Category: comedy

There’s Something Funny about Climate Change

Comedy has been one of the most useful tools at my disposal whenever I have tried to take on tough issues like faith and sexuality, gender diversity and the Bible, and the hardest topic of them all–Climate Change! I chatted with a comedian about all this recently, and I found him to be super inspiring. In fact, he got me thinking about comic storytelling and the need to create new content.

Esteban Gast is the host of Comedians Conquering Climate Change podcast, and he joined me for a chat for Citizens Climate Radio. Hear the interview and then my own piece The Weight of Carbon Dioxide and Chihuahuas.

Coming Out MAD (as in the stupid magazine)

IMG_5209My Greatest Literary Achievement!

While it is true that I contributed to an anthology that won a Lambda Literary Award and I am married to a man who won his own Lambda prize, today I may have reached the pinnacle of my literary career.  The deluded editors at Mad Magazine actually published the letter I sent them!

I scooped up the mail this morning to find two of my favorite magazines spooning on the ground. My issue of Friends Journal lay in the arms of Alfred E Newman, that obnoxious kid on the cover of Mad Magazine. I opened Mad Magazine first and there it was my letter to the editor.

Behold: My Mad Magazine Letter and Their Wonderfully Dumb Response


The Preacher Lady and the Ecofeminists

ecofeminismThis preacher woman is SHOCKED. She just unearthed a coven of environmentally-minded feminists. Feminist environmentalists?!? She is perplexed. Most people don’t like either of these groups. Why should someone choose to be both at the same time.

Still there is something that draws her to them.

Peterson there is something brewing inside of her desperate to break out? (She seems mildly obsessed with Wonder Woman)

Does the Ecofeminist message speak to her condition? And are these Ecofeminists actually New Age pagan demon women? Shocker, maybe they are her sisters engaged in the same struggle against exploitation and for equality?

Watch it below or on YouTube.

(Thanks to Kevin Miller for his powerful Mother Earth images that appear in the video)

A Very Homo No Mo Christmas

Homo Nomo Halfway HouseHere is a blast from the past. In the 90’s I was deeply entrenched in the ex-gay movement in a futile attempt to de-gay myself. Two of those years I endured the Love in Action residential ex-gay program in Memphis, TN. There were plenty of weird experiences in a home jammed with gay dudes trying to straighten out their gayness together. We affectionately called this gay-to-straight boot camp, the Homo No Mo Halfway House.

Here is a true story about my first Christmas in the Homo No Mo Halfway House. So many bizarre rules and wacky responses from the staff. See for yourself what happens behind the doors of the world’s most ridiculous gay rehab.

Sanders, Trump, Marvin, and Me

Bernie Trump

Donald Trump, left, and Senator Bernie Sanders. Credit Eric Thayer for The New York Times, left; Cheryl Senter for The New York Times

As a performance artist and character actor, I get to channel multiple characters. One of my very favorite characters is Marvin Bloom. From Long Island New York, I can be very direct when I play Marvin, and no one seems to mind. The New York Times recently helped me understand why characters like Marvin (and Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump) are so likable. The Times suggests it may have something to do with their New York regional in-your-face accents.

Michael Newman at the New York Times writes:

Reality and image reinforce each other, and Americans have come to associate New Yorkers, and so New York accents, with saying what you mean, intense emotional talk and not worrying too much about whom you offend.

Sociolinguists — scholars of language in society — call the way that forms of speech entail social meanings “indexicality.” A sound or a system of sounds, popularly called an accent, points to or indexes a particular social meaning. A basic example is dropping Rs, saying “coffee” with a raised awvowel and producing Ts and Ds on the teeth rather than the alveolar ridge behind the teeth, which all index together a New York identity.

So as Marvin Bloom I share some  feelings about the polar bear. Turns out Marvin is not a big fan. He finds them to be scary and disgusting bullies. But in his short, funny video, he reveals something about the climate crisis that often gets overlooked. There is a specie that is threatened right now that we run into on a daily basis. It is warm and lovely and friendly, and it is under attack! I’ll let Marvin break it down for you.

And if you want to hear more of Marvin and his off-beat approach to climate change, check out the Climate Stew radio show on  iTunes,  StitcherSoundCloud or right here at Climate Stew. We take global warming seriously, but we don’t try to scare the snot out of you.

