Wednesday, December 28, 2011

You gotta give ‘em hope – Harvey Milk

My very talented husband has been a member of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus for almost a year. He has recently taken on a leadership roll with the group as the production manager for a new arts initiative to honor the legacy of Harvey Milk.

This last November, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus launched a global call for submissions from artists of all types (composers, lyricists, poets, essayists, dancers, visual artists, etc.) -- particularly those 35 years and younger in age -- to help honor in 2013 the life and legacy of Harvey Milk, the first gay elected politician who plowed ground for so many to follow.

Please spread the word. Invite friends, students, family, acquaintances to go to this website, to watch the videos & then to create/submit. "DEAR HARVEY, WE'VE GOT HOPE!!"

Check out this message by Harvey Milk's nephew, Stuart, as he describes his support and excitement for "Dear Harvey, We've Got Hope." Spread the word. Send to poets, musicians, artists, singers, actors, and writers. This is a cutting-edge opportunity to be a part of a collaborative, global creation of a new piece of performance art. HOW EXCITING!!!

“I ask for the movement to continue, for the movement to grow, because last week I got a phone call from Altoona, Pennsylvania, and my election gave somebody else, one more person, hope. And after all, that's what this is all about. It's not about personal gain, not about ego, not about power — it's about giving those young people out there in the Altoona, Pennsylvanias, hope. You gotta give them hope.”
 -- From a tape recording to be played in the event of his assassination, quoted in Randy Shilts’, The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk

“And the young gay people in the Altoona, Pennsylvanias and the Richmond, Minnesotas who are coming out and hear Anita Bryant in television and her story. The only thing they have to look forward to is hope. And you have to give them hope. Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come to if the pressures at home are too great. Hope that all will be all right. Without hope, not only gays, but the blacks, the seniors, the handicapped, the us'es, the us'es will give up. And if you help elect to the central committee and other offices, more gay people, that gives a green light to all who feel disenfranchised, a green light to move forward. It means hope to a nation that has given up, because if a gay person makes it, the doors are open to everyone.”
 -- A version of his staple "Hope Speech," quoted in Randy Shilts’, The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk

Sunday, December 25, 2011

When Holidays Are Gay!

Vintage ad spotted on 

The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus Ambassadors perform the Home For The Holidays concert finale on tour at a church in Santa Cruz, California on Sat., December 17, 2011. Songs performed include "We Are Lights" by Stephen Schwartz, "Silent Night" and "Peace, Peace" by Rick & Silvia Powell. The SFGMC Ambassadors as shown are 100 of the 275 singers in the Chorus.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gay Travel Destinations

At the beginning of December, the Community Marketing, Inc. came out with their Gay & Lesbian Tourism Report for 2011-2012.

[A full PDF report can be found at the following link: []

Of the 21 locations listed, we have been to 62% of them as a gay couple in the last 9 years. Not a bad percentage. We have discussed visiting Key West, New Orleans and Hawaii and will most likely visit them in the next couple of years.

In all the cities we've visited, we try to support the gay community by staying at gay owned or managed bed-and-breakfast, inns or resorts. We make a point to patronize gay stores, theatres, restaurants, and other establishments. An excellent resource of finding places is the website and phone app,

Top 21 Leisure Destinations (not including business travel)
1)    New York City, NY – 8 times
2)    San Francisco, CA – live 40 minutes away, visit 3-5 times a week
3)    Las Vegas, NV – 1 time
4)    Chicago, IL – 1 time
5)    Los Angeles, CA - 3 times
6)    Washington, DC – 3 times
7)    Ft. Lauderdale, FL – 5 times
8)    Palm Springs, CA – 3 times
9)    Miami, FL – passed through many times, not stayed
10) Boston, MA – 1 time
11) Orlando, FL - none
12) Philadelphia, PA - none
13) San Diego, CA – 1 time
14) Seattle, WA - none
15) New Orleans, LA - none
16) Atlanta, GA - none
17) Key West, FL – none (rescheduled when I got sick. hope to visit Dec. 2012)
18) Hawaii – not as a couple, visited separately before we met
19) Napa, CA – 6 times, live 90 minutes away
20) Provincetown, MA - none
21) Sonoma, CA – 4 times, live 100 minutes away

I find it interesting that Napa and Sonoma are even on the list and listed separately. First, they are both in the wine country, part of the Napa wine region, 45 miles north of San Francisco. The two towns are very close (15 miles apart) and almost indistinguishable from each other. Both are just a day trip for anyone visiting San Francisco. Other than several nice gay-owned B&B's and a couple gay/gay-friendly wineries, neither place has a gayborhood or strong out GLBT presence. There are no gay bars or restaurants and very few community services or events. I find the communities to be little more then tolerant, conservative, straight-acting environments.

