Yasmin Nair

Kate and Allie had it right & we've been going backwards ever since

Filed By Yasmin Nair | November 23, 2010 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Media, The Movement
Tags: Against Equality, gay marriage, Kate and Allie, LGBT families, Lovers, My Two Dads

Ryan Conrad was in Washington, DC, on November 16, as part of the kate&allie.jpgAgainst Equality tour. As some of you know, the Against Equality collective recently published our first book, Against Equality: Queer Critiques of Gay Marriage, an anthology of contemporary essays that trace a history of the gay marriage movement and provide searing analyses of how and why "equality" is a problematic framework that only perpetuates economic and other forms of inequality.*

In "The Marriage Fight is Setting us Back," John D'Emilio writes: "Please, can we speak the truth? The campaign for same-sex marriage has been an unmitigated disaster." The renowned historian then goes on to show that "...in the deepest, most profound sense, the campaign for marriage equality runs against history" and that "[s]ince the early 1960s, the lives of many, many heterosexuals have become much more like the imagined lives of homosexuals." This is borne out by the many cultural representations of heterosexual families that look nothing like the ideal claimed in such shrill and self-righteous terms by the modern gay family, the kind that you see in this saccharine series of images released by the Courage Campaign, titled "Please Don't Divorce...." (you can read Jessica Hoffman's short and excellent critique of that project here).

At our book events, Ryan's presentation on how the marriage movement is setting us back includes images from earlier and current television shows like My Two Dads, that clearly exemplify different ways for families to be. While in DC, his friend Alexandra found this astonishing 1984 episode of Kate and Allie, which further proves that the gay marriage movement is fighting for the kind of normalcy that most straight and queer people would rather leave behind. Here's the condensed version of the episode:

A plot summary for those who can't view it: Kate and Allie are two divorced women with three children between them who decide to combine their families and live together, in part to save money but also to gain the kind of emotional and social support they feel is lacking in culture at large (things were still rough for divorced women in the '80s). They have the perfect apartment but the landlady, a lesbian, wants to raise the rent because it's a single-family dwelling and she sees them as two distinct families. For a while, Kate and Allie pretend to be lesbians so they can keep the place. When the landlady finds out the truth, she's angry at their deception and says, "I am so tired of people who condescend to us just because we're different from them." Kate responds, "Wait a minute - you were ready to penalize us $648 dollars a month just because we're different from you."

Here's the rest of the dialogue:

    Landlady: This apartment is a one-family dwelling.
    Kate: Sure, as long as you get to say what a family is.
    Landlady: Everybody knows what a family is.
    Kate: A lot of people wouldn't consider a gay couple a family, but you two do. And now so do we.
    Allie: A family is anybody who wants to share their lives together.
    Kate: Right, raise their kids together. Put up with their craziness...
    Allie: It's love that defines a family. and it can be any kind of love. Your kind, our kind, theirs.
    Kate: Who's to say which kind of family is the best? You of all people ought to know that.

I love lots of things about this clip, not the least of which is Allie's line at the beginning, when she's trying to come to terms with the pretense: "I know I haven't done that much with my heterosexuality lately, but I'm not willing to give it up!" It also made me remember how much I liked the show, even though I only began watching it as reruns, long after it was canceled. I'll be netflixing it to see if it stands the test of time, but I do remember liking its humor and the sparkle and friendship between the two women.

And I love that the landlady refers to Miriam as "my lover." I'm struck by how many gays and lesbians these days have decided that there's something too demeaning, crude, sexual about "lover." As if using more neutral terms will convince straight haters that we don't actually, you know, fuck. The term has long been banned from the campaigns for gay marriage. We are much too respectable to actually have sex (a point explicitly celebrated by the recent film The Kids Are All Right, but that's another post).

This is, of course, a classic sitcom narrative with an easy-to-wrap-up-in-22-minutes "message." But it's also a great example of how heterosexuals have been working on expanding their definitions of family and love. In this episode, the lesbian landlady, egged on by her sweet and kind lover, concedes the point. Today, sadly, the gay marriage movement makes it impossible for her to call Miriam her lover. Or to ever see a pair of unmarried, heterosexual women who love each other as anything but bizarre anomalies.

*Some of the essays are archived on the website, but the book also includes a couple, including my introduction, that are only found in the book.

Yasmin Nair is trying to wean herself off caffeine. She prefers "lovers."
You can read her work at http://www.yasminnair.net/

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I disagree with a lot of what you say in this post, but I watched Kate & Allie a lot as a child, and this episode is the one and only ep that stuck with me. Some excellent television.

