Don’t make the same mistake I did. I blithely dismissed the gay mafia when Out magazine rolled out its predictable annual list of Out Power 50. Then I realized how much the LGBT honchos own me.
These sneaky bitches touch every part of my life – even my special private places that I keep tucked in darker corners. My initial reaction to the same-old honorees went something like this:
“The Power 50 are so well known that they are the only possible choices, save the four famous people who came out since the last list. If I never see Ellen Degeneres and Andy Cohen again, it will be too soon (top photo with everybody's gay bestie NPH).
Are the editors of Out in cahoots with these yo-yos or just brownnosing hoping for a job offer? The Top 20 -- of the 50 plus eight “Up and Comers” -- is not only unsurprising, it bores me to tears. The only thing that made me raise half an eyebrow for an infinitesimal moment is that reformed Bush aide Ken Mehlman is in there, as is accused gayby molester Bryan Singer. Not good for PR right now, Out.”
Yeah. After 27 years in journalism and 15 of it in gay media, I can be kind of jaded when it comes to gay newsmakers. And kind of a bitch when I read news features first thing in the morning. OK, not just “kind of.” And oh alright, pretty much anytime.
But hang on. Even as I make fun of the list, I realize I’d be lost without my Power Gays. If I’m a bottom for anyone – you know who you are – it’s my tech, my shows and my political leanings. And damned if these Ls, Gs, Bs and Ts aren’t all up in my grill. Where would I be without these who are particularly in my face almost every day? I bet you have your own from the full list as well.
Somebody’s watching me.
As I download the latest Instructions for Life from the Apple mothership, I realize gay CEO Tim Cook isn’t only No. 2 on the list, he also runs my entire day. Make that entire life. Between my iPhone, iPad, PowerBook and iMac, Miss “I wasn’t really out-but I was always out-but I don’t care-because I’m a big deal hand-picked by Steve Jobs himself” controls most of my waking hours – my job, my private documents, calls, texts, searches, chats, banking app… Better not piss her off or she'll nullify my Apple ID.
Guilty TV pleasure.
Until now, no one knew that I love watching TMZ after a long day. It's true. Sue me. Speaking of lawsuit, good thing this gossipy enterprise is run by gay lawyer, managing editor and TV host Harvey Levin. He’s been talking publicly about being a gay in the biz since at least 2010, and he’s No. 34 on the Out Power 50.
Mayor of my hometown.
There are actually no degrees of separation for me and Houston’s mayor. I voted for Annise Parker (right) before she won her first City Council seat in 1998, and I became networking event buds with her and wife Kathy (left) in my position as Associate Publisher of gay paper the Houston Voice. Yup, I knew her when… And my hot, humid homo hometown is better for knowing her too. She’s No. 21 on the list.
Guilty TV pleasure, part deux.
Like every horrible plotline unraveling before us, all my secrets are coming out in this post. No matter, I watch “Glee.” Don’t judge. Well, do but make it quick. As a (partial) saving grace, I also watch “American Horror Story.” Both are from the big-bucks mind of Ryan Murphy. Yup, Jane Lynch is on there too. I imagine all of my TV guilt over him will be vindicated when his version of “The Normal Heart” hits HBO in May. Murphy makes the list at No. 6.
Power bear fantasies.
Unlike Annise Parker, Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims and I have never shared a table, but he has shared space in my brain when I'm, ahem, alone. Also unlike her, he is not on the official list but one of the Out “Up and Comers” who didn’t quite squeeze into the Top 50. I did plenty of squeezing about being First Husband. Just saying. Brian Sims is No. 56. Also hot and hairy? My favorite designer, Tom Ford at No. 37.
Guilty TV pleasure, third time's the charm.
What? Shut up! I can’t help it. I watch a lot of TV. Queen of queens RuPaul sneaks in at No. 49. Oh fuck it. I watch “Orange is the New Black” as well, and trans icon and badass Laverne Cox is No. 53 in the “Up and Comers.” Happy?
Every furry bear dream must come with something to tickle my brain cells once in a while. Stats genius and gay guru Nick Silver, No. 36, could predict the probability that I’d do him while I read his FiveThirtyEight posts.
Speaking of columnists. And anchors. And editors. The pen is not mightier than my daily doses of these guys, including former Atlantan Don Lemon (No. 27), my boyfriend who doesn’t know he’s my boyfriend, Anderson Cooper (photo, No. 14), and People and Entertainment Weekly Editor Jess Cagle (triple yum) at No. 33.