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on 10/26/2011 - 10:03 am
If you travel down the well-known strip of gay clubs in Nashville, you are sure to find a renewed sense of vitality. The facades are becoming more festive and the turnover of establishments seems to be evening out. I was fortunate enough to take a tour of the bars during the day, when the hustle and bustle of weekend drag shows was just getting underway. While the clubs seemed to be very demure in the middle of the afternoon, the pictures I saw after the weekend proved to be very different. The ambiance was set by the garage doors that opened to the street and the pristine element of “cool” was seeping out the doors. I wanted to stay, even if I would be out of my element, just to see the dancing/drag event. The pictures would have to be enough.
One thing that gays and straights often agree on, however, is that gay and lesbian bars can be a fun time for everyone. I have been to Lipstick Lounge, the most popular lesbian bar in Nashville, and us straighties were welcomed with open arms (hugs that I later learned were considered a tease. But I love to hug!!! Who knew...) It was karaoke night, matter of fact, which added to the fun and group building. On the flip side, I also love to go to the straight bars with my gay friends so that they can tell me which cute boys are batting for the other team. I disagree with them on all accounts, since my “gaydar” is less than accurate, but they are usually sure beyond a doubt.
So out of curiosity, I set off to find the three best, most voted upon gay spots in the country. I was pleased to see that Mary’s in Atlanta was at the top of the list. Since my corporate headquarters is in Midtown, a trendy gay-friendly part of Atlanta, I instantly felt a sense of pride. Apparently, Mary’s is a kitschy watering hole with karaoke and underwear twister events, just to name a few. Akbar club in LA was a close second. On the edge of Sunset Boulevard, a disco and a juke box are just two features that add to the charming atmosphere for the LGBTQ’s and their straight buddies. Last but not least, Metropolitan in Brooklyn, NY brings in men and women, has tons of fun music, and welcomes groups of friends for a night of laissez-faire conversation.
In case my straighty readers aren’t sure of the lingo, let me explore a few of these terms a little further. A drag queen is a man who dresses as a woman, typically a well-known caricature female, for the purpose of entertaining. I have been to one drag show and let me tell you, some of these men are absolutely beautiful. I left the club understanding how a woman could feel a little threatened, simply from the bodacious bodies and gorgeous hair (outfits, etc) of these performers. The singers and dancers were so much fun to watch, though, as they strutted their stuff like no other.
A gay bar, as the name states, is a place for drinking that caters primarily to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender crowd. Not to forget the questioning, the straights and the wannabe’s, gay bars typically appeal to those who are ready for a wild night out. Of course, gay bars aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. From what I’ve experienced, nonetheless, they won’t disappoint if you are ready to let loose. So if you have never been, try it out. My guess is that it will be a night to remember. This is Straighty Says, and I’ll shoot it to you straight!
on 10/20/2011 - 04:06 pm
If you havenʼt heard of Daniel Tosh, let me introduce you. I could say that his comedy show, Tosh.0, pushes the boundaries of tasteful humor and downright “oh no, he did not just say that.” I could tell you that he rides the fence when it comes to internet etiquette. The debate is still going strong as to whether or not Tosh is gay, but his self-directed jokes and observations about the gay community are enough to make everyone feel almost certain that he is a smart-ass bisexual. While he peppers in just enough sarcasm to leave one in limbo, his simple, and obvious statements such as “I'm actually all for gay marriage. Just the thought of having a man around the house...” is the tip of the gay-friendly iceberg for Daniel. With 6.7 million fans on his Facebook page, his openness to LGBT themes and the quirkiest sides of the human race are painted with a smile. Just beware, he can get raunchy quick.
Ellen DeGeneres is the opposite end of the spectrum, with good will, cheer and dance moves to wow the general public, not to mention Justin Timberlake. A close second with 5.7 million fans on her Facebook page, we canʼt help but be enamored by the cute cat/dog/children pictures with funny quotes that are posted to her site daily. Ellen has been an icon in the world of gay-friendly humor for nearly two decades. After she made some waves coming out on national television, she has continued to support her community in the biggest way possible. From her Unity Dayorange sweater (which symbolized the support of those kids who have been bullied), to her funny observations in the world, such as the caption to this McDonalds picture “Thatʼs ok, Iʼve been out of boy toys for years!” (see photo). Ellen will make you laugh, cry and most certainly, dance.
Straighties may not be aware of gay-friendly humor and sometimes, we just donʼt get it. Not that straighties are oblivious, some just arenʼt aware of the subtleties until they are right in your face. And since humor is often rooted in surprise, a jolt of truth mixed with laughable controversy is always noticed. Gay-friendly humor is not just for the gay community. We have all heard the saying “laugh at yourself before anyone else gets the chance.” So true for straights and gays!