The more interesting community that embraces the GLBT visitors and locals is the more rustic Russian River and Guerneville area that is 75 miles north of San Francisco and 55 miles northwest of Napa. The Russian River area has several gay resorts as well as a number of upscale gay-owned boutique properties. There are also a couple gay bars and the community supports quite a few GLBT events.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Have yourself a gay Hanukkah

May a little miracle touch each of your lives as many of us light the first candle of Hanukkah tonight. E & I send best wishes to all our friends around the world and hope that the freedom victories we celebrate will soon occur again throughout all the oppressed spots of our world. Happy Hanukkah.

Monday, December 19, 2011

2011-2012 most produced plays

One of the recent fall issues of American Theatre magazine reported the 10 most-produced plays in national theatres this year (2011-2012). The Top Ten List (which has 11 plays because of a tie in the number of productions) omits holiday themed shows (such as The Santaland Diaries and A Christmas Carol) as well as works by Shakespeare. We have seen 9 out of 11 :
"God of Carnage" by Yasmina Reza. Two sets of parents meet to discuss their child's fight but they become increasingly childish resulting in chaos.
"In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)” by Sarah Ruhl. It concerns the early history of the vibrator, when doctors used it as a clinical device to bring women to orgasm as treatment for "hysteria."
"The 39 Steps" a farce adapted by Patrick Barlow from the 1915 novel by John Buchan and the 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock.
"Next Fall" by Geoffrey Nauffts. A story about two gay men in a committed relationship with a twist, one is devoutly religious and the other is an atheist.
"To Kill a Mockingbird" adaption of the Harper Lee novel by Christopher Sergel
"Spring Awakening" is a rock musical adaptation of the controversial 1892 German play by Frank Wedekind. Music by Duncan Sheik and a book/lyrics by Steven Sater. The musical boldly depicts how young people navigate the thrilling, confusing and mysterious time of their sexual awakening.
"Race" by David Mamet. It follows three attorneys, two black and one white, offered a chance to defend a white man charged with a crime against a black woman.
"August: Osage County" by Tracy Letts. Riveting family drama of drug abuse, alcoholism, suicide, death, family dysfunction, sexual harassment, aging, generational change, racism, incest, infidelity, and ultimately love.
“Clybourne Park”
by Bruce Norris. Takes Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun", of a black family moving up to an all white neighborhood, as a jumping off point for a clever refocusing on the politics of race, class, and real estate gentrification.
A 9th play is performing locally beginning in March 2012. We hope to see "Red" by John Logan. It is about the artist Mark Rothko and it plays this season at Berkeley Repertory Theatre.
The one play we have not seen and doesn’t seem to be playing in the Bay Area is Donald Marguillies' "Time Stands Still." The play revolves around a woman photojournalist who has returned from covering the Iraq war after being injured in a roadside bomb, and her reporter ex-boyfriend who is swamped by guilt after leaving her alone in Iraq.
Now, where is it showing??

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fall Record

Oregon Shakespeare Festival
This weekend starts 2.5 weeks of vacation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida over the December holidays. Our fall has been very busy as shown by the sparse posting. Here is a quick recap of some of the activities since our month in Scotland back in August.

SEP: Long weekend trip to Ashland Oregon where we saw 6 excellent plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. While there we participated in Ashland’s First Friday Art Walk. Ran into my college roommate and his wife and had dinner with them and the producing director of the Marin Theatre Company.

Jeff Pevar on right
The surprise of the weekend was visiting a local dive bar and enjoying an incredible evening of music performed by several session musicians. The best known of the group was Jeff Pevar. He has recorded and/or toured with Crosby, Stills and Nash, Donald Fagen, James Taylor, Marc Cohn, Ray Charles, Joe Cocker, Jimmy Webb, Rickie Lee Jones, Dr. John, Carly Simon, Kenny Loggins, Meat Loaf, Phil Collins, Richie Havens, Odetta and many others.

mother and son
NOV: Weekend trip to Tennessee to visit E’s family in Paris, TN. Saw the musical “Memphis” on it’s national tour in Nashville.  And we spent a day antiquing in Hazel, KY with E’s mother.