The series is indeed on Netflix streaming; we had a big Kate & Allie marathon a couple months ago.

I agree with the assessment that the gay marriage movement is too devoted to "normalcy" standards heterosexuals haven't held since the 80s and that the advertising pushes by Gay, Inc. tend to desexualize the LGBT culture, but these seem to me like problems we should be pushing to change within the gay marriage movement, not reasons to completely abandon it.

And I also agree that the gay marriage movement overshadows other, more pressing issues like trans equality and LGBT youth homelessness. But LGBT activists campaign and advocate for multiple issues at any given time. True we can certainly take a lot of the priority out of gay marriage, but why do we have to give it up entirely, especially when marital status grants so many legal rights and protections?

I'm going to use this space to address the comments below because so many of them make similar points.

But first - thanks to Andrea for letting me know about Kate and Allie streaming on Netflix. My life is significantly enriched - I've been watching it all morning.

About the unfairness of marriage: Yes, marriage is unfair. That's why queers critiquing marriage, as in Against Equality, argue that we need to work towards affirming a system that does not strengthen an unequal system. Supporters of gay marriage's inequality want to have it both ways: criticise marriage for being unfair AND want that unfairness for itself.

That leads to the argument that we can't fight big changes when the system is so embedded or that it's foolish to not work to make marriage better etc.

You can't improve a rotten system by becoming part of it. And a lot of people are actually moving away from marriage - the numbers show that. Secondly, as I indicated in my quote from D'Emilio above, in fact the system *has* been changing so that marriage need not be the guarantor of rights. Obama's move to ensure that friends can now choose who gets hospital visitation rights is part of that. It's the gay marriage movement that is digging its heels in to ensure that only the unfairness gets perpetuated.

The point is that marriage is what ensures benefits. Therefore, the point in activism around marriage should be to ensure that non-married people get exactly the same benefits as married people. That should not be a difficult point to understand, especially for a movement that so fetishes the concept of equality.

As for the inheritance tax? I think Nancy Polikoff said it best: "But somehow no one has mentioned what I consider the most important point (aside from not spreading untruths): THE ONLY TIME AN ESTATE TAX IS LEVIED IS WHEN THE DECEDENT HAS MORE THAN $3.5 MILLION (It was $2 million, I believe, when Sontag died). As far as I am concerned NO ONE should be able to leave ANYONE more money than that without paying taxes. Including spouses." Exactly.

The assertion is often that only us flaming radicals want to destabilise marriage. Eh. I don't know. Millions of Americans, very few of whom are flaming radials, are moving away from marriage. The critiques that only a select band of people have a problem with marriage helps to make a cheap rhetorical point, but it does not hold up to the reality of a world where marriage is less important for fewer people than ever before.

Why should marriage guarantee essential rights and benefits? That is the question that gay marriage advocates refuse to answer. And when they do, it's to insist that only marriage guarantees "commitment" and holds up the pillars of civilisation.

All those arguments are looking pretty thin.

I'll leave with a suggestion that more answers to any more comments below or elsewhere can be found in Eric Stanley's brilliant piece, reproduced in our book,


Enjoy that and the long weekend, people! I'm off to make a delicious slaw apple-and-red-cabbage slaw.

I especially liked that the women pulled the "You of all people should know that" card that gays are so fond of pulling on people of color.

Great episode. But I'm kind of surprised that the landlady gave up on $600-some a month for sentimentality, especially when that would be over $1400 in today's money. Who was it that said it's impossible to explain something to someone whose livelihood depends on not understanding it?

boehmianrhapsody | November 24, 2010 7:33 AM

It was attributed to Upton Sinclair: "When a man's paycheck depends on his not understanding something, you can depend upon his not understanding it."

I wasn't aware that this program even existed...

It gives me a queer feeling (pun intended).

Here am I, married to the woman I love - but I'm not lesbian. Not even Bi. Neither is she. Not even a little bit.

And we have a child, our son, who is our whole world.

I'm straight, conservative, prudish, prim, even a bit of a prig. Just the kind of woman who'd be in the "Concerned Women of America". Or the Bund Deutsche Maedel, or the Komsomol for that matter.

Dedicated to doing anything but overthrowing "traditional family values", though my definition of those has nothing to do with the mix of sexes involved, just providing a nurturing environment for bringing up children who will give a damn about others. All others, not just my particular group.

