I went on vacation expecting to visit old friends, see my brother get married and bake in the sun. I did all that — and watched my partner devour every lobster in three New England states.
But, even more than that happened. Near the end of the two weeks, as Anne and I sat on the grass outside Provincetown’s town hall, eating linguica and egg sandwiches and fried dough, we talked about our future.
Anyone who eats such a meal regularly would have no future, but we were on vacation. Just ask the lobsters.
By the end of our conversation, I reached the decision I’ve been sneaking up on for a while now. It’s time for me to make a change. It’s time for me to stop writing this column.
I’ve been hammering out “General Gayety” for a dozen years or so. When I began, Vermont was putting in place the nation’s first civil unions, which resulted in acrimony not seen in Vermont since Ben called Jerry a Chunky Monkey.
Now assorted states offer same-sex marriage; polls show a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage; and, for the first time, a sitting president endorses same-sex marriage.
That’s social change moving at Mach speed.
I’ve written about the landmark Lawrence v Texas decision, the death of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the world’s first openly lesbian prime minister and LGBT teens with more leadership ability than George W. Bush ever thought of.
I’ve also written about corrective rape in South Africa, gay domestic violence, murderous homophobia and fundamentalists blaming us for everything from 9/11 to cellulite.
During this period, I’ve seen a lot of gay newspapers come and go — mostly go — and the explosion of online LGBT outlets. Now, major online purveyors of LGBT news speak of their wobbliness. Place your bets now, ladies and gentlemen, on the future of gay journalism.
For all the difficulties inherent in writing for gay publications — like low pay, low pay, and low pay — it’s one of the best things I’ve done. Writing “General Gayety” allowed me to combine my love of humor with my commitment to the LGBT cause.
I extend my thanks to the editors and publishers from Charlotte to San Diego, Detroit to Dallas, Seattle to Philadelphia, who have run my column in their pages. And, I thank the readers from around the country and around the world who have let me know what they thought of my work.
I even thank the homophobes who saw fit to drop me a line. Their venom provided me with column fodder. Really quite thoughtful of them.
I’m not disappearing completely. Because so much is always happening in the LGBT sphere, I might find I simply have to write a column now and then. It’s a release for me. Beats exercise.
But, mainly I intend to focus on two areas. The first is my blog. It’s a home for LGBT humor, so it now carries forward the “General Gayety” name. The blog is chock-full of cartoons, videos, photos that I don’t create — for which we can all be grateful — along with posts that I write.
Dropping the column will allow me, perversely, to write more often and address issues more quickly in the form of pithy posts, so come visit me in blogdom at generalgayety.com.
My second aim is to write a book. It won’t be a gay book, but I’ll sure enough be coming out in it — as a person with OCD.
That’s my version of coming out as a never-ending exercise.
So, wish me luck and strength and I wish the same for you. : :
info: firstname.lastname@example.org . generalgayety.com