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Archive of Soapbox Doozies Posts


The Martini. The Gimlet. The Cosmopolitan. The Screwdriver. The, wait for it, Bloody Mary!!! Yes, Those were the voices of angels you just heard inside your head. I never have to say vodka before any of these because you’d never worry about me ordering them with gin. I have long considered vodka the drink of the ages. When I’m faced with ordering a drink at a bar I will, nine times out of ten, order something based with Vodka. Unless I’m on the rooftop at The Eagle, a very chill NYC establishment that may or may not have a good mix of men wearing anywhere from polo shirts and sneakers to leather pants and work boots…in the heat of the summer. If it’s the Eagle then it’s a margarita or a beer…when with the “people”, drink as they drink. I’ve always loved vodka for its versatility when mixed with a sundry of flavors. However, vodka has many MANY uses… sedative, deodorizer, cleanser and disinfectant.


Many years ago, when I was young and fresh off of drinking the “sweet” drinks, you know the ones. The ones that will have you cradling the toilet in a hotel room outside of Denver, CO on a full night of drinking and dancing with people who were not as cute in the light as they were in a dark club…it happens. Nonsequitur…always carry a pin light, just for checking the face of your dancing partner. Anyway, the first time I order a “Vodka rocks”, my friends knew I was finally an adult and a civilized drinker.

After years of drinking and not drinking and drinking again, I found that there was little that was better than a boozy brunch with friends and that is when Mary…Bloody Mary, came into my life. She also brought about the double bonus of having a drink and half a xanie with brunch which I HEAR is a dangerous combination, so please don’t try it at home…I am a grown ass professional. Having made this full disclosure, I must say that the brunch phenomenon is the perfect way to relax and laugh with friends, to eat and talk, to buy drinks, without inhibition, for attractive diners who you may be making eyes at. But careful, it’s also can be the impetus for what we now call PBDS, Post Brunch Drunk Shopping. PBDS is an issue for the advanced drinker. Most people would simply pass out after being over-served at brunch. Not me and not my friends…Grown Ass Professionals.

On several occasions, we would find ourselves leaving brunch and window shopping in some of the meatpacking districts high end boutiques. When you are browsing with drunk friends and they tell you something looks good on you, it’s difficult to say no…even when you have neglected to check the prices of said pretty purchases. There have been $700 dollar designer sweaters purchased and accidently put into the dirty clothes hamper. That Christian Dior sweater now will only fit a 6 year old girl. There was the purchase of the $500 Raybans that were purchased…they are 23kt gold! I mean, right?! I won’t even mention the Thom Browne “Short suit” that one of us purchased…a short suit!

And we won’t even mention the drunk texting that may or may not happen when enjoying the goodnesses of vodka on a Sunday Brunchday!

Drinker beware!!! Be sure to drink water between your adult bevies. Or do as I do and drink vodka with water on the rocks…it relaxes and hydrates at the same time! The more you know!


Being a veteran of many Broadway shows and understanding the work that goes into putting on a show, I know that the blood, sweat and tears of the stage can only be cleaned by vodka, in a spray bottle, no less!

No, this is not just for the dresser and wardrobe department to drink on the job. Sprayed vodka is used to curb the smell of the large hairy character man who sweats profusely. Sprayed vodka is also used to cover the smells of young vegan dancing girls who don’t realize that we all smell that asparagus she ate for lunch…sautéed in garlic.

Yes, vodka in a spray bottle is cheaper than febreze and has no smell when it dries unlike the afore mentioned febreze and it’s odor covering brethren but it’s an awful misuse of the grey goose!!! However, if ever an actor is having a panic attack or comes into bad news…unscrew the bottle and take a gulp. It’s better than any first aid kit.


Let me preface this section by telling you how much I love a good stripper. A GOOD STRIPPER!

I have always had a special place in my heart to exotic dancer/stripper types. There is something abso-fuckin-lutely alluring about them and then intense focus it must take to have someone willing tuck hundreds of one dollar bills into the g-string, sock, money-band of swarthy Italians, latin papi chulos and mandingo’d black dancers with names like, Zeus, Apollo, José, Juan, Jermaine, Adonis and yes, Mandingo.

My first time ever in a real strip club was at the Gaiety. The Gaiety was a venerable adult entertainment club that closed about six years ago…which lasted more than a decade longer than the other clubs of it’s type in midtown Manhattan. Now, you couldn’t drink at the Gaiety, they only had “punch”.  Something tells me that punch was neither kosher nor was it really punch. Be that as it may, you’d walk up a tiny staircase that looked like it was out of a Tim Burton movie. I kept thinking Helena Bonham Carter was going to be at the booth to take our money. No such luck, just an obese person who could’ve been a man or woman at some point in “its” life but there were dick dancers waiting so I paid my money and we took our seats.

