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Yeah, and I think I already acknowledged my misguidedness, Tanith. I don't really understand your point in keeping the thread going.

One final note of clarification: enough people read this blog so that I AM faced with negative criticism often, however disproportionate it may seem (in fact, Yuck/ohnoyoudin't is a frequent detractor). No matter how much it bothers me, I'm rarely inclined to respond because I understand that ideas are meant to be challenged. That's fine. Seriously: tell me I'm off-base, that my ideas aren't fully realized, that I'm a terrible writer. I'm not stupid and I understand that speaking out can yield that sort of response, right or wrong.

Attacking my character, however, is a different matter, and while I wish I had as thick of a skin in that matter as I do when it comes to my writing, I just don't. So there's the distinction and why I retaliated in both instances. Spare me a little bit of credit, please. I'm not functioning without reason.


It pisses me off (kind of) to be called a sycophant. Because I'm not crotchety and insulting, I'm a sycophant? Is Rich my boss? Do I benefit from currying his favor?

Giving a compliment doesn't make a person a sycophant.


As someone who has taken his classes more than once, this class is not a guide on *how to be gay.* He is a scholar of English Lit. and sexuality. Someone probably, I hope, wrote this above, but I'm not down with reading all 100+ comments. Dissing Halprin just shows how stupid people are. The NAME of the course, a graduate course (where I went to grad school) is meant to work you up. Y'all shouldn't be so gullible. It's a course about gay lit.
Get a grip.


I loved this post. So brilliant.


Y'know, I think that this is/was a good post. I don't think it's hypocritical or any of the other names it's been called thus far...but whatever. Maybe that's because I just take it as what it is (i.e. a blog) and move on.

In any case, I feel as if the OP's message has been lost for me as a result of the bitchfest that's gone on above. Too bad...

Now, I'm not going to waste my time with a war of words involving people I DON'T EVEN know and WHO DON'T KNOW ME --because, at the end of the day we don't matter in one another's lives-- but I am going to throw in my two cents.

No name wrote:
"'Thank God for Rich's big, brave, butch balls.' Yes indeed. And if you think it doesn't take balls to raise one of 2 dissenting opinions in the glare of such intense, eager, fanatical sychophancy, you're mistaken."

No name:

I think that this post is hilarious.

I don't think it takes balls to raise a dissenting opinion on a blog.
Because: (1) you have to worry about exactly ZERO consequences for having done so, (2) it's a blog, and there are always going to be dissenting opinions, (3) you didn't even leave a name!, and (4) it's the internet...where everyone can say whatever the fuck they want without consequence.
Shut up already.

Are you the blog owner? Is *everyone* who comes to this site going to read your comments?
Some will...but it's not their reason for coming to the site. So at the end of the day, you can post your bullshit and your insults, walk away, and everyone will forget about it.

And to those who've criticized Rich for retaliating, I ask: Why shouldn't he?

I'm not playing the part of lap-dog here, but the guy is only human. Where is it written that bloggers can't have a reaction to personal attacks in the comments?

I mean, if "No name" had disagreed with the principles behind the post and Rich had bitched him out for it...then yeah, that would have been shitty on Rich's part.

As it is, "No name" didn't attack the *message*. "No name" attacked Rich's character, making it seem as if Rich doesn't have the authority to comment on an issue like this owing to x, y, or z.
Additionally, it was implied that Rich's usual content is both trivial and vapid (I Love NY, ANTM, WINSTON!) "how dare he try to comment on something that may actually be of consequence!". To this, all I have to say is that you, No name, shouldn't waste your time coming to the blog as frequently as you do, if it is indeed so far beneath your supreme intellect.

And besides, posting a dissenting comment simply because "everyone else is offering praise" (which, No name, you have already admitted is what drove you to comment) is juvenile, spiteful, and plain ol' sheisty.

Anyway, that's my two cents.

My name is Nick, and if you don't like what I have to say, then fuck you. I'm 100% ok with it.


