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YEAR IN REVIEW: Best quips and quotes

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

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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)

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Autos

Pride rides

Two models offer strong, confident, inspiring styling

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BMW X5 xDrive 45e

As usual, June is bustin’ out all over, with Vice President Kamala Harris making history by joining in the festivities. But the fun doesn’t have to end there. Two fine crossover SUVs show how easy it is to keep the party going indefinitely. I call them Pride rides—strong, confident and inspiring. 

BMW X5 XDRIVE 45E

$66,000

Mpg: 20 mpg (gas only), 50 mpg (electric and gas)

0 to 60 mph: 4.7 seconds

In 2015, back when Gus Kenworthy and Caitlin Jenner came charging out of the closet, BMW was making its own hoopla with the X5 xDrive 40e. This was the automaker’s first plug-in hybrid, an engineering marvel that could shift seamlessly between EV and gas-engine mode. Ride and handling were as good as any traditional SUV. And despite a hefty curb weight, acceleration to 60 mph was a decent 6.2 seconds. 

Fast forward to the X5 xDrive 45e, the next-gen model rolling into showrooms this year. Thanks to the pandemic, this debut has been more subtle. But the enhancements are quite substantial. The new engine—stronger and quieter than the previous model—helps this midsize SUV blast to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds. Despite being over 400 pounds heavier, the updated X5 is actually nimbler. And the electric-only range is 31 miles, or twice as far as the old model. That’s a good thing, because overall fuel economy is now 20 mpg versus 24 mpg. Luckily, most motorists drive only about 30 miles each day anyway. (Or at least they did prior to the pandemic.) 

Inside, the cockpit design is minimalist chic, but with lots of standard features: faux-leather seats, panoramic roof, two 12.3-inch digital screens, and smartphone integration for both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. All-wheel drive also is standard, even in electric-only mode. Along with all the latest safety gear, there’s active cruise control with a stop-and-go function that can be used at speeds up to 130 mph (yo, for autobahn drivers, not those of us stateside). And during a much-needed weekend getaway with some freeway backups, the traffic-jam-assist feature worked its magic: I was able take my hands off the wheel and relieve a lot of driver fatigue and frustration as the vehicle drove itself. This also was a blessing for my partner, who didn’t have to listen to me swear like a New York City taxi driver. 

MERCEDES GLS 450

$76,000

Mpg: 20 city/24 highway

0 to 60 mph: 5.8 seconds

For a few more bells and whistles, there’s the Mercedes GLS 450. This full-size SUV has acres of cargo room and can easily seat seven passengers. For a sportier vibe, you can swap out the second-row bench seat for two captain’s chairs. 

A robust six-cylinder engine comes standard and provides plenty of punch. The entry-level GLS handles just as effortlessly as the higher-end V8 model, which adds another $23,000 to the price tag. Both vehicles are smooth operators, with all-wheel drive and a sophisticated suspension that raises and lowers the chassis. There’s even a clever pothole-sensing system to neutralize nasty bumps and enhance the feeling that this hulking SUV is floating on air. As with many BMWs and Mercedes, the GLS now comes with two huge 12.3-inch screens: one for the digital gauges and the other for the infotainment system. 

Various pricey options abound, including five-zone climate control, a tablet to operate the infotainment system, and front and rear massaging seats that can be programmed to apply soothing relief to your back, tush or both. As if such amenities weren’t enough, you can toss in heated and cooled cupholders, as well as a cabin fragrance system with choice of four aromas. Both Mercedes and BMW offer vibrant ambient lighting, with thin strips of interior lights illuminating the foot wells, door panels, dashboard trim, climate control vents, cupholders, speaker rims, center console and more. To tap into your inner rainbow, the GLS has a digital color wheel where you can choose from 64 lustrous hues. You can customize the lighting even further, selecting different colors to illuminate various parts of the interior at the same time. For me, calling up some funky mood lighting and a few rockin’ Pride songs on the stereo is the perfect way to get the party started. 

Mercedes GLS 450
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Real Estate

Can you buy a home with Bitcoin?

Buyer, seller must agree to terms before using cryptocurrency

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Bitcoin. Most of us have heard of it. Increasingly, many are looking to invest in it. For many, cryptocurrency has now gone beyond being somewhat of an exclusive province for the more adventurous and risk inclined investors and is becoming far more mainstream, as more than 100,000 vendors worldwide accept it as a valid currency. All of this leads to an important question – can you purchase a home with Bitcoin?

For those hoping to do so, the good news is that it is a possibility. In fact, it is a possibility that may not be as distinct or far-fetched as many might have expected. First and foremost, both buyer and seller must agree on the exchange of Bitcoin for the property. As opposed to situations where more traditional forms of payment are utilized, a Bitcoin transaction requires the agreement of all parties up front.

Although you can buy a home with Bitcoin, this doesn’t mean that most buyers are in a place yet where they actually do. Certainly, using virtual currency to purchase real estate is still a very new and novel idea, so of course, there is still some hesitation in certain sectors of the market. Often, these concerns center around a lack of regulation and understanding of cryptocurrency. Others have concerns about how Bitcoin transactions will be taxed. All of these questions and concerns are understandable, and it is expected that as cryptocurrency continues to become more mainstream these concerns will lessen, and purchasing a home in this manner may be an option for an increasing number of buyers.

There are also definite pros and cons to a bitcoin home sale. One of the advantages, for many, is that the transaction can be completed very quickly. Often, after everything is signed, the transaction can be completed in as little as 10 minutes, depending on network congestion. On the other side of the coin, however, it’s important to be sure that you trust the other party if you’re making a real estate purchase. Bitcoin transactions are often not reversible, so it’s important to be certain about your choices ahead of time.

