In addition to The Advocate's annual #DayInLGBT photo project, this year the day is described in your own words. Here are a few vignettes of what our community did on December 9, 2014.
Spot the Hot Priest
My dad starts checking his watch at 5:30 p.m. He continues to check it every few minutes leading up to 6 p.m. Each night, no matter what, he must be in front of the TV to watch a Catholic mass televised daily from a small church across the country. There are a lot of reasons I find this evening ritual strange, the first being my dad is not Catholic. In spite of that little detail, he tunes in every night to see which parishioners are there, comment about what they are wearing, and give them little nicknames.
As the camera pans to the lineup of priests, I look for the one with the nasally voice and small elfish features. He is my favorite, in an underdog kind of way. My dad looks for the hot one with the beard or the other hot one with the dimples or the really tall one that is super hot. They are never all there at the same time, so it turns into a bet between us for whose favorite will perform the service. My dad has more players in the game, but it's often my little guy, to which my dad says, "It's your best friend!"
We tend to chitchat over the top of whatever he's saying, making goofy comments. If it's one of his hot guys, he is prone to listen a bit more intently. Hot guys and the word of God are my dad's two favorite things. When they come together, it's magic for him. That's why I couldn't wait until Christmas to reveal the most perfect present ever. I blurted out that he would be receiving the Calendario Romano, better known as the hot priest calendar. He is so excited for it to come in the mail from Vatican City and has made a bunch of jokes about needing to go to confession. -- Rosalee Eichstedt
A Day in LGBT News
It is morning, and the only clouds are smoke
and a white sheet stretched between us.
They part, and the sun spins across the sky--
slowly at first. There's traffic. A man sings
"9 to 5" on the bus. For the first time, a
country singer holds the hand of the man
he loves in public. "So many times in my life
and career, I've had to do these things alone,"
he says, "because I wasn't brave enough."
Stars want LGBTQ youth to know their lives matter.
"There's a lot of love out there waiting for you," states
a man on How to Get Away With Murder, who also
plays a prison guard. "More love than you can imagine."
Families must not abandon their children, adds the pope.
The gayest city in America is Washington, D.C.
Smoke again. In the U.S., 1 in 5 reported hate crimes
target gay or bi victims. Egyptian police raid
a bathhouse in Cairo, parading between 25 and 40
terrified, naked, allegedly gay male patrons outside
into waiting vans and arresting them for "perversion"
and "debauchery." Even Grindr, the ubiquitous gay
hookup app, had to disable its GPS function, because
authorities were using it to entrap gay men.
What should we make of the sunlit closet of Sally Ride? Or
a pink license plate on a black Ford Mustang that reads
"No Homo" in Alabama? How can there be only five gifts
for the LGBT theatergoer, when there are 20 simply terrific
gifts for the techie in your life?
Let's cure cancer, not homosexuality.
Let the naked rowers fight homophobia
with Ernestine drag queens and 12
amazing lesbian sex scenes. Watch.
Tomorrow, LeAnn Rimes will speak openly
of her support of gay country singers. Activists
will stage a kiss-in at a Spanish Burger King. All
will be revealed on marriage equality in Mississippi.
But today has its own coffee and love and work to be done,
until the Speedo-ed Santas finish their run,
and the sun spins out of sight.
-- Daniel Reynolds
Worst Compliment Ever
On this day, I received a Facebook message from a follower of my work. In it, he told me that my most recent profile picture looked really good because "in that photo, you could never tell that you are disabled, and that is really sexy." I am still jarred from this -- those words pierced through my both my identities as a queer person and as a person with disabilities. He was reminding me that in for me to be sexy, I had to pass as "normal," able. It really, really hurts to know that in order to be seen as "sexually viable," you must be able to walk. The experience also reminded me why I work as a disability awareness consultant promoting queers with disabilities: to remind everyone that one can be sexy on two legs or four wheels. I am proof of that. -- Andrew Morrison-Gurza
Sharpe Suiting is popping up in Brooklyn this week! Current location: Greene Grape Annex. I'm getting Caroline Woolard all measured up for a very special future occasion (above). Caroline is an artist and cofounder of OurGoods.org and TradeSchool.coop. -- Leon Wu, founder of Sharpe Suiting
Say Goodbye to San Fran
To paraphrase the classic musical Rent, how do you measure, measure a day in the life? The day of a big move? With boxes and junk and chaos. How do you measure 11 years in a life in a single day? Eleven years spent in a studio apartment in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco? In comic books (too many), in two fat cats (never enough), in action figures (endless), in fights with my husband (uncountable), in makeup sex with my husband (treasured), in house plants (eight and counting), in makeup kits (four), and in our darling, 11-month-old daughter (the beat of my heart). After today we begin our new lives in the 'burbs, after today our little girl will no longer sleep in her cozy, walk-in closet of a bedroom, after today we say goodbye to our City by the Bay, to dear friends, sweet neighbors, to Pink Saturday, to the Castro Street Fair, to Castro Theater sing-alongs, to the Muni and to the naked guys near the F train. So how do you measure a day or 11 years in a life? In love, always and forever, in love. -- Brian Andersen
A Truly International Celebration
December 9, 2014, couldn't have been better for us because it was the day we were finally able to travel back to London! We visited the Natural History Museum, then went to Leicester Square for dinner and had the fantastic experience of seeing Professor Stephen Hawking at the premiere of The Theory of Everything! This was all top off by seeing the show The Commitments, where we were singing and dancing in celebration of all we have overcome this last year! -- Caroline and Laurie Hart
Vetting the 12 Best Lesbian Kisses on TV This Year -- #MyJobIsHard
SheWired and I are often a one-woman show, but we are part of the company that owns The Advocate, and most of my colleagues work for that time-honored publication. There are days I bemoan having to style my hair, apply makeup, and leave my cat alone to haul it into an office just to work on the Internet. I live just 1.2 miles from the office, but in Los Angeles, that is often a logistical nightmare; it may as well be another state away. Still, most days I'm excited to interact with my colleagues, who are some witty, sardonic people (attributes I greatly admire). Admittedly, I need that interaction as I've become increasingly comfortable talking tirelessly to my aforementioned cat.
