" [ Songs From the West Coast is ] the last record that I ever make. I'm fed up with it. I like playing to you guys but I hate the record industry. I've made 40 albums and it's about time for me to get out." ... Elton John during a concert in Manchester, N.H., Nov. 30.
"When you come out, you change... utterly. You are for the first time yourself. And what has an actor got to use onstage but himself? That's all I've got: my experience, my imagination, my body. In coming out, your sexuality is now freed...it's not disguised. It doesn't surprise me that people tell me that I'm an actor with more range than I had before." ... Actor Ian McKellen to advocate.com, Dec. 4.
"A government that would deny a gay man the right to a bridal registry is a fascist government." ... Comedian Margaret Cho during a Dec. 7 performance in San Diego.
"More than three-quarters of all U.S. patients with the AIDS virus have an infection that resists one or more of the drugs used to treat it, researchers reported on Tuesday [ at the American Society of Microbiology ] . ... They said the grim news meant that drug-resistant HIV had spread even faster than was feared, and the lifesaving cocktails of drugs that help many patients lead normal lives were becoming increasingly limited in their usefulness." ... Reuters news service.
"Once resistance is there, it stays in a patient for the rest of his or her life. You don't get cured of an HIV species." ... Researchers on drug-resistance.
"Open lesbian Terry Hayes of Chesapeake, Va., is among the 11,500 people chosen to carry the flame this year [ for the Olympics ] . ... Hayes said she is especially touched by the honor to serve as a torchbearer because her partner of three years, Freda Routt, nominated her." ... From the Washington Blade, Dec. 14.
"Since Sept. 11, many Americans have been trying to make sense of what led Mohamed Atta and his accomplices to launch their deadly strikes against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Readers and writers have been digging into everything from the history of Islam to the stalled pace of globalization in the Middle East. But amid the competing theories, one has proved particularly alluring. It begins, sotto voce, with the spicy details of Atta's upbringing: how he sat on his mother's lap until college, how his father advised him, 'Toughen up, boy!' and accused his wife of raising their son 'as a girl.' ... Media outfits from The St. Petersburg Times to National Review note that Atta was 'slender' and 'meticulous,' a 'snazzy dresser' and that his co-conspirator, Ziad al-Jarrah, was 'slim, cleanshaven.' Atta avoided women...right unto his death. ( His will left strict instructions that none should attend his funeral. ) Time magazine observes that he lived in a pink house. For readers incapable of making out the fine print, The National Enquirer renders it plain as day: 'World Trade Center terrorist Mohamed Atta and several of his bloody henchmen led secret gay lives for years.' Reading these case histories, I am reminded of that Seinfeld episode in which everyone thinks Jerry is gay because he is thin and neat ... . But this kind of political psychobabble has a longer pedigree. During the cold war, red-hunters loved digging in the dirt of radical lives, particularly when it yielded a juicy bit of gender trouble. Joe McCarthy called Dean Acheson...no Communist, but a confirmed Democrat...the 'Red Dean of Fashion.' A psychological profile read by J. Edgar Hoover and President Eisenhower explained ... 'The tendency seems to be that in Communist marriages the wife is the more dominant partner.' ... And then there were the Rosenbergs, perhaps the most confused couple since Samson and Delilah: 'Julius is the slave and his wife, Ethel, the master.' But it took the Technicolor dream machine of Hollywood to really put the pink in the pinkos. In My Son John, the urtext of sexualized McCarthyism, a limp-wristed Robert Walker camps his way through his scenes, cooing at his mother, played by Helen Hayes. Meanwhile, his father, an American Legionnaire, pummels whatever remnant masculinity the boy might have salvaged ...." ... New York Times Magazine Dec. 16 column by Corey Robin, political science teacher at Brooklyn College, CUNY.
"I used to take hostages in my relationships and not let people be independent. It always ended in disaster, because you take away people's identity and they end up full of resentment...and no Cartier watch or Versace outfit is going to make up for that. It's essential for me to be with someone as creatively inspired as me, and David [ Furnish ] is. We have long conversations about movies, books, films, records, art, photography. We have exactly the same interests ... apart from wakeboarding." ... Elton John to London's Sunday Times, Dec. 2.
Elton John: "Shouldn't you be in bed by now?"
Billy Joel: "Actually, I am in bed."
Elton: "Who are you in bed with? That's what I want to know. Who's your latest floozy?"
Billy: "Actually, I don't have anybody in particular."
Elton: "Oh, we'll have to sort that out when we go on tour. I'll find you someone, OK? A man like you should be cuddled every night."
... Excerpt from a phone call from Joel to John during John's
appearance on the A&E TV network's
"Live By Request" program, Dec. 3.