Pro-gay group PFLAG this week went on
the offensive against anti-gay, anti-feminist conservative political
analyst Phyllis Schlafly. The group is outraged over Washington University's plan to honor Schlafly with an honorary degree.
Schlafly, who has an openly gay son, has long opposed rights for GLBT
people, including adoption, marriage and service in the Armed Forces.
In an email to On Top Magazine,
PFLAG Director of Communications Steve Ralls said of the honorary
degree, “Unless there is a doctorate in bigotry and sexism, I can't
think of one that would be fitting for Ms. Schlafy to receive.”
Among the many causes Schlafly
champions, removing any hint of homosexuality as an acceptable
lifestyle is among her favorites. She would then be one of the
people in agreement that a children's book about a family of penguins
with two fathers should be banned. That book, And Tango Makes Three, topped the list of library books the public objected to last year.
Not all religious leaders seek to
advance a political agenda. Recently a group of prominent evangelical leaders has been urging a greater separation of faith and politics. More than 70 religious leaders have signed onto The
Evangelical Manifesto, a document that warns against Christians
adopting any one political view. Perhaps it's altruism that has
motivated these leaders to act, or, maybe, a sense that public
opinion on faith-based politics has shifted negative. Either way,
it's good to hear some debate on the issue within the Christian
This picture would cause a stir in certain conservative circles. Indeed.
In a big loss this week, Michigan's
Supreme Court ruled that a 2004 ban against gay marriage also blocks
health benefits to the partners of gay workers employed at Michigan
public universities, community colleges, school districts and local
governments. More than 20 institutions, including the University of
Michigan, currently offer gay partner benefits.
You loose some, you win some: In
New York their highest court has refused to hear an appeal on an
appellate court's groundbreaking ruling that recognized a lesbian
couple's Canadian marriage. That means your same-sex Massachusetts
marriage license is valid in New York. For now, that is. Don't
And, speaking of gay marriage, it was
our own Gay Entertainment Report that brought me news of the
historic gay wedding between Kevin and Scotty on ABC's Brothers & Sisters this Sunday! Then some gay activists, like only Neil G. Giuliano of GLAAD, also said it was cool of ABC.
A giant billboard with a headless,
broken Statue Of Liberty against a backdrop of alien green fog
advertises Cloverfield on DVD along the freeway on which I am
driving, and just as Slim notices the billboard the car pitches to
the left as I accelerate to overtake a green Kia Rio being driven by
a hopeless soccer mom.
“So, where are we headed?” I ask.
“I dunno,” Slim responds, “It's
your special day.”
“Nonsense! You always say it's my
“Yes, but today really is your
“If this were my special day, and I'm
the little gay prince, then riddle me this Batman: Where's my crown
“Inspiring!” Slim says, then for
comic relief adds, “So inspiring that – pop – I think my
vagina just fell out!”
I laugh, then say, “That's funny. So
fun...,” bringing my head down to rest on the steering wheel while
making exaggerated snoring noises, and for a second I actually do
fall asleep - my Vincent Price car coming at me, its oversized grill smiling at me, gunning for me.
“Hold up, I'll pick up your vagina,”
I say, laughing, handing him nothing.
“Thank you! You are a true
gentleman,” Slim says, reaching for his vagina. “My father
always said, 'Son, you'll go far in life if only you stop to pick up
another man's vagina should it pop out'.”
Earlier today at the gym I had spent
most of my time not working out but hiding out from Chip, my gym
stalker. I noticed his familiar blue and green striped Nike
basketball shorts leaving the room as I climbed on top of an
elliptical machine. Again in the locker room I narrowly escaped him
in the shower, where he did not see me pass by because he had
immersed his entire head under the shower's water stream. In the hot
tub, after I was certain Chip had left, and as I wondered if O.J.
Simpson's book where he confesses to killing Nicole Brown and then
takes it back with a question mark would be available for download at
Amazon for my iPhone, a man startled me by saying, “Hey.” I
replied, “Hey,” and left. Then, in the parking garage I noticed
a black Lexus ES300 make a sharp u-turn and follow me out into the
traffic. I turned twice, but could not loose the ES300. As I
approached a Target I turned into its parking lot only to notice the
ES300 turning into a second entrance to the store. I parked the car,
entered the Target, grabbed a $1 nylon hat from a dollar bin, and sat
down at the Starbucks shop with my back to the entrance and waited.
After about ten minutes I thought maybe I had overreacted, purchased
a latte, and left the store. But parked next to my car was the black
Lexus ES300 with vanity plates that read, “4 EVAR.”
I mention this to Slim, who nitpicks at
details of the story, such as telling me that Chip should have been
able to see me through his peripheral vision.
“It sounds like a complete
coincidence,” Slim says.
“Or a completely random
instance of insta-stalking?” I say, getting nothing back in return.
“So, did you notice sushi is back on
the menu at the Ritz Carlton?” I ask.
Smirking a bit, Slim says, “I don't
go to the Ritz Carlton. In fact, you're probably the only person I
know who goes to the Ritz. Carlton.”
“Well, you should, it's...well,
Slim looks at me for a bit as I
research exit signs, then says, “The only time you've been to the
Ritz Carlton has been with Simon.” He's silent for a moment and
things are a bit uncomfortable, then he asks, “Are you seeing Simon
I look back at him and - sensing he
already knows the answer - confess, “Yeah. I've been seeing him.”
“Jesus,” Slim mutters as he turns
to look out the passenger window at a little boy, maybe eight, waving
back at him from the backseat of a forest green minivan, circa 1985.
Slim waves back and smiles. The boy continues to wave then sticks
out his tongue.
“It's different this time. He's
being very sweet. In fact, it was his idea to go to the Ritz because
he noticed I was working too hard and was kinda out of it,” I say.
Slim, still looking out the window, puckers his lips and shakes his
head at the boy who laughs and tosses up a copy of what looks to be
“I'm happy, OK, is that a crime now?
Why do I feel like you're about to grill me like a prison guard? Or
gut me like a fish? Or teach me a lesson like a pimp would a
Slim turns away from the window, looks
at me, then says, “When was the last time you were really honest
with yourself? If you were really happy about reconciling with
Simon, then you wouldn't be hiding this from anyone – from me!”
“I just know how you feel about
Simon,” I sigh, then add, “Read my lips: I am happy.”
There is another pause in the
conversation, this one probably the longest, and I think he grunts,
“Wake up,” but I'm unsure.
“So long as you're happy,” Slim
Pointing to an upcoming exit, I ask,
“How about The Cheesecake Factory?” Slim pauses a moment, then
says, “This would be where you exit,” and then, a moment later,
looking back out the window, “I'd be happy with that.”
And as we exit the freeway I notice a
dog by the side of the road wedged between a white Chevy Malibu and a
police cruiser. The dog, a Golden Retriever, has been swathed in a
gray blanket, its body limp. A Black woman is kneeling in front of
the dog, holding the dog, sobbing, and a police officer stands next
to her, watching. “At least she stopped,” I think to myself.
Walter Weeks is a writer for On Top
Magazine and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Gay Slant pops-in most Saturdays at On Top Magazine