193 Reasons to Have Pride: Part 3

By Advocate Contributors

Originally published on Advocate.com May 18 2011 3:00 AM ET

Check out Parts One and Two of our 193 Reasons to Have Pride in 2011.

 RICKY MARTIN X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM

 Because
HE’LL SHAKE HIS BON-BON ON BROADWAY
Choreographer Rob Ashford took the word out of our mouths when he referred to the 2012 revival of Evita as “heaven” in an Entertainment Weekly interview. Returning to Broadway for the first time since Les Misérables in 1996, Ricky Martin will star in the Andrew Lloyd Webber–Tim Rice musical as Che, the show’s narrator and Eva Perón’s conscience.

 

 ROOM COVER X300| ADVOCATE.COM  

 Because
WE WIELD A MIGHTY PEN
Building on a literary tradition that includes Walt Whitman, Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, and James Baldwin are many acclaimed contemporary LGBT authors. Emma Donoghue’s Room was shortlisted last year for the U.K.’s prestigious Man Booker Prize. Michael Cunningham, a Pulitzer winner for The Hours, has garnered further praise with his recent By Nightfall. Nina Revoyr’s latest, Wingshooters, “continues her unique and affecting exploration of American racism,” as Booklist put it. We hope to see more from Sarah Waters and Jeanette Winterson soon. And we’re not all about the serious — we’re glad gay wags like the two Davids, Sedaris and Rakoff, keep America laughing as only they can.

 

 BEN COHEN X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM  

 Because
STRAIGHT DUDES ARE ROOTING FOR US
Wrestler Hudson Taylor and rugby players Nick Youngquest and Ben Cohen (pictured) are excellent ambassadors, making the mat, the field, and the court more gay-friendly.

Because
WE’RE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY
What a difference 20 years makes. Though unsuccessful, Colorado lawmakers pushed for civil unions this year, passing legislation in the senate before the bill stalled in the house. The Rocky Mountain State is the same place that in 1992 banned all antidiscrimination protections for LGBT residents. Thankfully the Supreme Court later righted that wrong.

Because
PEOPLE FINALLY CARE ABOUT BULLYING
It’s no secret that LGBT kids and teens — or even those who are simply perceived to be gay — can bear the brunt of harassment by their peers while some adults turn a blind eye. But after a heartbreaking spate of suicides by bullied gay teenagers that made headlines across the country, the epidemic has become hard to ignore. Several lawmakers have introduced and supported legislation on the state and federal levels to end bullying in schools. The issue has headed to Congress (as the Student Non-Discrimination Act) and even the White House, where President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hosted a daylong summit in March on putting an end to bullying.

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 Because
LESBIANS ARE BEAUTIFUL
Amber Heard is the face of Guess and Ellen is a Cover Girl — a reminder that loveliness is as multifaceted as we are.

Because
THE REAL WORLD IS MORE THAN TRASHY TV
The microcosmic experiment known as The Real World has come a long way from its humble initial concept of putting together a few random people in a house. Over the past two decades the show, which served as a launching pad for reality television, has exposed America to the feelings, relationships, and debaucheries of young adults. But, significantly, the things that matter to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans youth on MTV have been ingrained in Gen X-ers and Millennials, and acceptance of LGBT people is now second nature to many. Furthermore, the show gave a platform to people like the late Pedro Zamora, who put an honest, empathetic, human face on the AIDS epidemic.

Because
SAN DIEGANS CAN CHOOSE FROM MULTIPLE LGBT CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR — FROM BOTH MAJOR PARTIES
Republican district attorney Bonnie Dumanis, an out lesbian, wants to be mayor of San Diego. And so does city council member Carl DeMaio, plus possibly state senator Christine Kehoe, both of whom are also out.

 

 GAYLE KING X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM  

 Because
SO MANY TV PERSONALITIES HAVE OUR BACKS
For every frosty pundit and hostile talk show host on television, there’s an antidote in the LGBT-positive Joy Behar, Anderson Cooper, Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King (pictured), Rachel Maddow, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Thomas Roberts, Keith Olbermann, and Ellen DeGeneres, who all continue to keep gay issues front and center on their programs.

 

 SADLER'S WELLS X390 (COURTESY) | ADVOCATE.COM  

 Because
OUR BOYS HAVE PET PROJECTS
After more than 25 years in the business, out British synth-pop duo Pet Shop Boys — Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe — composed and recorded their first full-length ballet score, The Most Incredible Thing, an electro-orchestral adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen story at Sadler’s Wells, London’s leading contemporary dance theater.

