Designers, artists, musicians, corporate executives, and models. Gay people in love…they’re just like us!
“23 Love Stories” with first person accounts of how they met and why they love each other. I realize it’s easy to be cynical about something like this, and it’s probably too predictable for me to be so cynical and maybe I should just stop right now? No.
-Tom Ford (designer) and Richard Buckely (writer)
-Catherine Opie and Julie Burleigh (artists)
-Ed Droste (musician from Grizzly Bear) and Chad McPhail (interior designer)
-Sean Dorsey (dancer) and Shawna Virago (filmmaker)
-Jessica Rankin and Julie Mehretu (artists)
-Harlan Brather (Armani Exchange executive) and Toby Usnik (senior VP of Christies)
-Laura Wilson (talent agent) and Tasha Tilberg (model)
I left three stories off, including one about an old lady whose partner died, one about an old couple whose job descriptions weren’t given, and one about two average guys named Jim Brunell (IT specialist) and Rob Fetzer (social worker), who were obviously thrown in to fill the “normal” slot. Everyone else makes me want to kill myself, especially Toby and Harlan.
One of the things [Toby] wanted was to see every continent, which we’d done on our travels—all bar Antarctica. This is where Toby and I diverge. I did not want to sit on a Russian trawler eating bad food for two weeks to get to Antarctica. It was 1999. We were planning to be in Sydney for the millennium, and I told him I was not going to do Antarctica — that one he had to do himself. Being tenacious, he found out that Qantas had restarted its low flyover flights of Antarctica in a specially fitted 747. The plane would lumber along, two or three thousand feet over the camps, and go in a couple of circles, and then fly back to Sydney. With the aid of some close friends in Sydney, I devised to book the seat next to him. We dropped Toby off at the airport, and right before they closed the door on the plane, I got on and walked down. He was reading or talking to the person next to him, and I said, “Is this seat taken?” That trip was torture — 16 hours in coach.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with Out or the people that Out chose to shine a light on in their magazine. It’s their magazine! And there is nothing wrong with people who lead such fabulous lives who happen to be in love. Good for them. Good for all of them. There is something wrong if this issue, this “love” issue, is meant to be in any way reflective or representative of actual humans who are actually in love. I trust that you already know this and you are in no way influenced to become an artist who must fall in love with a CEO and spend next New Year’s Eve in Sydney or else you will have failed as a gay man, but, just making sure.
We’ve traveled so many places together that I can’t even remember. It’s one of the main things we have in common. The year we met 2004 we went to Berlin, Paris, and the Caribbean. Since then, we’ve been to Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, and Mexico. We drove around Iceland, just the two of us, for a week. I did not expect to like it, and he was like, ‘No, you’ll love it.’ I was a very tropical beach vacation kind of person. It ended up being one of my favorite places.
Once, I borrowed my mom’s timeshare in Palm Springs to take an ex-boyfriend on a 1-day vacation for his birthday.
It’s not that magazines like Out (and People and Cosmo and Seventeen and Vogue and GQ and…) giving you idealized versions of what you should look like or how your relationships should progress is offensive insofar as this is what magazines do and this is what magazines have been doing since the invention of magazines, it’s that I guess I (naively) hold gay people, the gay people who work at Out, to a higher standard and I would not expect them to perpetuate such misleading caricatures of gay relationships, of any relationships, the same way that straight magazines do. Why do I expect such things!? Clearly this is my problem, not Out’s, and maybe this is why I’m single? It’s important to learn to lower your expectations and your standards, not just of magazines, but of people you’d like to date, too.