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Hurting Mom (or) My First Gay Christmas

There is so much distance in my mother’s eyes that I fear she may never come close to me again. Circling her stare are wrinkles of pain, betrayal even, and in her hand she holds the watch.

It was December of my senior year of high school, and things had calmed down considerably after my having burst forth from the closet that Fall, wearing go-go boots to school dances and openly flaunting my twenty-something boyfriend. But these were all healthy choices, I told myself.

If there was nothing wrong with being gay, then there should be nothing defiant about letting my family know about it. And my friends. And my teachers. And people at church. Never mind that we lived in Bossier City, Louisiana. Or that it was 1977.

But there was something about that look in my mother’s eyes, in that moment. It took all my arrogance to protect myself from it, to seek refuge from the shocked stare, the battle in her face between heartbreak and fury. She was squeezing tightly to the silver watchband, and her hand shook imperceptibly.

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Outspoken: Johnny Depp, Mila Kunis and more…

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow

“When I sit here and I hear adulterers and womanizers and folks cheating on their wives and down-low brothers saying they are going to vote against this [civil unions] bill, it turns my stomach — the hypocrisy dripping in this chamber right now. We know what you do at night!”

— Illinois State Sen. Rickey Herndon (D-Chicago) as the Illinois Senate debated a bill to offer civil unions to gay couples, which passed Dec. 1. The governor has pledged to sign it into law. (Queerty.com, Dec. 1)

“That means the next TSA official that gives you an enhanced pat-down could be a practicing homosexual secretly getting pleasure from your submission.”

Eugene Delgaudio, a member of the Loudoun County (Va.) Board of Supervisors and president of the conservative group Public Advocate of the United States, in an email denouncing the TSA’s inclusive non-discrimination statement (WTOP, Nov. 30)

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Outspoken: Pope Benedict, Jim Carrey, David Letterman and more…

Pope Benedict eases Vatican's stance on condoms

"In the light of this broad and profound vision of human sexuality and the problems it currently faces, the Pope reaffirms that ‘the Church does not of course consider condoms to be the authentic and moral solution’ to the problem of AIDS."

— Statement from the Vatican after Pope Benedict said in an interview that condoms, which the Catholic Church bans, may be appropriate for HIV prevention in certain situations like male prostitutes. (NationalPost.com, Nov. 22)

“It was a very important statement that voters made, a statement that resonated across the country and one that I think will give legs to a larger movement over the next few years.”

— Former and possibly future presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, also a Fox commentator, on Iowa voters ousting Nov. 2 three of the seven judges who approved gay marriage in the state. (On Top Magazine, Nov. 22)

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Outspoken: Katy Perry, Sir Elton John, Sir Ian McKellen and more…

Musician Katy Perry

“After a hurricane comes a rainbow.”

— Lyric from “Firework,” the new Katy Perry song that includes two boys kissing in the music video. The New York Times noted the current string of gay inclusive pop songs. (New York Times, Nov. 5)

“It will completely get rid of Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’ as the gay anthem.”

— Sir Elton John on the title track to Lady GaGa’s new album, “Born this Way,” set to be released in early 2011. (Entertainment Weekly via the New York Times, Nov. 5)

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Won’t you be my neighbor?

Playwright and writer Topher Payne

Our interactions with the real-life crazy person next door reached Situation Critical this week. Anita’s screams over our fence grew from the usual “Stop putting listening devices under my house,” to the new “Stop sneaking into my house and disabling my security system.”

While I could appreciate the impressive set of spy skills Anita is fully convinced we possess, she capped off the new list of offenses with death threats. I called my husband at work.

“So, Crazy Pants just threatened to murder us. And Daisy. She said she’s gonna kill Daisy.”

“Oh, Jesus. What did you say?”

“I was pretty composed until she said she’s gonna kill the dog. Then I lost my cool a little.”

“Call the police, Topher.”

“Come home. You do it.”

“No,” said Preppy. “We need to let them handle this. Hang up and call 911 right now.”