Gay and Lesbian Humanist

Autumn 2001

Warren Allen Smith

Gossip from Across the Pond

by Warren Allen Smith

This year’s Heritage of Pride Parade down New York City’s Fifth Avenue and on through Greenwich Village was cheered on by several hundred thousand. Again, it featured Stonewall Action Identity League, actual veterans of the 1969 riots, whose president and treasurer are non-theists, as are many of its members. Friends anywhere can join up by going online at

Could Chaucer have been mistaken when he wrote, “This world nys but a thurghfre ful of wo”? The mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, and the acting mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, are not known to be non-believers, but both are gay and not in the closet – not that politicians anywhere want their private lives made public. However, at least admitting one’s sexual orientation in today’s world is not the same thoroughfare of woe it has been since Chaucer’s (and Oscar Wilde’s) days.

So what about the mayor of New York City? Well, Rudy Giuliani is 101 per cent Catholic (proven by his ability to get a Papal dispensation after having married his first cousin) and such a prude that he “cleaned up” the city’s gay spots, forcing many – not just the baths – to go out of business. Imagine the shock, then, that his fellow Catholics have endured upon learning that their devout Rudy has fallen in love with a person not his second wife, the mother of his two children, and that his wife then kicked him out of the city-owned mansion where mayors and their families are supposed to live and, like the British royal family, be models of Christian respectability.

So what do you do in a city where even Monica Lewinsky is paying $4,000 a month just to rent a little place? Giuliani’s solution: save money for the upcoming divorce by bunking in an East Side 32nd-floor flat with his car-dealer friend, Howard Koeppel, and Howard’s companion, Mark Hsiao, and Bonnie, the couple’s shih tzu. With a gay couple? Yes, begorra, here at the start of Archbishop Egan’s new post, which commenced with the summer’s gay parade down Fifth Avenue during which he does not dare show his face because marchers pass St Pat’s Cathedral, pointing and exclaiming, “Shame, shame!” Just one more problem for the archbishop, along with all those paedophilia cases.

So what do the mayor and the gay couple talk about in the 3,000-square-foot love nest? “I taught him a lot of expressionism,” Howard told New York Times reporter Frank Rich. “He didn’t know what a Friend of Dorothy was.” Added Mark, “I told him I met Vladimir Horowitz in a gay bar.” When Howard complained to Rudy about Mark’s fetish for pillows, showing him the twenty pillows on their bed, the mayor advised him to cool it: “You can’t get upset about things like that. You have trouble with pillows – just imagine what I’m going through each day. You’re so lucky to have someone like Mark,” he added. In a touching gesture, he walked arm-in-arm with Howard in June during part of the gay parade.

Howard, who doesn’t dare compare his and Mark’s solid partnership with the rancorous disintegration of the mayor’s marriage, said he’d like him to stay with them for ever, is never bored by but often disagrees with him, and “Actually, I love him. It’s not sexual. It’s just mental. I have my preferences, and I don’t find him attractive at all.” Neither does a majority of the gay population, which looks forward to elections in 2002.

Non-believing queers have recently allowed the breeders to monopolize the scandal sheets (cabinet meetings in the White House open with President Select Bush and his cabinet bowing their Christian heads; Scientologists Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman splitting; suicide bombers blowing up people in God’s Favorite Battlefield, the Middle East; a 71-year-old Zambian archbishop marrying and possibly impregnating a 43-year-old Korean before being scolded by the Pope; Prince William’s allegedly bed-hopping “with a blonde and brunette” on the charity project trip to Chile).

It’s not known if Nathan Lane is a non-believer, but we are certain that he’s gay, is the funniest actor to hit Broadway in decades and deserves all the attention he is receiving! As Max Bialystock in Mel Brooks’s smash hit The Producers, Lane wows ‘em! Tickets for the outrageously appealing play are the hottest items in town (some being hawked for $1,000 on the Net!). Brooks spares no-one with his satire, which mocks Jews, blacks, Irishmen, old people, gays, lesbians, dumb blondes, even theater people. The plot is the ultimate of tastelessness.

Unlike the Zero Mostel/Gene Wilder 1968 film, which was a critical failure but still won an Academy Award, the play is not as harsh or crude but it’s gayer, even including a hummable song, “Keep It Gay”. In Lane’s and Matthew Broderick’s search for a moneymaker – the worst play possible, one sure to flop so they can profit by taking the angels’ money – they choose Springtime for Hitler, by a pigeon-keeping Nazi called Franz Liebkind (Brad Oscar) and directed by the ultimate theater queen, Roger De Bris (Gary Beach). What a bevy of beauties De Bris has working for (possibly under) him! And Hitler comes off as a gay egotist, complete with a middle name of Elizabeth (uh, there’s another queen in his lineage).

With a successful flop, the duo look forward to producing other works: Maim, Katz, She Shtupps to Conquer, Death of a Salesman on Ice. Mel Brooks’s humor is more sophomoric than that of all Harvard, Yale and Columbia sophomores combined. Odds are that, if he could ever be found in a serious mood, he might admit to being a secular or an atheistic Jew. Or simply a laughing humanist!

This article was written and went to press before the devastating attack committed on New York City on 11 September 2001.
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Created : Sunday, 2001-09-30 / Last updated : Wednesday, 2007-12-12
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