Gays and Lesbians* Just a quick reminder: In the United States, we have separation of church and state. No politician can ever force your church to marry gay people.
* When she was growing up, comedian Margaret Cho worked in her parents’ bookstore, which was located in an area heavily populated by gay men. At first, she was scared of them because they dressed in leather and looked tough, even though the worst thing that happened was one of them smiled at her and told her, “I like your purse.” As soon as she was old enough to realize that they were gay, she immediately felt safe.
* All his life, Kevin Berrill felt different from other people, and when he reached adolescence, he discovered that he was gay — he had sexual feelings for other males. Unfortunately, because of what his society believed at the time, he thought being gay was bad and he resolved to stop being gay — or, if he failed to stop being gay, to hang himself when he became 17 years old. Fortunately, however, he acquired information about gay people, and even more importantly, he met other gay people, and so he did not kill himself when he reached his 17th birthday. Instead, he became a happy gay adult.
* Bette Midler began her career at a gay bathhouse, which meant that she performed in front of a lot of gay men wearing nothing but towels. This was a big opportunity for her, as the gay men treated her act with respect although it only hinted at the superstar act Ms. Midler later created. In addition, the gay men gave Ms. Midler the freedom to experiment and be outrageous on stage. She says, “Ironically, I was freed from fear by people who, at the time, were ruled by fear.” (Oh yeah, in the baths, she never saw a penis, although she admits she looked.)
* Lesbian performance artist Holly Hughes says that her hobby is “chasing girls (who don’t look like girls).” She also remembers her favorite show (Raquel Welch was sitting right in the front row) and her most terrifying show (in the middle of the show, Raquel Welch walked out).
* When the very effeminate Quentin Crisp decided to emigrate from London to New York, he went to the American Embassy to get a visa. While there, he was asked, “Are you a practicing homosexual?” He replied that he didn’t practice because he was already perfect.
* Gays and lesbians are aware that they are often the targets of violence and hate. Therefore, they sometimes form safety patrols. For example, participating in the 1995 Gay Pride Day Parade in Chicago was a group called the Pink Angels Safety Patrol.
* People discover that they are gay at different ages. Lesbian stand-up comedian Judy Carter knows Mary Newman, who was a grandmother when she became attracted to another woman. At age 64, she left her husband and moved in with the woman she loved.
* “I grew up in San Francisco. I know many same-sex families. I tell people, ‘They raise their children the same way you do — they love them. There are many kinds of family, not just the Norman Rockwell kind.'” — comedian Robin Williams.
* Lesbian humorist Ellen Orleans remembers her very first gay bumper sticker: “I’m One Too.” Once, as she was driving on the highway, a car filled with women pulled up beside her. The women rolled their windows down and shouted, “So are we!”
* Lesbian comedian Judy Carter learned that not all stereotypes are true when she met and got to know a big butch lesbian who had both a tough attitude and a pink bedroom, complete with doll collection and lace bedspread.
* Comte Robert de Montesquiou, a cultured homosexual, fell so deeply in love with actress Sarah Bernhardt that he had sex with her. Big mistake. The only heterosexual sex that he had in his life made him feel ill for an entire day.
* “Why does Rudy Giuliani get to be married three times and Newt Gingrich three times and Rush Limbaugh three times and a gay man never once? Why is that fair?” — Paul Begala on “Crossfire.”
* Coming out does have its problems. People like to ask openly gay comedian Bob Smith why gays have a thing for Judy Garland. He replies, “I don’t know. What’s this thing that straight people have with Elvis?”
* “If God dislikes gays so much, how come he picked Michelangelo, a known homosexual, to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling while assigning Anita Bryant to go on TV and push orange juice?” — Mike Royko.
* “George W. Bush is calling for a constitutional amendment to ban gay weddings. Sounds like someone didn’t get an invitation to Rosie’s wedding.” –David Letterman.
* A person would have to be crazy to call former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson a homosexual, but he does have a lisp, and so when he was growing up, other children called him “Fairy Boy.”
* Democratic National Committee Chairman Joe Andrew used to say with enthusiasm, “Black or white, rich or poor, straight or gay, you are welcome in the Democratic Party!”
* “[Arnold] Schwarzenegger has come out against gay marriage and then he went back to slathering body oil all over his muscles in front of other guys.” — Craig Kilborn.
* Some parents react well when their son reveals that he is gay, saying merely, “Is that all?” (Another good response is, “You go, girl.”)
* “President Bush said the only time two men should ever be in bed together is if one is a lobbyist and one is a politician.” — Jay Leno.