Here’s how it worked, a dancer would come out fully clothed and dance for a few minutes to a crappy song then go backstage, “fluff” and come out for a second dance in his full glory and pry the money out of the hands of the 75 yr old man who had been seated in the front chair for a decade. I wished, however, that while the dancer was backstage “Fluffing” that another guy would come out and do his first dance. It sometimes took the dancers a while to get in the mood and the customers would be sitting and waiting or sitting and laughing if you were with me, for the performer to come onstage. They simply needed a good director to keep the show moving forward. For the record, you could not touch these dancers because it was a lawful establishment…much like at the VIP room aka 20/20 club.

At 20/20 things are a little nicer, carpeted entrance with a cute-ish kid taking your money. Not everything at 20/20 is kind of equal. $20 to get in, $20 drinks and $20 for a “dance”. Word of warning, each song is considered a dance, so don’t go getting all into the music or you’ll go home broke. It was at this club that I realized the sanitary properties of vodka. Sometimes when “dancing with a handsome devil in the moonlight”, bodies collide like two pigs in a pen and you may get someone’s sweat on you. You may find yourself groped or groping in the name of business. One really should get one’s value out of each $20 dollar bill. We ARE in a recession, after all.

It was in such a circumstance that I realized that vodka can be used as a hand sanitizer or DISINFECTANT, much like a Clorox wipe. While no one is looking, simply take your vodka/water/rocks and put it under the rim of the bar and douse your hands in it. I do this under the bar because I don’t want to offend the strippers…I also don’t want to touch my face or rub my eyes after having a moment with a stripper and his sweat. Then repeat the dousing and let your hands air dry.

I have another great stripper story but that has nothing to do with vodka…it’ll wait.

For now, just thank the heavens for the sedating, deodorizing, cleansing and disinfecting versatility of Grey goose, Belvedere, Absolut, Stolichnaya and the lot. And remember with vodka and strippers, after the first drink, no one can really tell the good hooch from the bad! Enjoy all in moderation.


On Monday, September 24, 2012 I received one of the best compliments ever from the playwright, Terrence McNally, after singing at a tribute to him produced by the Westport Country Playhouse. Mr. McNally, for those who are unaware, is the playwright of some of this generations most moving theater pieces including, “Love, Valour, Compassion!”, “The Lisbon Traviata”, “Lips Together, Teeth Apart”, the book of the musical, “Kiss of the Spiderwoman” and “Ragtime”. He was an absolute joy as was the evening. However, getting to that point was a week of processing and re-evaluation.

Rewind two weeks…I received a text from friend and director-choreographer of the event asking if I’d be interested in being a part of the festivities. He mentioned the musical director whom I have known for all of her adult life and I, of course, said yes. I assumed they were asking because they wanted to have some “up and coming” talents perform some of the beautiful music of the musicals Mr. McNally brought to life. Being the new generation of cabaret and having four, count ‘em…FOUR amazing notices in the NY Times for my singing, I was certain that was the reason for asking. It wasn’t. I later learned that I was part of an ensemble of performers keeping things going around the “Big” stars. I was not amused but I am a friend with both of the people putting together this show and loyalty won out over any ego I had about doing ensemble work at this point in my life. So I stuck to my original answer and continued on my journey to Westport. I hope they have hot springs there; I may need the healing waters.

First rehearsal…the kids and me.

I walked into a rehearsal room at 6pm on a Monday night, September 17, 2012, to see my old friends working away and to see a room full of 20somethings talking “showbiz” talk. You all know how I dislike that. Part of the reason that I have fewer theatrical friends than most theater people is because actors have a tendency to be, well…theatrical, which I truly do detest. There’s nothing less enjoyable than hearing people one up each other with stories of past shows and their “good” friends, some random celebrity. I know too many people and have worked with too many stars to be hoodwinked into believing or caring about stories of regalia.