Just want to say congratulations for not taking that stupid offer. I could not really imagine how it could've been more insulting. Stuff like that is so obscenely infuriating, and I'm glad you stuck up for yourself by not giving in. :) Way to go.


Hear hear to what Nick said above. And especially to people who have a problem with Rich bitching at people who call him a whore on his blog--> HELLO being an insightful and funny blogger doesn't make Rich fucking Gandhi. Just because someone's intelligent and articulate, does NOT mean they have to be all cool-headed and professorial when people comment off-topic to attack his work choices and the subjects he's writing about in his own freaking blog a la "stick to writing about what *I* think is appropriate for you to write about."


I love Queer Eye! I love Kathy Griffin! I love Will & Grace! Does this mean I am perpetuating/condoning a gay stereotype? I am a fan of current, smart/funny, pop culture humor, does this make me a gay stereotype? "The Fag Hag"

Steven Michael

Good for you... What a rediculous situation on so many levels. Very interesting. I agree with you in more ways than to describe here. Stay true to you.
Greetings from Palm Springs. S.M.


...and I thought I loved you for our mutual borderline obessive interest in ANTM.

Come play with my dirty bits. NOW.

Gayest Neil

I'm wondering if you truly hate the lisping, tiny dog carrying, fabulous spouting gay minstrel or if perhaps you instead despise the general love and acceptance of the gay minstrel by everyone else?

Everyone loves with the gay minstrel! The gay minstrel is every family's well-dressed "bachelor" uncle with his "roommate" Carl who comes for Thanksgiving dinner each year. Carl who stares at you during the entire meal and you swear you can feel his Hush Puppies loafer rubbing against your ankle...

Every minority has had it's fair share of watermelon eatin' or sombrero dancin' minstrels. The power of the gay minstrel lay not in his perceived offensiveness to erudite homosexuals such as you, myself and your cultured readers, but in his timelessness and acceptance by our less refined peers. The gay minstrel has survived thousands of years and has minced and sassed his way across continents and throughout cultures the globe over. Were there lavender chalk, I'd dare suggest we'd find gay minstrels in the prehistoric drawings of the cavemen of France!

How every did this ascot'd and hankied beast become so prevalent? The gay minstrel knows his shtick and sticks to it. Its a speciality organism designed to flatter, gossip to and entertain the Gatherers of our tribe. For the Hunters, gay minstrels reinforce their masculinity, know where to get the best drugs and are willing to put out so long as suitably abused and domineered during the never-again-spoken-of sex act.

Unfortunately, such focused evolution severely limits any species when faced with a sudden general opinion shift. Big eyed, ceramic tar babies are adorable on my great aunt Geraldine's living room shelves, but hardly summon the same innocence here in the now.

And, indeed, American culture is on the starched pleat of a great cultural shift regarding the gay minstrel. Nowadays we have gays in leading roles. We have more and more "straight" people coming out. Gays are lisping less and less. Gays even play sports! And as a result the gay minstrel is in a state of panic.

I know I am!

More and more sass must be churned out to compensate and maintain contemporary appeal. More and more catty opinions expressed about which starlet's gown makes her look fattest and who is hotter or notter. The Minstrel cycle is greedily devouring itself like some Meth addict contortionist giving himself hours and hours of head on Xtube.

And about time! It's high time we put this martini drinking, name dropping court jester to bed. But let not your anger rest in their tireless efforts to please us. Instead boo the very audience throwing him roses during his final curtain call.


Great post. It really made me stop and think. Thanks.


I love your style of writing and it's SO SO SO FUCKING OBVIOUS that writing a dumb piece as what that person proposed would be so far beneath you. It's not even something to applaud you for b/c you should be receiving far better offers than this. Your style of writing is so brilliant and adhesive. I am seriously addicted to your blog. I just had to tell you that.

Also, your cat and your fondness for your cat are just hilarious and adorable.


This, in its entirety, is the perfect response to her request. I hope you sent it to her. Thank you so much for writing this! I have printed it out.

