When I was baptized I knew it was a bad idea. I figured I’d try to stump them, so I asked where all the black people were. They immediately said Gladys Knight was Mormon. I know, I was shocked by that too, I had no idea the midnight train stopped in Salt Lake City.
I’m originally from a small town in Missouri, Kirkwood, a suburb of St. Louis. Very quaint, simple little town centered around the train station and high school football team. We’re famous for the local pizza guy kidnapping a kid and keeping him in the basement for 4 years. But he made great pizza!
Watching the “It Gets Better” videos has left me feeling like somehow I missed out on something. Where’s my agony? My heartache? I was so painfully well adjusted with liberal parents (sure we’re Mormon, but we were like the affirmative action family for the Mormons, they kept us around because we made them seem populist). Instead of wearing black or a trench-coat or some other hate crime inspiring apparel, I wore khaki’s, sweater vests and pastels. Finding out I was gay was about as shocking as running into Newt Gingrich at a buffet.
Not once was there ever a time when anyone thought I was anything but gay. I’m a gold star gay, I’ve never been with a woman. I just recently learned women don’t pee through that little “man in the boat” situation downstairs. My mother would even say, “When you kids grow up an have children,” and then to look to me and say, “… or adopt.” There was always an alternative for me.
Every gay guy has that one special gal, in my case, I had an entire family. They were the Whites (that’s their last name, not just white people in general, however the Whites are in fact white).
There was Judy, the Mom, whose creativity and unique point of view showed me that I could say anything I wanted if I just owned it. Meredith, the universal baby sister to us all, whose warmth and kindness is masked by a fierce determination to accomplish anything (picture Hillary Clinton talking Osama bin Laden down while wearing pearls). Finally Lori (L-O-R-I, thank you very much), who had this boldness and awesome sense of self (and just a flat out genius). Over the years we spent together, these three women became my second family. Together the three of them made what would be like a super hero gay man.
We had a tendency to dress in themes for dances (I know!). I dressed as Elvis Costello once for Lori. My real last name is Hoeninger, but is often mispronounced as “Ho-Nigger.” Which is just another reason why it was destiny for us to join forces. Together we became a collective White Ho-Nigger.
As a comedian, you take adversity and turn it into comedy. I’d probably be more successful if I were to have, I dunno, a mini-bout with being bipolar, some sort of bullying, maybe a pathetic attempt at suicide involving a broken Madonna cd, I-don’t-know. Instead all I got is that, because of the Whites, my awesome parents, and some strange element of “I-don’t-give-a fuck” attitude, I went to a high school dance dressed as Elton John in a pink boa (you read that right), and be crowned King! To quote my friend Sharon Spell, it never really could get better for me, it’s more like “It plateaued.”
I’m a rip the band aid off quickly type person. What’s the point in doing it slowly and dragging the pain out? (why do i speak in metaphors?)
Sometimes I can’t leave well enough alone. If something is eating at me I’ve got to do it, even if I know it’s a bad idea. Which is why, at times (and by “at times” i mean often), I am a fool.
I was talking with my best bud Lori White the other day (check her out here and here, oh yeah, and here), and we acknowledged that we give people the benefit of the doubt way too much. People that, even though we’ve been wrong by them (or we’ve wronged them), we feel like there is something salvageable. No relationship, be it of any kind, is totally a waste. Which is why we have trouble just cutting someone out, not inviting them to the party (stop with the metaphors already!).
So the urge to bring that person who was once a mainstay in your days and nights back into the fold is kind of irristable for people like Lori and I. We’ll make the outreach, attempt to clear the air, put ourselves out there, and hopefully not get shot down.
But, let’s be honest, more often than not when we do these things we get shot down. It’s not anybodies fault, it’s the way of the beast with social interactions and relationships (i love that saying, “way of the beast,” it reminds me of the rolling stones). But the attempt is laudable, right? It’s the attempt that matters!
