Outspoken

article placeholder

Faggot: From schoolyard taunt to America’s most expensive word

Playwright and writer Topher PayneOne of the things I’m really gonna miss about Oprah is her unparalleled agility with a public shaming. Ms. Winfrey had a knack for bringing unsuspecting public figures on her program, thinking they were there to plug their memoir/project/plastic surgery nightmare. The conversation would breeze along, then it’d take an unexpected turn, as it would slowly come to light that Oprah was very disappointed in you.

There are few experiences, I would imagine, more painful than realizing you’ve disappointed Oprah. Back in Bible times, God would express disappointment through burning bushes and worldwide floods. These days, God subjects you to an Oprah Shaming, and the person on the receiving end likely wishes they could just be turned into a pillar of salt and be done with it.

article placeholder

Outspoken: Matthew Mitcham, Chaz Bono, David Mixner and more…

Lesbian wedding on Grey's Anatomy

“I want them to stay on the show, and you can’t have two amazing characters without throwing a little conflict in there. But right now they have reached a very happy place that I think we’ll hang onto for a while.”

—“Grey’s Anatomy” writer Stacy McKee, who wrote the recent episode where doctors Callie and Arizona tie the knot, on what the future holds for the female couple. (Eonline.com, May 4)

“Re-writing my fav Shania Twain song... Any man that tries Touching my behind He’s gonna be a beaten, bleedin’, heaving kind of guy.”

—Country star Blake Shelton on May 4 via Twitter, revising the Shania Twain lyrics, “Any man of mine better walk the line/ Better show me a teasin’ squeezin’ pleasin’ kinda time.” Shelton has apologized, saying “when it comes to gay/lesbian rights or just feelings… I love everybody.” (Detroit Free Press, May 6)

article placeholder

Ten years after cancer diagnosis, a few thoughts on survival

Playwright and writer Topher PayneWhen I was 21, I went to the doctor because there was a problem with my balls. Men do not go to the doctor; it’s not ingrained in us. But a man will go to the doctor if there’s an issue with his junk, because we’re very protective of that area.

I came back with a diagnosis of Stage Three Lymphoma. That means it started in one location, and was on the move. Stage Four means it’s everywhere. There is no Stage Five.

Science says we know more about cancer than we used to. We understand how cells metastasize, how to detect it earlier, how to fight it faster. This sounds reassuring, but as a slasher movie geek, I know that giving the killer a more elaborate backstory doesn’t change the motive. It kills because that’s what it was designed to do.

There’s no logical plan of attack. People with Stage Four go on to have healthy lives. People who catch it at Stage One will be inexplicably resistant to treatment, and dead in 90 days. You can’t predict it.

article placeholder

King & Spalding controversy shows danger of basing our movement on marketing

Once upon a time, it was hard to get companies to support LGBT organizations. They worried they would lose their non-gay customers if they were open about wanting gay ones.

So we got smart: We showed how much discretionary income same-gender couples without kids had. Never mind that it was less than opposite-gender couple without kids, it was still a good argument.

Not only did it give the marketing teams cover, it had the added benefit of being true: We were a valuable target market. “The color of diversity,” we would say, “is green.”

As some of the big companies came out as supporters, their employees came out as LGBT. Then their friends and family members started coming out as LGBT-supportive. Visibility was shifting every landscape. Next thing you know, 20 years later, we not only have friends in high places, we have our own people there —running companies, winning election to Congress and hosting major TV news shows.

article placeholder

Outspoken: Rapper Lil B, Pat Robertson, Rachel Maddow and more…

Rapper Lil B responds to controversy over his latest CD title

“I’m very gay, but I love women. I’m not attracted to men in any way. … But yes I am gay, I’m so happy. I’m a gay, heterosexual male. … I got major love for the gay and lesbian community, and I just want to push less separation.”

—Rapper Lil B on why he is titling his next album “I’m Gay,” despite negative reaction and even threats from fans. (MTV News, April 21)

“I’m sure other people in the business have considered reasons why they’re doing what they’re doing, but I do think that if you’re gay you have a responsibility to come out.”

—MSNBC news show host Rachel Maddow, on other television news anchors who are rumored to be gay but are not open about it. (The Guardian, April 25)