Thursday, June 26, 2008

Pride '08

It is Gay Pride Weekend in San Francisco and New York City. We will miss the SF events and many of NYC’s because we will be either flying to NYC or attending a Broadway show. We have 13 shows to see in 8 days. In the mean time, here are a few videos to keep you entertained.
Barack Obama’s gay pride message.

What is John McCain’s message about LGBT Americans this pride season?

If you need reasons to vote, consider the crazy “I’m voting Republican”

There is nothing to him, strike a pose

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Another Gay Marriage Anniversary

GuyDads - Two gay fathersThree years ago on Father’s Day, June 19, we were married in a Jewish religious wedding ceremony at our large suburban synagogue by our head rabbi. We became California Domestic Partners four years ago. Now we have to discuss, consider and plan a California civil wedding.

The Reform movement, the largest Jewish movement in the US with 1.7 million members, has been welcoming to GLBT people as members and clergy for several decades. Reform rabbis are allowed to officiate at same-sex unions "through appropriate Jewish ritual," since they passed a resolution in 2000.

Our family of six children, ages 6 to 22 at the time, was part of the service.
Our marriage ceremony was not a private affair. We had about 200 guests, gay and straight and Jews and non-Jews. In Judaism, it is important to affirm our commitment in the context of a history and a community – both of which give real meaning and direction to our lives. Our celebration and consecration of our love was a combination of many traditions which generations before us have used to assert their love before God, family, and friends. While we followed the footsteps of many Jewish couples before us, we also knew that ours was a less-trodden path as a same-sex couple. We wanted to commit publicly our bond and love in the company of our friends and family who supported us in so many ways. We also wanted to affirm the ground-breaking stand Reform Judaism has taken that same-sex unions are holy and valid. Finally, we wanted to proclaim that we all stand together in the belief that loving couples and families are of many sorts in America. Further, we defy any so-called morality group to define for us what they see as the ‘only’ way for marriage to occur. May the time be not too distant that all our states and federal governments understand and act to assure the fundamental right to marry for all Americans.
Under the Chuppah: a Gay Jewish wedding

We are tentatively thinking about doing a simple civil ceremony in the fall before the election. We think it is important to be counted in as one of the gay marriages done during this time. Neither one of us are particularly optimistic about the defeat this fall’s California ballot proposition which would amend the state constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Even though California has the reputation for being a socially liberal state, its population comprises of many groups that remain skeptical if not totally opposed to same-sex marriage. I am afraid that the “mob rule” or “vote of the people” will not be an enlightened choice for issues on social justice and civil rights for LGBT people.

UPDATE: We have set Sunday, October 19th as the date for our civil wedding. More details later.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fathers' Pride

We don’t post much about our kids activities here but Father’s Day weekend offered a time to reflect on some of the wonderful accomplishments each kid has made. All six have had a very successful spring.

There have been two college graduations. Oldest daughter, SJ, finished at Sonoma State University and is currently working at a city library. She has plans to get a Masters in Library Science.
Oldest daughter and boyfriend

Middle son, ER, graduated at University of California at Santa Cruz over the weekend. His plans include getting a teaching credential and becoming a grade school teacher for first through fourth grade. He also has done some catalogue modeling for a friends business.
Middle son and girlfriend Hoddie model

Oldest son, JR, is working at his second year law school internship at a large, international law firm. Part of the summer he is in San Francisco and part in Hong Kong. He recently celebrated his 25th birthday.
Oldest son at work

Another middle son, JR2, was recently promoted to front desk manager for a major hotel (2nd in command). He has received many awards, acknowledgements and recognitions for his customer service.
Another son at work

Youngest son, BAJ, finished grade school and starts junior high in the fall. He is a huge sports fan and loves to play baseball little league. Second base is his favorite position.
Giants fans

The youngest kid, LJ, recently turned nine. She loves collecting rubber ducks, reading books and creating art projects.
The two youngest at Father's Day lunch in Capitola

Friday, June 13, 2008

June is Gay Theatre Month

Theatre stages are bursting out all over with pride. In June, rainbows, flags and glitter come out in full force. The SF Bay Area is blessed with at least three gay theatre companies that I know about: New Conservatory Theatre Center (NCTC), Theatre Rhinoceros, and Theatre Q. They perform year around. But they tend to pull out all the stops for June.
David Bicha, Kai Brothers & 'Drew Todd in It's Murder, Mary! at NCTCNCTC is doing three productions. We have seen only one of the shows, “It's Murder, Mary!” by Andrew Black and Patricia Milton. It is a campy murder mystery parody. On a dark and stormy night, a group of eight gay stereotypes arrive at a secluded home near the Russian River. Murders ensue. The theatre is also presenting a new play “Men in Uniform” and a drag cabaret show called “Katya: From Russia With Love”.
Theatre Rhinoceros is in rehearsals for their last show of the season, “Ishi: The Last of the Yahi.” It is written and directed by John Fisher and opens July 3rd.
Theatre Q in Palo Alto is presenting “Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde”, by Moisès Kaufman. We have heard good things about this production and are hoping to see it before it ends on June 22nd.

