Monday, October 17, 2011

Live Long And Prosper


Days after I wrote about National Coming Out Day, look who boldly went where few men have gone before.

Actor Zachary Quinto (Mr. Spock, Sylar, among other incarnations), whose sexual orientation has long fueled Hollywood gossip, finally crossed the frontier in a low-key, casual manner in an interview in New York Magazine about his involvement in the play Angels in America:

"I just think revisiting that work and revisiting the themes of that work at a time when the political and social climate of the country is shifting so dramatically and so irreversibly, to really come up against the echoes of that hatred and that bigotry and that fear that still exists in our culture, just in a different context now — you know, I feel it was just a really interesting exploration for me.

Doing that play made me realize how fortunate I am to have been born when I was born. And to not have to witness the decimation of an entire generation of amazingly talented and otherwise vital men. And at the same time, as a gay man (emphasis mine), it made me feel like I — there's still so much work to be done. There's still so many things that need to be looked at and addressed. The undercurrent of that fear and that, you know, insidiousness still is swarming. It's still all around us. To revisit that world at all, it took a toll on me. It definitely was an incredible experience but it was really daunting at times."

Interestingly, in his website, Quinto attributes his decision to come out on the recent suicide of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, who killed himself after being bullied at school for being gay:

"when i found out that jamey rodemeyer killed himself - i felt deeply troubled.  but when i found out that jamey rodemeyer had made an it gets better video only months before taking his own life - i felt indescribable despair.  i also made an it gets better video last year (video below) - in the wake of the senseless and tragic gay teen suicides that were sweeping the nation at the time.  but in light of jamey's death - it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it - is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality. "

On behalf of the next generation, may you live long and prosper.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

National Coming Out Day

Why, yes, Virginia, there is such a thing.

NCOD (as opposed to NOCD*) is 

" internationally observed civil awareness day celebrating individuals who publicly identify as bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, or queer-coming out regarding one's sexual orientation and/or gender identity being akin to a cultural rite of passage for LGBT people. The holiday is observed annually by members of the  queer community and their straight supporters on October 11."

Sooooooo yesterday, but hey, any excuse to party, y'all.

I'm a bit of a fence-sitter when it comes to this whole "coming out" business. Sure, I'm practically out to all the Malate queers and characters, as well as to most of the significant people in my life. My family, of course, does not discuss my sexual preference, but then again, we don't discuss the sexual preference of my brother, either, and he's disgustingly straight. I suppose my mom just wants us to keep believing babies are made when two people really really really love one another and have a stork on speed-dial.

Buuuuuuttttt, I digress.

I'd love to hold forth on the merits and demerits of "coming out", but I think you'd enjoy the different opinions expressed here. While you're at it, feel free to post your own opinions in the Comments Section (theirs or mine or both) and/or gawk at the allegedly-closeted celebrities they practically outed there.

Too easy.

Hey, baby.


For my part - being the contrarian dick and sick puppy that I loudly and proudly am - in observance of this LGBT event, I shall leave you with my take on the insufferably unctuous "It Gets Better" campaign.


And with that, I'm outtie.

Or not.

*Not Our Class, Darling. Best delivered with champagne in one hand, disdain in the other.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Château de Versailles Part 2

"We're beautiful and dirty rich."

Wandering around what is probably the most extravagant palace in Europe, I couldn't help but remember Sofia Coppola's Marie-Antoinette. I kept seeing visions of Kirsten Dunst aka Mary-Anne, Party Princess of Austria, traipsing down the ornate halls in her voluminous skirts, engaging in juvenile behavior and navigating court intrigue whenever she wasn't trying to get Louis-Auguste to bonk her so she could finally produce the next dauphin and get France off her case.

One can't blame poor Mary-Anne for losing her head, though. Versailles - like many other great works of art and architecture - can certainly be overwhelming. It is a sensory overload of sights and, back in its glory days, smells, as well. As Wiki put it:

"The smell at Versailles was said to be 'unique out of all the palaces in Europe' (duc Saint-Simon). There were no functioning toilets until 1768. By the time of the French Revolution in 1789 there were only 9, and those belonged to the King and his closest family members. The rest of the palace simply had to live with the constant smell of the privy-chambers clinging to their clothes, apartments and the general atmosphere. Although banned, chamber pots were constantly emptied out of the nearest window." 


Anyhow, a single day is truly insufficient to take in the grand majesty of Versailles. But one fine day was all I had, and therefore had to make the most of it.

Therefore, mesdames et messieurs, as the ever-so-proper Comtesse des Noailles so eloquently put it:

Scrub to 2:30 if you wish to skip the morning's petit lever.

Bonjour, mes petits anges!

Magnificent frescoes sweep across the ceilings.

A view of the chapel of Versailles.

Le Grand Appartement du Roi.

This is what a bed fit for a king looks like.

These chairs held the derrieres of the king's loyal courtiers, 
who performed the king's levée every morning.

The Sun King strikes a serious pose.

An antechamber to the petit appartement du roi -
 his majesty's even more private quarters.

The palace...

...was simply overcome...

...with gilt.

Après les appartements du roi...

...on présente le petit appartement de la reine.

Mary Anne slept here.

The ornate canopy above the bed.

And the rest of the gilt-stricken room.
Actually, Mary-Anne's quarters reminded me so much of...cake.

Donc...qu'ils mangent de la brioche?