Trip to the Outhouse’s Top Gay People of the Biennium: Matthew, Adam, and Annise

A lot of readers who hit my blog never even take a chance at videos that I’ve got in the Radical Vid Box.  Hey, most of the videos I’ve got in there are music vids; it just happens that the most-viewed are short gay films.  If you happen by my blog, get to know my music too.  You might be surprised.

I know it’s not much of a segue, but I have been wanting to put up a Trip To The Outhouse Top Three Gay People of . . . 2009? 2010? . . . hmm?  No, I guess since I started this blog, which will soon to be about two years ago.  That’s it . . . of the Biennium!

The three people that I put in this category are Matthew Mitcham, the Australian Olympic diver who who a gold medal in the 2008 in Beijing, Adam Lambert, the runner-up in last season’s American Idol, and Annise Parker, Houston’s own new mayor.

I admire all three of them for being successes in their own endeavors and not being afraid to live their lives openly as gay people (in the same way that straight people live their straight lives openly).  Mitcham’s boyfriend, Lachlan Fletcher, was poolside during the Australian’s now famous dive and their story has been covered far and wide.  (Here’s a good one I haven’t linked to before.)   How far Adam Lambert goes is still to be seen, but he’s a good performer, and he doesn’t back down from being who he is.  The video I’ve posted is the best thing I’ve heard from him so far.  As for Annise Parker, the effects of her election to mayor go much further than just our city.

What I really like about all these people is their success counters all the what is said by all the deniers and haters out there who want to put gay people down and somehow give the idea that because of our sexuality, gay people are losers.  But people like Matthew, Adam, and Annise show just how hollow that thinking is and give positive role models to all those young gay kids who desperately need them.

(There are previous posts about all three of these great people on the blog.  Sorry, it’s late and time for bed; let your fingers do the walking.)

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What’s Matthew Mitcham Up To These Days?

 

Matthew Mitcham and his partner Lachlan Fletcher enjoy the time they have together between busy schedules.

Matthew Mitcham and his partner Lachlan Fletcher enjoy the time they have together between busy schedules.

The hits on here indicate that a lot of people are still very into Matthew Mitcham, the Olympic gold-medal diver from Australia.  It seems like he’s been a very busy guy since winning the diving championship last year in Beijing.

According to an interview done by afterelton.com: “A year after shooting to worldwide fame, Mitcham isn’t just training for his next diving competition, but is also studying science at Sydney University.”  If you haven’t done so yet, you can read more of the article “Catching Up With Mathew Mitcham” here.

Squidwho also has many photos and links for Matthew Mitcham fans.

New Matthew Mitcham Story Hits the Stands: Olympic Win and Life After the Olympics

matthewmitcham122It seems like there’s an Aussie invasion, with at least five “down-under” friends at our little dog park most evenings and a new hire at work. That “shrimp on the barbe (or is it “Barbie”?) accent is everywhere.

As you can see (as if you’re actually reading this), there’s set to be another Aussie invasion of sorts as Olympic gold-medal winner, Matthew Mitcham, is featured on the cover of the next of issue of The Advocate. (Thanks to Towleroad for this heads-up.) The article, written by Nicholas Fonseca, gives readers an insight into the young Australian’s story, both growing up as a self-aware gay boy and his current rigorous routine as an dedicated athlete, who still follows a strict training regimen. Says Mitcham, remembering being the subject of taunts as a schoolboy, “We all got it . . . I was just so open . . . . It was like it was no fun to call somebody a homo who really is a homo.” Other great photos of Mitcham by Adam Pretty accompany the article.

newmitcham000111The Advocate should be getting lots of extra print runs on this issue. This guy has been popular all over the world since his gold-winning dive in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. No doubt The Advocate will be pulling in more subscriptions from all over the world thanks to just this cover.

There’s a lot more about Mitcham at advocate.com, including a video of Mitcham taken during the interview.

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Check out more posts and photos of Matthew Mitcham: (A), (B), (C),(D), and (E).

I Kissed a Boy (and I Liked It)!

The "Angel" on La Reforma, close to the Zona Rosa

The "Angel" on La Reforma, close to the Zona Rosa

I saw this video tonight on youtube by a Danish group (all those Scandanavian groups make me think of Abba) called Alphabeat. I have to admit I rarely buy anything new these days, and still listen mostly to a lot of the old stuff, mostly Euro-type dance music, add to it, a little of the new reggaton on the car radio. So anyway, this video was a totally 80s pop, remix version of their song “Boyfriend”, which I hadn’t heard before. (You can check it out on my Vid Box on the right. Also check out a couple of different mixes of Chris Salvatore’s “I Kissed a Boy” there too.)

So then I started thinking about my 80s (here comes “memory lane”), going out to the clubs and dancing to a lot of similar type remixes of all the pop (and still disco, especially eurodisco) hits of the 80s. But also in the 1980s was when I started listening to a lot of music–pop music, that is–in Spanish. I was really into my Spanish during that time, taking classes and practicing. I learned a lot from the music I listened to. It was really difficult to find pop music in Spanish here in Houston at that time, despite the city having some music shops in Hispanic neighborhoods. They carried some of that music, but mostly what they had was more traditional, like ranchera and cumbia stuff, and of course, mariachi. But I’d go looking. I did find some, like Mecano from Spain, Flans from Mexico, and Karina from Venezuela, and I’d play those cassettes over and over. (I found them on youtube too and what a rush of memories they bring back. Check them out on the Vid Box.)