Glendeven Inn, Mendocino, CA
NOV: We spent a long restful (at least for us) Thanksgiving weekend in Mendocino, California at the lovely, gay-owned bed-and-breakfast, Glendeven Inn, We hiked for 3 hours along the scenic coast in an area called Spring Ranch on Thanksgiving day. We then had a delicious 5-course dinner at nearby Little River Inn. On Friday we met friends in town to celebrate one of their birthdays. Saturday we did a 10-mile hike in the Van Damme State Park & Pygmy Forest. In the evening we attend a play at the local community theatre, Mendocino Theatre Company.

Other Activities:
In September we did the San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour with our 2 youngest kids. We also visited the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco to see: Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris; Dutch and Flemish Masterworks from the Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Collection; and The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy.
In October we visited the Contemporary Jewish Museum to see: Houdini: Art and Magic. Check out my earlier tribute to Harry Houdini.
SantaCom in San Francisco
And by accident we found ourselves in the middle of the SantaCon celebration in San Francisco at the beginning of December. It is a mass gathering of people dressed in Santa Claus costumes parading publicly on streets and in bars in the North Beach area of San Francisco.

We attended several fundraising dinners: Horizons Foundation's Gala Dinner and Casino Party (guest speaker George Takei, and the SF Gay Men’s Chorus; San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus' fundraising gala: Crescendo 
and the BayLands FrontRunners anniversary dinner.

We also did a day hike in Arastradero Preserve/Foothill Park with friends on one of our few weekend days.

San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus
Much of December was busy with E’s rehearsals and performances with San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus. Their holiday show was called Joyous, Jolly Jingles and E performed it in Santa Rosa, San Francisco and Lafayette, CA before we left for our Florida trip.

All of this was in addition to our theatre schedule. We saw 11 plays and operas in September. 12 plays and operas in October and another 9 in November. By the time December is over, we will have seen another 8 performances.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Movember Nostalgia

Eddie with his facial hair in the late 1970's
I just recently became aware of this annual month-long charity event called Movember. During the month of November, men grow and groom a mustache. The purpose is to raise awareness and funds for men's health issues, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. The two main non-profit beneficiaries are the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Lance Armstrong's cancer foundation Livestrong. 
Check out the website at:

As a colon-rectal cancer survivor, I am all for raising awareness and funds for men's health. My dad has also been treated for prostate cancer. My husband and I are not growing a mustache this year. I doubt we would do it in the future either. We have to much grey hair already on our bodies already without adding more to the face. 

Ed with facial hair in the early 1990's

We both sported mustaches earlier in our lives.The first set of pictures is E in the late 1970's. The second set is me in the early 1990's.

My health tip is don't put off getting your colonoscopy done. Age 50 is when you should have your first one. Age 40 or 45 if colon cancer runs in your family.
NYC blogger Kenneth Walsh is tracking his mustache and the Movember event on his blog Kenneth in the (212). See a series of entries at :

"Kissing a man without a moustache is like eating an egg without salt." - English proverb

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Corporations Coming Out Against Defense of Marriage Act

The following companies submitted a brief opposing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in a lawsuit that has made its way through the courts to a Federal Court of Appeals in Massachusetts. The case challenges the denial of federal rights and benefits to lawfully married gay and lesbian couples. The companies point out that DOMA forces them to treat their employees differently based on their sexual orientation, and as a result, the businesses assume an administrative financial burden to correct the inequity.