Downton Abbey Gets Mixed Up in My Life

Any Downton Abbey fans? Don’t ask me how I got started with watching Downton Abbey, that class porn period piece soap opera. I guess we all need our media junk food from time to time. There is a quiz one can take to determine which character of Downton Abbey you most are like. Turns out I am Carson. If you take the quiz, let me know who you are.


Take the Quiz yourself

Silliness and excess aside, I can honestly declare that watching Downton Abbey serves as genuinely research directly benefiting my performance work. As part of my weekly Climate Stew program, I created my very own four minute Downton Abbey spoof. I get to play with multiple accents and styles and even bring in the Dowager Countess. Take a listen to my little bit of serious fun.

Also, if you want to hear the whole episode, it also includes a short interview with Glen Retief, my adorable husband from South Africa. Whenever we have people over for dinner in our silly big house, and I feel I am doing too much of the work, I say, “It’s like we are living in Downton Abbey; You are Lord Grantham, and I am the staff.” In the segment I also offer a fanciful view of celebrities of the future. Take a listen. If you like what you hear, PLEASE share with your friends.

Now for some Queer Climate Change Memes

I have gotten involved with a new group, Queers for the Climate, which is organizing to take part in the big People’s Climate March on September 20 and 21 in New York City. While lots of LGBTQ people have shown real concern for environmental issues, recycling, and buying eco-friendly products, when it comes to Global Warming, I find that many of my queer peers seem to live on another planet, one that does not see the possible extinction of humans along with a bunch of other species. That is changing, and it is a good thing because we come to the table with lots of experience and skills to help us address Climate Change as the world’s biggest threat to human rights.

We can be funny, irreverent, edgy, and creative in our climate activism. We can also look beyond ourselves to consider the wider world and the intersection of LGBTQ lives affected by the climate change crisis that is upon us.

Here are some memes I created on the theme of Queer Climate Action. Enjoy and share. Yo, Global Warming activism, it’s not just for heterosexuals anymore.


gay marriage end of world

drag queen anger

save heterosexuals

penguin meme

chad and lance save world

goats meme



There’s a demon in my underwear! Queer and Queerer Ep. 19

What’s worse than crabs in your crotch? Demon possession in your pubic area. This week Zack and I go where few gay male podcasters have gone before. (You will have to listen to the podcast for it to all make sense. Let’s just say, this is the scene they left out of The Vagina Monologues.)

Okay now the proper show notes:

She graced the pages of Glamour magazine. She stunned the nation on Good Morning America. She helped launch a movement (Beyond Ex-Gay) and NOW she is our guest on Queer and Queerer! Zack and I welcome Christine Bakke to the program. Christine is an artist, an activist, and an outspoken ex-gay survivor. As a lesbian who once tried to suppress and change her orientation, she now speaks out passionately about the dangers of treatments that try to “de-gay” you. She joins us to talk about the Prop 8 ruling, its implications for the Ex-Gay Survivor movement, exorcism, demon nests, and activist art!

Remember, send us your questions for episode 20! You can ask us ANYTHING.

The Queer and Queerer Podcast!

Listen to this week’s episode:

// Here’s some more information about what we talked about this week:

» Read the Prop 8 decision findings of fact in detail.

» The Slate Political Gabfest discusses the Prop 8 ruling.

» Meet Ryan Kendall, Ex-Gay Survivor and Prop 8 witness

» Details magazine looks at gay exorcism

» The APA’s Report on Reparative Therapy

» Be careful not to fall out of your RV!

Jesus Loves You! Void where prohibited by law

A few months ago I posted a series of Twitter/Facebook/Blog status updates that I compiled into a blog post entitled Jesus Loves You! But I’ve heard rumors… I figured that would be the end of it, but about two weeks later I got inspired again and began another round of Jesus Loves You! updates. Since the first round, John Henson, the brilliant Welsh minister and author of Good as New–A Radical Retelling of the Scriptures, has become a Facebook friend. (Do buy his book–it is stunning) He spiced up the daily updates with his own analysis on Jesus. Lots of lively commenting ensued from loads of different people including Deborah, Fredrick, Brett, Tania, Eddie, Susanne, Rabbi Nina, Jean–well loads of people. I also got tons of affirmation from Friends when I attended Quaker gatherings this summer. So many lurk in the Light. 😛

Like the first set this one brought out all sorts of Facebook friends who I rarely see. Some of the Jesus Loves You! updates really struck a chord, got people laughing, thinking, remembering, connecting. There is a move afoot to print some onto mug. Personally I think some would be perfect on a thong.

