Issue 417

April Showers Bring Bitch Flowers Reprises

No plans to go out of town because of soaring gas prices? Then, the fourth-annual April Showers Bring Bitch Flowers on May 27 is the place to be!

The event stars the ultimate party doll, Bitch Flowers, along with the emcee doll of the North, Camille Collins, and the dirty gurl doll, Krystal Kleer. This year’s special guest dolls are Polly and the Hot Buttered Crackers, plus Esmé Rodríguez. A special closing live performance features Harley Wood and the Wrecked Wheelhouse. The night continues with the spinning sensations of DJ Shied. Read the rest of this entry »

Hope—Not Ho-Hum

As another Pride celebration draws near, one contemplates the consumerism, the crowds, and the assimilation supplanting more rough and rowdy Prides of the past. More communities are celebrating, more GLBT folks and allies, and just plain citizenry, are joining in.

The Stonewall Uprising’s 42nd anniversary is just around the corner (June 28), and while the name has become a catchphrase, the importance of that pivotal event remains. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transvestites, and transgender people finally said, “No!” to the cycle of random police roundups, beatings, harassment, and imprisonment. Read the rest of this entry »

Lucky Lady Listener Q&A

I really do have the bestest bevy of listeners in all the world of podcasting. From Rehoboth Beach to Reykjavik, Iceland, my lucky lady listeners are the fabulous furnace that keeps my creative fires burning. They send me gifts and greetings. They challenge my thoughts, and help shape my opinions. They’re pretty much my queen’s council, and have helped steer the ship of (altered) state for more than six years now. In addition to chatting with them through The Progrum, and hearing all their fabulous feedback via the Web and e-mail, I love the chance to sit down, and answer their questions. Read the rest of this entry »

Contain Yourself

No other type of gardening offers instant gratification in the way a container garden can. It is fun to help guests put winning combinations together at Tangletown Gardens—sending them home with a sure recipe for success, and a guarantee to be the envy of their neighbors.

In a matter of a few hours, one can create a complete “garden,” with the boundaries being the vessel in which it is contained. That time includes travel to and from the garden center, planting, and placement, with time left over for admiration of a job well done. Read the rest of this entry »

Big Gay News

First Openly Gay Justice Confirmed to Massachusetts High Court
The Boston Globe reports that veteran appeals court judge Barbara Lenk, who is openly gay, won confirmation to a seat on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. She becomes the first openly gay judge to serve on the state’s highest court. Lenk had the full support of the state’s legal establishment.

Moscow Allows First Gay Pride Rally
Agence France-Presse reports that Moscow officials have authorized the city’s first Gay Pride parade. GayRussia association head Nikolai Alexeyev told AFP, “After a five-year struggle, we have received permission from city hall to organize a Gay Pride parade on May 28.” Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Just Plain Wrong

Same-sex marriage. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Blood donation. Whenever I am confronted with yet another reminder that, as a gay man in the United States, I am, in fact, not treated as an equal member of society by my own government, I want to turn the page, flip the channel, turn off the radio, and bury my head in the sand.

I want to run away in my mind to a magical place—that idyllic American Shangri-La as taught to me by my fifth-grade social studies teacher. You know, the one where everyone is created equal, and everyone has the same rights as everyone else, so long as they don’t kill anyone or steal anyone’s stuff. Read the rest of this entry »

Redeeming Qualities

I think the Minneapolis Police Department’s gun redemption program is a pretty cool idea. I like the thought of taking Grandpa’s old World War II service revolver (which he used to defend Fort Snelling Cemetery from marauding squirrel attacks) down to my local police station, and trading it in for tickets to Wrestlemania.

I heard that a suburban church recently launched a similar scheme for porn videos. It didn’t work out. What was intended as a redemption program (in every sense of the word) quickly turned into a kinky swap meet in the church parking lot. Read the rest of this entry »

An Ill Wind with Great Hair

I was awakened this morning by an ill wind. This wind was covered with fur and teeth. This wind has a name: Fredo and Livia. They are my miniature schnauzers, and they are a pair of thugs. They wake me each morning by slapping me with their oversized panda paws.

The attack this morning seemed particularly brutal and urgent. I grabbed Fredo by his deceptively sweet face, and asked, “Do you sense a hurricane or tsunami, or are you just being a bastard?” Read the rest of this entry »

Ms. Behavior©

Dear Ms. Behavior:

My ex-partner, Suzanna, and I, who were together for six years, broke up amicably but sadly a couple of years ago.

