Wednesday 29 Apr 09
Tonight/last night i attended a benefit for the Ubuntu education fund in NYC. It is a really amazing organisation that is a great model of how to really change lives in Africa. Check it out here
I was the auctioneer and from three auction items we made 170,000 dollars! yeah baby! Below is a video of the amazing Hugh Masekela performing.
Earlier today I was in Albany for LGBT Equality day, lobbying for marriage equality, GENDA and Dignity. It was an amazing day and I feel really excited about the prospect of marriage equality being introduced in my home state of NY. It was a little depressing, I must say, to go back into the meetings with senators after the rally and see our human rights struggle - the same rights any straight person in this country would take for granted - is treated as just another bill in the laborious and pedantic process of being passed though the senate. I asked the speaker of the house if, in the light that this was not an average bill but an actual civil and human rights struggle, in some way it was possible to communicate to the senate that it was neccesary to transcend the normal day to day senate business and make this violation a priority. But I was sort of sweetly condescended. Someone actually said We dont live in your world, Alan
to which i replied
You're welcome to come on in.
I know that statement was naive in political terms, but in humanitarian terms, in terms of justice and truth and righeousness, I really believe it is fair. Get over it people, the train hasn't just left the station, it's on the last leg of its journey.
Peace out homies
Monday 20 Apr 09
Here's a new PSA in which I appear for GLAAD.
Saturday 18 Apr 09
It's Saturday and I am sitting in the beigest hotel suite I have ever seen, in downtown LA, where I have come to give a GLAAD award tonight to the girls from The L Word. It should be a fun evening.
I am having some issues with this hotel. Last night when I came home I couldn't get in to the building. All the doors were locked and it was only after a complicated series of phone calls and driving round the block to a different entrance that I was able to run up the stairs and actually enter. I felt like Rocky running up those steps in Philadelphia. Then this morning I managed to lock myself out of both the rooms that make up my suite, wearing only a tank top that says 'love pussy' on it. I had to fling myself at the mercy of some cleaning ladies who got me a towel and then a security man came and opened up for me, but not before saying 'Hey, you're the film guy'. Porn film guy this morning, the way I'm going, being naked in random hotel corridors.
Last night I went to see Britney bitch in concert at the Staples center. I am a big fan, but I have to say, I felt like she just didn't want to be there last night and the whole energy coming from the stage was really tepid. The show is big and impressive of course, and definitely lived up to the expectations of the(utterly piercing) screaming 12 year olds around me, but there was minimal connection with the audience and I am pretty certain Britney didn't sing any of the songs live. That would be fair enough if she was busting her balls dancing, but hey ho. I just hope she is okay. Last night combined with that MTV documnetary a few months ago makes me sad for Britney and the bubble she appears to be living in.
The Pussycat Dolls, on the other hand, were the opening act and were great. Big personalities, engaged with the crowd, truly warmed us up, and really gave it their all. My hats are off to them, and I got the chance to tell the lead singer Nicole in person, later at a party.
My favourite LA moment of my trip so far was a woman who came up to me at the bar of a restaurant where I was meeting friends before the Britney show and said 'I love you. I saw you on Broadway and I think you're a great actor. You should work more.' I think you'd call that a pity gush.
And it seems SAG and the producers have reached an agreement that is practically the same as the one they were offered last summer. Well hurrah. I think it's great that production will pick up agian because of this saga ending, but what a waste of time , energy and money if we really haven't gained any benefits after so long an impasse.
Sunday 5 Apr 09
I wrote an article for this week's Newsweek based on the new HBO version of Grey Gardens. You can read it here. And the movie premieres on HBO on April 18th.
Sunday 5 Apr 09
Yesterday I was the Grand Marshall of the Tartan Day Parade in New York City. I had a great time, and here is a little film of what my day was like...
Friday 3 Apr 09
Hello everyone from the Virgin airline lounge at Heathrow, where i am waiting to fly back to NYC. I am happy to say I found two very exciting new items I'd like to share with you, about America's slow march towards treating its LGBT people as equals...
First from the Des Moines Register:"The Iowa Supreme Court this morning struck down a 1998 state law that limits marriage to one man and one woman. The ruling is viewed as a victory for the gay rights movement in Iowa and elsewhere, and a setback for social conservatives who wanted to protect traditional families. The decision makes Iowa the first Midwestern state, and the fourth nationwide, to allow same-sex marriages. Lawyers for Lambda Legal, a gay rights group that financed the court battle and represented the couples, had hoped to use a court victory to demonstrate acceptance of same-sex marriage in heartland America. Richard Socarides, a former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton on gay civil rights, said today’s decision could set the stage for other states. Socarides was was a senior political assistant for Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin in the early 1990s. 'I think it’s significant because Iowa is considered a Midwest sate in the mainstream of American thought,' Socarides said. 'Unlike states on the coasts, there’s nothing more American than Iowa. As they say during the presidential caucuses, 'As Iowa goes, so goes the nation.’'
and from the Burlington Free Press in Vermont:
The Vermont House voted 95-52 on Thursday night to allow same-sex couples to marry in Vermont.
The tally suggests it might be difficult for the House to override a promised gubernatorial veto of the bill that would need 100 votes, though supporters said they would push for that.
The vote came at 9 p.m. Thursday after four hours of impassioned debate on the bill in a chamber filled with supporters and opponents.
Rep. Bill Lippert, D-Hinesburg, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, spoke on the House floor about gays and lesbians in his community — carpenters and nurses and maple sugarers — and of his own relationship with his male partner.
“That’s who we’re talking about here today,” he said. “These couples are living everyday lives of ordinary and extraordinary significance.”
Lippert declared that the civil unions law he helped craft nine years ago could not provide complete equality. “People know what it means when you say you’re married,” he said.
Rep. Johanna Donovan, D-Burlington, agreed. “There’s only one thing truly equal to marriage and that’s marriage,” she said. “Now is the time to give civil unions a respectful burial.”
Of course there are struggles ahead, especially considering the Vermont governor has already said he will veto the bill, but it is a very positive day for civil rights in America, I think.