 July) by Marriage Equality USA. But the woman whose lawsuit brought down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) soon realized how heroic the drag queens who took a stand against police raids were.

'I mean those queens changed my life,' she says. 'And I saw them and I loved what I saw. It was the beginning of my sense of community.'

It's not a long piece, but there's another quote about self-esteem that I found personally motivating.

You can read more here.

 
Bossy, Fussy, Bottom

Eric Stonestreet, the straight actor who plays gay character Cam on the TV show Modern Family, recently made a few interesting comments about his character and how he's received in real life. The fans expect to see "flamboyant" Cam and they think there's something wrong with Stonestreet when they don't get that in real life. Eric Stonestreet describes his character as a bossy, fussy, bottom.

'I get a lot of questions like, "Are you not feeling well?"' the actor tells HuffPost Live. 'I am not as fun (as Cam). I'm fun in a different way.

People are generally disappointed when they meet me because they really want to meet Cam.'

Imagine how disappointed these people would be if they met the many types of gay guys in person. You know, the kind that isn't portrayed on TV sitcoms and just lives his life like everyone else. James Franco should make a documentary about that.

In any event, the article goes on to say Stonestreet is a "type" and he gets hit on. I'm not sure what "type" he is (bossy, fussy, bottom?) and I'm not even going to try to figure it out. A Facebook friend of mine recently said things like this make her uncomfortable. I think that's the perfect word for this. Besides, it's Friday and I'm looking forward to the weekend, and the next part of this post is far more interesting and honest.

You can read the rest here.

Side note: There is a word for when people speak with prejudice against women. It's called misogyny. Sometimes it's blatant and other times it's subtle. I wish there were a word for when this happens to gay men.

HIV Cures

Here's a link to a slightly controversial op-ed piece that I saw in a Philadelphia publication. I'm not going to comment much on this one because it's really an opinion and I think it's important to respect all opinions with things of this nature.

Thanks to those four little letters — “cure” — many journalists who have no experience or strong understanding about HIV/AIDS are writing about HIV/AIDS and society is yet again unfurling the “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” banner. HIV/AIDS is about to be over! Will the last the person out please shut off the lights? Thanks.

I often find this to be true as well. I've been posting here about a friend with HIV since 2010. I've learned a great deal about HIV, ARV drugs, and insurance issues over the years through being this person's POA. And even I don't get into any really strong HIV posts here on the blog because I don't feel qualified enough to discuss it in depth. I get very annoyed when I see those who know less than I know writing about it in an almost glib manner like the journalists mentioned in the quote above.

In any event, you can read more here. I think it's an interesting piece and I also appreciate the fact that the author speaks candidly about being HIV positive himself.

Free Gay Excerpt: Small Town Romance Author

Here's a scene from the end of the book, in raw unedited form. No spoilers, but this leads to one of the most emotional scenes in the novel. This gay novel is over 113,000 words and covers a twenty year span. It's set in several places, including Iowa and Provincetown, MA.

  Small Town Romance Writer

 
by Ryan Field


 
The weather that weekend in Provincetown was perfect for early September, which was one reason why Travis wanted to spend a few days there. Although the height of the summer season has warm sunny days, by September the bugs are gone, the crowds have gone home, and the atmosphere was as romantic as it can get on Cape Cod.

            During the days they were in P’town, they walked all the way out to the dunes and sunbathed nude. The annoying federal park rangers also stop patrolling the beaches by then and there was more freedom for people to just enjoy being themselves. During the height of the season the rangers would patrol the farthest stretches of beach hoping to find nude sunbathers they can ticket, and it’s almost always gay men they profile and target. Travis had seen this happen more than once and he’d stopped going to the dunes during the height of the summer season for that reason.

            At night they went to dinner at Travis’s favorite restaurants and then they returned to the guest house to sit in the hot tub and talk to a few of the other guests. Gay men from all over the world traveled to Provincetown that time of year, and they met a guy from Africa, a guy from Vancouver, and another guy from Cupertino. After that, they went to their suite and made love as much as Scottie wanted to make love. And in the early mornings, Travis went up to a widow’s walk at the top of the building where they were staying so he could sit alone, count his blessings, and watch the ocean.

