Connect with us

Living

YEAR IN REVIEW: Best quips and quotes

From classic lines to mammoth blunders, gay topics kept tongues wagging

Published

on

 

 

 

Ricky Martin at a book signing. (Photo courtesy of Socialite Life)

 

“I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.”

— Pop singer Ricky Martin, in a coming out message on his website which cited his two sons as his inspiration to speak out (Rickymartinmusic.com, March 29)

“You know if I could go back in time, I would lez it up 24 hours. Believe me, one thing I would not miss? Balls. Terrible little things.”

Betty White in the “Gingey” skit, one of several with gay jokes that were part of her May 8 appearance as host of “Saturday Night Live.” (NBC.com, May 8)

“Tired Gay succumbs to Dix in 200 meters”

Headline on a July 3 Reuters article about Walter Dix beating Tyson Gay in the 200 meters at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League track meet. (Reuters.com, July 3)

“Please spare me the 40-minute dissertation on how fabulous ‘Glee’ is. It’s 2010. You can just come right out and say you’re gay.”

Comedian Bill Maher in his “New Rules for Emmy,” a humorous take on the Aug. 29 television awards broadcast (HollywoodReporter.com, Aug. 26)

“When I sit here and I hear adulterers and womanizers and folks cheating on their wives and down-low brothers saying they are going to vote against this [civil unions] bill, it turns my stomach … We know what you do at night!”

Illinois State Sen. Rickey Hendon (D-Chicago) as the Illinois Senate debated a bill to offer civil unions to gay couples, which passed Dec. 1. The governor has pledged to sign it into law. (Queerty.com, Dec. 1)

“What I really meant was that the sound of the guitar is very happy.”

—Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, backtracking after initially saying the guitar hook on Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” was “gay.” (Spinner, March 15)

“I feel like the biggest weight is off my shoulders, Publicity stunt my ass, this is my life.”

Momentary lesbian Kim Zolciak on Twitter (TV Guide, March 24)

“I would not be surprised if Oprah is gay. If she is, she is. It certainly fits.”

Author Erica Jong, a friend of talk show maven Oprah Winfrey, as quoted in Kitty Kelley’s new book, “Oprah: A Biography.” (USA Today, April 11)

“There are half a million kids in foster care in America. To have public officials deem homosexuals unworthy of parenting is disastrous for the nation, for equality and for humanity and, Mike, for Christianity.”

Lesbian comedian and talk show host Rosie O’Donnell in an April 24 chat with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on her Sirius radio show. Huckabee, who ran for president in 2008 and may run in 2012, criticized gay adoption last month by saying that “children are not puppies.” (New York Daily News, April 24)

“What I’m saying is that I think the ideal environment for children is in a relationship that has both a mother and a father.”

Mike Huckabee, attempting to explain his remarks to Rosie O’Donnell. (New York Daily News, April 24)

“I prayed every day for God to change me and it was, ‘Dear God, please don’t let me be gay. I promise to be a good person.’ … Young people in every corner of America are being told by their churches … that they are damaged goods and they are not. I have to stand up. I’m in a unique position.”

Chely Wright on why she decided to come out publicly (Toronto Sun, May 19)

 

“I promise you I did not kiss her and it is ridiculous that two entertainers can’t even rock out with each other without the media making it some type of story.”

Pop singer Miley Cyrus, 17, defending her recent performance on “Britain’s Got Talent,” in which the Daily Mail reported she simulated a kiss — but did not actually touch lips — with a female backup dancer. (Us Magazine, June 5)

“I think if two people love each other, then what the hell? I think that everyone should have the chance to be equally miserable, if they want.”

Rapper Eminem, who has previously been criticized for anti-gay lyrics, supporting gay marriage in an interview with the New York Times Magazine (The Guardian, June 18)

“Please don’t tell me that God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. If the Bible story is literally true, who did Cain marry?”