At the same time was when the first TV channels in Spanish started appearing here in Houston. Mostly it was the Mexican telenovelas that they showed, but in about 1986 or 87, they started showing a half-hour video program originating from Mexico City, and I always tried to catch it. From that show, I found out what the current Spanish hits were, so I’d go trying to find them. In those days, of course, it was all cassettes, and everything pop in Spanish that I could lay my hands on, I’d buy. But like I said, it was really difficult to find much of it here.

At that time, my best friend was Arthur, one-half of a gay couple, who did quite a bit of traveling, both together and separately. They were my neighbors in the little apartment complex where I lived. I didn’t have much spare money in those days, but Arthur kept telling me that I had to go to Mexico City, and kept talking about it, so I scraped some money together and over Labor Day weekend in 1987, I flew to Mexico City, where I met Oscar, who had gone a couple days earlier, because his time schedule was more flexible than mine.

I got there in the late afternoon, fought my way through all the mass of people at the airport, and found a taxi, which took me to the hotel where we were staying, a few blocks away from the Zona Rosa. We ate and got some rest, and finally headed out to the clubs. Even in those days, Mexico City had quite a few gay clubs, and there were several in the Zona Rosa. Everybody always thought that because Zona Rosa means “Pink Zone”, it was the gay zone. But the Zona Rosa wasn’t just gay, there were all kinds of clubs and restaurants there, plus shops attracting both tourists and locals alike. There was also one of the busiest Metro stops very close by, so the mainly pedestrian-only streets were usually filled with all kinds of people, but, in particular, young people.

The most popular gay club in the Zona Rosa at that time (and I think maybe it’s still there) was called El Taller (which means the “shop”, like “workshop” or “mechanic’s shop”. Like most of the gay clubs and some of the straight clubs, there wasn’t a lot of identification for the place on the outside. You just had to know where it was. Of course, the location was in any international gay guide of the time, and the locals knew it, so you could definitely find it. Sometimes, there’d be a line waiting to get in, but when you got just inside, they would always frisk you, checking for weapons. Then, you’d pay, different prices for different nights, and almost always the entrance included a couple of tickets for drinks.

That night we finally went maybe around 10:30. American tourists always go too early to clubs in most foreign countries, because most places don’t get busy until 1 AM or later and some clubs don’t even open until like 4 AM to catch the “after” crowd. After paying, we headed down the stairs, because the main club part of El Taller was actually in the basement of the building. The club was composed of several areas and a couple of bars, which allowed people to move around from place to place, but when it got packed, sometimes the moving got difficult (but I wouldn’t know much about that until I had been there a few more times). That night Oscar and I hadn’t been in El Taller very long, probably just long enough to cash in one of the drink tickets, and I was still trying to get my bearings. I started looking around the room, and not too long after that, I realized someone was looking at me. And that looking back and forth became one of those moments, those moments which are really hard to describe, but one which has stayed in a little memory pocket somewhere in my brain for all these years.

Of course, we finally spoke, and he was Damian. He became my long-distance boyfriend for two years. Along the way, my Spanish got a lot better (because he didn’t speak English). I got to know some parts of Mexico City pretty well (certainly there’s a lot I never saw–it’s such a big city), and as well, I found a lot of music shops that sold the kind of music I liked. (I know you want to know more about Damian, but this is mostly about music, so I’ll keep the rest for another time.)

(And yeah, check out the video.)

(Another version here.:

Matthew Mitcham–The Dives, The Win, The Honor, The Kiss–The Video That Some of You Have Been Waiting For

Sorry, that vid no longer works; like other stuff on the internet, someone deleted the original source.  Check my vid box for other Mitcham videos.

Check it out in the Vid Box in the right sidebar.

Matthew Mitcham vs. Hurricane Gustav feat. “About the Blog” (Unless you’re into dance music, you won’t get this title.)

Having only been doing this blogging stuff for about six weeks, I never imagined that anyone would take an interest–just thought it’d be a fun way to get back into doing some writing again. (There was a journalism degree earned way back when, after all.) Then when I started writing about the weather here in Houston, and Tropical Storm Edouard came our way, I saw that people were tapping into my posts.

Then I entered a post about a gay Australian kid’s gold medal in Beijing, and as they say, “the hits just kept on coming.” And now, Hurricane Gustav comes along, and plink-plink-plink, the counter continues to move.

I’ve learned a lot about who and what people are interested in. I’ve also discovered how cookies work and that you can find out some interesting information about who’s checking out your blog. I found out that people all over the world are interested in the out gay gold medal winner. I got hits from places i’d never have imagined, like Kenya, Moldova, Saudi Arabia, even Iran. There were lots of hits from Hong Kong and Taiwan, but not a one from mainland China. It makes one wonder if they were just tired of all things Olympic, or was it that any internet freedoms they had during the Olympics had been taken away.