I'm not even fanatical about the numbers involved - polygamy tends to create power imbalances, but I know at least one polyandrous family and another line marriage that do pretty well, so there are exceptions. Your Marriage May Vary.

(Good snappy line that - Your Marriage May Vary - feel free to adopt as a slogan)

We're a Family. People who want to share our lives together, to grow old together, and due to the Joys of Intersex, even have been able to make a child together. Something I feel so very unfairly blessed about, because gay couples can't do that with our current state of medical knowledge. That's unfair, and I hope we'll be able to fix it soon.

A family is anybody who wants to share their lives together....raise their kids together. Put up with their craziness...It's love that defines a family. and it can be any kind of love. Your kind, our kind, theirs.
Yes, exactly. Even ours, that of "breeders", one partner totally straight and cis, the other with one foot in the Trans camp, the other in the Intersexed one, someone whose mere existence shatters the myths about the hard lines between the sexes, while affirming the real difference between them.

Thanks for bringing this up. I guess I'm just a little sad that the show was from 1984, and that in many ways we've gone so far backwards since then.

I don't get how the show is related to the argument. Being married doesn't define the nature of an actual relationship. So even if the pictures of lgbt couples for the courage campaign appear to try to fit the "hetero-normative" cookie cuter image, I don't see how else they're suppose to represent lgbt people who would be effected by Prop 8. Should they have their sometimes "third party" in there? Whips and chains? A bottle of lube? Are we suppose to be fighting for the rights of Polygamists AND lgbt people? I have nothing against polygamy when everyone involved is safe, but can we get a foot in the door first, please? Should we be arguing to make marriage virtually obsolete and have everyone get "civil union-type things" like some straights are in the UK? Which would ironically be "destroying marriage" like they accuse us of doing anyway...

I remember the episode well from when it first aired, and was ecstatic about it at the time. It was pretty revolutionary. The part that I thought was the coolest was that they didn't care if they were known as gay. No judgment; no embarassment.

This episode wasn't an anomoly. The entire series was smart, funny, and well written, and you won't be disappointed by the rest of it.

I agree - I thought that was pretty cool, too. And I'm now watching it now on Netflix and realising how revolutionary it was/is, even for *our* time. In comparison, the more mainstream shows today are just preachy, it seems.

This is not an issue of getting married to be normal. The problem is that our government adheres to churches and makes laws to specifically discriminate against us. Regardless if/when the marriage movement will be successful, you still don't need to get married, but those that want that lifestyle and social support of their relationship should have that option.

Not to mention the significant financial burden to the elderly due to inheritance tax and lack of social security.

I remember the show and as I remember the premise, it's cute, but it's a little aggravating to have a heterosexual woman posing as a lesbian for small personal gain, and then the same poser has the nerve to lecture a real lesbian about being narrow minded and every one learns a special lesson.

I mean, could that ever happen in real life? A straight woman who would pose as a bisexual or lesbian radical just to condescend to real LGBT's, telling us our issues aren't important, and excoriating us as close minded for not being concerned about the straight person's agenda, that would be too weird a scenario to be believed.

I loved that show and watched it faithfully.

I now remember why I left academia a few years ago--I was sick of seeing adorably inept articles like this, ones which come from such a place of ivory tower removal from real-world issues, ones which seem to miss the point of the original work to focus on the author’s personal bugbear minutiae.

To the extent that this article has a point, it’s that this mainstream heterosexually-focused episode of a mid-80s sitcom represented a landmark as far as gay rights goes, and that’s not wrong. However, the article doesn’t focus on why the episode is actually notable. It is this couple’s very “normalcy” that is the point of the episode.

See, rather than two scary, threatening beings, the lesbians in this episode are sweet middle-aged ladies who go to dances and bake cakes and would be wonderful to have as neighbors. The characters of Kate and Allie still seem to feel some threat from them, and over the course of the episode they become more comfortable and realize that gay people are not dangerous or frightening. The show’s handling of the issue is admittedly somewhat dated, but--and a casual glance out into the world will confirm this--most violence and discrimination against homosexuals has its roots in fear of The Other. Education into the ways of The Mysterious Other is the only real effective way to combat intolerance, and let’s face it--right or not, straight people are going to respond more to someone who reminds them of a sweet old aunt rather than someone in a leather harness. (Which is why I’m convinced that pride parades are one of the most harmful things the community does--but that’s another story.)