I purposely choose phrases that are ambiguous or have multiple meanings to let the readers decide what it all means for them. For me many of them serve as commentary to how Jesus is marketed by some churches–Jesus the product. There is also one Wizard of Oz reference there that confused a lot of people (which speaks to what an old gay guy I am that now people don’t get Oz references.) See if you can spot it. Some also speak to the challenges many of us have faced with the Christian faith as it has been taught and practiced and the double-standards we experienced. Some are just fun with no deep abiding meaning that I can extrapolate. I sometimes just like playing with words.

Check ’em out. Which is your favorite? What do they mean to you? Have some of your own you want to add?

Jesus Loves You!

  • Jesus Loves You! No purchase necessary to enter. Employees and families are not eligible. Void where prohibited by law.
  • Jesus Loves You! Side effects may include dizziness, exaggerated feelings of depression or elation, changes in sex drive & impotence.
  • Jesus Loves You! Yet you worry, that in spite of all you tell yourself (and all you’ve done) you still look fat in those jeans.
  • Jesus Loves You! Unconditionally. Well, kinda.
  • Jesus Loves You! He arrives at your door a battered beast seeking shelter, refuge.
  • Jesus Loves You! But he doesn’t like to brag about it.
  • Jesus Loves You! But he works weekends.
  • Jesus Loves You! But look out for the in-laws!
  • Jesus Loves You! Most scholars now agree that he looks nothing like his current Facebook profile photo.
  • Jesus Loves You! But he gets kinda weird when you start asking lots of questions.
  • Jesus Loves You! He loves you not. He loves you. He loves you not…
  • Jesus Loves You! With extra strength cleansing power! Those tough sin stains don’t stand a chance. Now in lavender or lemon-scented blood.
  • Jesus Loves You! Although he does live in an exclusive gated community & only let’s the ‘right’ people in.
  • Jesus Loves You! Christ Update 4.0 bulked up w/ new spiritual security enhancements & now compatible w/ Buddhist & Pagan operating systems.
  • Jesus Loves You! Behold the Lamb of God! (Yeah, he’s into that whole furry scene)
  • Jesus Loves You! Have seen this Savior? Last spotted in Roman-occupied Palestine circa 33 AD.
  • Jesus Loves You! You are truly lovely and extraordinarily worthy of love and then more love.
  • Jesus Loves You! Consider the lilies of the field before an ecological nightmare annihilates them!
  • Jesus Loves You! He ascended up to heaven & seated himself at his Father’s right hand, thus ending a 33 year custody battle.
  • Jesus Loves You! The exact whereabouts of the Savior is still unclear. Sources close to Jesus claim he mutated, became air-born & went viral.
  • Jesus Loves You! Why look ye for the living among the dead? He was forcibly removed from the planet 2000 yrs ago by his Father’s henchangels
  • Jesus Loves You! Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
  • Jesus Loves You! First Crusade Cola© then Inquisition Fruit Punch® and now Jesus Lite Energy Elixir™–fullness of life w/ 75% less wrath!
  • Jesus Loves You! “I am the Vine; you are the branches.” An invasive specie of global proportions.
  • Jesus Loves You! Purveyor of loaves & fishes since 33 AD. “Our cod is an awesome cod!”
  • Jesus Loves You! Do not fear the monster lurking under your bed or the one living in your heart.

Marvin’s BIG Announcement

Since our trip to Sweden, Marvin has not quite been the same. I was unaware of all the big changes going on in his life until about two weeks ago when we met up for lunch. Turns out he burst forth some good news to share with me, but he made me promise to be quiet about it until he was ready to say it in his own words. As so often happens with Marvin, good news becomes, well, not bad, but not quite good either.

See for yourself and give Marvin some comments to help him on his journey.

Oh, and I retired Homo No Mo just in time! Now you can see, Straight to Heaven, an ex-gay parody in musical form that was presented at the GCN–Gay Christian Network Conference 2007. Hilarious!

hat tip to Ex-Gay Watch

Oh, and it gets better. Here is a clever little video of a Jewish gay guy coming out straight to his mother. She doesn’t take it very well.

Hat tip to Good As You