As I’ve said at this time of every year for the last 35 years (please sing along if you know the words), “What a year, what a year.”
And what a year it’s been. Personally, I’m blessed to be able to say I’ve had a pretty decent year. Perhaps most significantly of all, had a brief but frightening health issue that turned out to be 100 percent just fine. Six polyps in my nether region ain’t the boss of me! Whoop!
That said, here is our annual month-by-month replay of some of the more noteworthy events that delighted and enraged us this year. A lot of good, bad and ridiculous newsworthy events transpired — too many to fit into just one What a World. We’ll complete our review of 2023 in next month’s issue.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick showed his Christian love for his non-heterosexual constituents by encouraging Lone Star legislators to pass a bill that emulates Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law. Had it passed, it would have banned teachers from mentioning gender identity and sexual orientation in classrooms from prekindergarten to 12th grade
“I will make this law a top priority in the next session,” Patrick said in a campaign email. But it didn’t pass! Sorry/not sorry, Danny.
Gay conservative group, the Log Cabin Republicans (LCR), named far-right commentator Isabella Riley Moody as one of its “Outspoken Ambassadors for 2023” even though she has openly wished for a more homophobic society, has called gay people “groomers.” On her podcast, Moody ended an interview with anti-Semite Dalton Clodfelter, a man who said he wanted to visit the Pulse nightclub with a Nerf gun, by saying, “Heil Hitler.”
It took only a month for LCR to cut ties with Moody (her name and her disposition) after she said, “All this pro-Log Cabin Republican stuff, it really just grosses me out and makes me want to vomit.” Same here, Isabella.
U.S. Representative from New York George Kitara Santos introduced a bill that would require U.S. presidents to undergo a mental competency exam each year that he (or she, please God) holds office. His “Executive Mental Competency Protection Act of 2023” would determine general intellect, reading and comprehension, attention and concentration, processing speed, learning and memory, reasoning, mood and personality, memory retention, and other traits beyond “Woman. Person. Man. Camera. TV.”
Of course, the bill didn’t pass and Donald Trump exhaled a sigh of relief. Notably, it was the biggest sigh of relief you ever heard, according to grown men — big tough guys, straight out of Central Casting — with tears streaming down their faces.
Smiley businessman Vivek Ramaswamy let voters know on no uncertain terms how he would govern should he be elected president of the United States in 2024. “The U.S. Department of education strikes again — now saying local schools can’t stop boys from competing in girls’ sports. It’s appalling that we spend ‘$83 billion per year’ on this toxic agency. It’s rotten waste. That’s why I’ll shut it down without apology,” Viv Tweeted. What an April Fool.
The Food and Drug Administration will allow gay and bisexual men in monogamous relationships to donate blood in the U.S. without abstaining from sex, beginning in January 2024. “We know that, for many decades, the FDA’s policies have obviously caused a lot of hurt to the LGBTQ community. And we recognize that, and we regret that that has been the case. But what we want people to know is that everyone is welcome in our mission, whether you can give blood or not,” said Rodney Wilson, a senior biomedical communications specialist with the Red Cross.
Those who have ever tested positive for HIV will continue to be ineligible to donate blood, as will those taking pills to prevent HIV through sexual contact, like PrEP. Bloody good!
Vice President Kamala Harris stopped at New York City’s iconic Stonewall Inn to greet and encourage patrons on the day after Pride.
“We are all in this together. We are fighting for the ideals of our country,” she said. “We believe in its promise of equality and freedom and we fight with pride, understanding what’s at stake. I mean, I am looking at where we are in our country — but we are also clear-eyed about this moment.”
Thanks, Kamala. Feel free to stop by JR’s or Pearl the next time you’re in Houston, and we’ll show you how Texas parties. Cheers!