Companies Opposed To Gay Marriage Ban DOMA:
ABT Associates, Inc. (consulting)
Aetna Inc. (insurance)
Akamai Technologies, Inc. (technology)
Alere Inc. (health care)
Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (banking)
Biogen Idec Inc.  (biotechnology)
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of MA, Inc. (insurance)
Boston Medical Center Corp. (health care)
Bright Horizons Children’s Centers LLC  (health care)
CBS Corporation (media)
Calvert Investments, Inc. (investments)
Chubb Corporation (insurance)
Communispace Corporation (marketing)
Constellation Energy Group, Inc. (energy)
Diageo North American, Inc. (alcohol distributor)
Eastern Bank Corporation (banking)
Exelon Corporation (energy)
Fitcorp Healthcare Centers, Inc. (fitness)
Gammelgarden, LLC (hospitality)
Google, Inc. (technology)
Integrated Archive Systems, Inc. (technology)
Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group, LLC (hospitality)
Levi Strauss & Co.  (clothing)
Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge Trust, LLC (investments)
Massachusetts Association of Health Plans (health care)
Massachusetts Envelope Company, Inc. (manufacturer)
Massachusetts Financial Services Company (investments)
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (insurance)
Microsoft Corporation (technology)
National Grid USA, Inc.  (energy)
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company (insurance)
New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc. (clothing)
NIKE, Inc. (clothing)
The Ogilvy Group, Inc.  (advertising)
Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  (pharmaceuticals)
The Parthenon Group, LLC (investments)
Partners HealthCare Systems, Inc. (health care)
Reproductive Science Center of New England (health care)
Skyworks Solutions, Inc. (investments)
Starbucks Corporation  (retail)
State Street Bank and Trust Company (banking)
Stonyfield Farm, Inc. (food manufacturer)
Sun Life Financial (US) Services Co., Inc. (financial services)
Time Warner Cable Inc. (media)
Trillium Asset Management Corporation (financial services)
W/S Development Associates LLC (developer)
Xerox Corporation (manufacturer)
Zipcar, Inc. (auto services)

Law and professional firms:
Burns & Levinson LLP
Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Foley Hoag LLP
Goodwin Proctor LLP
Goulston & Storrs, P.C.
McCarter & English LLP
Nixon Peabody LLP
Parthenon Group LLC
Ropes & Gray LLP
Salera Consulting
Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Sullivan & Worcester LLP

Professional, trade and civic organizations:
Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
The Boston Foundation
Massachusetts Association of Health Plans
Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, Inc.
The National Fire Protection Association
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
Retailers Association of Massachusetts

94% or 470 of the Fortunes 500 companies offer domestic partner benefits to their employees. HRC reports that DOMA prevents any of the over 1,100 federal rights, benefits and responsibilities of marriage from being afforded to legally married same-sex couples.  These include Social Security survivor benefits, federal employee health benefits for spouses, protections against spouses losing their homes in cases of severe medical emergencies, the right to sponsor a foreign born partner for immigration, the guarantee of family and medical leave and the ability to file joint tax returns, among many others.  51 percent of voters oppose DOMA while only 34 percent favor it.

Many companies prohibit workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians, even though they are not required by law to do so in most of the United States. Unfortunately many states and the federal government support discriminatory laws targeted at GLBT Americans.

But the workplace is not always a safe place. There are a number of companies and businesses that promote their anti-gay stance. More about them here: 

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Hot for Harry Houdini

Halloween weekend we visited the traveling exhibition at San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum called Houdini: Art and Magic. The exhibition is on from October 2, 2011 until January 16, 2012 and well worth a visit.

Harry Houdini (1874-1926) was a Hungarian-born American magician noted for his sensational escape acts. Handcuffs, shackles, straitjackets, milk cans, and packing trunks – nothing could hold the famed vaudevillian who became one of the 20th century’s most legendary performers. With a talent for self-promotion and provocation, this immigrant son of a poor Hungarian rabbi rocketed to international fame and grabbed front-page headlines with his gripping theatrical presentations and heart-stopping outdoor spectacles.

Apparently, he also knew the sex appeal of a shirtless picture or a tight, form-fitting outfit that displayed his compactly muscled physique.
Curator Brooke Kamin Rapaport is quoted that Houdini's success "was a source of enormous pride for the Jewish community. He achieved mainstream acceptance despite anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant attitudes, and his escape from the confinement of handcuffs, chains, packing crates, trunks and boxes had particular resonance for those who sought liberation from political, ethnic, or religious oppression."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Gutter Barbie

Gutter_Barbie.JPG by ed and eddie
Gutter_Barbie.JPG, a photo by ed and eddie on Flickr.

It is Monday morning and I am walking to work and there is Barbie laying in the gutter. It must have been one rough weekend.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

October is Gay History Month

I just saw on a gay news site the October is LGBT History Month. Don’t know how I missed that. Fortunately there is still time to visit the LGBT Month Website and learn something.
LGBT History Month celebrates the achievements of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender Icons.

