by Donalevan Maines
In the season of “peace on Earth, goodwill toward men,” the mother of murdered Matthew Shepard and the grandson of Mahatma Gandi encouraged OutSmart readers to “answer hate with love.”
Ah, but for those who hate the holidays, psychologist Shane Hennesey offered seasonal “sanity tips,” such as, “The holidays are not a celebration of change, so it’s not the time to be coming out of the closet or trying to get Mom to change her world view.”
Hennessey’s “alter ego,” Ethel, also advised, “Spend time with people you like,” which is what pianist Jerry Atwood did by organizing Christmas Songfest as a benefit for Body Positive Wellness Center to kick off Houston’s holiday season.
The Houston Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus honored City Councilmember Annise Parker with the John Paul Barnich Humanitarian Award and Brandon Wolf with the Gary Van Ooteghem Award for an “unsung hero.” Other honorees included State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, Vanessa Edwards Foster, Grant Martin (lifetime achievement award), Michael V. Bodin, Scott Simpson, Jessica Redman and Houston Buyer’s Club, PFLAG, and Houston Lesbian and Gay Community Center.
The gay series Queer as Folk debuted on Showtime, starring out actors Peter Paige as raging queen Emmett and Randy Harrison as 17-year-old Justin, along with Hal Sparks (Michael), Gale Harold (the insatiable Brian), Scott Lowell (Ted), Michelle Clunie (Melanie), Thea Gill (Lindsay), and Sharon Gless as Michael’s mom.
Saturday Night Live spoofed confusion over disputed results of the November presidential election (remember hanging chads?) with an Odd Couple skit featuring Darrell Hammond as Al Gore sharing the White House with Will Ferrell as George W. Bush.
Lesbians in Business hosted a New Year’s Eve party at the Renaissance Hotel in Greenway Plaza.
And the OutSmart staff dedicated the holiday issue “to the holiness we know is in every last one of us.”
Donalevan Maines wrote about The Rocky Horror Show in the October issue of OutSmart.