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Deb’s House Concerts

Appropriate Quote for Today

The quote today is appropriate on many levels. The birthday girl lives this saying. Like Walt Disney, she is creative and she actually DOES things with her creativity. She doesn’t just think about being creative, she IS creative. She can get more done in an afternoon than most people can do in a month. So, here’s the quote:

Walt Disney said,

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

Walt Disney

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Deb’s House Concerts

RuPaul As A Man

I look at the stats for this site, and very often there will be a search for “RuPaul As A Man”.  I think that’s funny. RuPaul IS a man. He does not have to dress up in order to pretend to  be a man.

RuPaul As A Woman

We, television viewers, know RuPaul as a woman, or at least as a drag queen. The first time I ever heard of RuPaul, he was on some late night show. Maybe he had his own show. It seems like it was ten or fifteen years ago. He was a tall, blonde, glamorous drag queen. He was really going against the grain then. But now, his drag queen persona hardly raises an eyebrow.

RuPaul Is Bold And Beautiful

RuPaul is a gay man, and does not try to hide it. He’s bold and beautiful when he is dressed as a woman, but is not a woman. Nor, is he a transgendered person in transition. He is a gay man who performs as a drag queen.

RuPaul As An ‘Ex-Gay’

I’ve written about this before. RuPaul was not personally ‘ex-gay’, but he played an ‘ex-gay’ counselor in a campy movie that exposes the lies and manipulation of the ‘ex-gay’ movement in a comedy that plays on every stereotype (just like the ex-gay movement does).  He plays a man in that movie, But, I’m A Cheerleader, a gay man trying hard to be ‘ex-gay’ while trying to teach young gay men how to be ‘ex-gay’.

I Like RuPaul

I’ve not seen RuPaul’s Drag Race, so I can’t comment on it. But, I like his larger than life drag queen persona. I like that he is not afraid to live out loud and draw attention to himself. I don’t know what effect he has on young gay people, but I hope what he does for them is to give them the courage to be themselves and love themselves as they are.

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Patrick Swayze

I want to say something about Patrick Swayze. He seemed like such a nice guy, genuine, with a good heart. That impression may have begun with his character in Dirty Dancing and continued with his character in Ghost. But, his decades-long love with his wife added the real-life component to his image.

Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary

Mary Travers was part of a threesome that provided part of the acoustic soundtrack for the baby boom generation. Their performing years ended long ago, but the grandchildren of baby boomers still sing their songs in their elementary school classrooms.

Two Stars That Shot Across The Sky This Week

Both Patrick Swayze and Mary Travers left this world this week. Patrick Swayze died after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Mary Travers died after a battle with leukemia. Their physical lives here have ended,  but their artistic contributions will live on and continue to influence people for good in the years to come.

Susan Boyle, Rising Star

I wanted to write about Susan Boyle when she first blasted to fame in her overnight stardom that began with her performance on Britian’s Got Talent. I waited, because it seemed like everyone was writing about her. I’m glad she survived those first few weeks and things are going well for her.  It looks like she has adjusted well to her complete change in lifestyle, and she is thriving again. She performed Wild Horses on America’s Got Talent final on 16th September, 2009.

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Deb’s House Concerts

Oppression Of Gay People By Anti-Gay Religious Views

I read a few comments, on Carol Boltz’s web page, written by a man who has strong attractions to other men. This would be okay, but he is married and he has children. He chooses to try to suppress these feelings for other men, because he is married and has children, and because his religious beliefs tell him it is wrong to be with another man.

His Profile Led Me To His Video Blog

From his comments on Carol’s page, I went to his blogger profile, and then to his personal blog. Once I was there, I watched some of his videos. He posts videos frequently. In most of them, he talks about his attraction to other men.

I Felt Such Heaviness and Sadness Watching Him

My impression of this man, from what I can see and hear in his video posts, is that he is swimming in the ocean while wearing a lead suit. I don’t usually feel such a heaviness and struggle from people I read online. Maybe it was different with this man, because he was talking into the camera, and that made it more personal.

I Left A Comment (of course I left a comment!)

This is what I said:

I reached your blog through your  comments on Carol Boltz’s blog. I’ve watched parts of several of your videos (from most recent back to this one).

I feel sad watching you and listening to you. Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but what I feel from you is so much pain and so much struggle. You seem like a really nice guy. It hurts to see you hurting so much.

What about Bruno? I’ve not seen it. I might see it at some point. From what I’ve read, I don’t think the goal of the movie was what you thought it was (to desensitize people to gay sex).

I think the bottom line with Bruno was that the actor is a comedian and he wanted to get laughs. In this movie, he did it by playing an over-the-top gay stereotype. (He played an entirely different character in his last movie.)