Cole Porter's Out of This World at 42nd Street MoonSeveral local non-gay theatre companies are now showing their gayest play of the year. Our favorite that we’ve seen is Cole Porter’s “Out of This World”. It is being done by 42ND Street Moon, a theatre group whose mission is to do lost or forgotten musicals. “Out of This World” was Porter’s follow-up to “Kiss Me, Kate” in 1950. The musical is a saucy farce about Greek Gods and Hollywood movie types on the prowl in 1950s Athens looking for hot sexual action (men and women, men and men, and women and women!). The book for the musical was revised in 2000 by the co-founder of 42nd Street Moon with the blessing of the Porter Trust.
Kevin (Eric Kerr) watches as Max (Liam Vincent) seduces his boyfriend Blake (Patrick Alparone) in Steve Yockey’s Octopus at the Magic Theatre.The Magic Theatre is presenting a very gay play. It the first scene, two gay couples get naked and hookup in a new work called “Octopus”. The theatre calls it a post-modern gay story but it is really an under-developed script warning of the dangers of AIDS and open relationships. The actors and sets are great but script is second rate. It is extended through June 21.

TIP: Half-price tickets for many select performances, sporting events and family activities are often available on Goldstar Events. Areas include San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose, San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Washington DC, Boston, and Chicago.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Xanadu: not just “children’s theatre for 40-year-old gay men”

I’ve seen this video on several different gay sites today. It is funny. Cheyenne Jackson and several male cast members from Xanadu along with Nathan Lane chat about the upcoming Tony awards and whether Xanadu is too gay to win an award.

We’ve got Tony fever! In one month we will be in New York City for our annual week of Broadway Theatre. This year we are seeing 12 shows in 8 days during the July 4th week.


2008 NYC theatre list:
August: Osage County - play
Sunday in Park with George - musical
The Phantom of the Opera - musical
Les Liaison Dangereuses - play
The 39 Steps - play
South Pacific - musical
Gypsy - musical
Passing Strange - musical
Young Frankenstein - musical
Adding Machine: A Musical
Kicking a Dead Horse
- play
Damn Yankees - musical (at City Center’s Encores with Cheyenne Jackson!).
UPDATE: Just added a 13th show, A Catered Affair - musical. Hope nothing closes between now and the first week in July. Last year 3 shows closed before we got there to see them.

Last year’s 2007 New York Broadway trip:
Year of Magical Thinking – play (Vanessa Redgrave)
10 Million Miles – musical by Patty Griffin, (Matthew Morrison, Mare Winningham)
In the Heights - musical
Frost/Nixon – play (Frank Langella, Michael Sheen)
Kerry Butler and Cheyenne Jackson in XanaduRent - musical
Deuce- play (Angela Lansbury, Marian Seldes)
Sessions - musical
Inherit the Wind – play (Christopher Plummer, Brian Dennehy)
Mary Poppins - musical
Curtains – musical (David Hyde Pierce, Debra Monk)
Grey Gardens – musical (Christine Ebersole)
110 in the Shade - musical (Audra McDonald, John Cullum)
- musical (Cheyenne Jackson, Tony Roberts)

2006 New York Broadway trip:
Sweeney Todd - musical (Patti LuPone, Michael Cerveris)
Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris - musical
Monty Python's Spamalot - musical
The History Boys – play (Richard Griffiths)
The Lieutenant of Inishmore – play
Faith Healer – play (Cherry Jones, Ralph Fiennes)
Pig Farm - play
The Color Purple - musical (LaChanze)
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels - musical (Jonathan Pryce, Norbert Leo Butz, Lucie Arnaz)
Spring Awakening - musical by Duncan Sheik
Drowsy Chaperone – musical

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Twelve Rational Reasons Why Same-sex Marriages Will Ruin Society and Should Be Constitutionally Outlawed

Proud to be a Gay AmericanAlthough variations of this list have been around for a while, the arguments are still the same. Let’s review:

1. Homosexuality is not natural. (Like immunizations, birth control and taxes - these unnatural things have no place in our society. If it is different from what I wish to consider normal, then I will call it unnatural.)

2. Only heterosexual marriages are valid because only they can produce children. (This is why we do not allow infertile couples and old people to marry. And fertility testing is required before heterosexual couples are allowed to marry in order to comply with the ‘one child policy’.)

3. Gay parents will only end up raising gay children. (Just as straight parents only raise straight children.)

4. Same-sex marriage will tarnish the institution of marriage. (Just as Britney Spears' two-day ‘just for fun’ marriage. Or popular TV shows ‘Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire’, ‘The Bachelor’, and ‘Who Wants to Marry My Dad’ condones marrying complete strangers for game show fame and money.)

5. Heterosexual marriage is traditional. (That's why women are still property and can't vote. And why Blacks are kept as slaves and are not allowed to marry.)

6. Same-sex marriage is an issue that should be decided by people, not the courts. (Because ‘the People’, not the courts, have historically protected the rights of minorities, just ask Native Americans, African-Americans and Asian-Americans.)

7. Same-sex marriage is not supported by religious teachings. (In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are always imposed on the entire country. This is why we only have one religion in America.)

8. Same-sex marriage will only encourage straight people to be gay. (In the same way that hanging around tall people makes you tall.)

9. Legalizing same-sex marriage will open the door for all kinds of perverted behaviors, like people marrying their pets. (Because dogs and cats are recognized as citizens and can legally sign contracts and marriage licenses.)

10. Children cannot grow up to be functioning adults without both male and female role models at home. (This is why it is illegal for single parents to live with their children.)

11. Civil unions, providing most of the same benefits as marriage with a different name are better. (‘Separate but Equal’ institutions are always constitutional. Separate schools, lunch counters and water fountains worked for African-Americans. It will work just as well as separate marriages for homosexuals.)

12. Homosexuality is a lifestyle choice that does not merit special rights of marriage. (Being gay-bashed, called ‘faggot’, and ostracized by family, friends and church is a fabulous choice for expressing your identity and who you love. Other protected lifestyle choices such as Baptist, Catholic or Republican are just not challenging enough.)
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