Sunday, June 24, 2012
JUNE 23-24, 2012 PRIDE, COURAGE AND MARRIAGE
" Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year you find a better man."
- Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin was a man of all seasons. By that I mean he was more than one of the Funding Farthers of this Country. He was a writer, diplomat and an inventor. He invented the lightning rod, bifocals and the Franklin Stove. There are many quotes from Mr Franklin that might be familar to you. two of those quotes are the following:
" Well done is better than well said. " and " Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today."
I chose the first quote as it is Gay Pride Weekend in New York City. This weekend is often associated with craziness, drug/alcohol use and ilicit sex. Since his quote ended with each year you find a new man I thought appropiate for Gay Pride. I do not think he meant every year you find a better man. It meant every year you find the better man in YOU. It always seems that someone will ask a gay man if someone is gay ? It happens very often. I do have my own personal 'gaydar' but I cannot ascertain whether the commonly asked question if Tom Cruise, Richard Gere, Hugh Jackman or even Keanu Reeves is gay? I simply do not know.The most recent asked question was If Oprah Winfrey is gay ? I do not know. I do now that Alan Cumming and Ruppert Everett are gay because both men are 'out' Better yet what about historical figures.
So was Benjamin Franklin, founding father of our country gay ?
It seems unlikely that Benjamin Franklin was homosexual, but you cant always judge a book by its cover so its would it be easy to just say he was and get on with your life but given his voluminous and often bawdy and suggestive correspondence with a score of women during his long life, as well as his early fathering of an illegitimate child (William Franklin). While it does appear that Franklin's decades-long marriage to Deborah Read may have been more a devoted friendship and practical partnership than a union of much passion, this fact alone provides little by which to draw or support broader conclusions about Franklin's sexuality, while much evidence argues for his heterosexual inclinations. Now , Thomas Jefferson may be another story. So has the inclinations of Cary Grant, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Montgomery Clift, Barbara Stanywick, and Anthony Perkins. Who cares ? These are individuals who have contributed their lives to their profession - the art of making movies.
Gay Pride Weekend is NOT about drugs, sex, alcohol and men/women. It is about acknowledgment of a movement that began in 1969 at Stonewall Inn. It is the 40th Anniversary of Stonewall. There are some facts about The Gay Pride March which is sometimes called a 'parade' It only requires a permit from the city, but groups like Heritage of pride consider it a March. The first annual march was called The Christopher Street Liberation Day. It costs $70,000 to produce this Gay Pride March. The first mayor to take to the streets for the march was Ed Koch. All mayors to date appear in the march/parade but many get booed. I have attended the March for many years. I have even marched in the parade.
If you never have been to a parade/March you should. You do not have to be gay to watch the parade/march. http://www.nycpride.org/events is the website to find all about the Events of This Weekend and the Pride March. It is the first parade that will feature the legal Gay Marriage. This is something I am proud of, as many of our friends. I finally got to be legally married to a man I love more than he will ever know--his name is Rick.
The Grand Marshall this year is none other than diva, Cyndi Lauper. I can tell you she is not gay, but has done so much for gay men and women, She has a husband and son. She travels round the world helping gay youth. She should be the Grand Marshall and be proud . After all we wouldn't have a residence for young gay youth if not for her. It is the True Colors Residence. Look it up and donate.
Often I am asked what books do I read ? I read everything from the History to Chocolate to the Bill Gregg's Portrait of an Addict. I just finished his Ninety Days in one night last night. It was true to home for me ! In between are bee books, herb books, and more history books, Yes I read books on Actors. I also read gay literature from Edmund White, Andrew Holleran and others. I am a constant contributor of the gay magazine, Instinct since its conception more than 10 years ago. I am proud to be one of their health writers. The two books above are important for young gay men and women.
Enjoy the day.