Did You Call in Gay?

Today is Decemeber 10th, International Human Rights Day and also, A Day Without a Gay. Are you calling in gay today? Email us your photos, tell us your stories. We’ll be updating on news about the event throughout the day.

The event has sparked massive media coverage this morning, with the NYTimes running a story on the new wave of gay activists that are rejecting the older model of gay groups like Equality California for a net-centric, youth-oriented movement. They write:

“Many grass-roots leaders say the emergence of new faces, and acceptance of tactics that are more confrontational, amount to an implicit rejection of the measured approach of established gay rights groups, a course that, some gay men and lesbians maintain, allowed passage of the ban, Proposition 8.

“I think we are demanding as a community that we democratize our processes and ensure we all have a voice,” said Molly McKay, media director of the volunteer group Marriage Equality USA. “Because we are not a campaign. We are a movement.”

The L.A. Times takes credit for the idea, saying it was first proposed by columnist Joel Stein. The L.A. Times blog writes:

“It was first proposed by Los Angeles Times columnist Joel Stein and is patterned after the 2006 “Day Without A Mexican” work stoppage. After Stein wrote a Nov. 14 column proposing the idea (which he said he got from a friend), activists seized upon it and chose Dec. 10, which is International Human Rights Day. Sean Hetherington, a personal trainer and standup comedian who is coordianting it, also added an element of community service to the day, urging people to volunteer their time to help the needy.”

Not to take away from Stein’s column, but having been in the crowds that marched the day after the election, I know the idea was already percolating.

In Houston, the Chronicle profiles some locals who are taking the day off:

“Attorney Jerry Simoneaux is taking off today. So are the 10 other people who work at his Houston law firm.

Eric Weitzel was already scheduled to be off from his retail job, but he plans to call in anyway.

Simoneaux and Weitzel are among the gay men and women in Houston and across the country taking part in today’s “Day Without a Gay” economic boycott. Outraged by the recent passage of California’s Proposition 8 to overturn state rules allowing same-sex couples to marry, they and their supporters want everyone to be clear on where they stand.

“We aren’t going to lie down and let people treat us as second-class citizens,” said Weitzel.”

In San Francisco, many are unable to take the day off, so protest organizers have planned a rally after work.

While it’s not clear how many people will actually skip work, the “Day Without a Gay” movement has spawned several marches and rallies across the Bay Area. KTVU reports:

“In San Francisco, several local groups have organized a rally at 6 p.m. Wednesday at 24th and Mission streets. Organizers in Berkeley and Oakland have also planned events. Cat Kim, an organizer with Join the Impact SF, said more than 300 people have responded to the San Francisco event’s Facebook site. Assemblyman Tom Ammiano will be one of speakers at the rally, Kim said. After the event, attendees will march up Valencia Street to the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center, located at 1800 Market Street.”

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  • Sam

    I would have participated but my current circumstances prevented me from it. I have already wrote to my senators and legislators in my home state about supporting the Matthew Shepard Act and the ENDA. I’m also looking to volunteer more in my area. Hopefully this will make up for missing out on Day without a Gay.

  • michael

    i was scheduled off thank goodness as i am ambivalent on this one ?? good idea but …. stand tall show face & make us proud always . turn the other check & kill them with niceness always gets the best reaction

  • Kid A

    I’m a broke college student, so I wield no economic influence anyway, and I have a group presentation so I can’t bail on that. As much as the idea sounds good, this doesn’t seem like an effective protest.

  • Zac

    I actually called in gay- not sick- not a personal day- gay to my job. My boss was actually expecting it when I called her, but I am getting preliminary information that the Mormons at work are making a big deal about it. It’s just to bad for them that I am represented by a Union, a very GLBT friendly union.

  • Matt

    I wonder if porn stars and escorts took the day off? My estate manager didn’t take off. I would have given her the day off if asked. I don’t know about the house staff as I don’t really talk to them. I just go through my estate manager.

  • Joan

    I’m at work today, dressed in black, and wearing a black wristband instead of my rainbow one. I suppose you could count yesterday as a “gay day” for me: my wife had dental surgery and I had to take her to and from the dentist’s office and then stay home to keep an eye on her.

  • val

    I wish I could’ve, but I work for a gay company. RATS!

  • sloane

    nope. i like my job, and i’m not about to lose it in this economy.