Because
JEREMY BERNARD IS THE FIRST MAN AND THE FIRST OPENLY GAY PERSON TO SERVE AS THE WHITE HOUSE SOCIAL SECRETARY
Make no mistake: The job isn’t merely about whether the Clinton or Reagan china will look best for a state dinner with the prime minister of India. The social secretary is the nation’s ultimate event planner. And by all accounts, Bernard, one of Obama’s earliest supporters in California, and who now comes to the White House from his post as senior adviser to the U.S. ambassador in France, is the man for the job.

1 PIXEL GIF | ADVOCATE.COM

Because
IT ISN’T SUMMER WITHOUT CAMP
For one week in July and August, gay families converge at the Feather River Camp in Quincy, Calif., for a week of hiking, biking, kayaking, and more on the water. Camp It Up! offers fun for parents and their kids, but there are also sleepaway camp options for LGBTQ teens and the kids of LGBTQ parents. Camp Ten Trees hosts two one-week options at its camp in the Pacific Northwest, while campers looking to leave the country can check out Canada’s Camp Fyrefly. And for teens from religious backgrounds looking to come to terms with their sexuality, the Naming Project hosts a weeklong camp in Minnesota.

 

 MALLY LLOYD KATHERINE RAGSDALE X390 | ADVOCATE.COM  

 Because
MALLY LLOYD AND KATHERINE RAGSDALE ARE MARRIED
Two women tying the knot might have been a reason to have pride in 2000, but in 2011 we’re proud because two female Episcopal priests got married—to each other! In 2009 delegates at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church voted to allow bishops to decide whether to bless same-sex marriages. And then in January of this year, Mally Lloyd, an official in the Episcopal diocese of Massachusetts, and Katherine Ragsdale, dean of the Episcopal Divinity School, were married in a ceremony in Boston by Bishop M. Thomas Shaw. Amen!

Because
DAVID MIXNER’S ACTIVISM NOW SPANS MORE THAN 40 YEARS OF TIRELESS WORK
Heroes are everywhere in the movement, but author and activist Mixner is one of our most inspiring, from his work for the No on 6 campaign (against a ballot measure that would have cost California gay schoolteachers their jobs, as dramatized in Milk) to the defeat of Prop. 64 (which would have quarantined people with AIDS) to his very visible protests against his friend Bill Clinton’s DADT policy. We wish him many more years of bold activism.

Because
WE CAN WORK A RED CARPET
Oscar pundit Dave Karger, a gay senior writer for Entertainment Weekly, was enlisted as the official red carpet greeter and interviewer for the 2011 Academy Awards, following in the footsteps of Robert Osborne and the late Army Archerd.

Because
BOSTON HERALD SPORTSWRITER STEVE BUCKLEY CAME OUT
Boston Herald sportswriter Steve Buckley had intended for years to tell his readers that he’s gay, but life kept getting in the way. Prompted by youth suicides and antigay violence, he finally broke the news this January, too late to be read by his late mother, who years earlier had urged him to write the column.

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MICHAEL STIPE X390 | ADVOCATE.COM   

  Because
MICHAEL STIPE IS ONLY 80% GAY
It used to be that language limited the options we had when describing ourselves. But why stop at words? The R.E.M. lead singer prefers a numerical designation for himself.

 

 JAMES FRANCO KALUP LINZY X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM  

 Because
THE FEELING IS MUTUAL
No big surprise that Brooklyn-based, gender-bending gay performance artist Kalup Linzy is one of James Franco’s best buds. The two men, who worked together on General Hospital, have already recorded a number of songs as the music-based performance art duo Kalup and Franco.

 

 ST VINCENT HOSPITAL X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM  

 Because
ST. VINCENT’S HIV CLINIC LIVES ON
St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village was one of the first institutions to address and treat HIV and AIDS in the early 1980s. Though the hospital closed in 2010 after more than 160 years, patients in the HIV clinic have continued to receive services in space that was part of St. Vincent’s, primarily under the auspices of Mount Sinai Medical Center. With the property now sold and slated for redevelopment, Mount Sinai is looking for a new location in the neighborhood and promises no interruption in care.

Because
MORE SAME-SEX COUPLES ARE RAISING CHILDREN IN THE SOUTH THAN ANY OTHER U.S. REGION
As often happens, reality utterly defied expectation when U.S. Census data from 2010 showed that same-sex couples in Southern states are more likely to be raising children than their counterparts on either coast. African-American and Latino couples are twice as likely as white couples to be raising children, but unfortunately, they are also more likely to be struggling economically.

Because
STEVEN PETROW IS TEACHING US ALL TO HAVE BETTER MANNERS
Steven Petrow knows a thing or two about manners. A former editor at Life and Time Inc., in 1995 he penned The Essential Book of Gay Manners and Etiquette, his first attempt at getting gay men to stop behaving badly. Sixteen years and multiple columns on manners for Out, The Advocate, and The Huffington Post later, Mr. Manners is back with what promises to be the quintessential guide for gays and lesbians who want to smooth out their rough edges. With Steven Petrow’s Complete Gay and Lesbian Manners For Every Occasion: The Definitive Guide to LGBT Life, the author hits everything from sex and dating to coming out. If you thought proper etiquette was just about folding napkins, you’re in for a real surprise.

