"Just because some celebrities, who may or may not share your defect, are not comfortable sharing with the world the fact that they are 'gay' shouldn't make them the target of abuse."
All this because I said I'd spent a glorious afternoon eating Polska kielbasa with my straight friends Tom Cruise, Kevin Spacey, Eddie Murphy, and Sean Hayes.
I love getting mail, especially if it means one caring person reaching out to another, and last year was full of such heartwarming correspondence. The compassionate gentleman above somehow thought my column concerning that judiciously observed American institution known as National Coming Out Day was meant to be ironic. The piece, said he, was "well crafted but mean," and may have done more harm than good, darn it: "I don't think you are doing anything positive for your 'Cause' by belittling others."
Personally, I like the idea that I have a capital C and quote-marked cause—it makes me feel as though I have some purpose in life other than being one of three people left on the planet who will pay to see a Madonna movie. I also admire anyone who feels as protective toward Tom Cruise as I do; Tom's so busy keepin' it real, he just doesn't have time to defend himself against the defective amongst us.
Another fan wrote in to berate me for my recent hand-wringing over the state of Seattle gay bar The Eagle, which used to be unashamedly raunchy but seems now to be yearning for an audience with the clean folk: "Clean doesn't mean stupid idiot!" this freshly washed patron squeaked. Based on the rest of his letter, however, which was as about as coherent and carefully phrased as the Unabomber's missives, I may beg to differ.
A charming, and handy, little toy caused a stir with some readers. Back in September, I took rather unavoidable notice of the fact that the Harry Potter Nimbus 2000 Broom sold on Amazon.com was, ahem, a vibrating stick, and that the "Spotlight Reviews" from customers were raves from parents who couldn't believe how many hours of fun their burgeoning young daughters were having. One guy wrote taking exception to what I imagined would be a Christian boycott (due to the toy's clear use as propaganda for witchcraft), saying, "Whenever the media uses the term 'Christian' when they actually mean 'Fundamentalist,' they mislead readers. . . . If what you mean is Fundamentalist, then please SAY Fundamentalist." Well, I'll give him that one—it's just that my personal experience with either crowd has often led me to believe that many Christians are simply Fundamentalists with a richer vocabulary, an understanding of subtlety, and a slightly better chance of getting laid on a Saturday night.
Some concerned citizen also asked, "You do realize that those amazon.com reviews of the Harry Potter broom are jokes, don't you?" Sure, I'd like to think they're jokes, but then I read enthusiastic responses to something like John Tesh's Monterey Nights CD—superlatives ranging from "sit on the couch, turn down the lights, and be carried away. . . . " to "Way to go John Tesh!"—and I don't know where reality ends and parody begins. But then you've always suspected that, haven't you?