Happy Pride edition, sweeties! I have to admit, I almost didn’t make deadline because as the pure-living, spiritually aware, chaste and virtuous gal that I am, I was absolutely convinced I was going to be taken up by the Rapture on the 21st. Sadly, I wasn’t, so it’s back to deadlines, paying bills, mowing the lawns and dieting. I am so bummed!
Anyway kittens, besides the whole end of the world/rapture thingy, this last month has been a really busy and spectacular time for closet-busting! Just over the last week CNN Anchor Don Lemon, ESPN Sports announcer Jared Max, and Phoenix Suns President Rick Welts all came flying out of their closets. And to them I give a heartfelt thank you, and a sincere “welcome to the gayborhood!”
Now, these guys aren’t your stereotypical sitcom queens suddenly announcing to the entire florist shop “Surprise bitches, I am super, super gay!” (Which still takes plenty of balls, so don’t think that I am minimizing anyone’s contribution to our visibility!). No, this latest wave of de-closeted men are accomplished, high-profile icons who made their careers in very competitive and testosterone-fueled industries like broadcasting and athletics. These are environments where homophobia traditionally just comes with the territory (and Don Lemon is a black male as well … just saying!).
If you think times aren’t changing then pull up the latest video of former NBA player Charles Barkley on YouTube where he is matter-of-factly defending gays and lesbians. It’s really impressive, and someone needs to send that man a huge muffin basket and a thank you card. And by that I mean a basket of huge muffins, because that big slab of sportscasting man-beef is seriously getting chunkier as he gets older, but I digress.
Who knows cherubs, with all of the progress being made in sports maybe one day Johnny Weir will finally take his hands off his hips and say: “Surprise bitches, I am super, super straight!” Well maybe not, but dare to dream darlings, dare to dream.
Take a minute to compare and contrast our latest out-and-proud men, to all of the dysfunctional closet cases that seem to populate the religious and political communities. I swear to god if I had a quarter for every George Rekers, Mark Foley, Ted Haggart, Larry Craig, family values touting, gay sex and drug scandal that came along, I could make my mortgage payment, detail my car and still have change left over for a panini.
It seems that we are finally seeing the benefit of the Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are campaigns of the ’80s and ’90s. The basic premise was that after decades of never talking about us or acknowledging that we even exist, straight people would be more accepting of gays and lesbians if they actually knew someone gay or lesbian in their family, workplace, or church. And it’s true. We have seen some real softening of opinions since more and more gay folk have come out of the closet.
Which leads me to an interesting observation: I can’t help but think that the new LDS “I am a Mormon” PR campaign has completely ripped off our “come out of the closet” model! For months now the LDS leadership has been encouraging their members to come out and flood the internet, public forums, and any available media platforms with personal stories and testimonies in order to soften the negative perceptions of Mormons with the general public. Have you noticed how many LDS characters there are on reality television right now? They are everywhere! I guarantee it’s only a matter of time before the “Real House Wives of Alpine” gets green lit by BRAVO. I’ve mentioned the Mormon voting block syndrome on American Idol and Dancing with the Stars before, but now it looks like every show has to have their token Mormon or two, or more. Did you see that six of the 22 Biggest Loser contestants were LDS. I’m not judging darlings…, but damn! And as if that wasn’t discouraging and visually disturbing enough, now two of the front runner Republican candidates for president are Mormons. After about two weeks of election ads, newspaper editorials, and election PSAs there will be a point of too much visibility and LDS over exposure, and I will gladly reopen my own closet doors for them to go back in.
You can see Ruby Ridge and the Matrons of Mayhem in all of their polyester glory at Third Friday Bingo (every Third Friday of the month at 7pm) at First Baptist Church (777 S. 1300 East). This June our charity is Camp Kostopoulous.