Monthly Archives: December 2009
>Or, as I like to call them, Homoments.
It’s been a while since Ellen came out, and a few years since Will & Grace moved out of their swanky TV apartments, but 2009 really was one of the gayest years on TV. Here are the Top five Gayest TV Homoments of 2009, courtesy of Change.org:
NUMBER FIVE: Modern Family is one of the most critically acclaimed comedies of 2009, due in no small part to the show’s leading gay couple. There are the same old arguments in the gay community as to whether the gay storyline is too stereotypical, but when everyone relaxes, it’s evident that in the midst of all the hilarity, there are some really sweet moments. The fifth best gay moment of the year comes in the show’s pilot when the gay couple presents their adopted baby to the family in a Simba-like presentation from The Lion King. The family’s patriarch provides a heartfelt approval when his heart melts at the sight of his new granddaughter.
NUMBER FOUR: RuPaul’s Drag Race is one of the best TV shows of this decade. The show celebrates a part of the gay community that is often shunned in the journey for equality. While political strategists are following polling data and focus group tested messages that often de-gay the gay rights movement, there is a lot to learn from a show that celebrates the world of drag without apology. Ongina, the adorable Pilipino Drag Queen captured one of the most powerful TV Gay moments of the year, when she came out as HIV positive on the show, even though her family in real life did not yet know. Images of AIDS in popular culture have diminished significantly in recent years as the dangerous blasé attitude toward HIV continues to grow. Ongina’s storyline reminded a primarily gay audience that AIDS is not over and prevention/education efforts are still extremely important.
NUMBER THREE: When it was first reported that a group of four gay guys and a trans woman were going to be on America’s Best Dance Crew, I was simultaneously excited and terrified. How would the MTV audience greet them? How would the show’s hip hop loving demographic react? In an amazing moment, Vogue Evolution took the stage and brought an epic performance that won over the crowd and the judges. It was beyond refreshing to see five young talented people be unapologetic about who they are. They showcased the underground gay ballroom scene to the world and they put a different face on the LGBT community. Vogue Evolution didn’t end up winning the show, but they did win over the hearts and minds of a lot of young people.
NUMBER TWO: Glee is quite possibly the gayest show on television, so it isn’t surprising that it would offer such a graceful coming out storyline that is soaked in reality. The moment appeared in one of the most classic episodes of the show’s wildly successful first season. After winning the big football game because of an on-field performance of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” Kurt’s blue-collar father tells Kurt that he is proud of him, which prompts Kurt to bravely tell his father that he is gay. The show could have had his father react extremely negative or extremely positive, but instead he reacted in a way that an Ohio mechanic who loves his son would hopefully react in reality. He tells Kurt that he has known he was gay since he was three and that while he isn’t crazy about the idea, it doesn’t change how much he loves him. The coming out moment was extremely well-handled, but Glee’s overall power is that it packages a deep gay sensibility within a popular show that transcends demographic.
It’s impact is far reaching, as evidenced by California’s Glendale High School football team’s amazing performance of “Single Ladies” in response to the Glee episode.
NUMBER ONE: There was only one lesbian storyline in primetime-scripted television in 2009, which is alarming and depressing, but even though lesbians are severely underrepresented, perhaps solace can be found in the fact that the one lesbian storyline contained the best gay moment on TV in 2009. On Grey’s Anatomy, Callie Torres was disowned by her father after coming out to him, but after much time apart, her father came back to see her, with a priest in tow to “pray away the gay.” The best gay moment came when Callie powerfully counteracts anti-gay biblical verses by yelling a series of quotes by Jesus and closing it by saying “Jesus is my Savior daddy, not you. And Jesus would be ashamed of you for judging me, he would be ashamed of you for turning your back on me, he would be ashamed.”
Many people in and out of pop culture have tried to expose the hypocrisy of highlighting Leviticus 18:22, while ignoring all of the other “moral laws” in Leviticus that are now laughed at, but there is something so succinct, strong and moving about Callie’s speech –- it should become the default reply anytime the Bible is being used as a weapon against our rights.