Cox newspapers columnist Cynthia Tucker, arguing that allowing same-sex couples to marry will not weaken heterosexual marriage (AJC.com, June 18)

“I think I’ve been in every gay club from New York to California. I would be in clubs with my recorders in my pocket, taping people talking. But at the end of the day, I drew more from my sisters and my mother. I’ve been mimicking them my whole life. They’re in my bones.”

Actor Nelsan Ellis, who is straight, on how he creates the character of Lafayette, the flamboyant gay Louisiana man he portrays on HBO’s vampire series “True Blood.” (Philadelphia Inquirer, July 4)

“Like maybe I’m having a clandestine affair with Ricky Martin. I know it’s really gonna upset a lot of gay men — I’m sure hundreds of ’em are gonna be jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge — but I ain’t available. I ain’t gay. Sorry.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) responding in a New York Times interview to long-standing rumors about his sexual orientation (WLTX.com, July 1)

“To boost development, a city needs to be open to a full range of people, especially the innovative ones who break barriers, like people of the gay community.”

Houston Mayor Annise Parker, the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city, in remarks at the Shanghai World Expo. Parker led a 60-member Houston business delegation to the Chinese city. (Xinhua, Aug. 2)

“You have a rare opportunity to right a wrong and I pray to God that you will take it. As an African American you understand the ugliness of hate and the pain of discrimination. This is not a battle of heterosexual against homosexual, but a struggle of justice against injustice.”

Black LGBT activist C.D. Kirven in an open letter to Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr., requesting a meeting to discuss King’s claim that gay marriage is “genocide” at a recent anti-gay marriage rally in Atlanta (Cherrygrrl.com, Aug. 9)

“I believe that Thomas Jefferson said: ‘If it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket what difference is it to me?’”

Conservative talk show host Glenn Beck, when asked on “The O’Reilly Factor” if he thinks gay marriage is “going to harm the country.” (Washingtonpost.com, Aug. 12)

“So, get this: David and I are expecting twins this fall. We’re super excited/nervous/thrilled.”

Actor Neil Patrick Harris, announcing via Twitter that he and his partner, David Burtka, will become parents via surrogacy. The babies were born in October. (USMagazine.com, Aug. 14)

“I always am confused why they don’t worry about shows that don’t have any gay characters on them. They should put some focus on them as well, but we’ll give the audience exactly what they need.”

Eric Stonestreet, who plays Cam on the ABC series “Modern Family,” on how his character will finally kiss partner Mitchell on the hit show – but allegedly not because of a Facebook campaign and other critics clamoring for a gay kiss (E! Online, Aug. 23)

“This church asks me to be in the closet about my sexual orientation and about my faith. I am a Christian lesbian pastor who marries heterosexual couples and lesbian and gay couples; I cannot lie about either part of me nor would I ask any pastor to do this.”

Rev. Jane Spahr, during testimony in her Presbyterian Church trial for marrying same-sex couples. Spahr was found guilty and censured. (New York Times, Aug. 28)

“And thank you to all the gays for remaking this video over and over again.”

Lady Gaga, accepting the Video Music Award for Best Female Video for her song “Bad Romance.” (MTV.com, Sept. 12)

“I think we should just try to make heterosexual divorce illegal.”

Iconic filmmaker John Waters on how gay and lesbian couples can achieve marriage equality. (Associated Press, Sept. 13)

“All women are lesbians except those that don’t know it yet.”

Lesbian feminist writer and cultural critic Jill Johnston, author of “Lesbian Nation,” during a 1971 debate over feminism. Johnston died Sept. 18 at age 81. (New York Times, Sept. 21)

“One of the reasons I was interested in exploring this character is we don’t often see a guy my age gay on television, explored in an intelligent, dignified, funny, serious way. So I thought, when David approached me with it three years ago and said, what if Saul’s gay? I said, bring it on.”

Actor Ron Rifkin on Uncle Saul, the older, newly out, HIV-positive man he plays on the ABC series “Brother and Sisters,” which premiered its new season last week. (Advocate.com, Sept. 23)

“I know what it’s like to be bullied and teased every single day, and I know that it may seem like there is no chance of happiness left. But I promise you there is a world full of acceptance and love just waiting for you to find it.”