Don’t get me wrong, they were all sweet kids and very talented but I’ll keep my quiet flame and ten shows to their over talkative, first show selves everyday. Everything uttered from someone’s mouth can’t be about one’s self. (This coming from the man who is writing a blog about his own life…)

So the rehearsals were going well, I find out that I will be singing some of the Coalhouse Walker Jr. music from “Ragtime” which I love and made saying yes to ensemble more bearable.  We were all having fun except for “Lyle” who missed two days of rehearsals and then decided not to take part. One person down…may more to go. We continue with the week of rehearsals and soon another person drops out…two down. Then by the end of the week, one of the “stars” hadn’t realized that she needed to memorize one of her songs for the dance number…DANCE NUMBER, so one of the ensemble girls takes over that number. Now this girl was married to the guy who is now in a relationship with the actress on “Smash” who was on “Will & Grace”. They ended their respective relationships to be with each other. How nice for them…how nice for everyone, including the blonde bombshell who got dumped and Debra Messing’s husband…I mean, “the unnamed TV star”…allegedly. For us, the show must go on and by goodness it did!

I must say that the director-choreographer is a great talent and a sweet guy and was a joy to watch work. I’d work with him anytime. It was really nice to see his attention and intention to telling the story clearly and well. He is going to do amazing things, me thinks.

Monday morning!!! 10am…you heard me. It’s the day of the show, y’all!!!

I have passed the point of looking just any kind of way for a trip, even on a van, so I got up, showered, packed my bag and dressed like an adult. I do love a cute travel outfit. I get to our meeting location, the NW corner of 44th street and 8th avenue…classy.

The van arrives, I take the passenger seat and the kids load up in the rear. Vans make me claustrophobic so there really was no chance of me sitting in the rear unless Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper had been flanking me for the ride to Connecticut. We left a little after 10am for an hour and fifteen-minute drive to Westport, CT to make an 11:30am rehearsal, during rush hour on a Monday. Suffice it to say, we were late and I had to use my iphone’s GPS because the driver got lost right at the end of the trip. Again…classy!

The Westport Country Playhouse is a gem in a pristine little town. It’s the kind of place you want to go to present new works and sleepy esoteric plays and to be creative. Many have graced the stage of this theater and I hope to again someday.

The day went along easily…we rehearsed and ate, rehearsed and ate again then rehearsed a little more. Then ate again. The stars, all friends of Mr. McNally’s, arrived in the afternoon to run their segments… Marin Mazzie, Malcolm Gets, John Glover, Richard Thomas and Tyne Daly. The show begins with my voice making an introduction. I was asked to be the Voice of God, for several announcements during the program, which I didn’t mind at all. We went through segment after segment with the audience loving every moment of the evening. As we approached the end, we’d heard that there would be a secret guest appearance. Chita? Stokes? Nope, Nathan Lane. He was light and amusing like a pinot grigio purchased on a whim! Then came the “Ragtime” segment. The audience roared with applause I we stood on stage. Me standing next to Marin Mazzie, who was center, singing to the rafters. After we finished, the rest of the performers came onstage and Tyne Daly performed a monologue from “Master Class” with each of us transfixed to her as she spoke to the audience members and the performers alike. Once in a lifetime moment.

After we left the stage, Marin came up to me and asked if I’d done the role before and when I said no, she told me that I was wonderful and should do it this role everywhere. WOW! From the woman…the artist who created the role of Mother and sang, “Back to before” in a way that will make it hard for any other performer to leave their mark on it. Sheer wonder!

Once we arrived at the after party, at which we were not allowed to eat …ensemble treatment, after all, I was standing with another playwright/librettist with whom I’ve worked when Marin came up to me with Terrence McNally, himself, who told me that I was brilliant and that I should be singing that music everywhere. My heart stopped for a moment at his generosity and infectious smile. He then told me that his husband was one of the producer’s of “Cotton Club Parade” which I’ll be doing next. Apparently he whispered to Mr. McNally during the “Ragtime” segment, “He’s one of ours!” and I am!

So after a glass of prosecco and a procured bottle of Grey Goose, I got my bag cuz we were leaving! Back on the van and after a quick stop at McDonald’s for a late night snack, I was back home and went to sleep smiling at the wonder that happened to me, all because of two friends, some loyalty and some beautiful lyrics…

”Now she is haunting me, just like a melody, the only song I seem to know…Sarah my life has change, Sarah I miss you so, Sarah I did you wrong, Sarah, where did you go?”

I am moving forward, “on the wheels of a dream”! What a difference a week makes!!!


Seeking: a group to traverse the wilderness of West Virginia. Said group will sleep in a rustic cabin, start their own fires, cook over those open fires, tube down the rapids where the Potomac River meets the Shenandoah.

Doesn’t sound like me, does it?

