“There is no right or wrong way to be gay, to be queer, to be trans, and I hope that our community, even as we struggle to define what our identity means, defines it in a way that lets everybody know that they belong among us.” — Pete Buttigieg at the recent Equality Town Hall responding to cries of “trans lives matter” and “trans people are dying”.
Have I gone insane? Or has the world? It’s really a toss-up. Perhaps we’ll figure it out by the end of this column, which you can read in its entirety on BillyMasters.com. First, let’s look at CNN’s Equality Town Hall. There weren’t many surprises. Thank God for good ol’ reliable Joe. First, Biden almost made a startling revelation by saying, “When I came out…”. He quickly realized how that sounded, laughed, and put his arm around Anderson Cooper saying, “I’ve got something to tell you.” Cooper responded, “I kinda figured it out a while ago.” Then, Biden rattled on and on: “Back 15, 20 years ago in San Francisco was all about gay…gay bath houses. It’s all about around-the-clock sex. It’s all…come on, man. Gay couples are more likely to stay together longer than heterosexual couples.” And if you think that’s bad, you should have seen him in the swimsuit competition!
Alright, I admit it. I’ve had my share of around-the-clock sex orgies in San Francisco 15, 20 years ago. I’ve also had them 15, 20 days ago. But, I’m a bad example – I’ve had around-the-clock sex orgies at the Vatican. I hate to point this out to Joe, but bathhouses in San Francisco closed in 1984. You’d have thought the LGBTQ topic would be right up Pete Buttigieg’s alley, so to speak. But based on performance alone, all hail Queen Warren. Her quip, while not phrased in a particularly presidential way, certainly seemed the right response during the Trump era. Still, I really missed Bernie. He could have told us about gay bars during Prohibition.
This leads perfectly into the Ellen DeGeneres debacle. Many people were horrified after she was seen sitting next to George W. Bush in the Dallas Cowboys VIP suite. Their seating was happenstance — Ellen and Portia were invited by Charlotte Jones, the daughter of the Cowboys owner. The more militant members of our community feel she should have protested, walked out, or done something other than spend time with a man who tried to block gay marriage, went into needless wars, and did other horrific things. Instead, Ellen stayed and socialized. She said, “I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have. We’re all different. And I think we’ve forgotten that that’s OK that we’re all different.”
I was reminded of when Barbra Streisand received the Kennedy Center Honor in 2008 during the presidency of George W. Bush. She could have turned it down. She didn’t. The honor is selected by an independent committee. So, like Ellen, Barbra was invited to something that thrust her into contact with the president. Although, unlike Ellen, Babs was careful not to be photographed anywhere near Bush. Streisand later wrote about the experience: “I have never met George W. Bush, but for the past eight years I have been blogging about him and his administration on my website. I have relayed my frustration at the direction he has taken our country in no uncertain terms. So it was just as surprising to me as it apparently was to the press that upon meeting President Bush and extending my hand to him, he said to me, ‘Aw, c’mon, gimme a hug and kiss.’ And then he proceeded to embrace me. I must say, I found him very warm and completely disarming…even though I think perhaps he was kissing me hello as I was kissing him goodbye…I guess in some small way, he and I proved that we could agree to disagree, and, for that weekend, art transcended politics.”
Here’s what I think – people are never one thing. If I stopped talking to friends with views or actions or traits that I disagree with, I’d have no friends. Interacting with different-minded people leads not only to many spirited debates and conversations, but also to broader understanding of another point of view. As gay people, how many times have we asked, “Why does one part of my life that you don’t understand or agree with define me and scare you?” We look for acceptance, so it’s hard to argue not accepting others. I don’t expect to sit down with Bush anytime soon, but I’m sure I’d find him charming. I may end up liking him more than Ellen, who I find….well, you know.
Then there’s the sudden shake-up at Fox News. Did Shepard Smith quit or was he fired? He says he quit. However, two days before his announcement, Attorney General Bill Barr stopped off at Rupert Murdoch’s home for a private tête-à-tête. Could that meeting be connected with this situation? Perhaps Smith didn’t so much quit as was somewhat nudged. A spokesperson for the newsman addressed the rumors, saying, “This was Shep’s decision and his alone.” The question remains, why would Smith terminate a contract worth about $15 million a year? And what will he do for the year that (or if) his non-compete clause is enforced?
What more is there to say except to check out BillyMasters.com. If you have a question, send it off to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before I run into Joe Biden at my next round-the-clock sex orgy! So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.