            The only thing they didn’t do during that short vacation was walk by Travis’s house in the West End. He didn’t want to see strangers living in his home, and as long as the lesbian couple paid their rent on time he didn’t want to know what they were doing or with whom they were doing it. This was one of those times when he wished he could write a trashy commercial book like Ethan’s. If he’d been able to do that he wouldn’t have had to rent his home out to anyone. He would have just closed it for the winter and left it empty.

            Scottie said something very endearing about this Travis would never forget. Travis had just finished telling Scottie why he didn’t want to walk by his home, and Scottie said, “It won’t be like that forever. I promise you. When I’m a doctor and we have two good incomes, you’ll never have to rent that house out to anyone ever again.”

            It would have been the perfect weekend if Travis hadn’t received a phone call from the lesbian couple who had rented his house, on Monday afternoon. They had no idea he was even in Provincetown. They thought they were calling his cell phone and he was in Iowa. Evidently, the air conditioner on the first floor wasn’t working and they wanted to buy a new one and submit the bill to Travis. The air conditioner was only about two years old and Travis had never used it more than two or three times. The reason he’d never had central air conditioning installed was because he’d never needed it. Provincetown nights always grew cool with an ocean breeze, and he preferred the windows open during the day while he worked. So he’d decided to put one good strong air conditioner on the second floor, and one of the first. Both kept two thousand square foot Cape Cod cool when he needed air conditioning.

            At first, it didn’t sound like anything too serious. He figured the lesbian couple would get the new air conditioner and he’d be done with it. But when he talked to them over the phone from the guest house, and he heard they wanted to submit a bill for two thousand dollars, he clenched his jaw and said, “Don’t bother. I’m in town this weekend. I’ll go down to the bottom of the cape and I’ll get the new air conditioner and I’ll pay a friend to have it installed.”

            His aggressive tenants seemed surprised, if not insulted by his reply. But Travis was the landlord and the lease stated he had to supply an air conditioner, not a two thousand dollar air conditioner for two spoiled, elitist dentists from Boston who didn’t have to worry about money.

            When he hung up, Scottie asked, “What are you going to do?”

            “I’ll have to make a few calls,” Travis said, shrugging in a serious way. He had to ask a good friend to drive him to the bottom of the cape to a hardware store where he’d been a regular customer for a long time. He knew they would give him the best deal on the cape. He knew the owners on a first name basis. But first he had to call the store to make sure they had an air conditioner in stock.

            After he hung up with the store, he glanced at Scottie and shrugged again. “They have one in stock, but it’s after five o’clock and they close at six. I’ll have to wait until tomorrow morning. They said they would open up early for me, around eight o’clock.”

            “But we’re supposed to leave tomorrow morning,” Scottie said. “We have an early flight out of Boston.” The disappointment in his voice was evident.

            “I know that,” Travis said. “And I hate to do this, but I can’t let those two tenants go without an air conditioner. It wouldn’t be fair to them. And I’m not going to pay two thousand dollars for the one they want. You’ll just have to go to LA without me, and I’ll get a later flight and meet you there late tomorrow night.”

            “We’ll both stay and take a later flight,” Scottie said. “I don’t want to go to LA without you. It wouldn’t be right. I’ll feel uncomfortable.”

            “But you’ve never been there, and I’d like you to at least have some time to see what it’s like. And I know Lance and Ethan will take good care of you until I get there.” He kissed Scottie and smiled. “You’ll be in good hands, trust me. And I’ll try to be there in time for Ethan’s party tomorrow night. I promise.”

            “I just feel so bad now,” Scottie said. “What if you can’t switch your ticket?”

            “We’ll take it in steps and see how things work out.”
            As it turned out, Travis had no problem canceling his flight early the next morning and booking another later that afternoon. He hired a cab to pick Scottie up very early on Tuesday morning to drive him to Boston because the ferry didn’t leave that early and he didn’t want Scottie taking the small plane from P’town airport to Boston. He’d never trusted those small planes and he wouldn’t even take them himself. He often swore he would swim to Boston before he’d fly in a small plane.

            When Scottie put his bags in the trunk of the taxi the next morning, it was still dark outside. Travis held him in his arms and kissed him goodbye in the middle of Carver Street. “Call me when you get to LA,” he said. “And have a safe flight. I love you so much.”



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