That’s because it’s not but add in air conditioning, a heated swimming pool, lots of beer, wine and champagne, bathrooms with private shower stalls and lots of friends & laughter and it changes the possibilities considerably. I mean, add in a cashmere cardigan and khakis and it almost sounds like a scene out of a Tom Ford cinematic extravaganza.

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The stage of John Brown’s Raid, the beginnings of the NAACP’s Niagara movement, numerous river floodings in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and home of the annual Labor Day Kamping trip…started by my very own, Jeremiah Feather.

This year’s trip was almost not meant to be. We had planned for a weekend in Provincetown, MA with friends. Several days of sun and fun with copious amounts of alcohol. Honestly, not at all different from the weekend we had. Luckily, alcohol tastes good no matter where you chill it! Amen to that!!!

Start your engines! NYC to Washington, DC!

DISCLOSURE! I will be modifying the names of the drunks for legal purposes…except for my own and Jeremiah’s…

As with any trip planned by a gay man, we MAY have overpacked…three cars, eight people and enough food, drink and clothes for 16 campers and four cars. Still, we make it work…that’s what the gays do.

NEXT STOP, HARPERS FERRY, WV…well, not exactly. First a stop at Costco. Now, HARPERS FERRY! Well, not just yet. What could make a road trip better for me? A stop in Leesburg, VA where some substantial Civil War battle must’ve been fought but for me, it’s the home of ” The Leesburg Premium Outlet Shops”. A little pre-Kamp retail therapy at Williams-Sonoma, Burberry, J Crew and Barneys. Yes, BARNEYS!!! Ah sweet mystery of life! You may call it any other group of outlet stores but I call it kismet. I mean, not two days earlier, I saw a gentleman on my flight to NC wearing the Adam Kimmel for Carhartt navy blazer and knew I needed to purchase this jacket. $410 dollars online. I mentioned it to Jeremiah and wouldn’t ya know that we walked into “Mecca off Madison” aka the Barney’s outlet and there it was…for $150 schmackaroos! Kismet!

(Two hours laters after also spotting the dreaded Chick-fil-a and opting for quiznos instead…blank stare…we, Jeremiah, me, “Tanya” and her ciggies, are on our way!)


Living in NYC or any big city, for that matter, you forget how beautiful the sight of rolling hills and open expanses of land can be. Hills and valleys. Mountains and streams. From sea to shining sea.

Around 4pm on Friday afternoon, Jeremiah, “Tanya” and I roll up at the KOA Kamp ground. Kamp…KOA…Kamp! Get it!?

Anyway, we pull into the Kamp ground to be stopped by the older woman at the gate. On her office window is “Betty and Ann”. We were lucky enough to encounter Betty, who was a very sweet woman who motioned us on to the main office to pick up our keys etc. And so we arrive at the main office. As I look out the front window of the car, two couples are exiting the building…two women and their shirtless, tanned and hairy husbands carrying 40s and smoking cigarettes. Yes, it’s gonna be that weekend. So I exit the car to sit in a huge rocking chair and have “Tanya” take a picture of me in front of the KOA sign. We then went inside to meet Jeremiah who was in the process of getting our Kabin assignment. “Tanya” and I, being the people we are, went in search of trinkets and what else, beer. We found it and some delicious malt drinks. As we go to pay, the very friendly desk person, David, tells us that we can order ice or whatever we need and they will bring it to our Kabin…he also tells us how delicious the Jack Daniel’s watermelon malt drinks are and smile real big at me…David was gay. Incidental but expository, nonetheless.

Have keys…now on to our Kabin. K214. Did I mention we were staying in a two story Kabin with an electric fire place, carport and air conditioning? Jed Clampett would’ve pissed his pants for this kind of luxury at the KOA. “Hills that is…swimming pools”, broadway stars.

And now we begin the unpacking process. Blankets, pillows, clothes, food, ice chests…OOH! The 15 bundles of fire wood arrive! Yes, I said 15. More unpacking. Outdoor chairs, table cloths etc… We were just about unpacked when “Mark and Jacob”, the newly titled “boyfriends”, arrive. More unpacking! More ice chests, much more beer, makings for s’mores, more chairs, pillows and bedding. ICE! We needed ice because the fridge is now full. So “Tanya” and I make our way up for visit David who immediately asked us if we liked the malt drinks…we did. So we buy five bags of ice and carry three with us. The other two will be delivered. We didn’t wanna look too “big city” by having them all delivered. We are capable people after all. We go back to our Kampsite and make the place look livable then it’s off to Friday night dinner…Long John Silver’s!!!