Actor Chris Colfer, who plays Kurt Hummel on “Glee,” in a PSA for The Trevor Project, a national 24-hour, toll-free confidential hotline for gay and questioning youth. (TrevorProject.org)

 

“With a voice like this, you know I got to be a New Yorker. But I’m also an American. And to me that means justice and equality and liberty for everyone.”

Actress Fran Drescher in a video for a new Human Rights Campaign ad series that urging New Yorkers to support gay marriage. (On Top Magazine, Oct. 21)

“After a hurricane comes a rainbow.”

Lyric from “Firework,” the new Katy Perry song that includes two boys kissing in the music video. The New York Times noted the current string of gay-inclusive pop songs. (New York Times, Nov. 5)

“It will completely get rid of Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’ as the gay anthem.”

Sir Elton John on the title track to Lady GaGa’s new album, “Born this Way,” set to be released in early 2011. (Entertainment Weekly via the New York Times, Nov. 5)

“Death threats, and the now-worldwide controversy surrounding your election of me as bishop, have been a constant strain, not just on me, but on my beloved husband, Mark, who has faithfully stood with me every minute of the last seven years, and in some ways, you.”

U.S. Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, who became the Anglican Communion’s first openly gay bishop in 2003, announcing his retirement seven years early (The Guardian, Nov. 7)

“I don’t think any gay person is going to be happy and bring joy to themselves and other people unless they can be honest about their sexuality, and if other people don’t like that honestly, that’s a comment on them and not on the person who is being honest.”

Actor Sir Ian McKellen, who came out in 1988, expressing his fear that some managers and agents continue to pressure gay actors not to come out. (Popeater.com, Nov. 5)

“In terms of a leading man, a heterosexual, playing a homosexual … do you worry about your image as a leading man and a heterosexual?”

Talk show host David Letterman, stammering as he questioned actor Jim Carrey about his new film “I Love You, Phillip Morris,” in which Carrey plays a likable gay con artist. (ABC, Nov. 19)

“Boy, we haven’t grown at all, have we? We are still children in the schoolyard. For god’s sake, Dave, have you ever seen a gay man?”

Actor Jim Carrey, responding to David Letterman’s questions. (ABC, Nov. 19)

“I don’t want to underplay this, because I understand it is very significant. But I don’t want to overplay it either. I don’t want people to think I am anything other than an associate municipal court judge.”

Attorney Phyllis Frye, on her appointment to the Houston bench, making her the first openly transgender judge in Texas. (Houston Chronicle, Nov. 22)

“In the light of this broad and profound vision of human sexuality and the problems it currently faces, the Pope reaffirms that ‘the Church does not of course consider condoms to be the authentic and moral solution’ to the problem of AIDS.”

Statement from the Vatican after Pope Benedict said in an interview that condoms, which the Catholic Church bans, may be appropriate for HIV prevention in certain situations like male prostitutes. (NationalPost.com, Nov. 22)

“That means the next TSA official that gives you an enhanced pat-down could be a practicing homosexual secretly getting pleasure from your submission.”

Eugene Delgaudio, a member of the Loudoun County (Va.) Board of Supervisors and president of the conservative group Public Advocate of the United States, in an e-mail denouncing the TSA’s inclusive non-discrimination statement (WTOP, Nov. 30)

“It was like the pink elephant in the room that was never touched upon until it was the day to shoot. Then we just did it really quickly and called it a day.”

Actress Mila Kunis discussing her lesbian sex scene with Natalie Portman in the new movie “Black Swan”; Kunis says she asked her father not to watch the scene. (MTV.com, Nov. 30)

Advertisement
FUND LGBTQ JOURNALISM
SIGN UP FOR E-BLAST

Real Estate

No, you really don’t have to put down 20 percent

There are many options when financing your new home

Published

on

When buying your home, there are alternatives to the old 20 percent down requirement.

