The World's New Gay State

12 Degrees of Failure. How does a weak state become a failed state?

Posted in FIGS Party, Gay independence, LGBT Politics, The Gay State by thegaystateblog on June 23, 2010

When I look around the world, I see that 100 percent of existing nations are non-Gay nations and non-Gay governments.  We are discriminated in nearly 100 percent of them but to varying degrees.  A handful of governments have made great strides to support their Gay citizens.  But a full 94% of all people around the world live in states that have made a colossal mess of things; sometimes just for the LGBT citizens, but often for the peril of all citizens.

I often mention in speeches and talks, some of the countries that currently exist that have an abysmal record.  Don’t tell me we as The Gay State  cannot do better than Myanmar, Uzbekistan, Nigeria or Haiti.  We as a people can harness enormous potential from our people all over the world.

Click on this link to read an article that I just came across on my way down to DC for the ALA Conference.   It is found on June 22, 2010 inside Foreign Policy.  If like me, you are a nerd for statistics and rankings, this article will be of interest to you.  http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/06/21/12_degrees_of_failure

A Thank You Note from the desk of Garrett Graham

Posted in Book Distribution, FIGS Party, Gay independence, The Gay State by thegaystateblog on June 22, 2010

The last several weeks have been extremely busy since we launched the book.  I have been on the move even more than I anticipated.  Within a few hours I leave to return to Washington DC for the Summer Conference of the American Library Association.  The purpose of the event is to allow librarians from all over the country to gather for training, networking and to learn about new works, such as ours.

As America struggles with its bloated bureaucracies and shrinking budgets, towns and countries throughout the US are cutting expenditures wherever possible.  This means certain literary works that are out of the mainstream are among the first to get axed from the library purchasing.

At libraries, both public and private, everyone from staffers to Requisition Specialists find themselves in the scope when they spend resources on particular works that inflame the old guard.  “The Gay State:  The Quest for an Independent Gay Nation-State and what It Means to Conservatives and the World’s Religions” is just such a work.  I have known, as every LGBT person knows, that we are best tolerated when we don’t make waves or offend the majority.  After countless centuries of my community being brutalized by the non-Gay majority, I felt I had no alternative than to be as blunt and as clear as I could be in my assessment.  And that blunt, frank and unambiguous language comes at a price.  This can be the result when you displease the masters.  But the belief that we are deserving of liberty does not suffer when acknowledging our freedom requires honesty.

And now when I arrive in Washington, I will attempt to explain to those who are under enormous budgetary constraints that I do not wish to whip up further intolerance merely for the sake of causing commotion or a media frenzy.  I am merely stating the truth and calling out by name the groups who have sought to destroy our communities since time immemorial.

So in this moment of calm, let me offer a very heartfelt thank you to all of you who have supported the cause and purchased the book.  It has been educational and enlightening to see so many of you buying multiple copies for friends and colleagues.  I want to encourage you to continue to purchase from our website for discounted pricing.  However, I want to encourage you to also purchase your copies through Amazon.com so that our rankings on their website will rise. 

We are all working to create a better world.  We all are striving to let the world know that our Gay brothers and sisters in every darkened corner of the globe deserve liberty and justice.  Our work will not produce an immediate conclusion but the efforts will continue and we will not accept anything other than full Gay equality around the planet.  Your purchasing “The Gay State” will further our ability to help transform lives.  For your believing in us, I can’t thank you enough!  Together, we are moving our work and our community forward.

Sincerely yours,

Garrett Graham

The Gay-Iraqi crisis

Posted in Gay independence, LGBT Politics by thegaystateblog on June 18, 2010

Posted By Taylor Asen , Zach Strassburger Friday, June 18, 2010 – 11:08 AM Share

In September 2006, Samir, an Iraqi doctor, fled from his home to Jordan just moments before family members came to torture and murder him for “dishonoring” the family by being gay. Samir spent the next few years fleeing from country to country. While working in a hospital in Jordan, he spotted his uncles searching for him just in time to slip out of his office and escape to Saudi Arabia, only to be tortured and nearly killed by Saudi Arabia’s “moral police,” sending him fleeing back to Jordan.

Unfortunately, the only thing uncommon about Samir’s story is that it has a happy ending. With legal help from the Human Rights Watch and the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), Samir safely resettled in the United States in December, 2009. But, unlike Samir, the vast majority of gay Iraqis have no access to legal counsel. Without it, they have little chance of navigating the resettlement system and getting to safety in the U.S. Even those Iraqis with legal help face the staggering challenge of staying alive during the lengthy resettlement process.