You can all pretend how health conscious you are and how you’d NEVER eat at a place like that, where the food is all fried in the same grease. Mmm, the deep fryer. I have to admit that Jeremiah and I were having chicken strips and fish, respectively and neither realized we were eating the other’s food until half way through. And don’t forget the crispies…and the cheese curd balls…and the mild indigestion that I’d gladly have again with a little malt vinegar!

And just when you thought the evening was winding down, The Charles Town Races ( doo dah, doo dah) was next up! This trip was shaping up nicely, if you asked me. We went to check out the second…ok third tier horses that were racing that evening. I picked horse #4 because it strutted like it was wearing high heels which I thought would make it a good runner. I was wrong. Last place Elmer, the glue horse, lost me five dollars! So I went inside to the casino. Yes, the home of old ladies and their cigarettes and oxygen tanks. Oxygen and fire….these broads have no fear and lots of pennies.
I try my hand against the slots, something I haven’t done since the night Chita Rivera told me to drink coffee after a drunken slot machining fiasco. Five more dollars gone. It was time to hit the KOA for the night.

When we got back to Kabin K214, the final three campers had arrived…”Chase”, “Tripp” and “Craig” with even more food, pillows, drink and another coffee maker! Because gay men and their lean friend and mascot for the weekend need choices. Not only did they bring more alcohol…they brought champagne and two blocks, not boxes (there is a difference) of wine. Wonders of the world! And “Tanya”, by this point, was in her weekend costume that she purchased at Walmart just for the occasion.

What happens when one man drinks five bottles of champagne? He throws up beside the Kabin and covers it with rocks. Ladies and gentleman, I give you “Craig”.

It’s only the first night. THE FIRST NIGHT!

The next day at the crack of dawn, or 8am as I call it, morning breaks, we wake, we pee, we wait for coffee and breakfast. Eggs and turkey bacon, courtesy of Jeremiah, who also made the fire…my mountain man. Back to the turkey bacon, you all know I’m a purest in many ways…I like sugar, not substitutes, whole milk not that soy crap and I like bacon as it was planned…from a pig! If I say any more, it’ll just get ugly.

Today’s excursion…BTI aka Butts Tubes, yes, you read correctly.

What camping adventure is complete without an afternoon of relaxing in tubes, floating down a lazy river with two ice chests filled with beer?! We had beer, food for lunch and blueberry fritter holes because why not and three additions to the days trip, the very friendly “Mitch” who I’d met in Miami in February and two of his friends, Ricardo and Leandro. Those are their real names and fuck ‘em…they can’t read. No, I mean it. Ricardo has a tattoo on his side which reads, “Remeber”… Yes, he has a misspelled word on his torso because neither he nor the tattoo artist recognized the mistake. I mean, really!

So after three hours on the river, after me losing three beers to the lady of the lake, after “Tanya” losing a flip flop and finding one, unfortunately the same foot, after losing THREE PAIRS of sunglasses, after spotting a way too young kid with a way too hot body, which we stopped to look at briefly until we realized he was a youth of maybe 17, we made our way out of e river and back to the bus that would take us back to our skewed reality. “Mitch” and his two muchacos fled the scene like someone had called the INS and we all headed back to our little home away from home for an evening by the fire. Someone should’ve told us that the local band, “Freak Show” would be sound checking at 5pm and playing NONSTOP from 6pm until 10pm. Four long hours of this…man who looked scarily like Eddy from AbFab meets Stevie Nicks. So as we listened to the screams of the band and the mildly drunken crowd, we sat by the fire and popped jiffy pop. For the record, in order to pop popcorn over an open fire, you must have some rhythm, the same rhythm one usually reserves for more personal moments…it was highly sensual. So we ate, drank and fell asleep.

Good night KOA, good night our tea party neighbors, good night obese 8yr old boy who could barely walk without hyperventilating…good night.

Sunday! It’s rainy and the fire won’t start…it took us almost three hours to go from smoke to fire…Smokey the bear would have had quite a Kiki watching this. I’ve literally blocked out any events that happened during most of this day. I only “remeber” hours sitting in the rain by the fire before we journeyed over the Harpers Ferry to tour the towns several historic buildings. It really was a lovely experience. We forget how the landscape of a town and it’s people can change over a century. Anyway, after dinner in town, we found ourselves back by the fire, drinking, drinking, drinking and laughing cuz that’s what friends do. Good times!

Good night KOA, good night our tea party neighbors, good night friends, good night obese 8yr old boy who could barely walk without hyperventilating…good night!