The situation is fairly contrived, considering its medium, but what the episode does is create a situation in which people are being legally discriminated against for their heterosexuality, where homosexuality actually confers benefits. This is likely the first time Kate and Allie have encountered discrimination of this nature, and it’s an eye-opening experience. Having gone through this, they now realize the ways in which the cards are normally stacked in their favor, and they’re left with a newfound respect for what homosexuals go through. The landlady, for that matter, gets her own lesson--she finds herself in a position of power, where she has the right and ability to discriminate, and she takes it the second it’s offered to her. Her change of heart at the end, while seemingly sudden, shows that she might perhaps understand things from a different perspective--we live in a world with systematic intolerance that’s so seductive that one can fall into its trap without even realizing it.

What’s fairly striking--and not even mentioned in the article--is the fact that the lesbian couple is older. We have very few positive images of gay men and women who are older than their thirties--I would think that this would be so significant a sign of a change as to be the first thing mentioned, and I’m fairly surprised you didn’t seem to notice it.

There are certainly enough things that we can learn from this episode, and one is left with a healthy respect for its ambitions, particularly in light of the execrable way that gay characters are treated nowadays. Nowadays, gay characters in heterosexually-focused shows are given the minstrel show treatment. Jack from Will and Grace was a pinkfaced caricature--but he wasn’t acting normal. Is that how gay characters should be portrayed?

Instead of focusing on any of these legitimate issues, you seem to have more of an interest in the episode’s casual use of the term “lover”. To me, “lover” is a dated term. I think of a flamboyant man in a dressing gown with KS lesions--it’s something from the hedonism of pre-AIDS Fire Island romps. Not only that, but the term has solely sexual connotations--implying that relationships are just based on sex. Your affection for the word implies an old-fashioned mindset, one which doesn’t even seem to care that gay men and women are men and women first. By your argument, homosexuals are and should be a different class of citizen from heterosexuals--we need a different language to describe our relationships.

It is no wonder that the gay movement is in the piss-poor state that it’s in when this is what passes for activism.

Just a few things:

This is a blog, not an academic journal. Blogs, by definition, are about what you describe as "personal bugbear minutiae." I'm free to choose to focus on what I want to focus on. When I write articles for academic journals, I write differently. You should know that.

Before you make sweeping accusations about people coming from the "ivory tower" consider doing some research into the writer. Or read their bio.

It's clear you and I live in different worlds.

a) I have no problem with Jack (even if I had issues with the show Will and Grace, which is a different story). What's a normal gay, anyway?

b) Lots of people I know prefer "lover." You've missed my point entirely when you write, "...but the term has solely sexual connotations--implying that relationships are just based on sex." Um, yes, that's exactly what I meant by this part: " I'm struck by how many gays and lesbians these days have decided that there's something too demeaning, crude, sexual about "lover." As if using more neutral terms will convince straight haters that we don't actually, you know, fuck." And so on. Read carefully.

I loved, loved, loved those "flamboyant men in dressing gown[s] with KS lesions" and I miss many of them every day. Don't even think of erasing them from my/our collective memory. They are as much a part of our community as the straight-laced gays you prefer. I could go on about the deeply troubling politics so evident in your callous statement, but I think they're quite evident in everything you write, so I'll just let your comment speak for itself.

It sounds like *you* want to write the definitive academic article about this episode. I say: go for it! Write on!

I don’t think “this is a blog” is ever an excuse for sloppy analysis and harmful theory, personally. I’m a blogger myself--but then, you knew that if you did some research on me, which I can only assume you have done. I’m personally a fan of “death of the author” and all of that, and generally when I read a post like yours, I detach it from the writer and focus on the piece itself. I think things should stand alone--but we’re obviously coming from two very different perspectives.

Or that we “live in different worlds” as you say--although for my money, that’s not a bad thing. Given the context in which you make that statement, you seem to imply that my different background somehow makes my argument less valid. But hey--I’m just a videogame blogger, right? I’m sure you think it very naive that I’m looking for acceptance instead of reveling in my difference.

I’m shocked by your acceptance of Jack from Will and Grace, as that’s a textbook case of “laugh at the fag”. Have you not realized this? That entire character archetype is a sissy character whose expression of gender and sexuality is not performed for his own enjoyment but for the amusement of heterosexuals.

