So much for my 2020 vision

By Buddy Early, July 2020 Issue.

Not even the most inventive Hollywood minds could script a three-and-a-half year run like we’ve had. Sure, individually the phenomena of 2017-present would seem very plausible; but all of them together? It’s all too much. Nobody would actually believe it. Even I — someone who has at times been accused of having a wild imagination — could not have conjured up the current state of our nation.

Someone asked me recently what I might have thought the world would be like in 2020. I couldn’t say. They asked me what I had envisioned the world would be like in 2010. I couldn’t speak on that, either. 2000? No dice. The truth is I have never looked to the future and thought about whether society’s ills would be cured; when I have thought about the future, it was always a fantasy of what my life would be like.

As a teenager in the 1980s, I invented a storyline of my perfect life 20-30 years in the future. Basically, I fantasized about a life where I was a journalism professor living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (I’ve never been there, but it seemed like as good a place as any.) My family and I lived a few blocks from campus, to which I’d bike in my faded jeans and coat with patches on the sleeves. Our house was large and tastefully decorated, and seemingly had a “fourth wall” like on all the sitcoms of my youth. And, also like those sitcoms, all the rooms were larger than any room in any house had a right to be, and there was a back staircase to the second level right in the corner of the kitchen.

I was father to four children (three daughters and a son.) All of them had brown hair and blue eyes, like me, except the oldest daughter, who was either mixed race or Pacific Islander. I can’t explain this, only to say that in this scenario I am married to a woman and had sex with her at least four times … so it doesn’t have to make sense.  And since I’ve broached the topic, I didn’t imagine what my wife would look like, or what profession she worked, or where she was from or whether we loved each other. I suppose that part was telling.

In this imagination of my idyllic future I did not create a world in which racism was a thing of the past, diseases had been eradicated, everyone was afforded equal rights and opportunities, and people basically cared about each other. Call it naiveté or blissful ignorance, but in my make-believe future the world was obviously a perfect place, so I didn’t waste my energy focusing on those particulars.

Cut to 2020. As I write this during a worldwide pandemic and shortly after another incident of a cop killing a black American, with riots happening in cities across the country, not to mention Donald Trump continuing his attack on decency, it is clear just how much my view of a perfect — or even better — world could not have been more inaccurate.

Essentially, we’re a fucking mess. As this critical presidential election approaches I find myself unable to conclude which reprehensible aspect of our country is themost reprehensible. Is it our willingness to accept mass shootings at schools, churches, mall and nightclubs, all because we believe the right to own an assault rifle is sacred? Is it our treatment of women, including letting their rapists walk free and supporting unlawful legislation to keep them from having control over their own bodies? Is it our tolerance of racism by accepting and allowing cops to murder people of color for sport? Or is it our endorsement of an economic system that rewards greed and cheating, and has created the largest income disparity in more than a century?

I can’t choose. Each of these reprehensible realities is an example of how the U.S. needs a reset. We’ve lost our way and need a complete overhaul of our values.

In trying to make sense of this mess of a country, I can’t help but wonder if that naiveté and/or blissful ignorance is partially responsible. Did I do enough in the last three decades to improve and secure the rights and safety of other people besides myself and my community? Did I speak out every time there was injustice? Did I look beyond myself to try to see things from the perspective of someone in crisis? Did I care enough about my fellow Americans?

The correct response isn’t to tell me, sure, you did all those things the best you could. The correct response is to ask yourself: did you?

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less