Bruno, the movie, was supposedly pointing out the anti-gay attitudes of people. But again, from what I’ve heard, Sasha Baron Cohen used extremes and stereotypes that actually (probably? possibly?) reinforce negative attitudes about gay people. I guess time will tell about that.

From what I’ve read, gay rights groups are not happy about the movie because it reinforces the idea that gay=nothing-but-sex (and does not acknowledge relationship, love and emotional intimacy, all parts of any close, loving, adult, significant other relationship).

It seems to me that the institutions that create (or influence the creation of) the greatest anti-gay beliefs, behaviors and laws  are the fundamentalist parts of organized religions. I don’t see that Jesus ever said one bad word about same sex relationships.

Same-sex attractions and relationships existed in the time of Jesus. There were social and tribal rules in the Old Testament about men being with men during the time when the Israelites needed to build their nation. If men were attracted to men that far back in history, then surely there were same-sex attractions in the time of Jesus.

Jesus never said one word against same sex attraction or same-sex love relationships. The way I see it, if God said it was wrong (as the fundamentalist groups want us to believe), why did God (Jesus) not say it in all of His teachings during His time on earth? He certainly had plenty to say about many other things.

[UPDATE: Saturday August 29, 2009. Rob would like to invite you to visit his page. It’s called The Architect’s Garage.]

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How Julia Child Saved My Life

Well, not MY life, and maybe not literally HER life, but the trailer for Julie and Julia looks good.

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep is in this movie. With Meryl Streep, you can’t go wrong.

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Discontent in Gay Hollywood

I just read today that there is discontent in ‘gay Hollywood’ over Bruno. I knew it played to stereotypes, but I did not know to what degree.

Stereotypes About Gay Men

I know that I could see the movie and not make assumptions about all gay men. I realized, after the information today, that it is possible that not all viewers will be that way.

How Will You See It?

I hope that those who see this movie will see it as an over-the-top set of gags based on stereotypes and not as an accurate portrayal of gay people. That seems obvious to me, but I guess for people who don’t actually know (that they know) anyone who is gay, it could be problematic.

Do You Know (that you know) Anyone Who Is Gay?

I guess it all comes back to gay people living as openly as circumstances will allow. (There are people for whom coming out would not be safe or wise given their surroundings.)

You Know (and probably love) Someone Who Is Gay

I do believe that the more people realize that everyone knows (and, probably loves) someone who is gay, there will be more and more acceptance and eventually equal rights for all.

Is Bruno Queerface?

That’s the question asked in these videos. Is Bruno too extreme in its stereotypes? Is it ‘Queerface’ (a new word for the English language, similar to Blackface).

Bruno = Queerface ?? #1

Bruno = Queerface ?? #2

Maybe I Was Wrong

I expected it to be funny, in the way that over-the-top Southern movies are funny. But, I understand that it’s all a matter of perception. I know that over-the-top Southern movies play on stereotypes, but they are not an accurate portrayal of everyday life in the South. People who did not grow up here might not experience the humor from the same perspective.

Laughing With or Laughing At?

Some of the people in the videos expressed a concern about whether the audience will be laughing with gay people or at gay people.  Now that my attention has been drawn to this point, I can see this concern.

Will Bruno Mean a Slide Backwards for Equality?

That’s another concern that was voiced in the Queerface videos. Is the stereotyping used in the movie simply funny, or will it reinforce prejudices against gay people?

What do you think?

UPDATE: July 14, 2009 More about Bruno:

Brüno, Marvin and Me
Bruno Iz Hot Or Not?// <![CDATA[//

// <![CDATA[//

Barbara Walters Reviews ‘Bruno’: ‘Pornographic’ With ‘Close Ups Of Penises’ (VIDEO)

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Deb’s House Concerts

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Women In Entertainment … and Politics

In the news in the past week were Bea Arthur, Kelly McGillis, Miss California (Carrie Prejean),  Condoleezza Rice and Elizabeth Edwards. Yes, other  women were in the news, too. But, I want to comment on these five.

Wide Ranging News Stories

Bea Arthur died. Kelly McGillis came out as a lesbian. Miss California is backing up her ‘marriage’ stance by going to Washington, D.C. to work with NOM (“National Organization for Marriage”, a group that opposes marriage between two adults of the same sex). Condoleezza Rice has denied any responsibility for the waterboarding torture of prisoners of the USA under the G.W.Bush administration. And, Elizabeth Edwards said the news of her husband’s affair made her throw up.

Bravery and Pain

Bea Arthur was tall and had a deep voice. I imagine that she had to overcome a lot of teasing and talking behind her back when she was growing up. She certainly had to deal with a lot of openly stated ‘humor’ at her expense when she was an actress on the “Golden Girls” television show.

