August 01, 2009

Absolutely Everybody...

You know you’ve reached an entirely new level of nuts when you find yourself taking a mini-vacation, yet you refuse to un-tether yourself from all the little gadgets that rule your life. This is a reoccurring theme for me. Not too long ago I wrote about the fabulous time my cell phone and I had in Las Vegas: the meals we had together, the shows we took in, the fabulous sights we saw! Really, I should register it as my domestic partner, because Lord knows it is the most solid relationship I have ever had.

But I digress. Every now and again, having such a device that allows constant access to the world around you can be extremely overwhelming. Take for instance a little break I took recently from the daily grind of regular life. No work, no writing, no futzing with my hair color. The only plans on my agenda were to catch a couple of movies, read a couple of books, and listen to my favorite podcast, the amusing and informative Six Pack, hosted by two of my favorite gays, Ben Harvey and Dave Rubin.

It would have been bliss. Unfortunately, every time I was alerted that a new message had come in, I dropped everything and jumped for my phone. It’s shameful the lack of will power I have. At one point, I’m pretty sure my cell phone actually called me a pussy. That’s right. Now I think the damn thing is taunting me. And with good cause. Most of the messages were hardly worth ceasing all activity for. No I don’t need Viagra and I don’t really care what Sarah Palin wore to her vacating the planet...err…resignation speech. Even I would have made fun of myself.

However, there was one message that required immediate attention. It was from a “friend” on Facebook who felt the need to share with me that he didn’t understand why everything I write about is “so gay”.

For real, ya’ll.

Typing away on my phone’s trusty QWERTY keyboard, I replied swiftly but rationally the following: “My life IS pretty gay. I write a gay column for a gay blog that is occasionally featured in a gay newspaper. I work for gay employers in gay specific retail. I am interested and invested in gay causes and entertainment. In fact, I am so gay I fully expect to burst into flames any moment now. What am I supposed to write about? Fucking sheep herding?”

So much for being rational.

I may often be ridiculous and ostentatious, but one thing I take very seriously is the need for every single queer living and loving individual to live life loud and proud. What I have to say may be inconsequential to some, but for others the simple act of me standing up and speaking out about gay anything may be a source of comfort to them or perhaps what inspires them to do the same. Also, sadly, there is still too much hatred and inequality in the world for me to sit silently in a corner. Being quiet, like me having my natural hair color, does not suit my personality.

My favorite funny lady, the incomparable Kate Clinton, actually explains it better. “Visibility is what makes it impossible for people to oppress us,” she told me recently. Amen, sister.

In any event, now that my cell phone has actually aided me in spreading the gospel about who I am, what I do, and why I do it, perhaps I shouldn’t feel so guilty about my addiction to constantly being on it. However one gets the message out there, I suppose, is not nearly as important as getting it out there period.

I’m here, I’m queer, and I am most likely going to be on my cell phone. I guess we all better get used to it.

Originally written for the August 2009 issue of The Empty Closet, New York State's Oldest Continuously Published LGBT Newspaper, since 1973, through The Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley.

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