I was just out at brunch this weekend (I know a gay in D.C. at brunch — groundbreaking). Anyway, I was at brunch and naturally the subject of real estate came up and your boy’s ears perked up and as the resident real estate expert at the table, some of the newcomers were making conversation about some open houses they had been to in the past few weekends, some trends they had seen that they hated that developers seem to continually do in the D.C. area, how unaffordable things are and some comments about where the best areas to invest are in D.C. I just sat and listened while eating my food, which was rather under seasoned, but I digress. The one comment that came up several times that really got me was the affordability comment and what it was based around. It might very well shock you.

When we speak about affordability in the District we are typically speaking to the price of real estate and how expensive it is to purchase a place here in D.C. However, for this conversation – the affordability factor in particular that I was hearing about that piqued my interest was the specific line item of “we have to put down X as a down payment to purchase a home.” The consensus at this brunch table and even when speaking to some buyers on a daily basis is that you must put down 20% to purchase a home. While there are some perks to this, yes. The fact that you MUST put that amount down is just not true. When my parents purchased their first home for $60,000 it was much easier to put down 20% versus a first-time buyer in D.C. putting down 20% for a $600,000 purchase. Furthermore, most buyers are staying in their homes for as little as six years, according to the National Association of Realtors. If you do the math – does it make sense, for your personal situation, to put down 20% versus 5% or 10%? Yes, that’s right – you can purchase a home for as little as 5% down and in some cases as little as 3% down.

When my husband, who was a first-time homebuyer in D.C., purchased his condo, he was able to put down 3% and qualify for a conventional loan. We will stay in this condo for under the average 7-10 years so putting anything more than 3% down for our personal situation just didn’t make sense. Now, because we didn’t put 20% down we pay what is known as PMI, or private mortgage insurance, however it was still worthwhile for him to save the capital and only put the 3% down and pay the small PMI amount monthly as he could put the rest of the 17% he didn’t put into a house in an investment account to yield more. Again, he was a first-time buyer in the District so he qualified for a 3% down loan and the numbers made sense for him. Everyone’s personal situation is different.

According to a 2023 report from the National Association of Realtors the average down payment for a home was 15% while the average down payment when looking at first time buyers was right around 5%. Again, each situation is specific to each person, their credit, finances, debt to income ratio etc., so there is really no recipe that fits every single buyer. It is important to work with a local lender to ensure that you are well qualified and understand which loan packages are out there for you that make the most sense for you so that when you do find that home you are ready to go.

I say all of this to say that gone are the days when you are required to put down 20% in most cases. Depending on the loan type and loan amount – you likely can get away with putting down 5-15% down and save some funds for upgrading from that tragic Ikea dresser from college or hiring a painter because let’s be real, you are not a professional. Like with most things in life you can pick and choose the things that are right for you and a mortgage and its down payment are exactly that same. If you would like to and can put down 20% for a mortgage then please do so – however if you want to get out from under the power and money hungry landlord and buy a condo where you are paying yourself back with equity – you can do so in a manner that is much more affordable than you may have thought possible – especially if you are a first-time buyer in D.C.

Justin Noble is a Realtor with Sotheby’s international Realty licensed in D.C., Maryland, and Delaware for your DMV and Delaware Beach needs. Specializing in first-time homebuyers, development and new construction as well as estate sales, Justin is a well-versed agent, highly regarded, and provides white glove service at every price point. Reach him at 202-503-4243,  [email protected] or BurnsandNoble.com.

Continue Reading

Real Estate

2024 tax season tips for landlords

A crucial period for investors to assess financial standings

Published

on

For many landlords, March can be a stressful time due to the upcoming deadlines to file annual tax returns. The year prior to April is a crucial period for property investors to assess their financial standings, ensure compliance with tax regulations, and take advantage of available tax-saving strategies. As a housing provider, understanding the intricacies of the tax code and how it impacts landlords can significantly impact your bottom line. 

Deductions for Rental Property Owners

One of the advantages of being a landlord in the United States is the ability to deduct numerous expenses related to the rental which can significantly reduce your taxable income. Do not overlook this benefit as it is the federal government’s incentive to promote the development and ownership of rental property. Schedule E of the federal form 1040 organizes the financial results of the rental property from the tax year and is how you report it to the IRS. 

