"IT'S DIFFICULT to be a friend or family member if I don't know the man." ... Gay author Gore Vidal, on being asked by Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh to be one of his "friend" witnesses to his execution May 16. Nonetheless, anti-death penalty Vidal is planning to be there; he and McVeigh have exchanged letters since 1998, after Vidal wrote an essay attacking the U.S. government for intruding on the Bill of Rights. Vidal will write about the execution for Vanity Fair.
"I HAVEN'T noticed our fans getting on our players, even last year when we deserved some of it. I think they're forgiving. It was something stupid he said and he asked for forgiveness from his team and the fans in San Francisco. He didn't carry it out [longer] like a John Rocker thing. He knew that day it was stupid. He apologized and that's the thing a player should do when he does something unethical. He still thinks about it, but he put it behind him today." ... Chicago Cubs manager Don Baylor on his pitcher Julian Tavarez, in the May 6 Chicago Sun-Times.
"Tom Cruise has launched a £70 million law suit against a gay Hollywood porn star who claimed they had a homosexual affair. Kyle Bradford claimed in two magazines that he had been the actor's secret lover, and the man responsible for breaking up his marriage to Nicole Kidman. ... Bradford ... whose real name is Chad Slater, sold the story claiming he had had a 'long and continuous relationship' with Cruise. ... The wording of the writ is forthright, stating at one point that 'Tom Cruise is not and has never been a homosexual.' ... Cruise's lawyer, Bert Fields, said of Bradford's story: 'It's absolutely 100 per cent false. Tom is a great respecter of homosexual rights but he's not gay, and he's ready to prove this in court.'" ... The London Evening Standard May 3. The porn star now says he never said he was Cruise's lover and the quotes were made up.
"I do regret not having been honest [publicly] earlier, mainly because I feel so much better about myself now I'm out, which I think is most people's experience. I've never come across anybody who came out and regretted it." ... British actor Sir Ian McKellen to the Philadelphia Daily News, April 30.
"Do you honestly think Elton [John] could have managed to get on the Grammy's without a stunt like that [the duet with Eminem]?" ... Singer Janis Ian to the Adelaide, Australia, gay newspaper Blaze, April 6.
"If one kid coming out can say to their parents, 'Hey, you know the woman who sang 'At Seventeen,' she's gay too,' then I have achieved something good." ... Janis Ian to the Blaze.
"The last few years in scouting have deeply saddened me to see the Boy Scouts of America actively and publicly participating in discrimination. It's a real shame. ... Once scouting fully opens its doors to all who desire the same experience that so fully enriched me as a young person, I will be happy to reconsider a role on the advisory board." ... Film producer and director Steven Spielberg resigning from his position on the Boy Scouts of America advisory board, April 16.
"In very few places outside of the hard-core South and more right-wing parts of the West it's not OK to be outright anti-gay." ... Gay U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., to the Fresno [California] Bee, April 10.
"Straight culture encourages its members to find all their emotional needs (lover, best friend, confidante, roommate, vacation partner, parent of their children) in one person ...with predictable strains and horrible endings. Gays and lesbians tend to divvy out the emotional ties between different people ...lover(s), roomies, fuck buddies, best friends, 'sister(s)', and ex-lovers who become key members of our support network. Valuing honesty and honouring lust, we almost always open up our relationships to sex with other people after a few years. A recent study of Vancouver gay men found that only eight percent were in long-term relationships. A similar study of straights would, no doubt, have found some 80 percent or more were in long-term relationships. If we win access to this marriage snake-pit, it will begin the erosion of the culture that we've worked three decades to build. We've spent so long building our culture, and fighting for the freedom to live our lives as we really are, that we sometimes forget to pause to savour what we've made. And, though it has its flaws as do all cultures, it really is quite beautiful." ... Gareth Kirkby, editor of Vancouver, Canada's Xtra West, April 12.
