Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Up, Up, and Away...

This year of my life, I made a promise to myself that I would concentrate on my writing.

I've certainly tried to do that, and I have thus far enjoyed some success.
For over a year now, my collaborator, Ryan Scott Oliver, and I have been working non-stop (read: with many, many stops) on a new musical called Darling.

This January, Darling will receive a fully-produced reading at Pace University.

We just finished casting the piece yesterday, and I am so freakin' excited. There are some talented kids at Pace, and it's going to be such a thrill to work on this piece with them. Not to mention that I'll be spending a month in New York. It's always a pleasure to be in New York when you have something to do.

This is hopefully the first stop of many on Darling's way to bigger things.
And as always, the most satisfying thing is to set a goal and then achieve it.

Now if I could only figure out how to make some money in the process....

Alex Brightman sings "Lost Boy" from DARLING.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Revolutionary Costume for Today

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa....

As I was prepping to go and demonstrate in Los Angeles for the civil rights of a discriminated minority, I took stock for a moment and thought, "Wow...I am participating in my democracy."
And then I thought, "Oh my god, what the hell am I going to wear?"

And honestly, what does one wear to a gay protest? Does one put on a chicken suit, as so many did, to comment on the failure of prop 2 against the passing of prop 8 (Chickens, 1; Gays, 0). While the commentary and the comedy might be effective, this is LA in November during fires, so it was approximately 1 million degrees. Does one, perhaps, combine stripes and polka dots to exemplify the absurdity of separate but equal? While clever, one runs the risk of seeming like just a fashion idiot - this is a gay protest after all.

Finally, I decided on jeans, a t-shirt (nothing particularly radical, as I don't really own anything radical), and to top it off, a red bandanna on my head, to elicit Rosie the Riveter. I figured that was fitting.

And then I got back to thinking about democracy, when I read this reader dissent on Andrew Sullivan's blog:

"Yesterday my girl friend and I drove to downtown San Diego to attend the wine and food festival. We encountered much difficulty because of the No on 8 Marchers.

Efforts at mob rule have always worried me. This great democracy is fragile and I think we do not fully realize how very small numbers of people can cause great disorder. We had an election and the majority of Californians voted to preserve the thousands of years old institution of marriage. Demonstrations like the one I witnessed yesterday gain no sympathy from those of use who still believe the the rule of law and democratic process.

I am afraid we are going to lose this country."

Mob rule? Disorder? Preserving institutions? Democratic process?

I can't help but wonder who the "we" is in his final statement...

Let's do a little constitutional review, shall we?
From the Bill of Rights (that's civil remember those, right?)
1st Ammendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That last section is most relevant here (although that first part always needs reminding as well, it seems.)
So "mob rule" and "disorder" seem to be a most important part of our "democratic process." At least, according to our founding fathers. But what did they know?

And as for preserving institutions, let me remind you, and let me be clear:
People in California did not vote to preserve anything. The words "preserve" were not in the proposition at all. The words "Eliminate rights" were. This was not a vote to give gay people any rights. They already had them. This was a vote to take them away.

And with that, we go back to our constitution.
14th Amendment:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

A quick side note in case you forgot, this was the amendment that came out of the civil war. A civil war fought over the notion that a minority could not be oppressed by a majority.

So yet again, we see what our "democratic process" is really about. It isn't about putting civil rights at the ballot box and allowing a mere 500,000 votes to rule.

No, I don't believe that demonstrations like this will gain much sympathy from those that have nothing to lose, that have never experienced the sensation of having to fight for your rights. But that's okay. We don't want your sympathy. And while I deeply regret your not getting to the wine and food festival with ease, I don't regret you witnessing our democratic process in action.

See the thing is, we don't want to lose our country either.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Act up.

One of the greatest powers in our democracy is civil disobedience.

If you care about YOUR human rights, act up.

This Saturday, November 15th, there is a nationwide protest against marriage discrimination.

Nation. Wide.

Every single state and Washington D.C. will be hosting protests.

This is not a religious fight. We are not protesting the practice of any religion in this country. We want you all to go to church, temple, mosque, what have you.

This is about civil rights.

Act up.

"As I've
Often stated,
It's intolerable
being tolerated."

Friday, November 7, 2008

Our Future Madame President

I'm sorry, can we please talk about how cute my niece is?

This is the future of the world, people!!

And if you ask me, the future looks pretty damn adorable!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

One Nation, Under Canada

Re: Sarah Palin's apparent ignorance about the nations involved in NAFTA (that would be the ::ahem:: North American Free Trade Agreement.)

This link came off Andrew Sullivan's blog.

It seems The Weekly Standard defends Palin's obvious knowledge that Canada is apart of North America.

I don't doubt she does know that.

My guess is it's the part about Mexico also being part of North America that most likely escaped her.

As well as The Weekly Standard

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

November 5th, 2008

Today is an historic and bittersweet day for democracy.

One civil rights battle has sustained a wonderful victory.
Another civil rights battle took a stunning defeat.

Barack Hussein Obama will be our 44th President with an overwhelming electoral win.
Proposition 8 was passed, Amending the California Constitution to eliminate the civil rights of gays and lesbians.

It's an ironic day.

When 70% of the nation's LGBT voted for an African-American President.
Yet, 70% of Californian African-Americans voted in favor of discrimination against LGBT.
"African-Americans, who voted overwhelmingly against extending to gay people the civil rights once denied them."

When 88% of the nations liberals and 60% of the nation's moderates vote for an African-American President.
Yet, California, the most liberal of states in the nation, votes against equality for all.

I was moved to tears when Obama spoke about the promise of our Founding Fathers coming true - All Men Are Created Equal. To have this insight and this ideal some 200-years-ago is truly marvelous. And yet, 200-years-later, it remains just an ideal.

Though Obama has won, there is still a civil rights battle in this country. When will the minority groups learn that apart, they are minorities, but together, they are majorities?

Prop 8 is a setback, but not the end of the war. Who will pick up the torch? Where are the gay civil rights leaders, marching, and demonstrating, and boycotting? Who will step forward and show the country that gay people have a voice? Where is the gay MLK, Ghandi, Obama?

We shall overcome. Yes, we can.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Voted

Today I was a true, patriotic American.

Today I came from Real America.

It didn't have to do with paying higher taxes, or waging war, or spreading the wealth.

Today I was Joe the American.

I participated in my government, in my democracy.


I voted.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

And a Cup o' Jo

As if you needed another reason to vote this Tuesday...

(thanks Joe!)