Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas in Utah - 3

I was in Utah again for Christmas this year, just like 2007 and 2008. My son and I spent the holiday with one of my sisters and her family. My boyfriend Tobi had to stay in New York City because of work. Otherwise, he would have been there, too.

My sister and I are in an odd situation. She is a conservative, by-the-book kind of Mormon while I am a secular or cultural Mormon. Since our parents have passed away, we don't have them to mediate our relationship. Although we try to avoid it, the difference in our religious views remains something we have to tiptoe around. I'm close to my sister's kids, who are now in their mid-twenties and early thirties, and it's really important to me that my son have the opportunity to stay close to his cousins.

Everything was going just fine during our visit until the Tuesday night before Christmas. I don't know how it started, but Prop. 8 became the topic of conversation. I could not believe how offended I became when my own family (to be fair, the worst offenders were in-laws and not blood relatives) repeated some of the absurd false statements of the Prop. 8 campaign. After a few minutes I stood up and said, "I ask for very little from this family, but out of respect for me I want you stop this conversation now." And then I left the room. They stopped the discussion.

Scene, with aria.

A number of people in the house that night did not get much sleep. I went to bed and shook with adrenaline for several hours. My son and one of his (gay friendly) cousins stayed up most of the night talking about it. His cousin was deeply embarrassed by some of the attitudes in his family. My brother-in-law went to bed sulking because everyone always thinks he's the bad guy. Etc.

In the end, I don't really care what my relatives think about the issue. I just want them not to discuss it when I'm in the house. I have my limits, and that's one of them.

I don't know what the resolution will be. My sister said that we'll have to "agree to disagree." Even though this keeps the peace, it does not promote strong family bonds. Another year of stasis. Prop. 8 in my family is like a wound that won't heal. It's not getting any better, and it's not life threatening in any way, but every now and then it oozes pus.

(On Christmas day, we all opened presents and then I left for the airport so that I can spend the week between Christmas and New Year's in New York with Tobi. There will be more on this in a subsequent post.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Unbelievable cuteness

Sometimes I think I'm becoming a YouTube aggregator instead of a blogger. No matter. Here for your consideration, apropos of nothing, is a video clip of an incredibly cute five-year-old Japanese boy doing a cover with his ukulele of Jason Mraz's I'm Yours.

This kid also does a very entertaining Beatles cover, which you can see here.

Via: Bil Browning at Bilerico

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Something seasonal

Here's a Christmas song by the London Gay Men's Chorus about coming out to one's family. (I guess I'm easily amused.)


(to the tune of Hark! The Herald Angels)

I intend to drop a bomb
On my dear old dad and mom,
For this year without a doubt
Is the Chrismas I come out.

First, I'll get their full attention.
Then I'll drop a subtle mention:
"Lovely tree, and by the way
Some of my closest friends are gay."
That should do the job okay
When I come out on Christmas Day.

Oh say can you see it now--
Watch my parents have a cow.
Or perhaps if fate is kind
They'll insist that they don't mind.

Then they'll say, "We always guessed.
After all, look how you're dressed.
Seven earrings in each ear--
We're not quite that dense, my dear."
They'll adore me anyway
When I come out on Christmas Day.

Coming out to everyone
Makes the winter doldrums fun.
It's a noble thing to do,
Why don't you come on out, too?

Make a choice! Damn consequence!
Lift your voice, get off the fence,
Shout it from the highest roof,
"Gay is great, and you're the proof!"
Make this Christmas bright and gay,
Come on out on Christmas Day.

Words by Craig Sturgis, 1992

BONUS: And there's more! The Twelve Gays of Christmas (a funny and amazingly good dance routine)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Who would Jesus house?

The LDS Church recently came out in support of a nondiscrimination law in Salt Lake City. They said, effectively, that everyone deserves a place to live. Reactions, as you may recall, were mixed.

Then this post on came to my attention. A person asked the following question on the LDS forum:
I'm somewhat confused on what to do right now. I am currently living in an apartment with 3 bedrooms. My roommate (The one moving out) that has the bedroom with a private bath is the room a 2 gay guys want to rent. ...

The gay couple will be in the room in the front of the apartment. Separate bathroom, but we all share the laundry room which is in the closest of their room.

The guy I met is really nice and he agree to not show affection and such...

... but what to do?

Before ceding the floor for comments the poster ended with something rather surprising:

I feel like I need to follow the Church non-discrimination stand on this one. They recently supported that in Utah...

Wow! Wow! Wow!

But then he hesitated:
... but I want to be careful.

In other words, "the Church told me not to discriminate in housing, but I'm still scared of gay people because I know they are bad, so please, LDS Forum members, tell me what I should do."

You can read the comments on the thread if you're interested; the majority were benign.

I don't know about you, but as weird as this is I see it as progress. When the Church makes a stand the members notice and change their behavior. The opinions of LDS leaders are enormously influential among the rank and file. This is why the Church's support for basic civil rights for gay people was an important, meaningful step. Congratulations to all those in Salt Lake who worked for it.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ode on a Typeface

This parody video is just about the nerdiest thing ever-- it's dedicated to a typeface. If you're a design geek or into fonts or an out-of-control Lady Gaga fan or all of the above, you'll be humming along. (I recommend viewing in HD, full screen.)

Plus, the guys are extremely cute.

Via: Voenix Rising