Courage and Guilt

Kelly McGillis said she’s known since she was twelve. For years, she believed God was punishing her for being gay. Where in the world would she have gotten that idea? (sigh) From what I can tell, the only real anti-gay sentiment in the world comes from religions. That’s a shame.

What About What God Says?

If you believe in God, and you  believe that God created people “in His own image,” then think this one over: Gay people (lgbt) are created by God in God’s image, just as straight people are.

Anti-Gay Teaching, Talk, Behavior = NOT From God

All the anti-gay hate that comes from the pulpit (and from whatever the head person’s place of speaking is called in other religions) is NOT from God. Hating gay people, hurting gay people (verbally, physically or legislatively), disrespecting gay people, rejecting gay people and judging gay people are not from God.

“It’s not political. It’s about morality.”

That’s what someone said to me. She’s female. She’s married to a man. We were talking about Prop 8 in California last fall. I said the organized, networked, well-financed opposition of churches acting to from the highest levels of their organizations to get people to vote for Prop 8, was against the law.

Churches Don’t Pay Taxes

It is against the law for churches to engage in politics. They can encourage their members to participate in politics. They can encourage their members to vote or volunteer for the candidates of their choice. But, using a non-profit (non-tax-paying) organization’s vast wealth and tens of thousands of members to make phone calls and pass out literature to influence people to vote for legalized discrimination against tax-paying U.S. citizens is against the law.

Youth and Idealism

I’m willing to give Carrie Prejean a pass this time, for a short time. I’ll give her a pass on her “pro-marriage” comments because she’s young, and she’s probably grown up in a household with people who say exactly what she said as her pagent answer.

PFLAG Parents Love Their Gay Kids

I’ll give Miss California a pass for a few months. In that time, I hope she meets families where there are two women and two men who are committed partners. I hope she meets PFLAG parents who love their gay kids and want nothing more in this world than for them to be safe, happy and treated with respect.

I Used to Believe What Miss California Believes

I used to believe marriage only meant a man and a woman. It still does in most cases, simply because there are more heterosexual people. Most couples are made up of a man and a woman. But, there are many loving and committed couples who are two men, and there are many loving and committed couples who are two women.

Work, Taxes, Love, Commitment, Responsibility

Those two men and two women couples work just like the man and woman couples. And, those two men and two women couples pay taxes just like the man and woman couples. So, why should same-sex couples not be protected by the same laws that protect opposite sex couples? And, why should same-sex couples not be allowed to make the same commitments to each other and have the same responsibilities to each other as opposite-sex couples? Hmmm?

Not All People Support Equal Rights For Their Gay Family Members

That’s clear to everyone. It does not make sense, but that’s  how it is. People choose religious dogma over family ties. They choose discriminatory teaching over love for their own kin. Why?

Everyone Has A Gay Relative

I’ve read that Carrie Prejean has a sister who is a lesbian. Why would she work with a group whose only mission is to keep her sister from being able to live in an openly committed, legal, loving relationship with her partner? Why? This is where I say I’m willing to give her a pass, since she’s young, for a short time. I fully expect her to realize that her love for her sister is what is most important. When she get’s older, she’ll realize that her sister will always be there for her, long after the ‘NOM’ people have turned their backs and walked away.

Faith In America’s “Open Letter to Carrie Prejean”

You can read it here.  It includes a quote from Mildred Loving.

Mildred Loving in 2008 issued a statement which answers the question about gay Americans having the right to marry:

“Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the ‘wrong kind of person’ for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.”

It’s Not My Fault

What did Condi Rice actually say? “I conveyed the authorization of the administration …” She says she did not personally authorize waterboarding torture of prisoners. She simply told the people who were to do it that it was okay.

If Women Ruled the World

I accept that people who work for a sitting President of the USA are probably in sticky situations once in awhile. But, it seems that people would draw a line in the sand at some point. Ms. Rice certainly is a fly in the ointment of my “if women ruled the world” idea that women, as a rule, are less likely to start wars and more likely to show compassion.

A Good Woman in a Bad Situation

Elizabeth Edwards  has written a book telling her side of the story. Bits have been released by the publisher, to tease us I’m sure, but I’m game. I like Elizabeth Edwards. She seems like a good woman, strong, grounded, intelligent and compassionate, the kind of person I like knowing as a friend. We do not know each other, but I’m sure she’d be a good friend if we did know each other. 🙂

What Women Did You Notice in the News This Week?

Who do you want to comment on? Feel free to name names and say what you have to say. Just be civil and avoid anything I might have to remove.

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