Monday, July 29, 2013

Gay Gold Diggers....

Come and spend some time with me.
In the last weeks the term "gold digger" has come up in more than one casual conversation with different friends. Wikipedia defines it as a greedy person (stereotypically a woman) who only dates (and subsequently marries) wealthy partners with the (typically) sole intention of being a beneficiary of said wealth.  However, prior to last month, the term really had little currency in the gay community because you couldn't exactly "put a ring on it" so to speak. So any gold dug from the pockets of a gay person was probably given freely and more likely an exchange of goods and services, than say, the extortion of wealth caused by divorce. The only gay equivalent I could think of would be that of a "size queen".  The term size queen is slang for a gay or bisexual man who prefers his partners to be extremely well endowed. Now if that is not a form of greed I don't know what is. 
But I really have trouble with the term gold digger as it relays to same sex couples...and not just because of its pejorative connotation. Firstly, I might be considered a gold-digger, or my husband might. When we met in our late 20's I was earning three times his salary, now in our mid 40's he makes three times mine. At some point I became a "gold digger" especially since I took time off from my career to raise our son. Despite my solidly upper middle-class salary, it's very unlikely with my B.A. and general lack of professional motivation that I'll ever make as much as my workaholic husband who has a degree in Nuclear Chemical Engineering. We're fine with that. He's fine if I don't work at all...although I do. As I said to a friend the other day: "If I wanted to focus on my career, I would have stayed single."
If you're rich I'm single.....
So why is it when a guy who makes enough money to live on (whatever that may be) is not worthy of a someone making a very good living. As a member of the upper-middle class (through marriage and blood only) I tend to associate myself with other members of the bourgeoisie. My single lawyer and doctor friends bemoan the fact that they can't find "professional guys" who "make as much as I do." .  So don't. What's wrong with a guy who makes no money and makes you and your relationship a career? Somebody who supports you  in your personal and professional life? Someone like a wife? I have a friend who easily makes $400,000 a year and was concerned that his live-in boyfriend was unemployed. Who cares? He was concerned about appearances, that he was being taken advantage of. If his live-in had been a woman I doubt he would have had the same concerns.
This hand-wringing over what someone makes, as opposed to who a person is, is silly.  Really, if you're making six figures and your boyfriend is making $20K is your lifestyle going to suffer? Wouldn't it be nice to come home to someone who is not stressed about work, but worried that your dinner isn't ready on time? This instant labeling of "gold-digger" because you found someone who fits into your lifestyle.  Now I'm not saying there aren't real "gold-diggers" out there, because there are greedy people. However, gold diggers are not any different than size queens......and trust me you can always work harder, there's not much you can do about a small penis.


Friday, July 19, 2013

I'm not a Maybe yes.

Okay, it's Thursday and people I know want my opinion on the Trayvon Martin case.  On the case itself I have small opinion. Clearly an underfunded and under-motivated prosecutor put on a pro-forma case against a slick and talented (well paid) defense.   A prosecution that couldn't even get a man or a person of color on the jury. A bunch of white housewives from Central Florida.....really, and someone was surprised by the verdict?

That being said, there were some things that I found interesting in America's continuing quest to alleviate past racial wrongs and that each convulsion brings about new and interesting surprises. In each case it involves an African-American male pitted against police, society or in Trayvon's case: armed neighborhood watch volunteer. From McDuffy, to Rodney King to OJ Simpson each decade returns us to that excruciating self examination of self and society asking ourselves "am I a racist.?" 
Choo shoe? Let's do lunch.

Well, of course we are silly. Each one of us, big old racists, and elitists and classists and bigots. Who doesn't judge people at first glance?  I personally use shoes as a measure of a man or woman, but that is just my shorthand for character. Everyone uses different metrics. I mean at least Paula Deen "came out" about her racism and it didn't do her a damn bit of good. Don't even get me started about fat people.
So in this latest round of high stakes judicial proceedings this is what I found:
Firstly, the African American community flexed some serious political muscle. I mean seriously, they did.  Community pressure forced the City of Sanford to fire the Police Chief.  Now, you might think this is no big deal, but in fact it is. An important official was relieved of duty in short order. That is no small thing.  Secondly, they pressured the city to reopen the case and the State to prosecute. The  prosecution might have been lame, but still it was a step.
Bernadine: The worst thing is that he made me move out here where my children are in school with only one other black kid so they won't be improperly influenced.
Secondly, not since the movie "Waiting to Exhale" and the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings have middle-class blacks been in the spotlight.  This happened in a middle class community, with middle class people. People with connections inside New York Times to shame the local community. Educated people who live in gated communities called Twin Lakes. I mean not even Desperate Housewives was in a gated community.
Perhaps most interesting is the liberal use of the "N" word(Rush Limbaugh) by white people. Just a general "let your hair down" and admit personal racism by calling it "common sense" according Kathleen Parker and "black kids in the ghetto don't equate the future beyond next week, unlike white kids." according to Mike Barnacle.  Then a general attack on any black person of consequence on TV such as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Soledad O'Brian as "racists" because they side with blacks. Maybe because they are black? Just sayin'.
Finally, no riots. Sigh, I had already picked out a great store to loot some John Varvatos chukkas from. No really, hurray, no riots. Riots are the sign of hopelessness, desperation. Clearly when teenagers wearing hoodies are killed in gated communities hopelessness and desperation are a difficult argument to make. (What teen, what adult male,  doesn't own a hoodie? I'm gay and I own two.) 
So two steps forward, one step back African Americans and all of us Americans.  These painful events by two individuals reflect on all of us. I can't say justice was done, but I'd like to think hopefully that someday it will.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Climate-Change Journalists Absolutely Giddy About Miami's Destruction. (and just about everyone else)