Monday morning at the crack of dawn…8am, it’s Labor Day!

Start packing up. As at the end of every trip with friends, it seems that the race was on to get packed, figure out what belonged to whom and get our asses back home before the vortex closed up for good. So, after packing and unpacking and replacing vehicles and figuring out who was riding with whom and what we were throwing away…don’t worry, the beer was saved! Cue the angels voices.

So we hug, kiss and laugh a few more times before everyone piles into three cars and set their sights on next year’s trip…anybody got a portable DirectTV satellite?


Last night, Monday evening August 27, 2012 was my first official evening of “vacation” also known as unemployment in more than six years and I was lucky enough to spend it doing the one thing I haven’t in so long due to my work-dictated schedule. The ever elusive dinner with friends.

It seems like such a small thing to be able to take a few hours to sit and sup with people you enjoy…and their friends.

At 6:45pm, Jeremiah and I set out with a bottle of Prosecco for dinner at my friend, #%*^’s, home. We arrived on time because if you know me you know that I hate being late and I don’t much care for those who consider being “fashionably” late, and showing up 30 minutes after everyone else, a worthy trait. But that’s just me.

So, what was to be dinner for 10 quickly turned into dinner for 8, as is expected in NYC, someone had double-booked and someone else had to cancel last minute. Now my friend, #*%^, is a gracious hostess and puts together a lovely dinner party with an always enjoyable mix of people from all arenas. I once had the pleasure of dinner with her parents and heard the most amazing stories of their lives as young Japanese Americans living in NYC and Boston after WWII. We’ve also dined with coworkers from various shows. Last night’s fete brought together great minds…two history teachers, the head of a prestigious private school, his partner and his father, the hostess, her precocious and multi-talented son, two fabulous black women, whose ships passed in the night and myself. I say that the two black divas passed in the night because one stopped in before she whisked herself away to make the engagement for which she had double booked and the latter was, well…late!

I had forgotten that the black diva still existed in a modern younger version. Long since the time of the theatrical divas as Vivian Reed, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Jennifer Lewis. These women who enter a room with a flourish and a fan and hold court. It’s clear that they took up the banner from gay men before them and have in many cases handed the banner back to the modern gay with his bag in the crook of his arm, don’t get me started, and his billowy tank top and coifed hair. I’m gonna need more fan-fared divas, please.

Diva number one, as I shall call her, is a young woman who I’ve known since my days working as a talent agent. When we met, she was a docile creature who was a fierce actress but doubted her singing ability. A sweet girl. She’s since starred in three broadway shows as a powerhouse singer and has found her voice. She flew into the room in a whirlwind of laughter and hair extensions with her frenetic energy and batting eyelashes. This is a women you want at a party, as long as she turns off her phone long enough to focus on the people IN the room. But we love her and forgive any self absorption that comes with being an actress. That gusto is something that is missing from many parties of mixed genders. I’ve been to countless all male soirèes and there’s always at least one gay man who can keep the room laughing and on the edges of their seats, regaling them with stories of past conquests.

Then diva number one left, as quickly as she’d arrived.

We were ushered to the table, by the talented albeit precocious son and seated for dinner…my female friend and seven men. If I were her, I’d always keeps those numbers. Nothing like being the only pretty girl in a room!

About half way through dinner we hear the bell announcing the arrival of our “Juanita come lately” final guest. Hold onto your iPads, hurricane “Fabuloso” just arrived. Diva number two, a former dancer and current faculty member at one of NYC’s world renowned dance companies, literally entered glowing of freshly applied body oil, wearing a flouncy bosom-bearing shirt, in a swirl of fabulousness with a fan. A mother-fucking fan!!! I knew this girl would either work my last nerve or be a handful of glitter…lucky for me, she was the latter.

Diva number two with her natural hair was ebullient and engaging, leaning forward enough for her less than bountiful charms to be seen by her student, the precocious one, and the other men at the table. Esprit de corps! Right?

Why did women stop wearing chiffon dresses and objet d’art as jewelry? GLAMOUR, GLAMOUR!!!