Cities such as Orlando have even begun to open up the ﬂoor to the rest of the part-time comedians. Looking for your turn to tell gay-friendly jokes? GayborhoodApp.com will provide dates, times and locations to a favorite comedy club. Taste is the place for a good laugh! http://www.gayborhoodapp.com/event/open-mic-stand-up-comedy.html
Ten clever quotes from t-shirts and signs:
1.I Love Lady Gay Gay
2.No, We Donʼt All Go To Disney World Every June
3.For Homophobic Protestors, Your Signs are Pretty Gay
4.If You Donʼt Like Gay Marriage, Donʼt Get Gay Married
5.If Liza (Minelli) can marry two gay men, why canʼt I marry one?
6.Closets Are For Clothes
7.Even Being a Queen Can Be A Drag
8.Focus On Your Own Family
9.Gay Republicans - You Can Come Out of Your Log Cabins Now
10.I Canʼt Even Think Straight
Ha! This is Straighty Says and Iʼll shoot it to you straight!
on 10/12/2011 - 02:46 pm
A moment in LGBT history...
Yesterday, October 11th, was the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It also marks National Coming Out Day which has been celebrated since 1988, one year after the National March. (photo courtesy of Washington Post)
Coming Out Day, Straighties, is the day that the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi, transgender) community encourages and supports those who have decided to “come out” and tell others that they are gay. Coming out is a time of liberation, sometimes faced with serious emotions and mixed feedback from loved ones. The gay community recognizes that it is helpful to have a support group who understands the challenges, and process, of coming out. It is also a time to celebrate the people who have come out in the past.
Celebrities who made a to-do of the affair were Ke$ha with her National Coming Out Day t-shirts, Ellen and Portia who were honored on this day, and Elton John who was quoted as saying “The worst thing to be afraid of who you are - it’s horrible.”
The Human Rights Campaign and their Coming Out for Equality Facebook app make it easy to show support and spread the message of equality. The app is equipped with actions to take, an equality badge, and ways to encourage others. http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/national-coming-out-day
Blogger Jordan Roth describes the need for this day of acceptance in his article titled “Coming Out Day: Who’s In” Here he describes how he initially disapproved of the observance, stating that people “shouldn’t need a bullhorn to tell their story”. Only after seeing an old friend, listening to his coming out story, and feeling the joy of his honesty does Jordan remember how important the process is, “It isn’t all about the people yet to come out.” This day is also for the people who are already out, such as Jordan. He felt a renewed appreciation for providing positive feedback to others who are ready to start their journey. Read the whole story at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jordan-roth/national-coming-out-day-2011_b_1003951.html
Across the board, this is a time for celebration for the gay community. With the recent repeal of DADT, the legalization of same-sex marriage in NY and the widespread “It Gets Better” campaign, we see more and more opportunities for open expression. May we all share in the occasion to support the ones who need us most!
This is Straighty Says and I’ll shoot it to you straight!
on 10/05/2011 - 02:01 pm
Just how gay is our government? The scales are tipping towards a more homo-friendly administration, a change that has been escalating over the last few elections.
- 1999 saw nearly 200 openly gay government officials
- 140 from the LGBT community served during two terms of the Clinton administration.
- The Obama administration has appointed the most gay officials, 150 in the first 2 years
- President Obama also named Amanda Simpson, the first openly transgender appointee, as a senior technical adviser in the Commerce Department
- We now have had 3 openly gay ambassadors for the United States.
As the country eases in the gay-friendly governing body, very few of the appointees today create any controversy. At least, that is, compared to past objections. If the news has passed you by, I’ll introduce you to a few names:
- Fred Karger, Republican and gay rights activist, is the first openly gay candidate for Presidency.
- John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management
- Nancy Sutley, chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality
- Fred Hochberg, chairman of the Export-Import Bank
- Notable Mentioned: Roberta Achtenberg as assistant secretary for Housing and Urban Development - the first to serve in 1993 at the senior level
The legislation being passed is getting gay-friendlier all the time. Exactly what is the result of this LGBT leadership? Here are just a few of the laws that matter:
- DADT - “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” WAS the government’s stance on gays in the military. It has recently been repealed and now the government is training the troups on tolerance. For more on DADT check out my Straighty article on this blog!
- A historical bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown of California "requires public schools to include the contributions of people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender in social studies curriculum." According to Governor Brown, this bill “revises existing laws that prohibit discrimination in education.”
- Civil unions are now legal in the following states: Rhode Island, New Jersey, Illinois, Wisconsin, Maine, Maryland,Delaware (eff. 2012), Colorado, Hawaii (eff. 2012), Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and California.
- Same-sex marriage legal in the states of Iowa, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the U.S. capital, Washington, DC.
- Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009 which would allow LGBT federal employees to give their unrecognized same-sex spouses and partners health insurance and other employment related benefits and obligations. Until this act, the law stated that federal employees will enjoy these benefits only by being married and heterosexual.
With 2012 elections just around the corner, issues such as these will be a battleground for political parties. The administration that we are voting for now will chart the course of LGBT history! Keep an eye out for the changes to come!
This is Straighty Says and I'll shoot it to you straight!