Another option is to check out my brief profiles of important gay Jewish men throughout history. See here:

This past year I have been reading a lot about gay history. I have a stack of books that I bought at a used bookstore that I am working my way through.
The Gay Metropolis by Charles Kaiser
Stonewall by Martin Duberman
About Time, Exploring the Gay Past by Martin Duberman
Midlife Queer, Autobiography of a Decade 1971-81 by Martin Duberman
Queers in History by Keith Stern
Still on my bookshelf that I have yet to read:
Who’s Who in Gay & Lesbian History, & Who’s Who in Contemporary Gay & Lesbian History edited by Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon
Out in the Castro edited by Winston Leyland
Lost Prophet, The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin by John D’Emilio

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shana tova

Dip Your Apple - Fountainheads Rosh Hashanah

To a new year of sweetness, health, happiness and justice for all.

The Jewish Reform Movement has been an advocate of gay and lesbian rights since 1965, when the Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) passed a resolution calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality. In 1977, the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) passed their first resolutions dealing with this issue, calling for human rights for homosexuals.

Here is a It Gets Better video from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

“As Jews we believe in the inherent dignity of all people, for we read in the Torah, "So God created the human beings in [the divine] image, creating [them] in the image of God, creating them male and female" (Gen. 1:27). As human beings, we have a responsibility to ensure that the spark of the Divine presence in each individual is respected. To that end, we hope that our participation in the It Gets Better campaign will remind LGBT youth who are struggling that they are valued and loved.”

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Public Art: Stanford University Men

The phallic Hoover Tower stands erect over the quad.
Not only does it have a red bulbous top,
but it comes with a condom reservoir tip. 
Classes are starting at the university. Time for a quick tour of some of the manly sights on campus. But first a disclaimer: The sexual orientation or proclivity of anyone pictured here is neither expressed nor implied by the inclusion of images within this blog. This blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is recommended for more mature audiences only.

The only true gay art on campus is George Segal’s “Gay Liberation”. It was first installed at Stanford University in 1984. Even though it was commissioned for NYC, it was too controversial and political at the time. Even LA turned it down. It is said to be the first piece of public art to commemorate the GLBT struggle for equality. In 1992, a second copy was finally installed in New York City’s Christopher Park, across the street from the site of Stonewall Inn. Interesting history can be found here.

George Segal's piece in NYC

The Rodin Sculpture Garden located next to the Cantor Art Center. Stanford has the largest collection of bronzes by renowned French sculptor Auguste Rodin outside of Paris. There are 20 Rodin bronzes in the French styled sculpture garden. Rodin is one of the pre-eminent sculptors of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century. His goal was "to render inner feelings through muscular movement." He paid special attention to the body's surfaces, saying, "The sculptor must learn to reproduce the surface, which means all that vibrates on the surface, soul, love, passion, life...Sculpture is thus the art of hollows and mounds, not of smoothness, or even polished planes."

The "Burghers of Calais" in nearby Memorial Court

Across campus is the Papua New Guinea sculpture garden. This wooden area presents 40 works that display of the striking traditional visual arts of Papua New Guinea. Ten male native artists from New Guinea created the stone and wooden sculptures during a five-month visit in 1994. This sculpture garden was the first outdoor art and landscape design on the Stanford campus to come from non-western artists and designers. 

Some of the other interesting masculine, straight-acting, and athletic men on campus:
Menander, a Greek dramatist that invented the realistic romantic comedy,
with its emphasis on heterosexual love.

Boo-Qwilla, an ancestral human that embodies knowledge, wisdom, achievement
and a serious case of morning wood.
Boo-Qwilla's totem pole

Stanford family: father Leland, son Leland Jr.,
and a kneeling, subservient Jane, the wife.

Louis Agassiz (l), naturalist and geologist, and his mentor,
the naturalist and explorer, Alexander von Humboldt (r)
Iconic picture of Agassiz after the 1906 earthquake.  
"Agassiz was great in the abstract but not in the concrete."
Hank Luisetti developed a one-handed running shot
and was the first 50-point game scorer in history.

While walking around, don’t forget to look up or you will miss some hunky mosaics on the Memorial Church and the Cantor Art Center.

Fear the Beard! Not the Giants bullpen.

Hunky Jesus and friends

Why are they looking up the young lad's kilt?

Mosaics commissioned by Salviati & Company in Venice. They reflect Jane Stanford's interest in mechanical arts and antiquity.

I will leave you with a quote from author Kurt Vonnegut: “If you really want to upset your parents, and you are not brave enough to be gay, go into the arts!”
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