Magazine article Out

Lawn Man

Magazine article Out

Lawn Man

Article excerpt

The moon landing. The Manson murders. Woodstock. Chappaquiddick. Hurricane Camille. Abbey Road. Days of Rage. The My Lai massacre.

As if turning 40 this year wasn't bad enough, I had the misfortune of being born during a very busy year: 1969. Which means that all this year I'm being constantly remindednay, harassed- by 40th anniversary retrospectives of everything from Sirhan Sirhan's conviction to the premiere of Sesame Street.

Of course, the most relevant 40th anniversary to my own is Stonewall's. On the evening of June 28, 1969, my seven-months'-pregnant mother was splayed out on her front porch in a caftan with a Pall Mall in one hand and a G&T in the other, completely unaware that drag queens were throwing parking meters and bricks at police in New York City.

But this June, as homos all over the country pause to reflect on the current state of our 40-year-old gay-rights journey, I'm coming to grips with my own. And there's quite a bit of overlap. Here's what we share:

The constant urge to yell "Get off my lawn." Now that my days are counting down and not up, I don't have a lot of patience for people hanging around on my turf. We gays have given kudos to people for simply "tolerating" us for too long. We enthusiastically vote for pois who "bravely" endorse civil unions and pay lip service to equal rights. Meh. If you wanna hang out with me, I wanna see some action. Cancel your straight weddings. Write a letter to your senator on my behalf. Don't come crying to me about your insensitive husbands when I can't even have one. Just get the hell off my lawn.

Unrelenting contrarianism. Squinting backward over my youth I realize how eagerly and militantly I fell into step with the gay slogan of the moment. I clung to any crumb of scientific evidence that proved "I was born this way." Now I can admit that I have zero conviction that either my genes or my parents had anything to do with the fact that I share my life with another guy. Don't pity me or praise me. Just give me my equal rights and get the hell off my lawn.

Excess fat around the middle. While I haven't started rummaging through my mother's caftan collection yet, I have, for the public good, given away my low-rise jeans. …

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