The conversation was definitely held captive by our modern day Isadora Duncan and myself, speaking freely about everything from Gabby Douglass’ hair to gay marriage to the abilities of American children and the electronic age they live in. Occasionally the educators would chime in but I must say its difficult to speak when two passionate artists are in the room. There were many differing views on child rearing and the importance of Facebook in the world, the development of an all boys academy in Harlem for the purposes of getting young at risk black men into programs that will allow them to attain more than the jail cell that awaits a third of all men of color under the age of 21, differing views on integrity and how much integrity we expect of our leaders. Those who know me well, know that my views and opinions are very clear. I expect perfection of myself and I hope that others will reach for the same goals. I don’t think, for me, that expecting less of others is the way to get them to do their best. I have never believed in the ideology of working so that the weakest link doesn’t feel “lesser”. I say, if I’m working harder or doing more, everyone else needs to BUMP UP their games.

One of the interesting moments of the evening was definitely the conversation of black women’s hair. The two black men and the black women clearly dominated this conversation with the others sitting back and listening, I think out of fear that someone would question how racially they could speak on the topic…except for the octogenarian male who accompanied his son and his son’s lover to dinner. He spoke clearly about how we each come to situations and views, as products of our surroundings and development. We each see things differently and expect or require what we require because of what we bring to the table. A farmer from Iowa has a different base of information than a teacher from Oregon or a dancer with a fan from NYC.

Amazingly, we all were able to have an open dialogue on many subjects and keep our food and drinks down. No fights, no low blows, no name calling…just conversation and laughter.
I left the evening feeling invigorated and looking forward to the next few weeks of “vacation” and lots of dinner parties.

I may have to start carrying a fan, just in case.


Ok…take a deep breath…

Over the past several months I have thought long and hard about my place in the battle we currently face, in our country. The truth in our feelings about who we are as a country and the truth about who we are and want to be when it comes to our own religious beliefs.

I, first, had to really consider my place when I initially heard that Truett Cathey, the founder of Chick-fil-a had given money to a foundation that believes in traditional family values…which was fine. I mean, who doesn’t believe in traditional family values, if the circumstances allow them.

I, later, cautioned myself about stating my beliefs…because like vocal technique, religion is a very personal thing, when my home state of North Carolina chose to be closed minded, as a whole, when voting for equal marriage rights for gays living in that great state.

I, once again had to regroup when it became common knowledge that Dan Cathy, son of Truett, had given millions of dollars of their customers money to an organization that openly speaks against gay marriage and gay rights of any kind…in the name of Christianity.

And last week, when a young girl was nailed to the proverbial cross when she unknowingly took a picture of a #1 meal from Chick-fil-a because she thought she was standing up for her beliefs, not knowing that it was condemning many of her peers, I knew it was time to state my opinion on the matter.

Somehow, my voice is one that holds some weight and I hope that now and in the future I will help someone to consider the other option…the other “white meat” when making choices that will change the lives of others.

I was raised in a Christian household with two parents, two brothers and a sister who all love God and follow the teachings of Jesus, our Christ. I was raised in a Methodist church and sang in Baptist and Episcopal churches throughout my education. I have always loved sacred music and will, without hesitation, tell you wholeheartedly that I am a Christian. It is first on my list of attributes…first being Christian, second being black (how could I deny it) third being gifted and fourth on the list…being a gay male. Many other things follow including being truthfully critical and strong willed but the first four are most important for this moment “on my soapbox”.

As a young person in a small town in North Carolina, I always thought of marriage as a union between a man and a woman because that was all I knew. Having been to many a wedding that was short lived for one reason or another I never thought myself as the “Marrying kind” but if that’s what ya like, then have at it. I was also intrigued at an early age by the changes in wording from ceremony to ceremony…husband and wife…man and wife….love and honor…love, honor and obey.

No one seemed to care that, what we consider, the true text of the bible has changed when it comes to the women no longer being considered a lesser creature or chattel or that she is no longer obliged to obey her husband. Should the woman not be subservient to the man? Not if he intends to eat and enjoy the fruits of married life. We have somehow progressed and grown as a Christian society without the walls of the church crumbling because women are now thought of as equal.

So why so different with gays? The bible tells us…ME, that a sin is a sin. The sin of fornication is as much a sin as the act of sodomy and because fornication leads to pregnancy doesn’t make it ok…Psalm 51:5 “For I was born a sinner, yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.” And yet, God still loves us and Jesus still saved us by grace from our very selves.

The union of marriage should and for many centuries, it seems, was consecrated by the church when two men of the cloth wanted to share their lives. Many of these ceremonies were called, “Office of Same-sex union” or “Order of uniting two men”.

I marvel at the idea that nearly a thousand years ago., before we came upon the entitlement of an entire class of men, the church found understanding and chose to join people who were Christians and who were taking up the banner of Jesus Christ, no matter their sexual orientation AND welcoming them into the church with all the rights that go with being a follower of Christ.

