Friday, June 26, 2015

Marriage Equality is Here but there is still more to do

Our legal wedding in 2008 is now valid in all 50 states.
Last Friday was the 10-year anniversary of our religious, Jewish wedding. (See previous entry.) This Friday marks the Supreme Court decision making marriage equality the law in all 50 states.  Our marriage is now legal in all 50 states!

As we celebrate this momentous win, let’s not forget there are still many issues and struggles that the LGBT community still faces today in the United States.

* LGBT individuals can still be fired, simply for being who they are. Yes, you can be married on Sunday and fired for being gay on Monday. There is no federal law protecting LGBT workers against discrimination based on their sexual orientation. And while some states and cities have passed their own protections, there are still 29 states where you can actually be fired for being gay, leaving more than half of all total workers vulnerable to employment discrimination. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which was first introduced in 1994, passed in the Senate in 2014 but has since stalled in the House because of arguments around religious exemptions.

* Sexual orientation and gender identity still aren't protected under the hate crime statutes of more than 20 states. In many places it is not a hate crime to beat up a queer.

* LGBT individuals are still denied basic public accommodations because of their sexuality or gender identity. Twenty-nine states have no laws protecting queer people from being denied basic accommodations, like getting admission into a movie theater or even ordering customized baked goods.

* As of April 2014, 17 states either have not yet formally repealed their laws against sexual activity among consenting adult, or have not revised them to accurately reflect their true scope in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas. 14 states purport to ban all forms of sodomy, some including oral sex, regardless of the participants' genders: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Utah. Four states specifically target their statutes at same-sex relations only: Oklahoma, Kansas, Kentucky, and Texas.

* Sexually active gay men are still banned from donating blood. This outdated policy is both homophobic and life-threatening.

* Same-sex parents struggle for the custody rights that heterosexuals are automatically granted. Most states still don't allow a second spouse in a same-sex couple to gain legal recognition as a child's parent and guardian, creating a second-class legal status for that excluded parent and the entire family.

* LGBT Youth Homelessness: Up to 40% of homeless youth are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Queer youth homelessness is often caused by homophobia. Many teens have positive, supportive coming out experiences, and families who provide unconditional love. However, in far too many cases, teens that come out are explicitly told they are no longer welcome at home. For others, living at home becomes so unbearable that leaving may seem like the safest option.

Friday, June 19, 2015

10 Year Wedding Anniversary

This morning Facebook reminded us that today is our 10th wedding anniversary. It is not our custom to celebrate our anniversary on the calendar day. Instead we choose to acknowledge it on Fathers Day every year. We were married in a big Jewish wedding on Fathers Day, June19, 2005.

We will be celebrating Fathers Day and our anniversary on Sunday. Our oldest daughter is hosting a BBQ at her place in SF.
A kiss, a toast, and cake.

The ceremony under the chuppah

Us and our six kids

Our ketubah
Blog entries about the wedding can be found here:

Our big, gay, Jewish wedding was not a legal wedding. That would have to wait until 2008. We had an official California wedding during the brief window it was legal in California before Proposition 8 passed and made it illegal again. The US Supreme Court overturned Prop 8 in June 2013.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Elton John Sing-Along

Elton, Eddie, Steve and friends at SFGMC.
It is not too late to join my husband, Eddie, and his friends as they sing with the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus at their next concert: "ELTON, The Sing-Along": SFGMC's Friday, June 26 (8 pm) & Saturday, June 27 (3 & 8 pm). The concert features more than 2 dozen of Elton’s greatest, most loved hits from rock, Broadway & film. Wild costumes, fabulous choreography, dance lines, drag queens in addition to drop-dead, gorgeous singing. And, YOU get to join in on all your favorite choruses. Buy your tickets today at

But we can't do it without your help in belting out some of Sir Elton's most iconic melodies!   This is truly a sing-along, and there will be video screens with words and song sheets to help.  You will have a chance to join in on your favorite choruses to his iconic songs.  We may even have you dancing on your feet before it's over.

So dust off your bedazzled spectacles; strap on your platform shoes; and grab your boa for “Rocket Man,” “Crocodile Rock,” “Can You Feel The Love Tonight,” “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and many, many more!

After you get your tickets, let us know what performance you are coming!  See you there!! Tell your friends, colleagues, and family.  And, this is a VERY family-friendly show!

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Meeting Eddie

Early picture of the 2 of us, Eddie & Ed, in 2003.
I met the man that was to be my husband 13 years ago on June 7th.  He responded to a posting I had placed on Yahoo Personals looking for a buddy. We corresponded back and forth several times online over a period of several days. Finally we decided we would meet in person over lunch in downtown Palo Alto. I was working at Stanford University and was somewhat familiar with Palo Alto although at this point I almost never left the campus during the day to go downtown.  Eddie lived in Palo Alto. He suggested we meet in front of The Old Pro restaurant on Ramona Street.

I set out for lunch that day thinking I had plenty of time. However, I soon learned that parking is a bitch downtown. (And it still is.) I am now walking double time from the parking lot to the restaurant in order to get there in time. I don’t want to be late. I don’t want Eddie to think I was one of those flaky people that are never on time or worse that I wasn’t going to show.

We didn’t know what each other looked like at this point. All our writing back and forth was with email. In the early years of 2000, most people didn’t have digital pictures to exchange. Camera phones would not be popular for a couple more years. All I knew of his appearance was that he was tall and trim. I told him I would be wearing a plaid shirt and glasses.

