Saturday, October 31, 2009

Out and About - October 2009

On Friday, October 2, I accompanied my friends Kathleen and Joey to Trempealeau, WI.

On the way we paused along the mist-enshrouded shoreline of Lake Pepin (above), and while at Trempealeau, we visited nearby Perrot State Park and hiked to the summit of Brady’s Bluff (left).

Above: The view of Trempealeau Mountain from Brady’s Bluff.

For more images of our time in Trempealeau, click here.

Above: With Ruth Kyle - October 3, 2009.

Ruth is the mother of the late Scott Kyle, whose memorial services were planned by CPCSM co-founder David McCaffrey.

Although I never knew Scott, who died unexpectedly in June, I was honored to help David prepare the two memorial services for him. The first of these services was held shortly after his death, in his hometown of Baldwin, WI. The second was held in Minneapolis on October 3 for his Twin Cities friends.

In the process of helping prepare these two services I got to know Scott’s family, including his wonderful mother Ruth. I also learned that for the last 25 years of his life Scott had played competitive softball in the Twin Cities Goodtime Softball League (TCGSL) and elsewhere in the U.S., in leagues and national tournaments sanctioned by the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA). Among his greatest softball accomplishments, Scott was a key player on the A-level team that represented the Twin Cities in the 1987 and 1988 NAGAAA World Series and took 1st place both years. The same team, with Scott as a member, also took 2nd place at the 1992 World Series and 3rd place three other times. Scott’s impressive softball career was honored this past summer when he was inducted posthumously into the NAGAAA Hall of Fame at the World Series in Milwaukee.

Above: My friends Dan and Stephanie at the October 3 exhibit of Dan’s artwork.

For more images of this event, click here.

Above: On Sunday, October 4, I hosted a “dinner and movie night” for my friends (from left) John, Rick, Brian, and Bob. This month we watched the great gay film, The Boys in the Band (1970). Previously we’ve watched Valley of the Dolls and Advise and Consent.

Why do I refer to The Boys in the Band as “great”? Well, primarily because it provides such an illuminating look at a certain time in American gay history. And although most of characters are depicted as tortured souls and/or bitchy queens, the film nevertheless has some very funny moments (primarily provided by the character of Harold), and serves as a timely reminder of just how far we’ve progressed in a relatively short period of time. After all, society is now more accepting of the range of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Notes Wikipedia:

In a San Francisco Chronicle review of a 1999 revival of the film, Edward Guthmann recalled, “By the time Boys was released in 1970 ... it had already earned among gays the stain of Uncle Tomism.” He called it “a genuine period piece but one that still has the power to sting. In one sense it's aged surprisingly little — the language and physical gestures of camp are largely the same — but in the attitudes of its characters, and their self-lacerating vision of themselves, it belongs to another time. And that’s a good thing.”

My favorite character in the film? Well, I have to say I found Robert La Tourneaux’s portrayal of “Cowboy” quite irresistible! Here’s what Wikipedia says of La Tournaux and his character in The Boys in the Band.

Robert La Tourneaux (1945–1986) was an American actor best known for his role of Cowboy, the good-natured but dim hustler hired as a birthday present for a gay man, in the original Off-Broadway production and 1970 film version of “The Boys in the Band.”

. . . The openly gay La Tourneaux’s initially blamed being typecast as a gay hustler for his inability to receive worthwhile roles, stating in a 1973 interview, “Boys was the kiss of death for me.” In the 1978 anthology “Quentin Crisp’s Book of Quotations,” La Tourneaux compared his career to another gay actor by saying, “Charles Laughton played every kind of part, but never a homosexual. People knew he was gay, but his public image [which included a wife] never betrayed his public reality. So he was safe. I wasn’t safe.”

Sadly, La Tourneaux died of AIDS on June 3, 1986. Boys in the Band co-star Cliff Gorman and his wife cared for him during his illness up through to his death.

Above: The second joint meeting of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform’s Work/Study Groups - Minneapolis, October 7, 2009.

Left: With my friend Ronnie Angelus. I first met Ronnie when preparing for the CPCSM-sponsored Vigil of Solidarity with LGBT Catholics, December 2, 2007. Ronnie was one of a number of inspiring speakers at this event.

For more about the October 7 joint meeting of CCCR’s Work/Study groups, click here.

For the latest report on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Work/Study Group (the group that I’m facilitating), click

Above: On October 8, 2009, I was honored to be part of a group of local religious leaders that gathered at the Minnesota State Capitol to speak out in support of marriage equality for same-gender couples.

At right, I’m pictured with Retired Bishop Lowell Erdahl of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) and Pastor Doug Donley of University Baptist Church of Minneapolis.

For more images and commentary about this special event, click here.

Above: Snow in October!

For more images, click

Above: My friends Jairo and Gloria - October 14, 2009.

I accompanied Jairo and Gloria to El Nuevo Rodeo Nightclub and Restaurant (reputedly the “hottest Latin venue in the Twin Cities”!) for an entertaining drag show (left) that served as a benefit for local efforts focusing on HIV prevention and safe-sex educational initiatives within the Latino community.

On October 23 I turned 44! I had two great gathering of friends to celebrate the occasion. In the photo above I’m pictured with my friends Daniel and Bob.

For more images, click here.

To read my October 23 birthday post, click here.

Above: With other members of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform’s Work/Study Group on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity - October 25, 2009. From left: Mary Beth, me, Joe, and Henry.

To learn about what we’re all about, click here and here.

Above: Autumn in Minnesota.

For more images, click here.

Above: Standing at left with my friends Randy, Terri, Bryon, Cathy, and Angie.

We’re pictured celebrating Halloween in Benson, MN. Stay tuned for more photos!

In the meantime, to read my “Halloween Thoughts,” click here.

1 comment:

Mareczku said...

Thanks for the pictures, Michael.

Peace - Mark