If you qualify as a real estate professional under IRS guidelines, you may be able to deduct rental real estate losses against your other income, reducing your overall tax liability.

Here are some key deductions to consider:

Mortgage Interest: Landlords can deduct the interest paid on mortgage loans for rental properties. Keep detailed records of your mortgage payments and ensure that the loan is used to acquire, improve, or maintain the property.  The lender delivers a form 1098 form to owners of the property to make it easier to claim this deduction.

Property Expenses: Ordinary and necessary expenses related to the property can be deducted. This includes all expenses getting the property ready to rent, charges for finding tenants, management fees, repairs, preventative and on-going maintenance, utilities, HOA dues, etc.  Homeowner insurance premiums and real property taxes can also be deducted and if they are paid to the lender in escrow who in turn pays those bills for you. Those payments will be located on your annual escrow report from the lender or on the form 1098.  Even travel expenses incurred for property-related purposes may be deductible from rental income.

Professional Services: If you do not manage your rental properties yourself, any fees paid to property management professionals such as my firm, an accountant you may have, or real estate attorneys you retain are deductible. These experts should also be able to help you navigate the complexities of tax on income generated by owning and renting out residential real estate.

Depreciation: Depreciation is a non-cash deduction that allows you to account for the wear and tear of your rental property over time. Even though you are not recording this as an expense that you pay for, the IRS provides for a declaration of depreciation expense to recognize that assets lose their value over time.  There are specific guidelines for depreciating different components of your property, such as buildings and appliances or capital improvements made.

Depreciation: A Valuable Benefit to Landlords

Depreciation is a powerful tax-saving tool that deserves special attention. It allows you to allocate a portion of the property’s cost over its useful life, thus reducing your taxable income. To make the most of depreciation, consider the following:

The Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) is the method used by the IRS to determine depreciation deductions.  MACRS tables to calculate depreciation accurately are located online and individual residential properties depreciate at a rate of 3.636% each year for 27.5 years.  Note that only buildings and contents are depreciated.  You cannot depreciate the land value.  

Make sure to maintain good records of the property’s original purchase cost, all acquisition fees and charges paid, improvements over time, and other expenses that can be depreciated. These records may be harder to locate if you have lived in the house as owner occupant for some time.  All of this information will be needed to set up your depreciation schedule whether you do it yourself or rely on a tax preparation professional.  Lastly, be aware of  the “recapture tax.” If you sell a rental property for a profit after having claimed depreciation expenses, you may need to pay “recapture tax” on the accumulated depreciation deductions. Proper planning can help minimize this tax liability.

Tax Preparation Tips for DC Landlords

If someone else collects your rental income for you, they will deliver to you a form 1099-MISC. The income reported should match the gross income you receive over that tax year, not the net income after expenses. This is a common misunderstanding.  All rental related expenses can be deducted from the reported gross income.

If your rental income includes subsidized rental payments from the DC Housing Authority, you will be sent a form 10099-MISC.  If your manager also issues a form 1099 on your tax ID, then it needs to be reconciled in your tax return to inform the IRS and to avoid double reporting (and taxation) of rental income.

Every year owners with rental property in the District of Columbia need to file tax returns with the DC Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR). It is important to keep your tax filings current as it can create a roadblock in the future to renew your business license or do other business with the District government if you need a clean hands certificate.

A D-30 form is filed to report rental income, even if you do not earn other income in the District. You must also file a Personal Property Tax return FP-31, even if you have no personal property at the rental. The latter filing can be done online within minutes as a zero dollar return in your MyTaxDC portal. CPM has instructions if you need help. 

If you wish to file an extension so that your DC taxes are filed later in the year, use form FR-128 and file it on time.  NOTE: If you expect to have tax due for when you file the D-30, you must pay the estimated amount at the time of filing the extension. Failure to do so or failure to pay the right amount, will result in fines and penalties.