The consequences for gay Iraqis who fail to obtain refugee status are severe. Since 2004, hundreds of young men suspected of homosexual conduct have been abducted, tortured, and brutally executed with only a cursory response from Iraqi authorities. Our clients at IRAP and others provide appalling accounts of the violence: in one gruesome method of torture (and often murder), gay men have their anuses glued shut before being fed laxatives.

Although Samir was pursued by family members, the fanatical Mahdi Army is responsible for much of the violence towards gays. “Death squads” murder men, then leave their destroyed bodies in public as warnings to other gay men. Their brutality is matched only by their frighteningly systematic methods: before murdering their captives, the squads interrogate their victims, search through cell phones and demand information on each contact. In this climate, no gay Iraqi whose sexual identity is known to even one other gay man is safe. Another of our clients, Yasser, was kidnapped by a gang who had also kidnapped his ex-boyfriend and found Yasser’s information in his phone. Though Yasser eventually escaped, the gang also seized his phone — and the names and numbers of all of his gay acquaintances.

Click here to go to the rest of the article in Foreign Policy Magazine: http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/06/17/the_gay_iraqi_crisis

Lambda Literary Awards, 2010. Another Bumper Crop Year.

Posted in Uncategorized by thegaystateblog on May 29, 2010

2010 Awards Finalists & Winners

These Finalists represent books published in 2009.

LGBT Anthology

  • Gay American Autobiography: Writings from Whitman to Sedaris, edited by David Bergman (University of Wisconsin Press) 
  • Moral Panics, Sex Panics: Fear and the Fight Over Sexual Rights, edited by Gilbert Herdt (NYU Press)
  • My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them, edited by Michael Montlack (University of Wisconsin Press) [Review]
  • Portland Queer: Tales of the Rose City, edited by Ariel Gore (Lit Star Press)
  • Smash the Church, Smash the State! The Early Years of Gay Liberation, edited by Tommi Avicolli Mecca (City Lights)

LGBT Children’s/Young Adult

  • Ash, by Malinda Lo (Little, Brown) [Review]
  • How Beautiful the Ordinary, edited by Michael Cart (HarperCollins)
  • In Mike We Trust, by P.E. Ryan (HarperCollins)
  • Sprout, by Dale Peck (Bloomsbury USA)
  • The Vast Fields of Ordinary, by Nick Burd (Penguin Books)

LGBT Drama

  • The Beebo Brinker Chronicles, by Kate Moira Ryan & Linda S. Chapman (Dramatists Play Service)
  • The Collected Plays Of Mart Crowley, by Mart Crowley (Alyson Books)
  • Revenge of the Women’s Studies Professor, by Bonnie J. Morris (Indiana University Press)

LGBT Nonfiction

  • The Golden Age of Gay Fiction, edited by Drewey Wayne Gunn (MLR Press)
  • The Greeks and Greek Love, by James Davidson (Random House)
  • I Am Your Sister: Collected and Unpublished Writings of Audre Lorde, edited by Rudolph P. Byrd, Johnnetta Betsch Cole & Beverly Guy-Sheftall (Oxford University Press)
  • Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences, by Sarah Schulman (The New Press) [Review]
  • Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America, by Nathaniel Frank (St. Martin’s Press) [Review]

LGBT SF/Fantasy/Horror

  • Centuries Ago and Very Fast, by Rebecca Ore (Aqueduct Press)
  • Fist of the Spider Woman, by Amber Dawn (Arsenal Pulp Press)
  • In the Closet, Under the Bed, by Lee Thomas (Dark Scribe Press) [Review]
  • Palimpsest, by Catherynne M. Valente (Bantam/Spectra Books)
  • Pumpkin Teeth, by Tom Cardamone (Lethe Press)

LGBT Studies

  • Metropolitan Lovers: The Homosexuality of Cities, by Julie Abraham (University of Minnesota Press) [Review]
  • Moving Politics: Emotion and ACT UP’s Fight Against AIDS, by Deborah B. Gould (University of Chicago Press)
  • The Queer Child, or Growing Sideways in the Twentieth Century, by Kathryn Bond Stockton (Duke University Press) [Review]
  • The Resurrection of the Body: Pier Paolo Pasolini from Saint Paul to Sade, by Armando Maggi (University of Chicago Press)
  • The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth Century America, by Margot Canaday (Princeton University Press)

