David Henry Sterry

Author, book doctor, raker of muck

David Henry Sterry

Tag: homosexuality

David Henry Sterry on Huffington Post: iO Tillet Wright’s TED Talk: Equality, & How Gay Are You?

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To see on Huffington Post click here.

10 years ago I wrote a book called Chicken about when I was a 17-year-old prostitute/rent boy/escort/industrial sex technician.  I was lucky enough to get a big splashy deal with a big splashy publisher who sent me on a big splashy tour.  I was under the mistaken impression that people would ask me about my book, about what it was like sexually servicing middle-aged women for money, about the writing I worked so hard on.  To my surprise, most readers, writers, bloggers and journalists wanted to know if I was gay or straight.  And exactly how gay or how straight. After careful consideration, I concluded I was 10% gay, 20% lesbian, and 70% heterosexual.  But I always emphasize that those numbers are fluid.  When I walk into a throbbing gay bar, I immediately find myself flirting and being flirted, feeling about 70% gay.  When I go to a lesbian activist gathering (my mom was gay for about 2/3 of my life) I find myself listening and sharing and sharing and listening, feeling about 70% lesbian.  When I’m playing with my chock-full of breeders softball team, I feel about 110% heterosexual.

So it was with great fascination that I watched iO Tillet Wright’s  TED talk: 50 Shades of Gay.  Her story about the fluidity of her sexuality spoke to me in a very personal way.  As I said earlier, my mom was gay.  In her late thirties she transformed herself from an immigrant homemaker mother of four into a bra-burning consciousness-raising sandal-wearing Gertrude-Stein-haired lesbian.  People are always asking me how my mother “turned” gay.  Like she’d taken a pill, or eaten too many tofu, or read too many Simone de Beauvoir books.  I can’t seem to get people to understand that she fell in love with a woman.  That’s all it took to “turn” her gay.  The woman she fell in love with was a much better listener, communicator, friend, partner, and lover than my father ever was.  I was 16 at the time my mother came out, and she seemed so much happier than when she was married to my cold, withholding, unfaithful father.  So I was happy for her.  She raised me to have an open mind about these things, and not judge people by the color of their skin, or who they loved, or what they worshiped.  She raised me to judge them by their words and their actions.  And her new partner was kind and smart and wise and compassionate in her words and actions.

As I listened to iO Tillet Wright’s talk, and watched all those beautiful pictures of Americans on the LGTB spectrum: black, white, brown, tall, short, stout, skinny, shy and wild, I thought about my mom.  She and her partner moved to a small rural town in Oregon, where she had a neighbor who absolutely hated them.  Not because they were too loud, too messy, too nosy, or in any way bad neighbors.  He loathed them with biblical fury because they loved each other.  And they were women.  He threatened, taunted, intimidated, bullied and made their life a living hell.  My mom tried to give this bigot love, tried to reason with him, tried to show him what a great neighbor she was.  All to no avail.  He just kept hating and hating and hating.  I was ready to go over with a baseball bat and beat the hate out of this ugly pustule.  My mom, the lesbian, talked me out of it.  Eventually my mom and her partner had to leave their bucolic paradise and move to lesbian-friendly Portland.

Watching iO Tillet Wright’s TED talk I was struck by the statistic that a citizen of the United States can be legally discriminated against because of who they love in 29 states.  That’s downright un-American.

I am a man of action.  So that made me start thinking about what is to be done.  And made me admire how iO Tillet Wright is a tomboy of action.  I just love how she took this idea of egregious gender inequality and did something about it.  Just a small local action.  With a camera.  And I love how it spread into a grassroots movement.  It gives me faith in human beings.  Faith in America.

So, as a 10% gay, 20% lesbian, 70% heterosexual man, I rejoiced in seeing all the beautifully diverse LGBTish Americans, and hearing iO Tillet Wright’s message about making this country a place where equality reigns everywhere for everyone.  It made me think about why America was formed in the first place.  Wasn’t it so everybody could worship their own God?  Pursue life, liberty and happiness to their heart’s content, so long as they didn’t hurt anybody?  So why can’t we make America a place where citizens are allowed to love who they want to love?  Isn’t that beautiful idea of what America can be?