I nervously stood outside the restaurant waiting and hoping that I wasn’t going to be stood up. Within a minute or so, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around toward the person and looked up. There, silhouetted against the sun, was Eddie. A shiver ran down my spine. He was good looking with a sexy vibe to him. I felt this was going to be an interesting lunch.

We went inside and got a table in the back. We ordered sandwiches off the menu and proceeded to talk for over an hour. I became totally enchanted by this man. My stomach was tense. I had goosebumps on the back of my arms. The little voice in my head was chanting, “don’t screw this up; don’t screw this up; don’t screw this up.”

We talked of our passion of theatre. I had worked as a theatre arts administrator for almost 20 years. He had recently finished a term as the board chair of a major regional theatre company.  We had a lot of mutual interest in the arts.

We both loved running and made plans to run the hills on the backside of the Stanford campus, aka the Dish. We both liked biking and hiking with Eddie having done many over the top adventure travel vacations associated with these endeavors. This was the start of many future plans.

After lunch we continued our meeting at his office. I was totally blown away by this guy. He was everything I was looking for in a best friend and lover. Our first meeting was followed up with lots of back and forth emails. We started running together at lunch and doing bike rides on the weekends. At the end of four months we came out together, left our wives and moved in together. A whole new chapter of lives opened up.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Dad Humor

Here is a little Dad humor to lighten up the place.

My all time favorite dad joke. I have been using this joke on my kids for over 25-plus years. It still kills.

I am also an uncle. I have nothing more to add to standup comic Steve Hofstetter's routine except he speaks the truth.


Finally, this really cracks me up. A closely cropped body shot of me is used from my Flickr account to illustrate a story published in dozens of radio station blogs about the current topic of “Dad Bod.” I am honored that even in my over-the-hill age, I was considered the epitome of the "Dad Bod."

Here is the Daily Show with Jon Stewart video about "Dad Bod" that the above story with my enticing picture linked to.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

TBT: Boyhood

A ThrowBack Thursday album of Ed’s early boyhood years. From sitting in a country sink to hanging around my Dad's Ford Mustang.
Bath time in Grandma's sink. Rub a dub dub

Snoozing with the 'rents

Visiting the grandparents on the farm

My back stairs

Me and my Dad

Chilling in a blowup pool

Shiny. I can see myself

Pretty much have always had the same belly.

Gotta wear shades

Bow ties are hip

I like rockets, they are so phallic.

Cruising the neighborhood

Let's put on a show

Posing with younger brother and sister

Not an Apple Watch

Posing with another phallic thing

Who doesn't like a pony?

Soaking in the sun at camp.

Cub scout

Mustang, a pony car

Planting season

Early drag. Everybody ought to have a maid.

Family picture 1968

A player

Formal picture

Speed racer

Casual Friday

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Another cancer challenge

Ed and Eddie at a benefit
Unfortunately, we learned this week that the lower-level, maintenance chemo treatment that Ed began in January (which was supposed to suppress any further growth/spread of tumors) has not worked.  The nodes in his lungs from the metastasized colorectal cancer have continued to grow and multiply. The only thing this chemo drug was doing was causing his skin to break out in intense acne-like rash from the top of his head to his waist.  The good news is that it appears the cancer has not yet spread beyond the lungs.

Beginning next Thursday, he will once again begin a multi-month regime of the highly toxic, 3-days-every-two-weeks chemotherapy (FOLFIRI).  These treatments will be similar to what he was on last year (treatments that in fact did diminish the cancer to non-detectable levels).  However, the drug that has caused the extreme neuropathy in his hands and feet will be substituted with a drug that will have different side effects (probable loss of hair, increased diarrhea, etc.).  If this combination works after 4-6 months, then he will be on an ongoing subset of the same drugs for maintenance, as long as they work.

What this means in terms of day-to-day life is a return to some of the things we had to do last year:
- No unpeeled, raw foods in his diet.
- Asking any friends/family who have runny noses from colds, fever, etc. to avoid contact with him.
- Avoidance of extremely large crowds (like Giants baseball games, unfortunately).

We will continue, as we did last year, to go to theatre, opera, and ballet as much as we can (avoiding the 3-4 first days of each two-week sequence).  He plans to continue work except for Day One of each two-week sequence.  We hopefully can make a few weekend trips in the off weeks of the treatment.  Our oncologist wants us not to cancel at this point our August trip to Europe.  If the treatments are working as they did last year, we might be able to pause treatments for a month to make the three-week journey.  That is the goal she is working toward.

And so what can you do?  Just continue your good thoughts, prayers, drumming, meditating, or whatever works for you.  Ed appreciates it all.

We know we are not the only ones among our and your friends/family facing these kind of life-changing events with uncertain futures.  Together, we will all bond for strength.

In the meantime, we are making each day count to the max.  Slowing down is not yet what we plan to do on most of those days.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Passover: a joyous and gay festival

Passover (Pesach) begins Friday. We are hosting our Seder dinner on the second night, Saturday. That evening, a room full of men, 21 of them, will be sitting down and retelling the ancient story of freedom and liberation and having a wonderful meal.

I have written and posted about our gay men's Passover Seders many times. Here is a collection of some of my favorite informative posts.

The story of liberation. In addition to telling the Exodus story, we also tell and remember the lives and contributions of gay Jews.
Remembering the Stories of Gay Jews in the History of GLBT Liberation:

On our Seder table we have both the traditional Seder plate and a GLBT Seder plate.

Some of the readings we incorporate into our service around the table.
Gay Memorial Candle and a Retelling of the Ten Plagues in the GLBT community:

Our Seder menu. Lovingly prepared by my talented husband.

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