Bisexual Fiction [TIE]

  • Arusha, by J.E. Knowles (Spinsters Ink) [Review]
  • Holy Communion, by Mykola Dementiuk (Synergy Press)
  • The Janeid, by Bobbie Geary (The Graeae Press)
  • Love You Two, by Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli (Random House Australia)
  • Torn, by Amber Lehman (Closet Case Press) [Review]

Bisexual Nonfiction

  • Byron in Love: A Short Daring Life, by Edna O’Brien (W. W. Norton)
  • Cheever: A Life, by Blake Bailey (Alfred A. Knopf) [Review]
  • Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Five Villages to Five Continents, by Minal Hajratwala (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Map, by Audrey Beth Stein (Lulu.com) [Review]
  • Vincente Minnelli: Hollywood’s Dark Dreamer, by Emanuel Levy (St. Martin’s Press)

Transgender

  • Bharat Jiva, by Kari Edwards (Litmus Press)
  • Lynnee Breedlove’s One Freak Show, by Lynn Breedlove (Manic D Press)
  • The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You, by S. Bear Bergman (Arsenal Pulp Press)
  • Transmigration, by Joy Ladin (Sheep Meadow Press)
  • Troglodyte Rose, by Adam Lowe (Cadaverine Publications)

Lesbian Debut Fiction

  • The Creamsickle, by Rhiannon Argo (Spinsters Ink) [Review]
  • The Bigness of the World, by Lori Ostlund (University of Georgia Press)
  • Land Beyond Maps, by Maida Tilchen (Savvy Press)
  • More of This World or Maybe Another, by Barb Johnson (Harper Perennial) [Review]
  • Verge, by Z Egloff (Bywater Books) [Review]

Gay Debut Fiction

  • Blue Boy, by Rakesh Satyal (Kensington Books)
  • God Says No, by James Hannaham (McSweeneys)
  • Pop Salvation, by Lance Reynald (HarperCollins)
  • Shaming the Devil: Collected Short Stories, by G. Winston James (Top Pen Press)
  • Sugarless, by James Magruder (University of Wisconsin Press)

Lesbian Erotica

  • Flesh and Bone, by Ronica Black (Bold Strokes Books)
  • Lesbian Cowboys, edited by Sacchi Green & Rakelle Valencia (Cleis Press)
  • Punishment with Kisses, by Diane Anderson-Minshall (Bold Strokes Books)
  • Where the Girls Are, by D.L. King (Cleis Press)
  • Women of the Bite, Edited by Cecilia Tan (Alyson Books)

Gay Erotica

  • Rough Trade: Dangerous Gay Erotica, edited by Todd Gregory (Bold Strokes Books)
  • Impossible Princess, by Kevin Killian (City Lights)
  • I Like It Like That: True Tales of Gay Desire, edited by Richard Labonté & Lawrence Schimel (Arsenal Pulp Press)
  • The Low Road, by James Lear (Cleis Press)
  • Eight Inches, by Sean Wolfe (Kensington Books)

Lesbian Fiction

  • Dismantled, by Jennifer McMahon (HarperCollins)
  • A Field Guide to Deception, by Jill Malone (Bywater Books) [Review]
  • Forgetting the Alamo, Or, Blood Memory, by Emma Pérez (University of Texas Press)
  • Risk, by Elana Dykewomon (Bywater Books) [Review]
  • This One’s Going to Last Forever, by Nairne Holtz (Insomniac Press)

Gay Fiction

  • Lake Overturn, by Vestal McIntyre (HarperCollins) [Review]
  • The River In Winter, by Matt Dean (Queens English Productions)
  • Said and Done, by James Morrison (Black Lawrence Press)
  • Salvation Army, by Abdellah Taia (Semiotext(e)) [Review]
  • Silver Lake, by Peter Gadol (Tyrus Books) [Review]

Lesbian Memoir/Biography

  • Called Back: My Reply to Cancer, My Return to Life, by Mary Cappello (Alyson Books)
  • Mean Little deaf Queer, by Terry Galloway (Beacon Press) [Review]
  • My Red Blood: A Memoir of Growing Up Communist, Coming Onto the Greenwich Village Folk Scene, and Coming Out in the Feminist Movement, by Alix Dobkin (Alyson Books)
  • Likewise: The High School Comic Chronicles of Ariel Schrag, by Ariel Schrag (Touchstone)
  • The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith, by Joan Schenkar (St. Martin’s Press) [Review]