The Advocate's #DayInLGBT is one of those days when it's exciting to be around my colleagues, who are continually checking out the stream of photos submitted via hashtag on Twitter and Instagram. Another photo is loaded to the stream and someone shouts throughout the newsroom in glee that the photo is of either someone we know or an out celebrity. The occasional, audible "aw" can be heard issuing from someone eyeing a photo of a cute kissing or cuddling couple. It's exciting and palpable that we get to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.
At about 4 p.m. (the same time I'm really craving an afternoon coffee), I decide to take a look at video links to the 12 Best TV Lesbian Kisses of the Year that a freelancer has sent to me for an end-of-the-year roundup. I casually click through, reliving Pretty Little Liars' noir episode in which teen lesbians channel forbidden femme fatales in love. I get lost in a bit of a k-hole viewing a video mash-up of Piper and Alex's sexy scenes on Orange Is the New Black's second season. The fifth or sixth video I watch is a scene from The Good Wife in which Archie Panjabi and Jill Flint are voraciously kissing and hiking up each other's skirt. It's very hot, and I laugh audibly that watching it is actually work-related. But then Day in LGBT pops into my head and I realize how lucky I am to be an out lesbian at this time in history. This is my work day. People from all over the world are tweeting and Instagramming their photos, proudly proclaiming their queerness, and I'm getting paid to watch women make out. That's a thing, and it makes me smile, and it makes me tear up a little. Of course, we have so far to go, but when I came out in the late '80s there was no embarrassment of riches of representation like we have now.
I must have surely outed myself to my local video store back then, renting and re-renting The Hunger,Entre Nous, and I've Heard the Mermaids Singing. There were no women kissing women on TV when I was coming out. I clung to every tiny interaction between Blair and Jo on The Facts of Life, and my favorite episode of The Bionic Woman was the Fembots episode, in which Jamie Sommers went toe-to-toe with other badass women (even if they were robots).
As I press on with my job watching House of Cards' wonderful Rachel Brosnahan make out with yet another woman on television, this time on the WGN's Manhattan, I take a moment to appreciate that some days my job is hard -- but this is not one of them. -- Tracy E. Gilchrist
Just Another Day of Advancing the LGBT Agenda
This was a pretty routine day for me. Lots of copy to edit for The Advocate's website, and some to write. Good news about a marriage equality ruling in Florida; bad news about an antigay license plate in Alabama; a delightful video of President Obama presenting Lily Tomlin with the Kennedy Center Honors. In a break from work, a nice lunch with coworkers, a couple of whom had been to a Fleetwood Mac concert over the weekend, which I was eager to hear about. A little later, celebrating another colleague's birthday with cake in the office. And having one of my favorite coworkers take my picture. So all in all, routine -- but even routine days remind me that I am very glad to be working here.
Working for The Advocate and its sibling publications lets me be part of a political movement dear to my heart, and I've been very gratified to see the advances that have been made since I started working here 17 years ago. Back then, there was one -- one! -- lawsuit pending on marriage equality. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual members of the military were serving under "don't ask, don't tell," which was supposed to make things better for them than the previous outright ban, but it didn't. Few people in the general population had any clue about the lives of transgender individuals.
All things are not equal yet, not by a long shot. Discrimination and violence still exist. But in most environments, it's no longer socially acceptable to express bigotry against LGBT people. (Of course, when people can't express bigotry outright, they find indirect ways to do it, so we have to remain on guard.) But we are advancing toward legal equality. One of the most thrilling days I spent in the office was June 26, 2013, when the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act and consigned Proposition 8 to the dustbin of history. I hope to have other days that thrilling. I'm encouraged by a quote the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was fond of: "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." (In the interest of being fully accurate, I'll note that he was quoting Theodore Parker, a 19th-century abolitionist and Unitarian minister.)
I'm so happy to be covering these advances and, in a small way, working for further progress. Even when I have to report on setbacks, I know that news will inspire our side to fight back. LGBT equality isn't the only cause I care about, but it's the one that's relevant here, although I believe all matters of social justice are related. If I got started on all my other passions, though, I could go on indefinitely, so I'd better not. Suffice it to say, I'm thrilled to be a part of The Advocate's #DayInLGBT. And if I'm ever discouraged, I will think not only of Dr. King's words but also some from Fleetwood Mac: "Don't stop thinking about tomorrow!" -- Trudy Ring