Issue:  Vol. 45 / No. 27 / 2 July 2015

Celebs' reax to SCOTUS ruling

Out There

Zachary Quinto: overwhelmed.
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Out There spent much of the day of last week's Supreme Court marriage equality ruling involved in rooting about online, where it seemed that every single arts or entertainment celebrity, major, minor, and off-minor, had his or her two cents to put in. This made for a lot of cents. Here are some of our favorite reactions.

(On Instagram:) Singer-songwriter Sam Smith : "It's days like today and moments like this that we've all gotta have a drink and celebrate how far we have come."

Actor Ryan Phillippe: "S/o Supremes! Sweet ruling, y'all."

Actress Kate Hudson: "A beautiful long overdue victory and a day to celebrate."

Actor Zachary Quinto: "I am so overwhelmed with gratitude for the wisdom of our Supreme Court, and the courage of generations of LGBT crusaders who have fought hard and sacrificed much to lead us to this powerfully emotional and historic moment."

Singer Lance Bass: "We are so proud to be American today! All of our #LGBT brothers and sisters can now love freely! Thank you #SupremeCourt for doing the right thing."

Singer Joe Jonas: "Go America!"

Fashion designer Marc Jacobs: "#Lovewins."

Singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding : "Love above everything."

Marga Gomez: verklempt.

(On Twitter:) Comedian Marga Gomez : "I just woke up and verklempt misty before coffee."

Actor Neil Patrick Harris: "It's a new day. Thank you Supreme Court. Thank you Justice Kennedy. Your opinion is profound, in more ways than you may know."

Filmmaker Michael Moore: "Today will be known as the 1st day E Pluribus Unum finally became true. Our other motto? 'America: Sooner or Later, We Get It Right!'"

Actor George Takei: "My eyes shine with tears as marriage equality is ruled the law of the land."

Talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres: "Love won."

Salon reported that "shortly after the news of SCOTUS' ruling broke, Game of Thrones tweeted out an image of Renly – the lone sorely-missed late Baratheon heir to the Iron Throne and former Master of Laws who married Margaery and had a relationship with her brother Loras – accompanied by the message 'Be proud.'"

Filmmaker David Thorpe issued a press statement on the historic ruling: "When I started filming Do I Sound Gay?, only six states allowed same-sex marriage. What an incredible four years it's been. Now that marriage is legal, DISG? explores the finer points of what acceptance means for LGBT people and all minorities. Legal battles are won, but transcending homophobia is a person-by-person experience." By the way, the answer to DISG? Y.

Oh what fun we had, possums, following all the social-media flutter as everyone with an Internet connection and a caffeine buzz held forth. We tracked the reax as loving people set about loving, hateful people got down to hating, and clueless people (GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee : "I will not acquiesce to an imperial court") proved how ass-backwards they could be. We reveled in the memes and the tweets, until we finally realized: Do we really care what Snooki has to say? We think you can guess our conclusion.


Marry me a little?

As overcome by feelings of emancipation and relief as we were last Friday, and as much as we understand the importance of marriage equality from a civil-rights standpoint, permit us to make a wee stand for singlehood equality. That is, it's easy to get caught up in the elation and excitement of the historical moment and forget the fact that the Stonewall riots were not fought for coupled people only. Not every gay person in America has to aspire to get married. Certainly OT never has. This makes it all the more strange that we wound up working our way through four husbands, none of whom pay alimony. But we're straying from the point.

Some might say that LGBTQUSSR folks are blessed with the option of never getting betrothed. We figure out our relationships in our own individual ways, and custom-tailor them to suit our own particular (some might say peculiar) proclivities. Part of what queer liberation has meant to OT has been the freedom never to have to conform to other people's idea of what's right for us. So we pick and choose among the buffet of alternative behaviors. Monogamy is a dietary restriction that's right for some, too bland for others. Commitment, fidelity, domestic tranquility: one size does not fit all.

We're fortunate to know or have known some truly unconventional thinkers. Writer and editor Greg Archer has made it known that he fully intends to marry himself. In his creative maturity Oscar Earthsong Feino married his community, the entire radical faerie database. Our own one true love possesses a wet nose and whiskers (hi, Pepi !). But anyway. Fact is, there is no moral hierarchy in these matters. LGBTQUSSR people are not less than straight (are there any left?) people. Single people are not less than married people. Families with small children are not entitled to extra time while boarding.

While we're on our soapbox, we want to add that all types of sex were born equal. You don't get extra points for being a pushy bottom or a control top. As long as it's consensual and no one gets hurt who doesn't want to, whatever gets you through the night, it's alright. OT is getting a learner's permit in underwater Japanese bondage – is this a problem for you?

The best thing we did last week was attend a heterosexual wedding. For we brought the primary Pepi along, who proceeded to charm the gathered assemblage with his typical panache. It was our own personal contribution to the gay rights struggle, a cause for human rights and compassion we married a long time ago.


Peacock time

Out There found ourselves in Washington, DC, not far from the Supreme Court, epicenter of the media universe last week. While we were there we spent time at the National Gallery, the Hirshhorn Museum, the National Portrait Gallery and the Freer/Sackler Galleries, the Smithsonian's museums of Asian Art.

The Peacock Room by artist James McNeill Whistler, installed at the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, DC (detail).

One of the most famous art installations in all of American art is the Peacock Room, a stunning decorative interior space with every surface painted by artist James McNeill Whistler in 1876-7, in an all-over modern conception. The siting was the dining room in shipping magnate Frederick Richards Leyland 's London townhouse, who commissioned his friend Whistler to transform it. In his inspired painting, the artist emulated gaudy blue and gold patterns found in peacock plumage. When Leyland saw Whistler's creation, he hated it, and refused to pay the artist his fee. In return, Whistler added a large mural to the room that portrayed his patron and himself as fighting peacocks. Its title is Art and Money; or, the Story of the Room. The two were never friends again.

We visited the Peacock Room where it has been installed in the Freer Gallery of Art (until January 2016, when the Freer closes for 18 months of restoration). Then we went to the Sackler Gallery to see Peacock Room Remix, an installation of the interpretative work Filthy Lucre by the American artist Darren Waterston. His conception recreates the Peacock Room in near-exact dimensions, except imagined as caught up in decline, decay and decrepitude. Every wall, surface and objet d'art seems to be deteriorating, drooping or dead. It's a poignant gloss on an already powerful aesthetic experience, and a comment on the loaded relationship between art and commerce, friendship and expectation. (Through Jan. 2, 2017.)


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