Gay Memoir/Biography

  • Ardent Spirits: Leaving Home, Coming Back, by Reynolds Price (Scribner Books)
  • City Boy: My Life in New York During the 1960’s and 70’s, by Edmund White (Bloomsbury USA) [Review]
  • Deflowered: My Life in Pansy Division, by Jon Ginoli (Cleis Press)
  • Once You Go Back, by Douglas A. Martin (Seven Stories Press) [Review]
  • The Pure Lover: A Memoir of Grief, by David Plante (Beacon Press) [Review]

Lesbian Mystery

  • Command of Silence, by Paulette Callen (Spinsters Ink)
  • Death of a Dying Man, by J.M. Redmann (Bold Strokes Books)
  • From Hell to Breakfast, by Joan Opyr (Blue Feather Books)
  • The Mirror and the Mask, by Ellen Hart (St. Martin’s/Minotaur)
  • Toasted, by Josie Gordon (Bella Books)

Gay Mystery

Lesbian Poetry

  • Bird Eating Bird, by Kristin Naca (HarperCollins)
  • Gospel: Poems, by Samiya Bashir (Red Bone Press) [Review]
  • Names, by Marilyn Hacker (W.W. Norton)
  • Stars of the Night Commute, by Ana Božičević (Tarpaulin Sky Press)
  • Zero at the Bone, by Stacie Cassarino (New Issues Poetry & Prose)

Gay Poetry

  • Breakfast with Thom Gunn, by Randall Mann (University of Chicago Press)
  • The Brother Swimming Beneath Me, by Brent Goodman (Black Lawrence Press)
  • The First Risk, by Charles Jensen (Lethe Press)
  • Sweet Core Orchard, by Benjamin S. Grossberg (University of Tampa Press) [Review]
  • What the Right Hand Knows, by Tom Healy (Four Way Books)

Lesbian Romance

  • It Should Be a Crime, by Carsen Taite (Bold Strokes Books)
  • No Rules of Engagement, by Tracey Richardson (Bella Books) [Review]
  • The Sublime and Spirited Voyage of Original Sin, by Colette Moody (Bold Strokes Books)
  • Stepping Stone, by Karin Kallmaker (Bella Books)
  • Worth Every Step, by KG MacGregor (Bella Books)

Gay Romance

  • Drama Queers!, by Frank Anthony Polito (Kensington Books)
  • A Keen Edge, by H. Leigh Aubrey (iUniverse)
  • The Rest of Our Lives, by Dan Stone (Lethe Press)
  • Time After Time, by J.P. Bowie (MLR Press)
  • Transgressions, by Erastes (Running Press)

——

Gayle King To Interview Barbra Streisand, Legendary Actress, Singer, And Director For “Opening Night” Keynote At Bookexpo America On May 25, 2010, 6:00 – 7:00 P.M.

Posted in Book Distribution, Gay independence, Gay State Promotions by thegaystateblog on May 23, 2010

5/19/2010 |

Norwalk, CT, May 19, 2010:  Gayle King, Editor-at-Large of O, The Oprah Magazine, will interview Barbra Streisand at BookExpo America (BEA), North America’s largest annual gathering of book industry professionals. Ms. Streisand’s appearance for the Opening Night Keynote Reception will be held on May 25, 2010 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York.   Ms. King will talk with the famous actress, singer and director about her upcoming first book, My Passion for Design, to be published by Viking on November 16, 2010. 

Ms. King is a noted journalist and celebrity who, in addition to her role at O, The Oprah Magazine, is also a special correspondent for both The Oprah Winfrey Show and Good Morning America, as well as the host for The Gayle King Show, a national radio show on Oprah & Friends XM Satellite Network.

“This year’s Opening Night Keynote will be a standout event in BEA history,” notes Steven Rosato, Event Director for BookExpo America. “We are enormously fortunate to have Barbra Streisand and Gayle King on stage for a one-on-one conversation. This rare and very special occasion will be an unforgettable experience for everyone in the audience.”
An Emmy award-winning broadcaster, Gayle King began her media career in Baltimore, followed by Kansas City and Hartford. Now, as Editor-at-Large at O, The Oprah Magazine, she has helped guide its editorial and creative vision since its inception in 1999.

