Please keep in mind that just because I post things like this, I'm not necessarily thrilled about them. As far as I know, and I am an openly gay man last time I checked, no one has taken anything away from me yet. I still have my gay card.
I also like to think that Debra Messing's heart is in the right place, but she's missing a few pieces to the proverbial puzzle about gay men and how diverse they are. You can't blame her for that. Evidently, no one told her.
With that said...
Debra Messing has a message for America and she’s not afraid to shout it out loud and proud.
When the Will & Grace actress accepted her GLAAD Excellence in Media award, she said: ‘It’s time to make America gay again!’
You can read the rest here. There are no comments. I guess Messing wants the world to go back to the 90s when she was making tons of money and gaining tons of fame while promoting every gay stereotype there is. Or maybe not. I really don't know. It's hard to tell what someone means when they are coming from such a huge place of privilege.
Frankly, I'd like to make people like Debra Messing think twice before they speak. Or at least speak to a variety of gay men before they speak. But what do I know?
Oh wait, here's what I know...
Two Gay Men From New Hope, PA Traveling Across America With a White Poodle
Tony and I recently purchased a rental property in Palm Springs, CA, which meant we had to go out there and do some really serious renovations...fast. We didn't have much time, we wanted to get the place ready to rent quickly, so we did many of the renovations ourselves. We also travel with our dog, a little white rescue poodle, because we don't believe in boarding or pet sitters, and the best way for us to do that was to drive cross country from New Hope to Palm Springs. It was also the most convenient and economical way to go. It's about a 40 hour drive, roughly 3,000 miles.
The comment by Debra Messing sparked this part of today's post. I've been planning to write something about our trip to Palm Springs, but I've been really lazy about it. This is my own first hand experience as a gay man. I'm not getting paid by anyone to write this, I'm not getting any awards or praise from any activist organizations, and I have no reason to lie.
Even though we've both traveled the US, and Tony traveled (everywhere) regularly on business, we never actually took a road trip across America. I don't count driving up to Vermont or Provincetown because it's a day trip from New Hope and we don't stop for the night anywhere. Basically, we're used to New York or Philadelphia. New Hope is a suburb of both cities and that's our home turf. Our entire lives revolve around east coast liberal cities where most people don't care if you're gay, and to be honest we weren't sure what to expect while we were driving through some of the more conservative states in America.
In order to take the most direct route from Philadelphia to Palm Springs, we drove out to Ohio on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and dropped down to the old Route 66 once we hit Indiana. It was the most direct route to Palm Springs and we wanted to get there and get to work. Keep in mind that Palm Springs is one of the gayest places on earth...even gayer than New Hope. So when I say we were apprehensive about traveling through so many conservative states I'm not joking around.
However, here's one of the main reasons I didn't post anything about the trip sooner.
Our first stop for the night was Indiana, Mike Pence territory. When we went to sign in at the front desk of the hotel we'd booked, the guy at the desk was gay, he welcomed us to Indiana, and treated us as if we were any of his other regular hotel guests. Nothing out of the ordinary happened there. And I found the nicest little restaurant not far from the hotel...owned by a gay couple.
Our second stop was Tulsa. I'd heard a few things about Tulsa and frankly I was worried. Two gay men traveling cross country with a white poodle isn't exactly inconspicuous. However, when we checked into the hotel in Tulsa, they couldn't have treated us better if we'd been in Provincetown. In fact, there's so much attitude from the gay people who work in Provincetown I felt much more relaxed in Tulsa. Nothing out of the ordinary happened.
Our third stop was Albuquerque. It's a wonderful city and I think I could live there if I had to. I fell in love with it the minute we got inside the city limits. And again, nothing out of the ordinary happened there either. Nothing to report.
We could have driven straight through to Palm Springs from Albuquerque, but we wanted to arrive in Palm Springs early in the day on March 1, so we stopped one more time in Kingman, Arizona just to kill time. It's a small town, but absolutely wonderful. The people, the little restaurants, and even the local drug store. Again, nothing out of the ordinary happened. We were treated just like everyone else and no discrimination whatsoever.
We stopped several times over the course of the road trip just like everyone else in America. I found the best fudge ever in "Ozarkland." I had to get a few of those touristy "Route 66" items they sell in all the gift shops. We also stopped for food, snacks, gas, and at rest areas, and nothing out of the ordinary happened. Of course we weren't wearing signs on our backs that said we were gay, but we both wore our wedding bands and made no attempt to hide the fact that we are gay.
So the main reason I didn't post anything sooner about this cross country road trip is because...nothing out of the ordinary happened. As a writer I feel a little guilty now posting this because it's so boring. Of course Tony thought I was driving too fast and he gripped the handle over his head and screamed a few times...but nothing out of the ordinary happened.
I do know there's still a lot of discrimination out there, and I do know first hand the world for gay people can be difficult at best sometimes, but I also know that two gay men with a white poodle can take a cross country road trip through America and not experience any discrimination whatsoever. So I'm not sure what Debra Messing is talking about when she says she wants to make America gay again, but I do know that I personally experienced a good deal of America this year and I met some of the most wonderful people ever in some of the least likely places.
And, the road trip back to New Hope from Palm Springs was just as enjoyable. We stayed in basically the same cities, but in different hotels, and never once felt as if we were being discriminated against. We met other gay people all over America. I almost wish I had a deep, emotional discrimination story to share with you, but unfortunately, I don't. Next time we drive out, and we will, if there is a discrimination story I'll be more than happy to share it. Maybe Debra Messing will come along for the ride and learn a few things. She's more than welcome, as long as she's not a backseat driver. (Smile)
The photo above is the place where we stayed in Kingman, Arizona. A small town, but the nicest people ever. And, please excuse the casual way this post is written. I wrote it quickly and did my best.
Not All Gay Novels Have Sex