"What exactly does it take to be gay? It depends on the person, and how willing he is to actually be one."


Henry Evil

This is why I read your blog: because you're so freakishly articulate, and so spot on, in absolutely everything you write, it astounds me. And chills me, because I would have killed myself with frustration in an effort to be 1/4th as even and clear minded about this particular subject as you are.

I just don't know how you do it. I feel like Bianca in one her salty interviews, bitching about how effortless Heather is in her success. Except much less salty.

Scott Free

It's nice to see this side of you, Rich. Nice work. Although I may not agree with you about how splintered the gay experience is (in my opinion, it's rather homogenous), you're right on the money about mass media representation of gays. I'm glad you stood up not just for your beliefs, but for the community as a whole. Right on!


I quite agree with Sarah - and I like how you responded to her (because I was really not impressed with some of your earlier posts).
I've never read your blog before (I was told by a friend how great it is and then sent the link to this posting) and so I can't comment on its quality, but I do think you have good points in your response to the editor's e-mail (and some points I wholeheartedly agree with). But I don't think you should be so lauded by the vast majority of people here, because I think your view (in most cases) is really just common sense that any thinking person (gay or straight) could and should come up with it on their own.
I do disagree with your point about being gay being more than just sleeping with the same sex - and in so doing I strongly agree with Sarah's earlier post, way up top, the point of which seems to have been totally lost. Sure being gay presents us with situations or problems that are unique to us. However, the same could be said about almost any minority group out there. I doubt that any person (least of all that editor) really thinks that being gay is just about the fact that you sleep with someone of the same sex. Indeed, many people likely associate being gay with at least some of the prevailing stereotypes out there. But really the defining characteristic of being gay is the fact that you sleep with people of the same sex, and if more people could acknowledge that automatically and just say "oh, you're gay, therefore you sleep with men" just like they could say, "oh, your skin is that colour, that means... *gasp* your skin is that colour" and then move on to getting to know you as a person, there'd be a lots less preconceptions and stereotypes in the world.
I also disagree that your statement that your "sexuality informs so so much about [you] and, especially, what [you] do," which Sarah also touched on. I obviously don't know you and I'm not in your shoes, but I don't think just because a man has sex with other men means that inherently he's more likely to write about America's next top model. The main reason you'd be more likely to do so is because you'd feel it's more acceptable to write about it (because you're gay and not a straight man), which is because of societal constructs. There are plenty of straight men who act more 'feminine' just like there are plenty of gay men who act very 'masculine,' as you point out. Proof that that's just how they act, and that it's not related with their sexuality. They just are who they are. As you say, "we're allowed to like whatever we want to like," but really, so is everyone else - so that does not make gay people unique.
The stigmas you say straight men might be more inclined to care about, and that we don't care about because we're already persecuted (and that puts us in a special position) are only created by society: a society that also creates stereotypes, and stereotyping is at least part of the reason why that editor sent out that e-mail in the first place.
Basically what I'm trying to say is your point is based on what society thinks, and so you're playing into society's hands - a society that separates people into groups and says you can do this, but that group can't and vice versa - in doing so creating more problems.
We're really all the same whomever we might be and none of us has a "cultural birthright" as you claim. If you like something, then you like it and you don't have more or less of a right to like it than anyone else. Nor should you give a fuck what society or anyone else thinks about it.



just read this, not sure how i got on your blog ... from jezebel or gawker maybe? but i liked the tone of your e. badu piece and accidently read this. i loved your treatment of pop gay psychology, although i gotta admit kathy griffin doesn't bother me. the comment brawl was a bit outta control, but your exchange with sarah was lovely and brought everything back down to the ground.

either way, i'm putting you in my feeds. good writing.




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We weren't allowed to do that with nicer furniture, of course, but I think my parents figured that they weren't exactly pricey pieces to begin with... and, in a way, they looked better with the stickers :)

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That was beautiful and made me use up at least 4 tissues. Your Grandma would be so proud of you, obviously the seeds she planted have flourished.

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