Throughout the months of September, October, and November, Minnesota Vikings special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer would use homophobic language in my presence. He had not done so during minicamps or fall camp that year, nor had he done so during the 2011 season. He would ask me if I had written any letters defending “the gays” recently and denounce as disgusting the idea that two men would kiss, and he would constantly belittle or demean any idea of acceptance or tolerance. I tried to laugh these off while also responding with the notion that perhaps they were human beings who deserved to be treated as human beings. Mike Priefer also said on multiple occasions that I would wind up burning in hell with the gays, and that the only truth was Jesus Christ and the Bible. He said all this in a semi-joking tone, and I responded in kind, as I felt a yelling match with my coach over human rights would greatly diminish my chances of remaining employed. I felt uncomfortable each time Mike Priefer said these things. After all, he was directly responsible for reviewing my job performance, but I hoped that after the vote concluded in Minnesota his behavior would taper off and eventually stop.
A kiss is always a story. But the kiss at the heart of David Levithanâ€™s ambitious, humane, extraordinarily moving new novel is thirty-two hours long, and the story it tells is different from most. Two ex-boyfriends, Harry and Craig, aim to set a new record for longest kiss in front of their high school. They do it to show their support for a friend who was a victim of anti-gay violence; they do it hoping that â€œitâ€™ll make people a little less scared of two boys kissing.â€
Itâ€™s a young personâ€™s dream, that a kiss can change the world, and like most of Levithanâ€™s other books Two Boys Kissing has been marketed for young adults. (It was recently long-listed for the National Book Award for Young Peopleâ€™s Literature.) It is a book for young adults, especially queer young adults. Itâ€™s also a book for everyone.
At the beginning of their very long kiss (based on this true event), Harry and Craig are joined by a handful of their friends. By its end, theyâ€™re being watched by millions of people online. But also watching them, and narrating the book to us, are the ghosts of men lost to AIDS, the generation who â€œwere going to be your role modelsâ€¦.to give you art and music and confidence and shelter and a much better world.â€
Thank you for your kind invitation. As someone who has enjoyed visiting Russia in the past and can also claim a degree of Russian ancestry, it would make me happy to say yes.
However, as a gay man, I must decline.
I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government. The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.
Perhaps, when and if circumstances improve, I’ll be free to make a different choice.
Said GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz: “Wentworth’s bold show of support sends a powerful message to LGBT Russians: you are not alone. “As people from across the globe continue to speak out against this horrific law, more celebrities and corporations should follow his courageous lead in openly condemning Russia’s anti-LGBT law.”
Young seems to be focused on the impact his actions can have on others, telling TMZ, “Iâ€™m hoping to be able to make a difference…Itâ€™s very important to me that people understand that someoneâ€™s sexual preference doesnâ€™t really matter. Itâ€™s about the person.” The WWE also commented that Young was planning to spend Thursday at an anti-bullying event “to teach children how to create positive environments for everyone regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation.”
The first relative I came out to was my aunt Teri, a superior court judge in San Francisco. Her reaction surprised me. “I’ve known you were gay for years,” she said. From that moment on I was comfortable in my own skin. In her presence I ignored my censor button for the first time. She gave me support. The relief I felt was a sweet release. Imagine you’re in the oven, baking. Some of us know and accept our sexuality right away and some need more time to cook. I should know — I baked for 33 years.
Lambda Literary Foundation set a new record in 2013 for both the number of LGBT books submitted for Lammy consideration, 687, and the number of publishers participating, 332. This beats the record-setting numbers in 2012 of 600 titles by over 250 publishers and is the fourth consecutive year of growth in submissions and publishers.
Last week, Wachowski received the Human Rights Council’s Visibility Award at a gala in San Francisco and, in a 25-minute speech that was moving, funny, honest and cathartic, Wachowski talked about the depths of despair and depression she felt identifying as a woman in a man’s body. In third grade, she and brother Andy transferred to a Catholic school, where a nun began to beat her because she joined a line of girls and wanted to play foursquare with them and not the boys. “I’m not trying to disobey; I’m just trying to fit in,” Wachowski said.
…as soon as he walked out to a cheering crowd displaying flags of his native Puerto Rico, boxing’s first openly gay fighter could finally breathe and do what he came to do, slugging his way to a victory by unanimous decision over Jorge Pazos.
“That was my moment, my opportunity, my event,” Cruz said Friday night after the bout, his mother, Dominga Torres-Rivera, seated beside him. “And I won.”
Cruz was touched by the support on display at the Kissimmee Civic Center outside Orlando, the latest in a continual outpouring since his announcement two weeks ago that made him the first active male athlete in a major sport to come out.