You’re misinterpreting my point on lover. We don’t disagree that relationships have a sexual function. You’ve missed the word “solely”, however. We’ve all had relationships that were just based on sex, yes--it happens. Are you saying that your friends who describe their relationships in this way are that sex-centered? If that’s all there is--if the relationship does not have at its core mutual respect, understanding, support, care, but just good-old fashioned fucking and not much else--well, man, I feel sorry for your friends and hope that one day they find a strong healthy relationship which helps to fulfill them. But enough rhetoric--you and I both know that your friends have indeed found that and that you cling to “lover” because you want sex to be at the forefront. Why is this?

Let’s talk about our friends in dressing gowns. If it’s in the 80s, and you’re looking to show a gay man as a tragic or sympathetic figure, you give him AIDS. (Or, you have him attacked--but that’s another story.) That’s a cheap and common technique. Rather than making it an aspect, it reduces them to an image or an archetype. Think about your friends you’ve lost--I’ll think of mine while you’re doing that. Did you love them because of their charm, their intelligence, their wit, their interests--or did you love them because they were tragic suffering figures? I’m fairly sure it was the former. Why reduce them in this manner? Why, for that matter, trot them out as proof of your authority to speak about this? They are trotted out in movies out of an inept and misguided attempt at emotional manipulation--that’s fine, I’m not expecting Hollywood movies to have that much of a sophisticated understanding. I do find your invocation of them to be somewhat troubling.

As for troubling politics, man, you really hate straights, don’t you? Why else use the phrase “straight-laced” as a pejorative? You're a good enough writer that I don't believe you used that particular term accidentally. I find it particularly amusing in light of the fact that you ask me what a “normal gay” is. The heavy implication there is that there is no such thing as a “normal” gay--okay, fine, I can dig it, we’re all different people and all have something to contribute. However. Calling my friends and me “straight-laced” says that we are acting in a “heterosexual” manner. Which necessarily implies a “homosexual” manner. It’s probably because I haven’t done the thorough research on you that you requested, but I’m surprised that you’re an essentialist.

I’m lucky. I’m blessed. I admit and accept this. I live in New York City, I have an accepting family, and I work for a company which treats its gay employees’ relationships in the same way it treats its straight employees’. To view marriage as, at best, a non-priority may be well and good for someone like me--I’ve already achieved equality, let’s face it--but that is not universal. Whether we need marriage to legitimize a relationship for legal reasons or simply so we can tell our out-of-touch aunt that we are married already, many of us want marriage. Marriage is a socially-created method of legitimizing a relationship, yes. Voting is a socially-created method of selecting government. When we realized there were inequalities in suffrage, did we abolish voting, or did we give non-landowners, women, and blacks the right to vote?

You're the one who chose to stigmatise men with AIDS in the 1980s. And my comments stand. And I think your politics are still quite obvious.

And, no, I didn't know you were a videogame blogger - I merely meant you clearly think you know what academic writing looks like, so you should know what the difference between that and blogging is.

As for the rest - as I pointed out before, you're clearly looking for an audience for your work and analysis. I suggest you look elsewhere - a comments thread on a blog might not be the best place.

Good luck on your quest.

I agree with the point made by Bolton above. I don't think that because we want equal rights and the option to marry we are trying to copy heterosexual people. I think that because all the rights we don't have are associated with marriage we should have that right pure and simple. No one is forced to marry anyway. So just because some do not want it in our community, does not I still think this is the best way to get there. I am not sure how those who are against same sex marriage think we should acheive these rights? One at a time? We will all be dead!

From one of my favorite books:

"Marriage, and especially the ceremony that announces it, the wedding... That is how we say to the world, 'These two are now a family, and with this joining our families are joined, too. And you had damned well better respect that.'"

I don't at all agree with you that most people want to move away from the type of life that being married represents, and even if that is or becomes the case, those of us who do want to be able to be married, in front of everyone, and call their lover their husband or wife, should be allowed to. My lover is my lover, my partner, my life. I'd like her to be my wife, also.

But I did like that show.

Marriage is not simply about the ceremony. If that were the case, why not simply agitate for churches and religious places to recognise marriage. Many of them do, in fact.

Marriage is about tangible benefits disbursed to those who marry. You can't insist that marriage unequally applies benefits and also insist that wanting those unequal benefits is about "equality."

See comment above for more.

Actually, I agree that marriage is about far more than the ceremony - you are missing the point of my quote if you think it means that.

Regardless, I can (and do) insist that the way that marriage is today is unequal, and that the way for equality in it is to allow any two people who wish to be married the right to do so. The reason for the many, many civil benefits pertaining to marriage is that married people often have more expenses than single people. As just one example, in many couples, only one is working (especially these days), and the taxes at the married rate reflect that that person is supporting another.

