As I travel the Web, I often come across sites of interest to our community and I always love to pass that information along to our readers. I’m proud today to present a bit of info on a site called GayRites.net, especially because I have enjoyed building a relationship with one of the site’s founders. If you haven’t found everything you are looking for at GayWeddings.com — in its forum or in its store — I highly recommend you check our GayRites, if not for more resource ideas, then at least for its assembly of interesting columnists.
The GayRites forums at GayRites: the .NETwork for same-sex rituals, are both entertaining and edifying. They serve as the entrance to the GayRites community, so that members not only read what the columnists have to say, but engage the columnists and other members in conversation and debate, making it a bit easier to navigate the treacherous landscape that is gay marriage and gay life in general. David and Randy, your congenial hosts at GayRites, have invited/wheedled/coerced a group of seasoned experts and daredevil novices to advise and comfort you as you falter to the altar.
On the topic of weddings, you’ll find yet another avenue for seeking advice for gay wedding planning from gay wedding pioneer, Gretchen Hamm. David and Randy have kindly invited me (Kathryn) and my mom, Gretchen, a forum spot to answer your questions and hear your stories about gay wedding etiquette, planning, and partying.
Benjamin Jerner, who answers questions in Ben Jerner’s Legal Jernel, is a practicing attorney who specializes in serving the unique legal needs of the LGBT community (although if you have some common, dime-a-dozen legal need, he’ll gladly deal with that, too). The first thing you’ll learn when reading his forum is that, when it comes to the law, not only are there no easy answers, there aren’t even any easy questions. Gay marriage is terra incognita, and the whole issue is simply fraught (Fraught, we say!) with pitfalls for the innocent and the unprepared. Getting the right to marriage itself may turn out to be small potatoes next to the legal maneuvers needed to be “as married as possible” in the meantime. Wills? Property rights? Powers of attorney? And how do you RSVP for the Party of the First Part? Ben Jerner explains it all for you, in surprisingly understandable terms.
Mark Brandenburg MA, CPCC, in Mark My Words, coaches busy parents to balance their life and improve their family relationships. He writes on many parenting subjects and answers your questions on discipline, TV, household chores, parental arguing, kids and divorce, kids and death, kids and romance- – – Like the law, the more you ask about the subject, the more you find to ask, and Mark has a seemingly inexhaustible wealth of insight and advice for practicing and prospective parents.
And then there’s Rion Dugan, a.k.a. “The Prince of Romance.” Rion has been telling folks what to do with their love lives, with humor and compassion, for more than 20 years. He has coached individuals and couples on everything from planning a romantic dinner to putting the sizzle back in their sex lives. Those of you with a uniform fetish will be interested to know that Rion is also a former deputy marriage commissioner for San Francisco. He offers arresting advice and opinion on sex, dating, attracting a mate, disposing of a mate, what exactly we’re asking for with this whole marriage thing, and why.
If Rion is the Prince of Romance, Christopher Stevens is, in his He Did What?! column is the Count of Crack-pottery. David says, “Christopher Stevens’ brilliant writing is by turns insightful, hysterical, dark, sometimes all of the above … and always worth reading.” Chris blushes prettily at this encomium, but is more inclined to believe that Morrissey was thinking of him when he wrote “Bigmouth Strikes Again.” His tongue is in his cheek (and looking for company), his foot sometimes in his mouth, and more than one person has said that his head is- – Well, that’s what you get for having an opinion, isn’t it? Christopher is not personally concerned with marriage, although this could change if someone were personally concerned with marrying him. He is concerned with fairness, liberty (and libertinism), and questioning the status quo and conventional “wisdom.” Sometimes he’s concerned with simply using his warped sense of humor to give folks a good laugh, and who can’t use that?
Josh Aterovis’ Heart to Heart is a twenty-something artist-author, who lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with his husband, Jon. Like Chris, Josh writes on a broad range of topics, both personal and political, often with the result of reminding us that the two are really one and the same. A voice of reason in unreasonable times, he discusses everything from movies to home ownership, and from drag queens to anti-gay violence, which is, as we’ve said, a good broad range. As David Bowie said of Yoko Ono’s music (We know it’s a stretch, but hang on.), Jon’s writing “is very dangerous. If one is not careful it could get one thinking and may cause one to form an opinion. A subversive notion if ever there was one.”