Ultimately, while there are many ways to finance the purchase of a home, there’s only one way to ensure that you have a smooth and successful real estate experience – and that’s by getting connected with the Realtor who knows and loves the community that you’re interested in.

As an LGBTQ home buyer or seller, you want someone who values you for who you are, who understands your needs and real estate goals, and who will be committed to helping you achieve them. At GayRealEstate.com, that’s where we come in. It is our passion and our purpose to connect LGBTQ homebuyers and sellers, with agents across the country who have the talent, experience, and dedication necessary to make your real estate experience the best it can be. You deserve nothing less. We would be honored to help you get started on your next real estate journey today. Contact us anytime.

Jeff Hammerberg is founding CEO of Hammerberg & Associates, Inc. Reach him at 303-378-5526 or [email protected].

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Real Estate

The trendiest paint colors of 2021

Ultimate Gray, Illuminating, Urbane Bronze among year’s hues.

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Pantone’s two colors of the year are Ultimate Gray and Illuminating. (Image courtesy of Pantone)

Last year, I decided to forego writing about the paint colors of the year, since many people in our vibrant community were out of work. Buying Farrow and Ball paint for $125 a gallon, it would seem, was not the first thing on their to-do lists.

So here we are in 2021 where the Pantone color of the year is…wait for it…Ultimate Gray. 

Aren’t we tired of gray yet? Sure, Pantone pairs it with an outrageously bright yellow called Illuminating, which I would have guessed was a blue-toned white had I not seen it online. The combination of gray and yellow has been used in linens and fabrics for several years, albeit in softer hues, so while the stronger hues have been updated for 2021, I don’t find them fresh or exciting anymore.

There is an array of colors in the lineup this year that are reminiscent of dirt. Dulux has Brave Ground, a neutral earth tone that “creates a feeling of stability, growth and potential, and provides a firm foundation for change and creativity.” That sounds like a color I need to have in my paint collection just to write articles, negotiate real estate contracts, and watch the news.

Sherwin Williams brings us Urbane Bronze, which they describe as “sophisticated” and “rooted in nature.” Harvard naturalist Dr. Edward Wilson would have likened it to biophilia, a term he coined for humankind’s desire to search for “a connection to nature and other forms of life.” I think it would accent cicadas nicely.

Contemplative, the 2021 choice from Pratt and Lambert paints, is a color to think about. It’s a deep moss like that found in the rainforest or on the front of my house. I guess it’s time for a power-wash. 

Teal has been around for decades, but it became so over-used that 20 years ago, Crayola removed Teal Blue from its crayon collection. Now it’s back in Benjamin Moore’s Aegean Teal, a deep, muted blue-green-gray combination, the ocean’s equivalent of mossy Contemplative.

Southwestern dirt is represented by Behr’s Canyon Dusk, which looks a little like a New Mexico landscape on a hot, dry day, without the cacti interspersed or the mountains on the horizon. Or try it on the exterior of your organic adobe home.

Glidden suggests using its 2021 choice, Aqua Fiesta, a softer, muted turquoise-aqua blend that won’t overpower your bedroom, bathroom and kitchen walls, and will promote a feeling of calm where used.

Dutch Boy has selected Earth’s Harmony for 2021. While the name implies a brown tone, this color is actually a cheerful blue that takes you to the moon and back. (Well, to the sky anyway.) Check out how it looks on kitchen cabinets on Dutch Boy’s website. Forget the gray-on-the-bottom and white-on-the-top cabinet theme and liven up your kitchen with this vibrant color.

Now, if you’re not already on overload, Valspar gives us 12 new colors to select from. Many are neutral and all are muted. 

The brown and tan tones include Maple Leaf (think Vermont maple syrup candy), Unforgettable (a perfectly forgettable beige), Arizona Dust (refer to Behr’s Canyon Dusk above), and Gallery Gray (gray is possibly a misnomer – it looks tan to me). 

The blues and greens are Lucy Blue (teal by another name), Blissful Blue (a mid-toned blue gray), Granite Dust (a very light blend of green and gray), Garden Flower (a happy green with only a touch of gray), and Academy Gray (more akin to teal than gray and the darkest of their 2021 choices).

In addition, Valspar gives us Soft Candlelight (a not-too-bright yellow), Cherry Taupe (a neutral with slightly pink tones), and my favorite, Dusty Lavender (true to its name, although anything called Dusty makes me want to go and take a shower).

Clark and Kensington paint combines its colors into three collections of six colors each: Understated Impact, Mindful Living, and Creative Escape, which sound like things to ruminate about while doing goat yoga. 

Each collection features hues that are like the blues, greens, tans, and grays created by every other paint company. The one exception is Red Tulip, found in the Understated Impact collection. It’s more of a ruby or garnet than a true red, but it’s nice to see someone paint outside the box. 

This month, I hope to see more decorating in gem colors: Garnet, Amber, Citrine, Emerald, Sapphire, and Amethyst, with accents of Smoky Quartz and Tiger Eye, and a smattering of Sky-Blue Topaz, Rose Quartz, and Pearls. 

Now, wouldn’t that make a nice flag?  Stay colorful, my friends.

Valerie M. Blake is a licensed Associate Broker in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia with RLAH Real Estate. Call or text her at 202-246-8602, email her via DCHomeQuest.com, or follow her on Facebook at TheRealst8ofAffairs.

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