1 PIXEL GIF | ADVOCATE.COM

 Because
IOWA SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MIKE GRONSTAL WON’T MESS WITH MARRIAGE EQUALITY
The Iowa house has approved a measure that would allow the public to vote on a constitutional amendment to overturn marriage equality, but even in the face of mounting conservative attacks, senate majority leader Mike Gronstal refuses to consider the measure in his chamber. We like Mike!

 

 ROSIE PEREZ X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM  

 Because
NEW YORKERS ARE TOUGH — AND FUNNY
We all know New Yorkers won’t take it lying down (unless they want to), so the political action committee Fight Back New York sprang into action after the state senate voted to reject a bill to legalize marriage equality. And to drum up support, prominent New Yorkers like actress Rosie Perez took to YouTube, outraged that gays could marry in Iowa but not in her hometown of Brooklyn. “Are you kidding me?” she quipped. “Iowa’s got the jump on us — New York?!” And Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson shared his plan to marry 30 Rock’s Alec Baldwin, who responded by his own call to support Fight Back N.Y. — “because no one tells a New Yorker that they can’t marry Jesse Tyler Ferguson.”

 

ANTON HYSEN X390 | ADVOCATE.COM   

 Because
WE’RE COMING OUT ALL OVER
Closet doors have opened in some surprising places. In the past year or so we’ve welcomed the Republican Party’s former campaign honcho Ken Mehlman, country singer Chely Wright, Christian musician Jennifer Knapp, Georgia megachurch pastor Jim Swilley, and Swedish professional soccer star Anton Hysen (pictured). In addition, those coming out in supposedly friendlier environments, like actress and model Amber Heard, progressive radio talker Stephanie Miller, and actress and chat show host Sara Gilbert, help to prove that we really are everywhere.

 

 OBITUARY FOR DAVID KATO X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM  

 Because
THE ECONOMIST PUBLISHED AN OBITUARY FOR DAVID KATO, THE SLAIN UGANDAN GAY RIGHTS ACTIVIST
Obituaries in the venerable British newsweekly are reserved for people who change the world and leave a lasting impression, such as the martyred Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato. The advocacy officer for Sexual Minorities Uganda was brutally murdered in January after he and others won a lawsuit against the Rolling Stone newspaper, which had published activists’ names and called for them to be hanged. His accused murderer Enock Nsubuga (who reportedly confessed) is being tried in the Uganda high court, but with widespread homophobia fanned by conservative American evangelicals, the verdict is far from certain.

 

 DUTCH MILITARY XLRG | ADVOCATE.COM  

 Because
THE DUTCH MILITARY IS READY FOR PRIDE
Members of the Dutch armed forces will float in uniform on their own boat this August at the Gay Pride Canal Parade in Amsterdam. Could a joint exercise with the U.S. Navy be next?

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 Because
THE MAJORITY RULES — IN OUR FAVOR
Granted, the rights of a minority shouldn’t be subject to a popular vote, but we couldn’t help being happy when support for marriage equality broke the 50% barrier in recent CNN and Washington Post/ABC News polls. And as the torch passes to a new generation, young people’s open-mindedness on all things LGBT makes the future look brighter.

Because
OF AWESOME, SUPPORTIVE CHILDREN
When University of Iowa engineering student Zach Wahls stood up to the Iowa house of representatives the day before it advanced a measure that could give voters the right to decide if marriage rights for the state’s same-sex couples should be repealed, he provided proof that kids raised by gay couples are no different from those in any American family. “The sense of family comes from the commitment we make to each other,” he said in his rousing speech (the YouTube video had 1.76 million views at press time), “to work through the hard times so we can enjoy the good ones. It comes from the love that binds us. That’s what makes a family. So what you’re voting on is not going to change us.”

 

 HILARIOUS PICKETING X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM 

 Because
WE’RE HILARIOUS, EVEN WHEN PICKETING
While we are serving a purpose by marching in the streets and rallying for marriage equality, funny protest signs displaying outlandish quotes from Deuteronomy, jokes about the many loves of Elizabeth Taylor and Liza Minnelli, and cracks on the religious right certainly help ease the tension.

 

 JILLIAM MICHAELS X390 | ADVOCATE.COM  

 Because
LESBIANS AND BI WOMEN WILL WHIP YOUR BUTT INTO SHAPE
Body by Jake’s got nothing on tough, toned ladies like Jackie Warner, Briana Stockton, Shawnee Harkins, Jillian Michaels (pictured), and, of course, Susan Powter.