I know I know, we still have about five weeks left of 2015, but let’s focus on moving forward. Moving ahead! And what better way to do that than to look back to a decade ago? Continue reading
SOCHI COCA COLA MICHAEL SAM GEORGE ZIMMERMAN! HA! Just kidding. This blog is about NONE of those things… Continue reading
On eHarmony’s website, under dating tips for women, you can find some real gems. Highlights include titles like, “15 Reasons to Date a Neurologist,” “Three Ways to Bounce Back from a Rejection (that I assume don’t include binge drinking and stranger fucking like a normal person),” and “Ten Pick-up Lines for the Gym.” I guess these tips are here to get women to get “back on the horse” after they were emotionally pummeled by the last horsie they tried to mount because that horsie had commitment issues and climax problems due to excessive marijuana use. Stupid horsie.
My personal favorite of ALL of these advice articles has to be “15 Reasons to Date a Comedian.” Anyone who has dated a comedian, don’t bother reading this, because you know all of these things already. In fact, you are probably sitting there, sipping on a half empty bottle of whiskey, just trying to get through the day. Recovering from dating one of us can be difficult. Let’s go through these helpful tips and then rip them apart. Because they are fucking stupid. And eHarmony needs a new puff piece writer:
1. Comedians want to make people laugh. Get ready to be entertained. ENTERTAINED? ARE YOU SERIOUS? The most annoying f*^&ing thing in the world is when someone says, “You’re a comedian. Tell me a joke.” You want a joke? Fuck yourself. If I wanted to be entertaining all the time, I wouldn’t be a comedian. Geez.
2. Comedians see the humor in the otherwise unfunny stuff of life and can look at the same situation from different perspectives. Yea… different DEVASTATING perspectives. Comedians are notoriously sardonic and brooding. Don’t come to us if you need a new perspective, unless that perspective involves a straight razor, a case of lighter fluid, and a pile of old photographs. The only perspective we see: pain.
3. Your date will be the life of the party — at the party. Oh, we will be the life of the party. So much so, you probably won’t see us all night. Because we are busy being awesome. Get ready for everyone to come up to you and say, “Oh my god, he/she is SOOOOO funny. You are so lucky.” Only you are the one who knows that you will be picking up the pieces of your funny drunk mess on the way home when they puke all over your hedges. And that’s not a metaphor.
4. At home, however, comedians are often introverted and sensitive. Your steady support will be very welcome. At home, we are conceited and self-involved. Out of the house, we are hilarious and fun, towards everyone but you. Lucky you.
5. Comedians are usually following their dreams. You might be inspired to start following your own. Following our dreams? Yup, my dream was to make tens of dollars telling jokes. You too, may be inspired to put thousands of hours of time into something that makes you no money.
6. Is “stand-up comedian” a lucrative job? Not always. But how many people can say that they’re doing what they love? That’s very admirable. Shut up.
7. Related: No one will accuse you of being a gold-digger. But they will accuse you of being an idiot.
8. Because of the unstable nature of their careers, comedians appreciate healthy, stable relationships to come home to. Untrue. Excited to hear all the gory details of your healthy, stable relationship on stage every time you have a fight? And you can never break up with us. WE. WILL. DESTROY. YOU. With jokes.
9. Introverts, rejoice. Date a comedian and you’ll have most weekends to yourself! Introverts, run away. You will be dragged to countless open mics where we will leave you to hang out with our alcoholic comedian friends. You will be left at the bar drinking alone. Congrats, with all your binge drinking, you are halfway there to becoming a comedian yourself!
10. Comedians share their life stories with strangers every night. They’re good communicators and are willing to be vulnerable with others. We are awful communicators. We can’t take anything seriously and are ironically enough, also insanely oversensitive. Also, we drink our real problems away until they bubble up and explode onstage in front of all our mutual friends.
11. You can visit your date at work — and actually have fun while doing so. Who doesn’t love going to a bar at 1 in the morning on a Tuesday to watch ME tell five minutes of jokes? Oh, and the beer? Each beer is 7 dollars. This place is fancy. Pony up.
12. Your date will introduce you to plenty of interesting characters. Most with extensive records, shoddy employment pasts, and alcohol addiction problems. Hey- maybe you can meet someone!
13. Your friends will think your significant other is hilarious. Related: Bragging about your date’s newest comedy routine will do him/her good. This one is true. We are fucking hilarious.
14. Not every comedian exploits his personal life in his act. Most will outline boundaries with you. (Jerry Seinfeld doesn’t diss his wife on stage, and he’s done okay for himself.) ALL COMEDIANS ACT EXACTLY LIKE JERRY SEINFELD. THERE ARE NO OTHER COMICS.
15. A common love language for comedians? Words of affirmation. Build up your partner verbally, and you’ll likely be the recipient of praise, too. What the fuck is a love language? Tell me I’m funny, I won’t believe you. Try to give me constructive feedback, I will cry and tell you I hate you. EVERYONE WINS.
Clearly, eHarmony is putting about as much money into paying their staff writers as I get to tell jokes for 20 minutes on Wednesday night (so… zero dollars.) My recommendation for anyone looking to date a comedian? Don’t do it. Date a neurologist. They seem to be much more stable. Also, don’t use this advice if you are queer… eHarmony doesn’t like the queers.
Dustin Meadows also wrote a great list here. Original post can be found here. The comment section includes another 15 Reasons to Not Date One of Us. And also some really enjoyable personal indulgences that are TMI. Oh, comedians.