Please pick me up a cafecito while you're there....
Rolling Stone Magazine's recent article, Goodbye Miami by Jeff Godell was positively gleeful about Miami's inundation due to global warming.  "an American Atlantis", "a great future dive spot" were some of the kinder words he used in the article. He also quoted a "local politician" who told him that "God promised no more floods, read the story of Noah." I doubt seriously that a City of Miami or Miami-Dade County commissioner would quote scripture so I guess he spoke to someone in Medley or Homestead. His article, albeit science fiction presents Miami's inundation as a fait acompli.
Clearly, Miami has no shortage of haters. Interesting timing of the article being released just after our NBA Championship win, I would not be surprised if the author was from Cleveland or San Antonio. I wouldn't be surprised if Cleveland was pumping extra carbon emissions into the atmosphere specifically to inundate Miami. As usual the comments section was filled with unrequited hate from people who once lived here. Consistently Miami is held up as an example of a "future Atlantis" because of rising seas.
What I don't understand, if for example, the seas rise 10, 15, or 100 feet, they never use any other city "at risk" for inundation. I mean San Diego, Long Beach, New York, Washington DC, London, Nagoya, Sydney, Dubai, Wellington, Athens to a greater or lesser degree will be affected. However, I never feel the schadenfreude in global warming articles unless they include Miami. One article suggested Mumbai would have a similar fate, but felt really bad for the poor people there. No such compassion was shared for one of the poorest, albeit fabulous, cities in the U.S.
Yeah, and we're still here, better than ever!
As a native Miamian I have experienced my share of disasters both natural and man-made, including Andrew and the Overtown riots. I have watched time and time again when the rest of America and world have written off the Magic City. A, gleeful hope that a city dominated and built by a successful prosperous Hispanic middle class will somehow go away. Miami is glamorous, Miami is beautiful, warm and sexy. It is a global center of trade, fashion, culture and finance. Miami is the stick in the eye to all those people who think anything touched by the Latino community is second-rate, ugly, and not worthy of attention.
Whether we are an underwater Atlantis or the great regional capital that Atlantis was prior to its disappearance, you can look around. Our city is absolutely gorgeous. Brickell, Biscayne, Venetian Causeway. Our new Museums, opera houses, concert halls show that our city is finally realizing its fantastic potential in a way that's unapologetic and grand.  We are not a town that nods to New York or LA for it's identity. We are not going to just sit by and let this wonderful town, this Magic City, wash away like some sand castle. If we do, we'll be in the company of most of the great coastal cities of the world.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Gays Abuzz...What a Difference A Week Makes... A $100 Difference!

So what was the hot topic at all the Fourth of July pool parties hosted by the homosexuals this weekend? Well, marriage of course. But not in the way you would think.  Being a blog about a "man of a certain age", men of a certain age were discussing the most exciting topic of benefits.
Yes, benefits. Not, where are you planning to get married, not choosing wedding planners or deciding on which state to get married. No, most of these men (and women)are partnered and at some point or another took a jaunt to New York, California or Iowa to get married in the last 10 years. Their immediate joy was that they are no longer taxed for extending insurance benefits to their spouses, which is actually $100 month added to our family budget. Yes, the Supreme Court's decision last week added $100 more dollars to my hubby's paycheck...this week. Who would of thought that a decision made last week would actually increase our household income by $1200 a year? That's several pairs of shoes over the course of a decade.....hmmmm.
Marriage = Mo' Money = Mo' Shoes

The excitement of extending social security survivor benefits, fewer inheritance taxes, common property, joint tax returns, immigration changes and the plethora of protections and benefits that are offered to married couples by the federal government are now extended to us as well, we think. Ah, bet there is the rub....we think. 
 The Supreme Court was clear that the states could decide to choose about marriage....but the Federal Government is already recognizing immigration status for LGBT Floridians with valid marriages from other states.  The logical conclusion would be if my marriage is recognized in a Federal Court (Immigration is Federal) then it should be the case for Social Security and the IRS.

That being said, the myriad of benefits extended to couples by the State of Florida will continue to be denied, most of them related to transfers of real estate, inheritance of real estate, hospital visitation, and certain types of adoptions are still  just out of reach for the LGBT community. Lawsuits are being filed, petitions are being signed and soon Gays and Lesbian couples will work for a more perfect union, both as a country and as married couples.
God Bless America!