Getting married, for me, and for many of us, is the outward announcement of our love for each other - we've actually done that, by the way, in our own religion. Being married, legally, however, is a different kettle of fish.

Those who are not interested in being married seem to feel that it is wrong for those of us who do to keep pushing for it as a right. I'm not sure why, honestly. You have every right to stay single - I should have every right to be married - and that includes legally.

The fact that I push for and support the legalization of same-sex marriage does not and will not stop me from pushing for other aspects of equality. We need all of them.

That's simply not the history of marriage. If the state grants married people more benefits, it's not because of more expenses - if that were the case, polyamorous households or households with multiple partners and/or friends living together and/or with children (like Kate and Allie's, which is why I chose this episode) would have been granted those rights a long time ago. As it is, as you know too well, it's in fact those kinds of families that get punished.

Even single women raising children - including grandmothers raising their grandchildren - are denied rights by the state for not being married. We're only just beginning to come out of Clinton-era reforms that mandated marriage counselling as part of welfare "reform." On every count, married couples are given more benefits simply they're considered more worthy and because the state gets to disburse its benefits through the private family structure, usually in an an unequal gendered fashion as well (regardless of the gender of the people, by the way) and is simultaneously able to insist that the private unit, the family, should have to take care of its owns issues, like health care. It's not about expenses, it's about the privatisation of the state.

Expenses? In fact, as Bella DePaoulo has shown so brilliantly in her book Singled Out, single and unmarried people are the ones who actually subsidise couples in a myriad ways. If it were only about expenses, how do you explain the fact that married/coupled people can get health care benefits but single people can't? The single largest cause of economic bankruptcy in this country is due to health care crises - is health care not an expense? Is childcare not an expense?

No one is telling people not to marry or stopping them or that it's just so, so wrong for others to marry. But we are pointing out that making marriage the way to guarantee basic human rights is part of an unequal system. Personalising our critique as "Those who are not interested in being married seem to feel that it is wrong for those of us who do to keep pushing for it as a right" is an unsuccessful attempt to turn our valid and increasingly influential systemic critique into some petty peeve against, oh, you in particular. That only succeeds in making a cheap rhetorical point. Our work amply indicates, to anyone who's read it, that this is about multiple perspectives on the problem with the state making marriage a guarantor of essential benefits: it's about far more than "interest" and making people feel bad.

Marriage is not a choice when two people are *forced* to marry because they need health care - and there are many, many people who've been forced to marry for that reason, or for housing benefits and so on. Again, you can't advocate for a system that inherently privileges some people over others on account of their marital status, compels people to marry when they'd rather not, and then insist that you a)want that inequality and get to call it equality b)that this is somehow about choice.

Just wanted to throw this in there...who can a transsexual person marry? who can an androgyne/neutrois/third-gender person legally marry?

The answer ought to be the same as for anyone else-the consenting adult of their choice.

Not everyone's going to be a flaming revolutionary and want to overturn the tables of tradition-in fact, most won't. This is a rite of passage in our culture which we are deliberately being excluded from in most places...and, well, it's blatantly unfair.

My wife is transsexual...and I have recently begun to identify as androgyne(not that that has legal standing anywhere, much to my annoyance.) We have a marriage license based on my wife's and my own birth gender...and currently don't know whether we're federally married, married in a way that will stand a court test, or married in a way that will let her babysit me through the surgery I'm about to have.

I'm through with trying to revolutionize a bunch of people who just aren't having it-tried that in my twenties.

Actually we've been going backward for even longer. Edith Massey as Aunt Ida in John Waters' 1974 film "Female Trouble" had it even more right.

Have you met any nice boys at the salon?


They're all pretty nice.


I mean any nice QUEER boys. Do you fool with any of them?


Aunt Ida, you know I'm straight.


Oh, don't tell me that [...] all those beauticians and you don't have any boy dates? [ ...] Honey, I'd be so happy if you'd turn nellie.


No I'm straight [...]


But you could change. Queers are just better. I'd be so proud if you was a fag and had a nice beautician boyfriend. I'd never have to worry.


There ain't nothin' to worry about.



Oh balls, now there's yet another movie/clip I have to track down and watch.
This list of stuff I've gotta see/read/etc is getting slightly overlarge x.x

The Kate & Allie episode was brilliant for mainstream TV at the time. I watched the episode way back then, never expecting anything, and it left me gasping. Excellent.