Your answer is probably no, and that is not at all surprising. Too many LGBTQ revolutionaries and community leaders remain unknown. For every Harvey Milk, there are hundreds of hardworking activists that have fought for equality without ever being named in a newspaper. And for a man whose name is misspelled in his own obituary, Tyrone Garner was a civil rights hero that was too easily forgotten.
Tyrone Garner was born in 1967 in Houston, Texas. Born into poverty and the youngest of ten children, Garner grew up working odd jobs and staying in motels… occasionally he would crash with friends or family for a week or two. In the 90s, Garner started dating a good ol’ boy named Robert Eubanks, an older, working-class white man. Garner and Eubanks, always looking for an odd job to earn some cash, took the bus twenty miles to John Lawrence’ house in a Texas suburb. Lawrence occasionally hired the men to “run errands” for him and do work around the house.
In the fall of 1998, Eubanks and Garner were helping John Lawrence at his house. At one point, Eubanks became jealous of the attention Lawrence was allegedly giving Garner, and Eubanks called the police. He called the police because he was jealous! Who does that?! Reports are unclear about what Eubanks actually reported… he told police something about a crazy, armed black man wielding a gun… or maybe robbing someone? In the house? Don’t worry, local Texas police showed up at the house after this ambiguous call. Eubanks let the police in, where they entered Lawrence’s bedroom and apparently witnessed Garner and Lawrence engaging in CRAZY GAY SEX (which Lawrence and Garner both denied). What a surprise that the homophobic and racist police officers arrested the two men. But wait, isn’t this the 90s? How can you arrest people for being gay? BECAUSE IT WAS THE MOTHERFUCKING LAW. Same sex sodomy was illegal in Texas, and the two were jailed overnight. Through the gay grapevine in Texas (yes, the gay grapevine exists even in Texas), LAMBDA Legal was called to represent both men, and the case made it all the way to the Supreme Court.
In 2003, the Court ruled under Lawrence v. Texas that sodomy bans were illegal, and validated the rights of same-sex couples to have private consensual sex in their own homes. YAY!!! GAY RIGHTS!!! Lawrence and Garner can finally be together!!!! Oh… wait. They weren’t dating. Both men vehemently denied EVER having sex!!!! How funny that the Supreme Court ruled on one of the most important civil rights cases in our history… all based on a projection of an archetype of what a gay relationship looks like.
The ruling in Lawrence is held not only as a precursor to Windsor v. U.S. (which struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013), but also as a watershed in the fight for equality rights throughout the country. Before Lawrence, sodomy statutes had been upheld by the Supreme Court and in courts throughout the country, and gay men were continually being treated as second class citizens. We would NOT have gay marriage without the Lawrence holding today, and the fight for equality would certainly look very different.
Wow. Look at how amazing Lawrence and Garner are. Look at all they did for the LGBTQ community. So… what happened to Tyrone Garner? Nothing. After a failed attempt to be a spokesperson for the movement, Garner was shipped back to Texas because his speaking voice wasn’t up to par and he had a tendency to drink too much at fancy D.C. dinners (well… let’s face it… those dinners are AWFUL and I would get tipsy too). He died impoverished of an unknown illness in 2006, just shy of 40 years old. Garner’s body sat in a morgue while his family called LAMBDA, asking them to help raise money so that the family could afford cremation. They only needed a couple hundred dollars for the process, and then a few more hundred to purchase an urn for the civil rights hero’s remains. In over a month, LAMBDA only raised $225 dollars. Garner’s remains were shipped back to his family in a plastic bag. There was no funeral, no memorial service… nothing.
In 2012, Kevin Cathcart, the Executive Director of LAMBDA Legal, made $284,028 for his annual salary. Damn, Kevin. Annual donations for LAMBDA Legal in 2012 toppled over 16 million dollars. And the fact that Cathcart’s monthly latte stipend was more than the amount of funds they could raise in a fucking month for Garner should make you sick. It made me sick. Oh, the best part? THIS IS THE BEST PART!! If you go to LAMBDA’s website and click on the section entitled “History”, the first thing that pops up is a picture of Garner, on the steps of the Supreme Court, the day the case was decided. And LAMBDA’s slogan? “Making the Case for Equality.” Cool.
When I first read about the treatment of Garner’s remains after his death, I just sat in my office and cried. When my then girlfriend came upstairs to check on me, I could not stop crying. I blurted out the whole story and as we sat there, and she listened to me cry about a man I never even knew, we both realized how many of these stories existed and how few people knew about them.
This story should make you mad. I was livid about the treatment of a man that we as a community used and left with nothing. And you know what? There are many stories like Tyrone Garner out there. Bias and judgment doesn’t just come from one political party, or one ideological side… we can be discriminatory within our own community as well. So for this month, make a commitment to learn about more people, about one more story about a leader from the past, about one more moment that helped define our history, so that in the future, we can pay our respects to those who have paved the way for equality and acknowledge and support the work that activists are doing TODAY to protect our communities from bigotry and injustice.
Most of the information about Garner used in this article can be found in Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas by Dale Carpenter. A comprehensive review of this book can be found in Michigan Law Review and is entitled Tyrone Garner’s Lawrence v. Texas by Marc Spindelman. Also, Garner’s New York Times Obituary can be read here. Apologies to Kevin Cathcart from LAMBDA Legal for calling him out on his latte budget… word on the street is that he is more of a frappuccino kind of guy. Sorry, Kevin.