>I loves to read about a good juicy scandal, unless it involves my internship under, and I do mean under, a certain president, and I loves loves loves to pass on a good juicy scandal. So, here’s a top 10 from 2009:
NUMBER TEN: Rod Blagojevich, aka The Hair From Chicago. The year began with Illinois firing its governor for the first time in history. Bad enough, but that wasn’t the end of “The Blago Show.” Bad Roddy went on every talk show he could to deny rumors that he is a corrupt politician–corrupt politician…..it’s funny, ‘cuz it’s true. He denied to everyone from Barbara Walters to Harry Smith that he did not try to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama’s election as president. He repeatedly denied that jimmy Hoffa is buried in his hair. And The Blago Show goes on when he faces off with that other Man Of The Mystery Hair, Donald Trump, on the next installment of “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
NUMBER NINE: Michael David Barrett, aka The Erin Andrews Peeper, who used a peephole to videotape Miss Andrews showering in various hotel rooms. Talk about a boy with a mission. he is also accused of being a stalker, and to that I say, Duh! He followed her around the country to peephole tape her. That’s the very definition of stalker! But he took it a step further and posted the Erin Andrews Shower Tapes on the Internet. His trial is far from over, but he could get up to five years in prison. He won’t need a camera for those showers!
NUMBER EIGHT: Carrie Prejean. While Mark Sanford used state money to fly South Of The Border to get his rocks off, CarrieCarrieCarrie let her fingers travel south, and then taped the show for various, ahem, “boyfriends. The year started off good for her, I guess. After the Miss USA Hates Gay Marriage question she became became the darling of Christian conservatives. But things went south [pun intended] when racy photos of her hit the Internet, followed by news about her pageant-financed breast implants and finally that solo, so low [again, pun intended] sex tape. And Carrie disappeared, taking her video camera and her fingerless gloves with her.
NUMBER SEVEN: The Heenes, Richard and Mayumi, aka Mr. and Mrs. Do Anything To Get Our Lazy Asses On TV, were already reality TV veterans and were hoping for a new show when they staged a high-flying hoax that transfixed TV news viewers who were missing the slow speed chases of the last century. These asshats claimed their son Falcon was trapped inside a runaway balloon that soared for 50 miles above Colorado. Oh, but little Falcon was hiding in the house, because that’s what his parents told him to do. The story would have been one for the books, were it not for Falcon’s unplanned utterance on CNN, telling his parents: “You guys said we did this for the show.”
NUMBER SIX: The Gosselins: ‘Jon & Kate Plus 8’ = hate, and apparently huge ratings for people with nothing better to do; I mean it’s no Real Housewives franchise, now is it? But then came bad parenting, nanny booty calls, and ratings that fell flatter that Kate’s personality. And a divorce and end to their “show.” Buh-bye, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
NUMBER FIVE: The Salahis, aka Ignorant Media Whores, became the most talked-about attendees at President Obama’s first state dinner because, yeah, NO ONE INVITED THEM! Michaele and Tareq Salahi, two publicity-whoring-socialites angling for a reality TV show because their lives are empty and dull, crashed the party and became more famous than they could have imagined. Obama was pissed, the Secret Service took the blame, and the Salahis actually turned down an invitation: the one to be grilled by lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
NUMBER FOUR: Senator John Ensign, from Nevada, is a conservative Repugnant Republican Asshat who can’t keeps his pants zipped; oh, and he also belongs to a secretive religious group called The Family. Ensign’s indiscretion, oh hell, his fucking, of a former staffer–which he admitted in June–turned out to be part of a real family affair. His lover was the wife of his former top aide. Ensign had his parents pay the woman’s family $96,000, then got her husband a job, allegedly in violation of ethics rules. His conservatives must have come as unbuckled as his belt.
