I was out with Michael and the kids at a child's birthday party when I bumped into my friend, Quinn Cummings. (Klunk. That sounded like name dropping, didn't it? I honestly didn't mean for it to, but there's just no way to nonchalantly mention Academy Award nominated actress and now humorist author Quinn Cummings without sounding like some...forgive me...star fucker.) I always love my encounters with Quinn, she's intelligent, unpredictable and very funny. She was one of the folks who encouraged me to blog in the first place. Hers is a wonderful blog called the The QC Report. (I'm not sure if like in Stephen Colbert's show the "t" in Report is silent or not.) Be sure to take a moment and check it out.
Well, Quinn noticed I had not been posting as often as I used to, which is true, and I remarked I'd been busy with my shows, however I just happened to write a post-Independence Day piece about people against New York's passing gay marriage and those who write letters to USA Today called Mommy Has Got to Speak! And in the retelling of this post I must have been very animated, because Quinn got that look a woman gets when she believes she is in possession of a simply marvelous notion, a pearl so evident, so shiny, and yet, she imagines, so completely oblivious to the man she is talking to; an absolute truth of sorts she will later define for herself as intuition.
(By the way, Quinn, I've seen the same look on Cartoon Daphne just before she leads Scooby-Doo and the gang into the henchman's trap. "I think we should go this way.")
And with the forced calm one uses on a dim child, or I imagine Charlie Sheen, she said, "I think you've graduated from blog writing. It's time for you to write a book."
This is not the first time I've been the recipient of that sentence. And in fact, if I push the demons out of the way and allow myself a peek, writing a book is absolutely in my wheelhouse and should be the next logical step. I've just never been able to pinpoint what I should write about. Everything from a gay daddy/mommy memoir, to a noir like mystery, to a combination of the two has been a possibility.
"And I think I know the subject matter," Quinn teased as she ate raspberries from the buffet table, somehow evocative of Eve and the apple. She went on to explain that every writer should write what turns him or her on, and what turns me on...the proof being that I used the word "fascinating" about twenty-three times...is the various viewpoints people have about gay marriage in this country. Then she stood back and watched as my wheels started to turn, waiting for me to concur with the suggestion she so clearly thought was a grand slam.
"Quinn, you have got to stop looking at me like Snoopy when he pretends to be a vulture." She grabbed a few more raspberries and swept out of the room.
But whether Daphne or Vulture Scooby, Quinn had every right to gloat, because the subject is a damn good fit for me. Truth be told, I'm probably more interested in the beliefs of those who voted yes for Proposition 8 (the anti gay stance), then those who like me got married and are raising a family. I ate a raspberry. Yep, I was hooked.
The fact of the matter is I am going to write a book!...well, the treatment for a book. (Quinn likes the title To Have and To Hold...I'm not sold. With the future of gay marriage being so tenuous it might need a question mark...To Have and To Hold?) And I'm reaching out to the blogosphere for help. I'm looking for people who are willing to be interviewed. Please get back to me if either you or someone you know has a unique or impassioned take on gay marriage.
I certainly have my beliefs on this issue. Being married with two children, I'm sure my stance is evident. However, this will not be a preaching to the choir book. This is a complex, national issue and I want to illuminate its many layers. Thus, I need to talk to those who carry "God hates fags" signs as well as militant gay rights activists, and everyone in between.
At present I see the book as chapters of essays; interviews inter-spliced with personal narratives, like why haven't I asked my cousin why he voted yes on Prop 8? What am I so afraid of? (This might even open up that door of opportunity.)
The interviews will be done with respect. I do not have a gay agenda, whatever that is. (But if anyone knows the person who came up with the phrase gay agenda, I'd totally want to interview him.) I will be recording interviews in person or over the phone. Those interviewed may choose to remain anonymous, and refuse to answer any questions they feel too personal. But, as you can imagine, the more candid the interviewee, the more sumptuous the material.
Here's my wish list:
-Religious leaders (Scientologists included)
-Those with and without strong religious beliefs
-Those kicked out of a church or synagogue because of his or her homosexuality
-Political leaders (especially those whose public stance is different from their private one)
-Chaz Bono (he's just so popular right now)
-Gay people in the military
-Gay people against gay marriage
-Proud parents of gay children
-Parents who have disowned their children for being homosexual
-Business people who would benefit from gay marriage, i.e. photographers, caterers, ice sculptors, etc...
-Anyone else with a quirky perspective
Who wants to be heard?
Contact me. I created a new email for this very project, firstname.lastname@example.org.
So there, Quinn Cummings! I just hope the henchman's trap isn't around the corner.