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Home » Culture and Criticism

“Calgon — take me a gay!”

Submitted by on December 10, 2008 – 3:33 PM24 Comments

“Shhh, Daddy’s stories are on.”

To all my friends and readers who called in gay today, Lee and I salute you.   Don’t forget to take a nice hot bubble bath with your favorite boy or girl after a long day of volunteering.




  • jenn says:

    couldn’t call in, need the hours, but thanks for the well wishes anyway, and btw, that tag is AWESOME.

  • Lis says:

    Amen to that Sars! I’m with you in the salute! I wish I could have called in “Supportive” or something :)

  • Margaret in CO says:

    That pic of Liberace is awesome. I know that the guy is the quinessential over-the-top glitz & glamor gay guy, but who could not love that big smile of his?

    I’d’ve loved to do this, sorry I missed it. (‘Specially since I dreamed of Portia de Rossi again last night. Heh.) I hope it has the desired effect!

  • The Bloody Munchkin says:

    Wish I would’ve known about this earlier, because awesome!!! I’d totally call in “Supportive” as well liz. Or maybe I could call in Gay for gays. Prop Eight still gets my hackles up, and I’m glad to see that it’s being protested in a productive way. Also, Liberace is still awesome, and dripping in diamonds.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    I loved me some Liberace as a little kid — Liberace, and Cher. And the Mandrells. I was like a crow; I liked famous people who were sparkly.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Also: dig those faucets. Those are gryphons, and probably solid gold. It’s not my thing, but I’ve always respected his commitment to being SO tacky that it usually came back around to awesome.

  • Caitlin says:

    If only it didn’t fall on finals week, I would have loved to do this. Those who did participate definitely have my full appreciation.

  • greer says:

    Call in Gay day should have been in the summer. 80 degrees and sunny and I’ll BE gay for a day.

    Anyway, rock on brothers and sisters.

  • L.H. says:

    Didn’t Liberace constantly deny that he was gay, and sue newspapers that even implied it? Not that he wasn’t a great guy or entertainer, but it seems like he was pretty well barricaded in that closet.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    He did sue a few times, at least, and he definitely claimed to have girlfriends and whatnot. Then again, he got famous in the ’50s, so I for one can’t judge him for refusing to acknowledge his sexuality (which was visible from space to most worldly people anyway so why bother). And as of the ’80s, when I think he was embroiled in some sort of palimony suit with an ex-boyfriend, he was still denying it…and I can’t blame him for that either. He barricaded himself in that closet to survive. Lots of people did.

    But that’s kind of why I picked his picture. I mean, that would have been a wedding and a half, right? But it wasn’t possible. He couldn’t even admit he had a boyfriend. It’s just a waste. (Provided he wanted a husband; maybe he didn’t, which is fine too.)

    …Oh my God. His Wikipedia entry is both heartbreaking —

    “The early-teenage Liberace also suffered from a speech problem and from the taunts of neighborhood children who mocked his avoidance of sports and his fondness for the piano and for cooking.”

    — and awesome (he published cookbooks, one of which contained a recipe for “Liberace Sticky Buns” — AMAZING!).

    OH SWEET Soderbergh is doing a Liberace film starring Michael Douglas as Liberace (…?!) and Matt Damon as Scott Thorson, the palimony guy.

  • Sandman says:

    “This just in Liberace still awesome” – hee. Only, Michael Douglas is kind of … not awesome? (Except in Wonder Boys, which I finally saw. I actually liked him in that.) Sometimes I think Soderbergh’s a weirdo. And not in a sparkly, gryphon-faucets-on-the-sunken-tub way.

  • ferretrick says:

    I have a particularly ugly chair that I bought at a garage sale-a wicker thing that the previous owner spray painted silver. I keep trying to convince husband that it is SO tacky it comes back around to awesome.

  • Kathleen says:

    I just – I’m so overwhelmed with the Awesome in this post, I’m speechless.

  • Kathleen says:

    @Sars – Perhaps Liberace’s disavowal of Scott Thorson was in part due to Scott’s drug use, which led to his role in the prosecution of the Wonderland murders. I mean, I’ve had my share of drama-magnet boyfriends, but sheesh! Liberace had a lot to lose and couldn’t have wanted this albatross around his neck.

  • The Bloody Munchkin says:

    Micheal Douglas as Liberace?! I mean, he’s got the chin for it but… I don’t know.

  • Princess Leah says:

    Oh, I can totally see Michael Douglas as Libarace. Well, from the scalp up, anyway…

  • Grace says:

    If my San Francisco-based office had called in gay, we would have been missing at least half our staff.

    Sars, I have the same fascination with sparkly stuff – I loved all the cheesy variety shows (let’s not leave out Donnie and Marie!), and Liberace was always fun. Dolly Parton also is fabulous – as she herself has said, “it costs a lot of money to look this cheap!”

  • Pam says:

    The Mandrells. Hee. Haven’t thought about them in years, but I was also a huge fan back in the day. The one sister (Arlene?) didn’t really sing or do anything else (she played drums??), so we used to try and watch her mess up the lip synching… good times, those.

  • Sandman says:

    I suppose everyone else has managed to forget that nadir of “let’s put them on t.v. ’cause they’re sparkly” variety shows, Shields and Yarnell? A pair of Ken-and-Barbie mimes with matching shiny pageboy haircuts, whose entire act consisted of acting like domesticated robots. While wearing sequinned jumpsuits. Ack. I was eleven, and even now, I sometimes have a glittery, jittery flashback. Man, the Seventies were weird.

    Except now I think the faucet pictured above might be swans, rather than gryphons. I can’t look away from the shiny awesome-tacky!

  • Liz in Minneapolis says:

    Are they gryphons, or swans? Either is awesome, or course, but I’m a swan fan.

    Also, add me to the crow club – I just wore a fully-sequined skirt to a formal dinner, and I am not a small woman. I’ve been unfairly held up as an example of what shoes NOT to wear in choir (sparkly silver Converse slides, and it was just a weeknight rehearsal, and the incident has inspired me to buy purple platform Mary Janes with fishtank heels in slow-burning revenge to wear during Lent [matches the robe, correct liturgical color, fish on Fridays theme]…am I oversharing?). Also, one day as I admired some jeweled shoes in a store, my mother told me that “Even as a child, you always loved tacky things.”

    I like the volunteering idea much better than what we did in college – show solidarity with GLBT folk by dressing in black and refusing to speak all day (except during choir, because it was St. Olaf, after all.) Ah, 1990.

  • Ted says:

    Apparently the turnout for Day Without Gays – probably due to the economy – was rather low. However, some things that really need much more immediate attention (for, well, people who are gay, honestly) are happening in Texas: a high school putting on a production of RENT is getting flack from wingnuts, and there are several Texas schools looking to eliminate or significantly reduce the GPA impact of speech/debate/interp classes due to a lack of “academic rigor.”

    As much as I support Gay Straight Alliances in schools, theatre and public speaking are still safe spaces for the future homosexuals of America.

  • La BellaDonna says:

    I’m going to take a stand and swear that wherever he is, he has an eternity of sparkles, swan/gryphon faucets, and spangled wings.

    I would raise my hand as a full-fledged crow, except I’m actually a magpie – I love sparkly things and I imitate accents involuntarily. And I actually own a really pretty jacket by – tah dah! Bob Mackie!

  • Allison says:

    What year did Liberace win a court case against someone who called him gay in public. This was not the court case that his former partner insticated. Please I need to know.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Might want to Google that.

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