NUMBER THREE: Governor Mark Sanford, my hometown fave, told his aides–who told reporters–that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail for a few days in June; that, we have learned, is slang, for “boning an Argentinean woman.” See, Mark and his good friend Little Mark had gone South Of The Border for a little salsa and chippie–or as he calls her, his “soul mate”–sorry Jenny. Upon coming back t South Carolina, he was outed as just one more lying cheating hypocritical Republican adulterer who values all marriage except his own. He cried; he moved out of the house; Jenny filed for divorce. He was also officially rebuked–but not impeached–by idiotic south Carolina state lawmakers.
NUMBER TWO: David Letterman. Nope, not funny when the late-night talk show host admitted he’d had sex with women who worked for him. He made the on-air confession last fall after Joe Halderman, a producer for CBS’s “48 Hours,” allegedly tried to use information about the married comedian’s affairs to extort $2 million from Letterman. Halderman was charged with attempted grand larceny. Letterman returned to getting laughs at the expense of others, like our next scandal, the Biggest Mother-Effer Of The Year!
NUMBER ONE: Tiger Woods, once called the “Athlete of the Decade,” his new title is King Of The ManWhores. Tiger Woods’ nice-guy image was drubbed with a Nine Iron–is that a golf club?–when he admitted to “infidelity” after a mysterious late-night SUV crash outside his Florida home. Now, more than a dozen alleged mistresses who are looking for their own reality TV show have materialized and some of Tiger’s big-money endorsement deals evaporated.
The committee was formed by court order in 2007, when the activist group The Blue Diamond Society successfully petitioned the Supreme Court for legal recognition of transgender people, measures to address violence against the LGBT community and reparations for LGBT people who were victims of state violence.
This committee is a landmark in the making for international law– especially considering no other country has considered reparations for LGBT victims of violence.
NUMBER FOUR: This one, well, I’m holding my breath because I don’t trust a group of haters like the Catholic Church as far as I can throw them.
Now, let’s put aside all the wrongs committed by the church against the LGBT community and look at just this one statement. There is power in those words because this religious, and let us not forget, political, body has diplomatic ties with no fewer than 177 countries.
With the addition of an unexpected ally–one which I think we should keep a close eye on–we can look for good things from the international community in the new decade.
NUMBER THREE: The breaking news that a Lebanese judge has ruled homosexual acts are not “against nature.” Lebanese activists have long been campaigning to overturn Article 534, which outlaws sexual acts “against nature”–whatever that means. The law has been used to persecute lesbians and gay men, and researcher Nizar Saghiyeh found that it was used in about 50 different cases over the last five years.
When Saghiyeh brought the law to the attention of the courts in the northern city of Batroun, the city judge ruled that the law was inapplicable based on its vagueness. Ya think?
“The concept of the ‘unnatural’ is related to society’s mindset, customs and its acceptability of new natural patterns,” reads the verdict. The verdict goes on to refute the idea that any human act can be “unnatural” since humans are part and parcel of nature.
There is speculation that the ruling has the potential to overturn Article 534 completely, since Batroun has now set a precedent in legal writ, and Lebanon appears to be following in the footsteps of the Number Two triumph of the year …
NUMBER TWO: The High Court of New Delhi declared that the Indian equivalent of sodomy laws, code section 377 which outlawed “carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” was not applicable to same-sex acts between consenting adults. This is a big win for the LGBT community in India, and has even been dubbed “India’s Stonewall.”
NUMBER ONE: Not wanting Mexico to beat them to the punch, Argentina allowed two men to wed in the first same-sex marriage ceremony ever in Latin America. The lucky couple, Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre, had tried to marry in Buenos Aires earlier in the year, but were refused by city officials. Since Argentina’s constitution does not explicitly endorse or forbid same sex marriage, the states have a jumble of different precedents that resemble the mess in the U.S. fifty.
So Maria Di Bello and Freyre traveled to the capital of Tierra del Fuego state, Ushuaia, and received a warm welcome in this southern city. After the ceremony, the government of Tierra del Fuego actually sent out wedding photos of the two men, and the governor called gay marriage “an important advance in human rights and social inclusion” and affirmed, “We are very happy that this has happened in our state.”