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Friday, October 11, 2013

Coming Out: We're the Lucky Ones

No reason left for living, still there's a lot to do.
New tears to cry, old songs to sing.
And feel forever blue.
And be forever.... Blue
-- Chris Isaak

The episode "Forever Blue," featured on the CBS forensic drama, Cold Case picked up some buzz on the internet back in December 2006.  The quote from Chris Isaak's "Forever Blue" in homage to the episode's title and the sadness that envelopes the tale of two policemen who love each other with the love that dared not speak its name. Once again prime time television has spoken its name and placed it before our eyes.

AfterElton interviewed Shane Johnson who portrayed one of the lovers:

I think it’s a necessity for people to understand that gays and lesbians did–and do–get beaten and murdered just for being gay. (The show went out of its way to ask if things were really that much better for gay cops today.) Besides the aforementioned kiss, the show not only portrayed the two men as being deeply in love, but in fact being “the lucky ones” because they truly loved each other. The show also showed the horrible damage wrought by living in the closet. And despite Coop’s death it even managed to end on a happy note as Jimmy, now an old man (Chad Everett) went back to where he had last been with Coop and saw themselves walking away together holding hands. It was quite touching and something millions of Americans tuned in to see without knowing they were going to.

Brian Hallisay played the young Jimmy Bruno.

The ending for the episode actually featured Dylan's "My Back Pages" performed by The Byrds with the refrain, "I was so much older then I'm younger than that now." That phrase might be applied to the portrayer of the older, surviving officer, Jimmy Bruno in the person of Chad Everett.

The presence of the 70 year old, quite handsome Chad Everett who at the time was also a host on Trinity Broadcasting Network's Master's Theater and who is also well known for his Republican leanings and a public disagreement with Lily Tomlin in 1972 on The Dick Cavett Show during which Ms Tomlin walked off the set. Chad Everett was the last actor who had a contract with MGM and one of the last who had a relationship with Henry "The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson" Willson. His phone conversations in those days "invariably ended with 'And God Be With You.'" Still he was connected to the homosexual par excellence, albeit closeted, Henry Willson.

His participation here is quite noteworthy and may be another milestone of sorts.

This episode resonates on National Coming Out Day and National LGBT History like few others. It reminds us how long a road it has been.



Friday, October 04, 2013

An Instrument of Peace, the Feast of Saint Francis

In these times, difficult and otherwise, it helps to reflect on the time when the Christian World went careening toward Capitalism and The Holy Crusades during the 12th and 13th centuries. A voice went out and upward to call humanity toward a more humane and simple direction.

Giovanni Bernardone, the son of a merchant and one time soldier/knight experienced metanoia, a change of heart. Many would call it conversion. His message encompassed simplicity as a virtue, working for daily bread, and celebrating nature as a manifestation of the divine. His mother was French, although he was born in Italy and he became known as Francesco. He kissed lepers. He went to speak to Moslems and although he did not convert them, the experience blessed all involved. His original followers were simple brothers who wandered throughout Central Italy celebrating everyday life.