All was OK between us until she got a new girlfriend, Amber, who was very jealous. I took a graceful step back, figuring that Amber either would chill out or be such a pain in the ass that soon, she’d get the boot.

Anyway, now that Suzanna ousted Amber, she has been much more present, and, shall we say, needy. She wants me to cart her all over town, and run her errands and keep her company. We still own a car and a country house together, which requires a bit of scheduling and flexibility on both our parts.

I’d gotten used to the time away from Suzanna, and had begun to move on in my own life. It seems sad to me that Suzanna only wants me around when her life is empty.

The other problem is that Suzanna drinks a lot, and wants me to hang out with her while she gets drunk. All these reasons—the alcohol, her neediness and unreasonable demands—are why I wanted to be apart from her in the first place. I feel like I have to break up with her all over again.

What should I do?

—Suzanna’s (Ex)-Slave

Dear Suzanna’s (Ex)-Slave:

It seems depressing to go through the pain of shedding a girlfriend without any of the advantages—like extra joy and autonomy in your life.

Worse, you’re suffering the negative aspects of your former relationship by chauffeuring Suzanna around, and watching her spill her martinis, without the benefits of delightful lesbian sex—or at least cuddling as a cunnilingus substitute.

If you feel she only wants you around when her life is empty, why are you participating in this relationship? Don’t you have anything better to do when she wants you to do her errands? What would happen if you refused to spend time with her when she was drunk?

Like most people, you probably hate the “V” word (victim, not vagina). It will help you in future relationships if you can use this situation with Suzanna as an opportunity to stop being victimized. But you first have to consider what you get out of this seemingly unrewarding scenario.

For example, do you require another person’s dependency to make you feel worthy? Does being seen as reliable make you feel like you’ll never be left?

You need to figure this out, so that you don’t repeat the pattern with your next girlfriend, who’ll also have you running in circles and doing tricks.

Then, take a firm stand. Stop doing errands and babysitting your ex. Talk to Suzanna about selling the house and the car, and splitting the proceeds.

Stop being the poster dyke for “Ex-Lovers Are Forever,” and try to find a little joy in your own independent life.

Carpe Diem, Missy.

Dear Ms. Behavior:

I just met the most wonderful guy. The good news: His last husband of three-and-a-half years was older than I am. The bad news: The guy is only 27 (ouch). I am 51.

Is it possible for a relationship to work when the age difference is so large?

He said age is just a number, but I know it is more than that. It is a record of how long each of us has been alive.

Thanks for your advice.

—Frank

Dear Frank:

It would be lovely if age really were just a number. But if that were true, Junior would not have consecutively chosen two men who were so much older than he.

Consciously or not, he’s looking for something specific that he feels he can get from someone two-and-a-half decades his senior. (Hello, Daddy?)

Ms. Behavior sometimes receives letters from people with intergenerational relationships that have soured, particularly when the age difference is so large. The traits that had appealed to them in the beginning now annoy them.

The younger member of the couple complains the low-key lifestyle that once felt calming now seems too sedentary. The older member gripes that he secretly feels unable to maintain the level of activity his partner needs, and he yearns for more sophisticated companionship.

For the sake of perspective on your compatibility: Your boyfriend candidate was born 10 years before President Bill Clinton was inaugurated, and three years after MTV started. He probably never wrote a school essay without a computer.

He reached puberty when you were already beginning middle age. By the time he was old enough to have sex, it was never safe to do it without a condom.

Finally, you’re at the age where you need annual prostate exams, but your boyfriend still has not achieved his full bone mass.

None of this would matter much (you could consider it similar to a multicultural marriage), except that the chances of not engaging in a father-son dynamic are practically low.

Ultimately, your decision about whether to get involved should include some consideration of how you feel about that fact.

But who are we kidding? By the time you read this, you and Junior will probably be shopping for a Wii for your living room.

© 2011 Meryl Cohn. Address questions and correspondence to <msbehavior@aol.com>. She is the author of Do What I Say: Ms. Behavior’s Guide to Gay and Lesbian Etiquette (Houghton Mifflin). Signed copies are available directly from the author.

When Happiness Knows Your Name

The pursuit of happiness includes freedom to love for same-sex people.

Look up from this page and around the room you’re in.

No, seriously. Do it. Pwease.

If you’re at a salon waiting your turn, look at the stylist laughing with his client. If you’re in a coffee shop, look at the charmingly awkward not-a-first-date-’cause-it’s-just-coffee-date happening in front of you. If you’re by the lake, look at those dangerously ambitious power-walkers exchanging gossip and gardening tips. Read the rest of this entry »

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