Saying goodbye to 2007. And not a minute too soon.
By Nancy Ford
Anna Nicole’s surreal Funeral du Soleil. A diapered-yet-determined astronette. The birth of Dick and Lynn Cheney’s grandson, whose parents are two mommies. There are no homosexuals in Iran.
2007—what a year it was. Undeniably, the assorted sordid events of these troublesome past 365 days deemed 2007 no slice of heaven.
On the other my-glass-is-half-full hand, we were never bored.
Before moving on to 2008, let’s take one last look at some of the more significant events of these 12 whacky months, reminding ourselves that those who do not learn from the past are destined to pay extra to take the online course until they do.
GORE WINS AT LAST. Thanking his lucky, evaporating stars that former Florida state attorney general Katherine Harris doesn’t count votes in Sweden, Al Gore and his team of scientists were honored with the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for sounding the alarm about global warming. I mean, global climate change. I mean, the end of days. Wait…what are we calling it now?
In any case, the victory marked the first time any winner of the prestigious award could boast having Melissa Etheridge’s phone number on speed-dial.
BUT IF THEY CAN’T BRING IT WITH THEM TO JAIL, WHY CALL IT A CELL PHONE? Paris, Nicole, and Lindsay all spent time in the pokey for various offenses ranging from driving while intoxicated to driving while famous. Reports that Barry Bonds, O.J., and Britney have all presciently placed Ray Hill on retainer as their Prison Coach have been wildly exaggerated.
HOLY CRAP. Houstonians were reminded in June that, despite growing acceptance of and tolerance for GLBTs, extreme danger still lurks.
After the two met in a Montrose bar, Terry Mark Mangum murdered Kenneth Cummings Jr., a gay flight attendant, in Cummings’ Pearland home. Mangum, a self-proclaimed reincarnation of the Old Testament prophet Elijah, said he was doing God’s bidding when he “sacrificed” a homosexual by stabbing him in the head, tossing his body into a shallow pond in nearby Dickinson.
It bears noting that, to date, no religious extremists have been assaulted after being picked up in, let’s say, a Chik-Fil-A by any gay man or woman claiming to be the reincarnation of Freddie Mercury.
MAKING HER STORY HISTORY. Houston city controller and OutSmart columnist Annise D. Parker was not only re-elected as the highest-ranking out lesbian municipal official in the United States, but is obviously doing such an exemplary job that she ran unopposed for her final term. Take that, Dr. Steven Hotze.
You don’t get that punch line, you say? Google “Hotze” and “Straight Slate.”
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD. World-champion antigay evangelist Jerry Falwell died at age 73. It took a heart attack to finally silence the man famous for saying that gays and lesbians helped bring about the attacks of September 11 and Teletubby Tinky Winky is a homosexual recruiting tool of the very young.
We wonder if Falwell’s May promenade through the pearly gates has prompted God to rethink that whole Christians-spending-eternity-in-heaven idea.
PUTTING THEIR MOUTHS WHERE THEIR MONEY ISN’T. Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Bob Allen—the list of hypocritical Republican homos, led by now-deposed evangelical leader Ted Haggard, seemed to grow daily.
It took a mere three weeks of intense conversion therapy earlier this year until Brother Haggard cried uncle, proclaiming he is now “100 percent heterosexual.”
In truth, Haggard’s miraculous conversion will likely take longer than just three weeks. A lot longer. But time always seems to pass more quickly when you’re tweaking on crystal meth.
SURVIVOR GUILT. Even though ENDA (you know, that embattled Employment Non-Discrimination Act originally designed to protect all GLBTs in the workplace) was approved last month by the U.S. House of Representatives, the victory was at best bittersweet for gays and lesbians.
The importance of any federal legislation protecting any of us in the GLBT community can’t be overstated, even though W has promised to veto ENDA if a separate version passes the Senate and a final bill lands on his desk. But the last-minute deletion of language protecting gender identity, proposed by Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank and condoned by national operatives of the Human Rights Campaign, was a killer to those of us who understand what that deletion means to the T in GLBT.
Now gays and lesbians know how the Unsinkable Molly Brown must have felt in her lifeboat as she watched passengers of the working class wave to her from the deck of the Titanic.
When the time comes for us to write our 2008 GLBT to-do lists, grabbing an oar might be an excellent task to place at the top.