Also there was a lot of interest from those in universities and offices, where some people probably should have been working. Of course, these little cookies can’t tell you exactly who is looking at your page, but I still wonder if that was some forest ranger up there in one of those lookout towers who checked in from the National Forest Service. Somebody else with such a specific government address wanted a look at the Matthew Mitcham post, that I hesitate to mention any details. But when it comes to searches, people are most curious about Matthew’s boyfriend. I was a little curious myself, but I really in no way have the time nor desire for this blog to be perezhilton.com. I did, however, run across this photo of Matthew and his boyfriend Lachlan Fletcher, which some of you may not have yet seen, so I’ll share it. (They do look pretty cute together, don’t they?)

When it comes to the storms, people just want to know whatever they can find out. I’ve always been fascinated by the weather, so providing information for others, and places where they click to something more specific has been fun.

But as my “stay-cation” is over today, I’ll go back to writing things a bit more personal, and just when I have time. I hope that some of those who came here just because of Matthew Mitcham or Hurricane Gustav will return and check out some of the other posts. And thanks to those who made a comment; those are nice to get as well.

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See more links to Matthew Mitcham here.

Fans of Matthew Mitcham should also check out Squidoo.

Matthew Mitcham–Now There’s a Picture I Would Hang in My Locker

On Saturday, when I first saw the results of the 10-meter platform dive, I decided to post the results here because I was excited about it, but I thought only the few people who read my blog would see it. Then ka-boom. I see the counter showing all these hits. At first, they were just mostly from Australia, then some from the US. By Sunday, the counter started spinning off its wheels (my blog’s wheels usually turn pretty slowly). I was getting hits from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Panama, Turkey, Russia, even the Congo! I couldn’t believe it.

Then I started to realize that there were lots of people excited about Matthew’s win. I’d read the article in the Advocate about him earlier, and was hoping he’d get some kind of medal. However, knowing about the prowess of the Chinese in diving and the fact that the Olympics were being held in Beijing, I didn’t figure that anyone really had much of a chance against them–for sure, not the gold. Then there on Saturday morning (at least Saturday morning Houston time), here’s this young gay guy from Australia standing on the podium receiving the gold medal!

I had my own emotional moment, and proceeded to write the results here.

Mitcham receives congratulations from his boyfriend Lachlan Fletcher after receiving his gold medal in Beijing.

Unfortunately, we here in the US (I don’t know about other places) didn’t get to see him give his honorary roses to his boyfriend Lachlan Fletcher in the stands, nor did we see the interview after his win with his mother and Lachlan at his side. Nor did we get to see one of the nicest moments, when he rested his head on Lachlan’s shoulder for a moment. Not that any of this was out of the ordinary, for a winning athlete to have his loved ones at his side after the victory. But rare, indeed, and truly wonderful for a gay athlete to be able to acknowledge and be acknowledged by his loved ones on camera. For me, it was one those great moments.

I hope it’s going to be one of those pivotal events that makes changes–changes for a lot of people, especially young people. It’s time for them to have a hero–these kids in school who catch all the flack because they’re gay, or even just presumed to be gay.

Yes, there have been out gay athletes in the Olympics before. And, yes, there were a number of other out gay medal winners this year in Beijing–all in team sports and all women, and they are to be congratulated and greatly supported, as well they should be. However, this is a situation comparable to the one in show business. It’s great that Ellen Degeneres can dance across the stage on her award-winning talk show and get married to her girlfriend and have the whole world smitten. When Anderson Cooper or someone of the same ilk has the “cojones” to do the same, the other half of the gay population will have its day too.

I’m sure there are those out there who will say, “I don’t need a ‘gay hero’; I don’t need anyone famous to be “out” because I’m fine with myself. Anyway, it’s something private.”

Well, I admit I need it, and I’m sure I’m not alone. (I’m sure of that because of all the interest shown not only on this blog, but because of all of the articles about Matthew’s win published everywhere in the past couple of days.)

But even more so, kids need it. These kids that get called names, pushed around, or much worse–they need it. They need to see that it’s OK to be who you are, that it’s not weird to have the support of your boyfriend when you do something great or not so great, that you can be gay and have your parents be openly proud of what you do and who you are. I’m sure there are lots of gay kids with great supportive parents, but there are many who are searching for something positive–something that shows being gay is just one part of a person, and everybody can make goals and reach them, and still be a whole person, without hiding any part.

Because of that, Matthew Mitcham’s win has a greater importance than just that of his own personal success. I don’t know how many more athletes there will be coming out in the near future, but I’m sure his victory and example will be an inspiration to help open that door, not just for athletes but any kid.

I know if I were 16 again and still in high school, I’d stick a picture of Matthew Mitcham’s winning dive on the inside of my locker door.

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Read more about this Olympian: Matthew Mitcham Story About To Hit the Newstands: Olympic Win and Life After the Olympics

Check here if you’re looking for a photo of Matthew and Lachlan.