"Had a pleasant social evening at the Republican Unity Coalition's reception for the new [White House] AIDS honcho, Scott Evertz. Lots of booze, cute guys, and, best of all, pharmaceutical company reps. Can you imagine the Democrats inviting the people who actually create the AIDS drugs to a reception of this kind? Gore would have appointed a hack who would have done nothing but hound them. Then on to dinner with more drug company reps. ... These people need solidarity against the socialists at The New York Times. ... One of the things you hear from many drug company officials and researchers is how they are slowly pulling out of HIV research. Why? The 'activists' who demand new drugs all the time at lower and lower prices have finally worked the researchers' and investors' last nerves. There's more money in other diseases with far less hassle." ... Gay journalist Andrew Sullivan at andrewsullivan.com .
"Nothing in politics has so depressed me as the reign of the Rude One ...Rudolph [Giuliani] the Red-Necked Mayor. New York has always swung between more liberal and more conservative mayors, but to see even my own Chelsea district vote for him in the last election was too much to bear. White gay boys voted for him, too. Giuliani has locked a lot of people up and cowed others into line, but at what cost to the spirit of the city? I'm not nostalgic for a high crime rate, but there are more civil ways to bring it down. Giuliani has starved public spaces while turning the city over to the corporations and landlords. His rent board has allowed rents to climb to levels unaffordable to the kind of creative people many of us moved to New York to be around. He also knocked the fight out of a lot of GLBT 'activists' in this town, most of whom made their accommodations with him. It's not just my age (47), but New York is less sexy, less spontaneous, less gay. He makes me embarrassed to be a New Yorker." ... Veteran gay journalist Andy Humm in an April 27 interview with this column.
"It being Easter, the streets [of The Castro] were dotted with the usual hairy-backed homos ...this time in large, floral Easter bonnets. I saw one hirsute fellow dressed from head to toe in flamingo motifs. And they say it's not a culture. The afternoon beer-bust at the Eagle, a San Francisco ritual, was, however, a bust. Rarely have I seen such a scary crowd ...and in the full glare of the afternoon sun. At times, it seems that San Francisco is almost frozen in time ...roughly 1977. Gay life in the rest of the U.S. is increasingly suburban, mainstream, assimilable. Here in the belly of the beast, Village People look-alikes predominate; and sex is still central to the culture. This can be fun for a tourist, but I'd go nuts if I had to live here full-time." ... Andrew Sullivan at www.andrewsullivan.com, April 16.
"The mainstream acceptance of gays and lesbians, a hard-won civil-rights victory gained through decades of struggle against prejudice and discrimination, was set back at least 50 years Saturday in the wake of the annual Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade. ... 'I'd always thought gays were regular people, just like you and me, and that the stereotype of homosexuals as hedonistic, sex-crazed deviants was just a destructive myth,' said mother of four Hannah Jarrett, 41, mortified at the sight of 17 tanned and oiled boys cavorting in jock straps to a throbbing techno beat on a float shaped like an enormous phallus. 'Boy, oh, boy, was I wrong.' The parade, organized by the Los Angeles Gay And Lesbian And Bisexual And Transvestite And Transgender Alliance (LAGALABATATA), was intended to 'promote acceptance, tolerance, and equality for the city's gay community.' Just the opposite, however, was accomplished, as the event confirmed the worst fears of thousands of non-gay spectators, cementing in their minds a debauched and distorted image of gay life straight out of the most virulent right-wing hate literature. ... Among the parade sights and sounds that did inestimable harm to the gay-rights cause: a group of obese women in leather biker outfits passing out clitoris-shaped lollipops to horrified onlookers; a man in military uniform leading a submissive masochist, clad in diapers and a baby bonnet, around on a dog leash; several Hispanic dancers in rainbow wigs and miniskirts performing 'humping' motions on a mannequin dressed as the Pope; and a dozen gyrating drag queens in see-through dresses holding penis-shaped beer bottles that appeared to spurt ejaculation-like foam when shaken and poured onto passersby." ... The Onion, a newspaper exclusively of parody, April 22.
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