David Henry Sterry is the author of 16 books, a performer, muckraker, educator, activist, and book doctor.  His first memoir Chicken: Self-Portrait of a Man for Rent, 10 Year Anniversary Edition, has been translated into 10 languages.  His book Hos, Hookers, Call Girls and Rent Boys: Professionals Writing on Life, Love, Money and Sex appeared on the front cover of the Sunday New York Times Book Review.  He is a finalist for the Henry Miller Award. He has appeared on, acted with, written for, been employed as, worked and/or presented at: Will Smith, a marriage counselor, Disney screenwriter, Stanford University, National Public Radio, Milton Berle, Huffington Post, a sodajerk, the Taco Bell chihuahua, Penthouse, the London Times, Michael Caine, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, a human guinea pig and Zippy the Chimp.  He can be found at www.davidhenrysterry.com.  https://davidhenrysterry.com/

 

Bert & Ernie come out in favor of gay marriage

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Bert and Ernie, legendary lovable Sesame Street icons, are in favor of same-sex marriage, sources close to them recently revealed. This hot button topic that has caused raging and flaming controversy all over the United States for years is still dominating headlines. On February 18, 2010, the Archdiocese of Washington announced that they are doing away with their foster care program, because they can’t work with the change in the District of Columbia’s laws that will allow same-sex marriages to be recognized legally. This is just the latest in a long line of decisions which affect millions of people’s lives, legally, socially and morally.

Opponents of same-sex marriage argue it is evidence of the further decay of the moral fiber of America, and that a child cannot learn good role models from homosexuals, who are living lives of perversion in the eyes of God. Proponents of same-sex marriage say that getting married is a basic human right, and trot out scientific research which shows absolutely no correlation between success and happiness in adults who have been raised in same-sex, as opposed to “traditional” households.

Even though there has been an informal “don’t ask-don’t tell” policy on Sesame Street for years, Bert and Ernie have not come out publicly advocating for same-sex marriage because they are afraid of the public backlash. An anonymous source overheard Bert and Ernie lamenting to Cookie Monster, Count von Count and Snuffluffigus that they were afraid if people knew, they might be evicted from Sesame Street, shunned by their monster friends and blackballed by the Muppet’s Union. Bert and Ernie are reported to have said, “It’s ridiculous, why should people pay taxes and not have the same rights as everyone else? It’s not about whether you’re gay or hetero, or whatever the heck else is out there, it’s about whether there’s love in the house. And everyone knows there’s always been a lot of love in the basement of 123 Sesame Street.”

Bert and Ernie have long been rumored to be gay. Many have speculated that Ernie’s international hit, “Rubber Ducky”, was actually a coded love song to Bert. They have, and continue to be, closed mouth about their personal life. An anonymous source had this to say: “Well, Bert and Ernie were carrying on, like they do, and Ernie said, ‘Look, what we do behind closed doors is our business.’ And Bert said, ‘Hey Ernie, is that a banana in your ear?’ And Ernie said, ‘What Bert?’ And Bert said, ‘I said Ernie, is that a banana in your ear?’ And Ernie said, ‘What’s that Bert, I can’t hear you, I’ve got a banana in my ear!’ Everybody just fell out. No matter how many times they do it, it’s always funny.”

Kermit the Frog was the only confidant of Bert and Ernie who would comment about this supercharged situation. And that was only on the condition of being off the record. “Hey, it’s not easy being green. And in this case, when I say green, of course I mean gay. Just to be clear, I’m not saying Bert and Ernie are gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. If two people want to live in the same bedroom together, that’s their business. Whatever gets you through the night, right? I mean come on, how many couples have been together for 40 years? I would take my hat off to them, except I am a frog, and I don’t wear a hat.”

Attempts to contact all Muppets, and their representative, proved fruitless.

Some quotes about same-sex marriage from the National Organization for Marriage, and religioustolerance.org:

“Gays and lesbians have the right to live as they choose. They just don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.”

“A loving man and woman in a committed relationship can marry. Dogs, no matter what their relationship, are not allowed to marry. How should society treat gays and lesbians in committed relationships? As dogs or as humans?”

“Marriage between one man and one woman is critical to maintaining social stability. Society as a whole pays a high price when marriage is devalued. You see divorce; you see single-parenting; you see a rise in out-of-wedlock pregnancies,” said Shari Rendall, director of legislation and policy for Concerned Women for America.

“An unjust law is (one that a) majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself … “Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up there privileges voluntarily,” said Martin Luther King, Jr. in a letter from a Birmingham jail.

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