The church as we know it is not built on the firmest of foundations…our belief in God is unshakeable but we clearly know that many of our forefathers saw things differently when it came to worshipping God. The protestant churches…PRO-TEST-ant churches all believe similarly but some of their core values differ because, once again, our forefathers wanted to live the lives they chose and still be right with God. We’ve lived for generations with adulterers and alcoholics, thieves and murderers and abusers, finding solace in the church and being forgiven for their sins and allowed all the rights there unto of being a Christian including the ceremony of marriage.

Again, I ask, WHY NOT FOR GAYS?

The First amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America states, “ Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”


So why are we concerned with the ceremony of marriage when we should be more concerned with our government mandating that every citizen should lawfully have the same rights to a civil union and lawfully covered in the same way in case of disability, death or other harms. That every couple legally and lawfully joined are covered in the same way.

Why such a demand for marriage? And why, if someone who confesses their sins and their love for Jesus, would the church turn their backs and push these people away? Because that is what many churches are doing. Is that Christ-like? I need to know for my own sanity.

I think that so many people have gotten so wound up over wanting what their parents have…long marriages with kids and a picket fence, a ceremony in a church that they have forgotten what’s really important. Years ago, I thought the fight was for equal rights from the government. No, the government has not stepped up and put an amendment in place to allow all citizens the opportunity to wed in a civil union in every state of this great land. That’s what we want, right? We want the Constitution if the United States to outweigh any state constitution and allow the protection from being prosecuted unduly.

I understand that the words marriage mean different things for different people and I have never been one to envision walking down an aisle to join with, well, anyone. It’s not me but anyone who wants to, by all means. Grab the brass ring, pardon the pun.

But it’s not a federal issue. It’s a sacred/church issue and I think we want and have always wanted a division between church and state…not only when it suits us. Republican representatives continually state how they want less government in their lives, well STOP BRINGING RELIGION INTO THE CAPITAL BUILDING!!! They’ve been voted into office to look after the welfare of each citizen of this country…not just the top 1%, not just the people who look like them and not just the people who believe like they do…”With liberty and justice for all.”

There should, indeed, be a division between church and state but it can’t be when we want it or when it benefits us. It should be clear and strong, for all to understand.

This idea that gays shouldn’t marry is despicable. And even more so is that idea that when sinners and born again Christians alike want to come to Jesus and to his church and be wash in the blood and made whole, there are men of the cloth who turn them away. Jesus told this Parable:  “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’  I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

I have to believe that the God I serve and the Christ, whose teachings I live by, welcomes each of us to with open arms despite our sins, despite our faults and loves us unconditionally and wholeheartedly…including offering to us the ceremony of marriage.

To those who don’t believe that, I ask that you re-evaluate what being a Christian is to you. You will never be asked to stand p for my sins…only I will be asked to stand up for me. For those who fear they lose something by giving the same to others…please look up the definition of selfishness and look at yourself in the mirror. For those of you who are afraid to speak up for your beliefs, no matter what they may be…get a backbone and stand up, STAND UP FOR JESUS!

For those of you who go to a church that will accept your tithes but not accept you or allow you the same membership into the church of Christ as your heterosexual brother…FIND ANOTHER CHURCH IN WHICH TO WORSHIP. Some place where they truly know the love of God and a place where you are accepted because you are a child of God.

I cannot believe for a moment that Jesus would turn away a man who wanted to give his life to Christ and follow the teachings and be a Christian…it’s just not Christ-like!

As for Truett Cathy, I wish you were alive today, so that we would really know what your intentions were when giving money to support traditional family values. Sometimes the truth gets watered down and sometimes biased, due to personal prejudices, through generations and sons.

For those who continue to eat at Chick-fil-a, each of us has to stand for what we believe is right…I won’t wear skinny jeans. They just aren’t right. For you and you’re continued support of this company, if you are a mother and going there offers you a moment of peace from screaming kids wanting chicken nuggets then by all means, buy the chicken but understand that Dan Cathy is selling hatred and bias. I don’t think you want your children learning that. It’s just chicken.

To Bailey Hanks, who has been castigated by an entire community… Gurl! Stand up for your beliefs and speak strongly but be aware of what is happening around you. You can’t walk through life with blinders on simply because you’re a pretty blonde girl. Get with the program…ANY program!

To the many people who call themselves Christians but aren’t living a truly Christ-like life, what do you lose by allowing more people to enjoy the blessed service of matrimony? You lose nothing but you gain a brother or sister in Christ…