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A Year of
Thinking Gay

A Year of
Thinking Gay


A flurry of personal appearances and professional obligations causes one man to hit his gay threshold.

This year i have officially become a professional queer. My travels took me to a gay bar in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and a drag bar in Denver. I attended a blur of circuit parties and a marathon of gay weddings in California. I stood up in front of gay crowds in places as predictable as Miami and as unexpected as Warwick, R.I. And to keep it all straight, I wrote a journal. Here are the highlights.

February 14, Phnom Penh, Cambodia Who knew Valentine's Day was such a big deal in Cambodia? Everywhere people peddling heart-shaped candy and flowers identical to the plastic-wrapped variety they sell at stoplights in L.A. As part of my assignment for The Out Traveler magazine, I went to three different gay bars and ran into gossipy people I knew at all three places. Great. I'm now considered a whore on a global scale. But the Khmer scene is new and lovely. Androgynously handsome Southeast Asian men laugh, flirt, and dance as if they've never had their hearts broken. I'm envious and bewildered -- I can't remember the last time I felt the same way.

February 24, West Hollywood As host of the Trevor Project's Oscar viewing party/fund-raiser, I turned the most boring Academy Awards in recent memory into a series of drinking games. Standing on the bar, I shouted things like, "If you haven't seen any of the films nominated for Best Picture, take a shot!" and "If you agree that Heidi Klum's dress makes her look like Dracula's mom, down the hatch!" The entire bar was bombed before the actual ceremony went live. Add to that the little-known fact that if you stand in one place long enough you'll hear everything: Beautiful men confessed to being former fatties or headgear-wearing geeks. Lacquered, coiffed, poised, and pumped, L.A. men are a gang of Adonises terrified of looking foolish. Nobody feels good enough. My favorite overheard comment of the night came when Tilda Swinton won: "Doesn't Clay Aiken look lovely?"

March 17, New York City Wearing a khaki suit I'd bought off the rack in Singapore with a pair of Marc Jacobs wing tips, I walked the red carpet at the GLAAD Media Awards feeling perfectly presentable until I was stopped by Tim Gunn. Apparently the back vents of my suit were still sewn together and I was trailing thread. He borrowed scissors from a cameraman and cut them open right there with cameras clicking. I sat at a table next to Barbara Walters and was so starstruck I stared at her like she was a painting. I sat next to Randy Jackson; his feet are enormous.

April 19, Palm Springs, Calif. Attending the White Party without taking drugs is like watching a 3-D movie without the glasses. I was mobbed by a bunch of teeth-grinding circuit queens. It was like standing in front of a wood chipper -- I thought I was going to catch bits of molar in the eye. Having done my share of partying, I hold no judgments about drugs, but I find that steroids and crystal meth make everyone look unreal and crazy. Everyone I danced with looked like either a professional wrestler or Wile E. Coyote.

July 8, Naples, Italy After appearances at six gay prides and four gay film fests, I'm now performing on an Atlantis Mediterranean cruise. You know you're on a gay cruise when the headliners are Nikki Blonsky, Chita Rivera, I think I've hit my gay ceiling. I find myself wondering if there's a place left on the planet that doesn't have a tea dance every day at 4 p.m. I now have a ton of Facebook friends who are porn stars.

September 20, Seattle At the Human Rights Campaign's Pacific Northwest Gala Dinner, I joked that Sarah Palin not believing in evolution is ironic seeing that she has a baby that looks like it could peel a banana with its feet. Somebody at the dinner got really angry and complained. I apologized, explaining that I didn't mean to hurt anyone's feelings but that I was fresh off the set of Ugly Betty in New York -- and immediately after a wholesome bit like that, I sometimes feel like I have Tourette's syndrome. I should've stuck up for myself and said that political correctness is just another form of censorship, but I had another plane to catch in a few hours and was simply too exhausted to fight.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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