Navigating tax season as a property investor or landlord requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a good understanding of the tax code. Deductions, depreciation, and tax-saving strategies are essential tools that can help you maximize your return on investment and minimize your tax liability. 

As March arrives and tax filing begins, consider consulting with a tax professional to ensure you are making the most of these opportunities. With the right approach, you can make tax season a financially rewarding time for your real estate investments rather than a burden..

This article was written with publicly available information and is not to be considered as professional tax advice. A taxpayer should always consult a tax professional to determine if the ideas and strategies presented in this article apply to their situation. 

Note: Tax deadlines may vary based on individual circumstances, state residency, and tax situations. Always verify deadlines with the relevant tax authorities and consult with a tax professional if needed.

Scott Bloom is owner and Senior Property Manager of Columbia Property Management. Bloom founded Columbia Property Management in 2012. CPM’s goal is to provide a powerful, personal level of service to clients. For more information and resources, go to columbiapm.com 

Continue Reading

Real Estate

Building dream homes with confidence

The pros, cons, and LGBTQ insights of new construction

Published

on

One key advantage of buying a newly constructed home is the ability to customize its finishings.

Buying a new construction home offers a unique set of advantages and challenges compared to purchasing a pre-owned property. Understanding these can help potential homeowners make informed decisions. Here’s an exploration of the pros and cons of buying a new construction home and the importance of professional real estate assistance.

Advantages of Buying a New Construction Home

Customization: One of the primary benefits of buying a new construction home is the ability to customize it according to your preferences. Buyers often have the option to select floor plans, finishes, and fixtures, making the home truly their own.

Modern Features: New homes are built with the latest technologies and materials, offering more energy-efficient windows, appliances, HVAC systems, and construction methods. This can lead to significant savings on utility bills and a smaller carbon footprint.

Less Maintenance: Since everything from the appliances to the roof is brand new, homeowners typically face fewer maintenance issues in the first few years compared to older homes where systems might be nearing the end of their lifespan.

Warranties: New construction homes usually come with warranties that cover the structure and sometimes appliances and systems for a certain period, providing peace of mind to the buyer.

Disadvantages of Buying a New Construction Home

Higher Costs: Often, new construction homes come at a premium price compared to older homes. Customizations and upgrades can also add up quickly, further increasing the overall cost.

Delays: Construction timelines can be unpredictable due to weather, supply chain issues, or labor shortages. This can lead to delays in the move-in date, which can be problematic for buyers with specific timing needs.

Immature Landscaping: Newly developed areas may lack mature trees and landscaping, which can affect the property’s aesthetic appeal and privacy. It may take years for new plantings to grow fully.

Community Development: In new subdivisions, construction can continue for months or years after you move in, leading to ongoing noise, dust, and traffic.

Importance of Connecting with a GayRealEstate.com Realtor

Expert Guidance: A Realtor familiar with new construction can provide invaluable advice on the quality of different builders, potential future developments in the area, and the negotiation of upgrades and closing costs.

Representation: Builders have their own sales agents or representatives looking out for their interests. Having your own real estate agent ensures someone is advocating for your best interests, helping to navigate contracts and warranties.

Market Knowledge: Realtors have a deep understanding of the local real estate market, which can help in evaluating the new construction home’s quality and price against current market conditions.

LGBTQ Friendly: For LGBTQ individuals and families, finding a welcoming and supportive community is crucial. Realtors from GayRealEstate.com specialize in understanding the unique needs and concerns of the LGBTQ community, ensuring a smooth and respectful home-buying experience.

Before visiting a new home community, connecting with a Realtor from GayRealEstate.com can provide you with a competitive advantage. Their expertise, advocacy, and personalized support can help navigate the complexities of buying a new construction home, making the process less stressful and more rewarding. Whether it’s negotiating the price, understanding the fine print of your contract, or choosing the right community, a professional real estate agent is an invaluable asset in your home-buying journey.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sign Up for Weekly E-Blast

Follow Us @washblade

Advertisement

Popular