Monthly Archives: February 2009

I’m Not Walking 6 Miles!

If you read the On the Gay Horizon newsletter, you know that my co-publisher announced in this week’s issue that we would be doing the AIDS Walk New York again this year. Didn’t ask me. Just proceeded to include in her fitness piece that I would begin, today, training for the 6.2 mile walk. Being the calm, reasonable person that I am, I believe my response was something like….

Are you nuts?!?!? We’re not going to publish that and publicly commit me to doing that again!” 

“Did you, or did you not, publicly proclaim that you are following the Fit in a Year prescriptions? What better motivator than this year’s AIDS Walk?”

“Well, yes, I may have said that. But I didn’t mean it. I never see these people and I only see you a couple times a year, so who was gonna know? That 6 miles just about killed me last year. I’m not doing it again.”

Sometimes you just have to stand your ground.

I was firm — “Do I have to?”

I was resolute — “Uh, well, I don’t know. What about next year?”

I was strong — “Please don’t make me do it!”

And so we discussed it like mature adults and reached an equitable compromise. New York in May it is! In fact, I only have a couple minutes here. I’m due to go walk around the block about a hundred times. Training, you know.

There is a moral to this story — be discerning when you choose your friends! If puttering around is your idea of about how rigorous you like your physical activity, don’t hang out with a personal trainer. But honestly, how was I supposed to know? I met her at a writer’s conference, not a health nut convention! She may have mentioned something about being fitness-obsessed but I probably wasn’t paying any attention. I just thought she was cute.

How many times has that gotten me into trouble…

Seriously, though, last year’s AIDS Walk in New York City was an incredible experience! We walked with about 50,000 people through Central Park and then along the Hudson River. And we raised a ton of money — over 7 million dollars! Join us and Team On the Gay Horizon as we do it again this year!

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On Becoming a Footnote

It’s such a strange world. Sometimes I have trouble keeping up. In November, we allowed right-wing moralists to push through stripping hard-won civil rights from gays in several states. Our former president tried to convince us that we are attacked because others hate our freedom. Perhaps he didn’t mean the freedom to marry or to adopt. And Iceland now has a lesbian as Prime Minister.

And you know what is so remarkable about a lesbian holding the top job in Iceland? Apparently, nothing. At least not to Icelanders.  Prior to becoming PM, Johanna Sigurdardottir was the Social Affairs minister and had a 73% approval rating. Her civil union to partner, Jonina Leosdottir, in 2002, was widely known and basically, nobody cared.

Klaus Wowereit, during his campaign to become mayor of Berlin, was cheered when he made the statement “Ich bin schwul, und das ist auch gut so.” (“I am queer, and that’s how it should be”).  Paris has a gay mayor and so does Hamburg. There are openly gay members of parliament in France and the United Kingdom. 72% of voters in Spain support equal rights for gays.

So what is it about the “land of the free”? I have my suspicions but its late and that kind of rant could keep me up all night. Besides, I’d like to get some feedback here. Why do you think we claim freedom as our motto, something we sacrifice our sons and daughters to defend, and yet stingily dole out with so many restrictions?

Silvia Jaen, secretary-general of the Spanish Federation of Gays, Lesbians, Transsexuals and Bisexuals, was quoted as saying about being “out” in most of Europe,  “There was a time when you would have received a lot of extra press coverage for being gay – these days it’s a footnote.”

So, now we know what we’ve been working for all these years — to have that little quirk of difference become nothing more than a footnote.

Hmmm…..I’m not sure how I feel about that…..