The Opening Night Keynote with Barbra Streisand is an “all convention” event and is open to all BEA badge members BUT a free ticket to the event must be picked up at a designated kiosk area upon arrival at BEA in order to gain admittance.  No one will be admitted without a ticket.  Special instructions about ticketing and queuing are available at the BEA web site.

BookExpo America will take place Tuesday, May 25 – Thursday, May 27 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City.  It is an exclusive convention for book industry members only.  BEA officials are expecting thousands of professionals to be on hand for the Opening Night Keynote Reception.

For more information about BEA, please visit www.bookexpoamerica.com and connect with BEA on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

BookExpo America (BEA) is North America’s largest gathering of book trade professionals attracting an international audience. It is organized with the support of association partners including the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the American Booksellers Association (ABA).  BEA is recognized for the media attention it brings to upcoming books as well as for the notable authors it attracts to the convention itself.   

“The Gay State” Book Launches Successfully from Gay Art Foundation

Posted in FIGS Party, Gay independence, LGBT Politics, The Gay State by thegaystateblog on May 22, 2010

Last night was the emotionally charged American book launch reception for “The Gay State” at the renowned Leslie Lohman Gay Art Foundation in New York City.  The standing room only event drew members of the F.I.G.S. party as well as members of the general public interested in the concept of forming the world’s first Gay-majority Nation-State.

The Leslie Lohman Gay Art Foundation opened its magnificent collection of Gay art to all of the patrons, free of charge.  A lavish assortment of food and beverage was provided by Daniel Vater Catering of New York and Fire Island.  DVC provided their polished and professional staff and a bountiful variety of fine wines and beverages and delicious hors d’ oeuvres served up by white glove service.

Author Garrett Graham took to the podium shortly after 7:00pm.  He said in an interview afterwards, that he intended to give a light-hearted talk focusing on the advancements the Gay community has seen around the world.  Instead the talk turned impassioned and poignant when Graham mentioned the case surrounding the two Malawi men sentenced to fourteen years of hard labor in prison for daring to proclaim their love and commitment for one another.  Up until the last moment before giving his talk Graham, as the Executive Director of the Free, Independent Gay State Party (F.I.G.S. Party) and his organization had worked quietly behind the scenes for the two men to be released, but it proved to be unsuccessful at the time of the event.

Support for the global Gay community has grown around the world recently.  The Broadway theatre community in New York turned out for the book launch in showing their support for the F.I.G.S. party.  Sir Elton John wrote a letter that was emailed to everyone who purchased Graham’s “Gay Manifesto” and offered special tickets to his Broadway production Next Fall.  In addition to that, free tickets were given away to several of Broadway’s “smash hits” including Sondheim on Sondheim, Everyday Rapture and of course, Next Fall.  In addition to the theatrical support, the Hollywood community supported the cause  as attendees received tickets to the premiere to see the highly acclaimed movie An Affirmative Act, which will be the highlight of the Hoboken International Film Festival.

Following Graham’s talk he was available to sign copies of the book.  The book “The Gay State: The Quest for an Independent Gay Nation-State and what It Means to Conservatives and the World’s Religions” will have a wide release in US bookstores in June.  Books can be purchased directly through the website, TheGayState.EU and receive a discount.  Members of the F.I.G.S. Party are eligible to larger discounts and membership forms are available on TheGayState.EU website.

As the scheduled event drew to a close, all guests were invited to continue the discussions and conversations over special dinners held at two SoHo restaurants, The Antique Garage on Mercer St. and The Barolo Restaurant on West. Broadway.  Security for the event described the crowd as welcoming and curious and the threats of violence proved to be idle chatter.

“The Gay State” Book To Grace Retail Shelves Across America

Posted in Uncategorized by thegaystateblog on May 11, 2010

The Publishing Triangle Awards, 2010

Posted in Uncategorized by thegaystateblog on May 3, 2010

On Thursday evening, April 29th, the Publishing Triangle Awards were held in New York City at the Tishman Auditorium at the New School in Greenwich Village.

The Publishing Triangle is a group dedicated to fostering the Lesbian and Gay Writing community and once every year, the best works of our larger Gay culture are celebrated in this annual event.  The awards were followed by a reception.

Here are the primary awards and this years recipients:

Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry: Stacie Cassarino, for Zero at the Bone (New Issues Poetry and Prose.)

The Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry:  Ronaldo V. Wilson, for Poems of the Black Object (Futurepoem Press.)

The Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction: Lori Ostlund, for The Bigness of the World (University of Georgia Press.)

The Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction:  Sebastian Stuart, for The Hour Between (Alyson Books.)

The Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction: James Davidson, for The Greeks and Greek Love (Random House.)

The Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction: Rebecca Brown, for American Romances (City Lights.)

Entertainer Kate Clinton presented The Publishing Triangle Leadership Award to Michele Karlsberg.

The final award of the evening was The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement.  Laura Flanders presented the award to Blanche Wiesen Cook.

Our heartfelt congratulations go out to all of the winners and the honored finalists.

If you are a writer, in publishing, or in any way related to the bookselling world, consider joining and participating in The Publishing Triangle.  For more information on the organization or more information on how to get involved, drop a note to Trent Duffy or visit www. ThePublishingTriangle.org.

Andrew Sullivan Should Be Ambassador To Bearville.

Posted in Uncategorized by thegaystateblog on April 26, 2010

Andrew Sullivan has long been a great thinker and leader in the Right-wing fringe of our larger LGBT community.  And he has alway been a hunk and a heart-throb for his manly man masculinity.

And then hearts sank and a collective exhale of disappoint rang out when Sullivan married his beloved.  Yes, we are all happy for them as a major sex symbol enters into holy matrimony.  blah, blah, blah.

I have long encouraged readers of these pages to frequently check out The Daily Dish.  I enjoy it enough, but it’s frustrating in trying to find entries from Andrew and not his growing cadre of writers.  True followers want Andrew, not a close facsimile.

And then yesterday there he was, Andrew Sullivan appearing on the Chris Matthews Show.  Can you say “Visual bliss?”  Andrew Sullivan has grown a beard that could “out-bear” and “out-man” any of us mere mortals.  He looks like a warrior God.   I could see statues in The Gay State built in his image.   Although conflicted by his conservative bent, I could see Sullivan coming on as the Press Secretary for The Gay State.  Now he looks like a warrior that could lead a nation.

Most of all, for our global Gay brothers and sisters everywhere, we hope the beard may be a symbol that Sullivan will continue to slide away from his wrong-headed conservative political thinking that internalized some element of self-loathing homophobia to becoming a gloriously liberal member of the world’s Gay and OUT community.

Leslie Jordan Made Me Cry.

Posted in Uncategorized by thegaystateblog on April 25, 2010

That’s right, I said it.  It happened after several days of chaotic travel and personal matters that needed my attention.  I was away and snuck into Manhattan on Saturday afternoon.  Saturday night we had dinner in Chelsea and met some friends before whisking off to the Midtown Theater to see Emmy Award Winner Leslie Jordan in his incredible one-man show “My Trip Down The Pink Carpet.”

From the opening line, Leslie had the audience laughing out loud.  It was funny, he was hilarious, it was intriguing hearing all of the gossip and juicy details of the strange and exciting life of a man who was an unlikely Hollywood success story.  The audience adored Leslie Jordan.  And I loved Leslie Jordan.

For the younger audience, they know Leslie Jordan as Beverly Leslie, the petite scene stealer who played the sarcastic arch-nemesis to one Karen Walker, played by Megan Mulally of “Will and Grace” fame.  From his opening line of  “Karen Walker!  I thought I smelled Gin and regret,” Leslie had us all in the palm of his hand.

What I suspect many in the audience didn’t know, was the long and storied career he has had, from working with a young Robert Urich, to John Ritter to Faye  Dunaway.   The show however, wasn’t just a laugh out loud comedy/cabaret act.  Leslie sang and boogied his way through a drug and booze filled Disco era and the audience came along for the ride.

What ultimately was most poignant, was Leslie Jordan’s strength in exposing a very human vulnerability that afflicts us all.  And yes, the issues of growing up in a non-Gay community and family that brutalized our souls and damaged our very sense of self-worth.  He spoke of his internalized homophobia and the torment he endured in coming to terms with who he was.  And as Jordan aptly described, the younger generation Twits and Tweetwers its way through Gay expression, but for us Gay men and women of a certain age, the loneliness and despair of finding ones way in the world was often a sad and desperate journey that too often ended in suicide or psychosis that required therapy.

While some in the audience were wiping away the tears, others simply laughed their way through the tears.  Readers, while you can, see this show.  It will strike a chord, I guarantee.  It will remind you of what we’ve been through to get where we are.  But make no mistake, this is one of the most fun evenings many of us have had in a very long time.