Parting Glances: Looking Bassakwards

By | 2019-06-19T14:59:37-04:00 June 19th, 2019|Opinions, Parting Glances|

As a teenager I learned the lay of the land from word-of-mouth sharing from those who had navigated Detroit's watering holes years before me. I did however once venture - daringly - on my own into the Greyhound Bus Depot to check out noonday comings and goings. I was cautious. I had been forewarned.

A Slogan Come True Big Time!

By | 2019-06-05T15:12:24-04:00 June 5th, 2019|Opinions, Parting Glances|

“Gay is good. You are not alone.” This was the slogan when the Affirmations LGBT Center opened its doors in Ferndale more than 20 years ago. It was a bold statement to make at the time: reassurance for many cautious, confused, isolated young people in need of understanding, trained organizational support and a place to hang out.

Parting Glances: May Babies May Be Gay Babies!

By | 2019-04-24T14:21:05-04:00 April 24th, 2019|Opinions, Parting Glances|

The “Coffee Table Book of Astrology” tattles that “taurus is the astrological sign of sexual deviancy.”Or, as a friend of mine used to tell me year after year of our 40-year friendship, “Brandy” — his nickname for me, as in the alcoholic beverage, brandy Alexander — "May babies are gay babies.” There may be some truth to this observation.

Parting Glances: A Hug in Time

By | 2019-04-10T16:05:35-04:00 April 10th, 2019|Opinions, Parting Glances|

An open house I attended a blossoming spring or two ago was winding down at the home of BTL co-publishers Jan Stevenson and Susan Horowitz. Two boys of some of the invited party guests were fussing over who’d get to release balloons at the festive closing of the couple's full bloom garden showcase.

Parting Glances Black Gay Detroit Friends (Pt. 3)

By | 2019-02-20T14:42:31-04:00 February 20th, 2019|Opinions, Parting Glances|

I had my picture taken a year ago with actress Lily Tomlin, who was in Detroit — her native city — as speaker for an LGBTQ fundraiser. I was wearing a blue-patterned hoodie I had designed for ArtWear Detroit. And the juxtaposition of my design wear and Ms. Tomlin's vivid popularity was good PR. (For both of us I like to think.)

Parting Glances: Two Kings and a Presidential ‘Queen’

By | 2018-11-21T10:24:38-04:00 November 21st, 2018|Opinions, Parting Glances|

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1965 historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, for African-American voter rights changed the South forever. (Or, did it?) Few know that another King – William Rufus DeVane King – gave Selma its name 145 years earlier. (It means “high seat” or “throne,” and comes from an epic Ossianic poem, “The Songs of Selma.”)

Parting Glances: ‘Ys’ Beyond my Years!

By | 2018-11-07T16:38:51-04:00 November 7th, 2018|Opinions, Parting Glances|

Long, long before The Village People made "YMCA" — the song that would become the unofficial, persistent national anthem of Winter Olympian Brian Boitano – "Ys" played an important role. They were second only to gay bars, as places to meet available others of like-minded, body-mind-and-spirit, triune — me, you and the shower — persuasions. In the '60s and '70s there were four YMCAs in the Metro Detroit area. (The long-gone Grand Circus Park YMCA dating to 1904.) There's only one YMCA now, located on Broadway, in a totally revitalized, energetic, amazingly-changed, thriving new Downtown area.

Parting Glances: JFK: Troubling days gone by

By | 2018-10-31T14:43:18-04:00 October 31st, 2018|Opinions, Parting Glances|

Back in the mid-'80s a group of gay friends gathered monthly for dinner and sharing at Detroit's historic venue, the Scarab Club. We called ourselves "The Friends of Dorothy Kilgallen". Our campy title was a play on the old closet question, "Are you a friend of Dorothy?" Meaning, Are you gay? A friend of Oz's Dorothy. The title also referenced once-famous Miss Kilgallen, syndicated journalist, panelist for TV's 1960s popular "What's My Line?" guessing game show.

Parting Glances: A beard in time …

By | 2018-10-24T15:44:23-04:00 October 24th, 2018|Opinions, Parting Glances|

There are shared similarities between high-visibility personalities Pastor Joel Osteen and Republican Vice President Mike Pence. First off, each shepherds a flock of religious followers. Mike’s, however, is basically evangelical and/or fundamentalist. Osteen’s tends to be New Age, Power of Positive Thinking, Prosperity Gospel and devotees of his seven bestseller books, read by a goodly number of his weekly 7 million American TV followers.

Parting Glances: Chapter from a Memoir in Process

By | 2018-09-19T12:23:41-04:00 September 19th, 2018|Opinions, Parting Glances|

Yes. It's been a long journey for me. It wasn't always easy. But, then again, it wasn't that hard either (The journey, not the sex.). I’ve survived, and I like to think I've made something of myself as an artist, a writer and human being who just happens to be quite gay. Contentedly so. Reasonably happy. Most of the time. That's life (I'd gladly do it all over again.).

Parting Glances: Any Gay Name but Mine

By | 2018-07-11T15:45:16-04:00 July 11th, 2018|Opinions, Parting Glances|

To diddle an old saying: You can't judge a gay author or his book by its — or by his — cover. Case in point: the groundbreaking 1951 sociological expose, "The Homosexual in America." Gay nom de plume: Donald Webster Cory — a pen name name gleaned from Andre Gide's 1924 gay novel "Corydon," later published in America in 1950. Real name: Edward Sagarin. Outed dramatically 24 closeted years later.

Parting Glances: In Cass Park with Bobby Burns

By | 2018-07-11T15:45:17-04:00 July 11th, 2018|Opinions, Parting Glances|

Detroit's imposing, massive, block-wide Masonic Temple was built in 1922 — cornerstone-dated 5022 — following the Hebraic custom of noting esoteric history. At one time in the 1960s every major dance company in the world, classical musician, orchestra and performer appeared there; many brought to the city by famed impresario Sol Hurok.

Parting Glances. A Slogan Come True Big Time!

By | 2018-06-07T09:00:18-04:00 June 6th, 2018|Opinions, Parting Glances|

“Gay is good. You are not alone.” This was the slogan when the Affirmations LGBT Center opened its doors in Ferndale more than 20 years ago. It was a bold statement to make at the time: reassurance for many cautious, confused, isolated young people in need of understanding, trained organizational support and a place to hang out.