I was reading the Ellen DeGeneres interview in the latest issue of Oprah’s magazine (stop judging me!), and they were chatting about how there’s a lesson in everything you do. Oprah said, “I always ask myself, ‘What does that mean?’ or ‘How does that event effect me in the long run?’” (well, she’s Oprah, so I guess when bad things happen to her she just buys a cable TV network or opens a school in Africa and gains back her karma points) But she does make a good point. My decision to put myself out there, and get shot down, just gives me more strength. In fact, I feel pretty good about everything. The line from that songs sums it up, “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.” Cheesy song, but awesome way to live!
I’ve arrived in sunny California! Well, it’s not totally sunny at the moment, a bit overcast, but saying “I’ve arrived in overcast California” just doesn’t have a good ring to it.
One of the first events that happened when I got out here was Michael Jackson’s Memorial Service. What a sight that was! Black people know how to throw a funeral. As my firend Lori said, it’s just one big jam session. Nobody does a funeral better than black people. Except, Lori noted, the Irish. But they are kind of the blacks of Europe, no?
Did you see John Mayer at MJ’s funeral? I was so confused with his presence. I think he thought he was going to play, “Your Body is a Wonderland” in honor of Neverland Ranch, but then realized it might be taken the wrong way. Tacky John, totes tacky!
It’s good to be back in the land of silicone. I joined Crunch fitness, which was like a huge step for me. Not because I need inspiration to work out, I’m pretty physical, but because I don’t like shelling out that kind of money every month for something that should be way cheaper (and thus more accessible to everybody). The perk to having a membership at a high priced gym: they give you a small towel and a large towel, various soap options in the private showers, and skinny trainers you know are judging everything you do (because they think they know better, which is like beyond annoying, I’m not the one having to work at a gym just to get a free gym membership – ZING!).
Here’s to setting goals and achieving them!
Can we just agree on one thing: Hillary Clinton has become the shit, right? Like, woah, she’s totes in hear realm.
I supported her during the election. Well, at first I supported Obama, then I endorsed Edwards because Jean Smart of “Designing Women” fame endorsed him, and finally I settled on Clinton because of her postion on health care (it was the first time I supported a candidate for legitimate issues, rather than for them being a Democrat or black). I loved everything about her campaign, and her concession speech was probably the most eloquent and moving concession speech I’ve ever heard.
I had hoped she’d find a place in the Obama administration, but didn’t count on it. I predicted he would go for a totally fresh cast of charcaters, anti-establishment types. But then when it was announced Clinton would be the Secretary of State nominee, it was almost like my best friend had just been elected Student Body President, I was thrilled.
I knew she’d be awesome at the job, but didn’t anticipate her being as cool as she has become. As my friend Lori pointed out, Obama’s statements always say he’s “… deeply concerned…,” whereas Clinton’s are like, “… there’s just no basis for that…” It’s like she can now be the smarty pants we’ve always wanted her to be but she could never be, cause she had to be a politician. No more, now she can be like, “Nope, you’re wrong, and let me tell you why…”
She is amazing, I adore her, and love that she can now be that know-it-all we all hated in high school but really don’t mind having negotiate us out of nuclear war with North Korea.
Check out the wax version of her. Spooky!
Alright, so I’ve been a shitty blogger lately. Life exploded for a bit. To the 12 people who will read this, I am sorry.
What have I been up to?
- There was AIDS Walk New York (5.6 million, shoop shoop). That was amazing.
- Then comedy, which is going well.
- Philadelphia with Lori White (and Ben Franklin).
- Preparing to leave for LA! Beginning of July I’ll be leaving on a jet plane. Eeeek, I’m nervous!
- The Brooklyn Half Marathon tomorrow!! Third year in a row!
So yeah, I’ve been busy!
I also signed back up for Match.com. Figured it would be a good way to meet men in LA. I don’t tan, rarely drink, and hate the gym, so my ability to meet gay men in the normal fashion is limited out there. What’s fun about Match is that you can type in keywords to search for men. I typed in Shirley MacLaine. Various men who look like my father turned up. It was like looking into a mirror of my future. This cannot happen to me!
I am spent. More to come.