WELL, IT'S ABOUT
13 December 2002
I was really feeling left out. Last year, after I wrote my note about the Boy Scouts
Christmas Tree lot, I got a note from the old curmudgeon telling me what a terrible person
I am. We had a couple of exchanges of snail mails...more sport for me than anything,
because he's pretty ridiculous.
So when my letter was published, I sat back and waited to hear from the curmudgeon.
Nothing. Did he die? Did I miss his obituary notice? (He's old)
But no, he surfaced. Only not in my mailbox. He surfaced on the answering machine of my
friends Ellen and Shelly, who had written a very respectful letter to the editor about
their reasons for boycotting the tree lot again this year. I don't ever see the curmudgeon
doing any community service work around town, but Ellen and Shelly are quite active, have
served on city government boards, organize the yearly Gay Pride day, and have been
nominated for citizenship awards.
Not the curmudgeon.
But he was Johnny on the spot to leave them a message, saying that because of their
letter he was doubling his donation to the Scouts and also he wanted them to know how
disgusting they were.
Can you imagine calling someone on the phone to leave a message telling them--total
strangers to you--that they are disgusting? Can you imagine receiving such a
Well, I was, I have to tell you, hurt. I mean--I had written my letter first.
Didn't he hate me any more? Where was the anger at me? Maybe in switching my focus
from the gay boys who were being excluded from the Scouts to the atheist Eagle Scout who
was kicked out, I had somehow passed over into "acceptable" protest. Maybe he
identified with the Atheist. Who knew?
But no...he was just biding his time. There it was in the mail today;
Dear Ms. Sykes:
Per your instructions, I won't buy a Boy Scout tree. Instead, I'm sending them a
check sufficient to buy two trees. And along with the check, I'm sending a note
asking the boys to thank you and also to pray for you.
Why are you, Ms. Sykes, so angry with the boys merely because they're reluctant to
cuddle up with "leaders" who are homosexual?
So, Ms. Sykes, butt out. And take a careful look at yourself. Seriously, there's
Well, it's not quite as hateful (or as interesting) as last year--maybe we're all
getting tired of this cat and mouse game. But I'm hoping the Scouts get a huge chunk from
this guy, since he's doubling his donation because of Ellen and Shelly and giving them the
equivalent of two trees because of me. With the cost of trees these days, his donations
could very well fund a whole camping trip for the local scouts.
Interestingly, another letter appeared in the paper a couple of days ago. (The
letters to the editor is a marvelous game in this town--and a source of great amusement,
at times.) This letter was from someone who has "followed my activities for
years" and doesn't hate me--in fact, she kind of likes me, but she feels I'm barking
up the wrong tree. She's thinking that in the spirit of the season we should exhibit peace
on earth, good will toward Boy Scouts, live and let live, holly in our hearts, and all
The odd thing about her letter is that this woman is an African American--and I do
wonder if she would be expressing all this good will if the Scouts were rejecting children
of color. Somehow I doubt it.
But in happier news, The Big Voice: God or
Merman was just awarded the PFLAG-LA Oscar Wilde award and nominated for the GLAAD Media Award (winners to
be announced in April, 2003). It's a good weekend to be heading south to see the show
again. I originally planned to fly down to be there for the closing weekend, but then they
extended the run another 2 weeks, prior to its moving to a 4-week run in Rochester
(ahh...Rochester in the dead of winter again). So now I'm just going to see the show, not
to be there for the closing, but everyone will be in great spirits because of the all the
Also, I'll get to have dinner with Tom and Laurel tomorrow night, and sharing the show
with them, and that will be much fun