  • Steven

    I am a high school math teacher. I called in gay. I left lesson plans for the substitute that include oblique references to discrimination (triangle GAY, quadrilateral QWER, answer -8, etc.)

  • Carsen T.

    I did, I work for a Catholic Church too. Just a wee bit concerned because I just go them to agree to pay me, because the work I am doing can get me 10/hr at any other after school program.

  • Miley Crisis

    In this economy?! I am sure there are plenty of middle class gays who CAN NOT afford to call in gay, scared they may loose their job.
    I like the Day With A Gay better, let’s get out there and show our moxie and be visible.

  • seitan-on-a-stick

    The trains were very light today in New York but I think it’s because so many people were laid off, including gays. I think the publicity for this event is more effective than the day without gays action. So, what’s next?

  • Miley Crisis

    i apologize for using the word ‘moxie’ in my last post.

  • Gregoire

    I came into work, but left the gay part at home. I just flirted inappropriately with a bunch of women in my office and turn up my Dave Matthews Band greatest hits.

  • MasterD

    This was poorly organized. I really just heard about this yesterday, and QUEERTY why is the pic you picked for “did you call out gay” a prissy queen who probably works at a cosmetics counter? “Todays gift with purchase is CLICHE”

  • RJ

    Called in gay, my boss knew i would, she had no problem with it, apparently 3 others called in gay too, but wouldnt tell me who, lol.

  • mark

    Both my lover and I are self employed so it would be redundant to call in gay, it was a stupid idea in my opinion. jointheimpact was phenomenal organizing 300 demonstrations in 50 states, they should build on what worked.
    Decide one weekend day per month,(say the second Saturday) and everyone knows it’s time to go back to City hall, and bring more friends EACH month, continue this until June 09 when prop 8 gets decided. It will tell America it’s NOT business as usual until we are covered by the equal protection clause again.

  • Paul Raposo


    Sorry Mark, but that’s no excuse. I’m self employed as well and I called in gay today.

    And further to that, I scheduled three important meetings for today and when I’m not at any of them, I told my assistant to state why I am not present. Until it hurts them personally, people won’t truly understand what this is about.

    I think a lot of LGBTQ’s didn’t bag off today simply because they are closeted. Nothing wrong with that, but at least be honest with yourselves about it.

  • Atticus Circle

    Just based on the level of discussion generated on this board, we believe that the program will be a great success. The purpose of “Day Without a Gay” is to make America aware just how important the LGBT community is in relation to the straight community; whether or not you agree with the tactics, the event has already generated an incredible amount of media attention, which satisfies its ultimate goal.

    For those of you who cannot participate because you cannot risk your job, especially in the current economic depression, Atticus Circle has a simple, but effective way for you to participate: we are encouraging the LGBT community and Straight allies to write to at least 1 straight friend, asking him to stand up against discrimination.

    More information on our letter writing campaign can be found on our website, http://www.atticuscircle.org/daywithoutagay, including a sample letter.

  • CondeNasty

    Sorry but layoffs are happening all around me and I cannot afford to lose my job. I am a sellout, sad but true.

  • Dawster

    @Miley Crisis: i love that idea!

    i did not call in gay. the main reason is that i didn’t find it applicable. I work in an office of nothing but guys, all republican, and all on the right side of the aisle. we all get along famously, and in fact, we like each other as people and friends.

    my career usually comes first (even before drinking and dick), and when i die i want everyone to know i was the best at my job before it’s mentioned that i was “a fabulous homo.” it’s a nice place where i have found myself – and i’m rather comfortable there…. and our office have found a perfect balance of individuality and acceptance (yes, even through the election).

    if prop 8 would come to Texas, all of my workmates would vote to allow gay marriage – we have discusses it several times. I have changed their view, i have made them more accepting to the idea. to me, this is a success – the success that “call in gay” is trying to achieve. to punish my workmates and boss after such achievement in their personal growth would be counterproductive. in fact, it would be down-right rude as we had two jobs due out today. i don’t feel my office should suffer just because i’m trying to make a political point.

    protests? hell yeah. marching? yep. any other forms of lashing out, i’m fine with… but my workmates have come a long way in a year… and i’m damn proud of them. it just didn’t seem to make sense for me to ‘call in gay’…

  • Austin

    Hmmm, a Day Without a Gay. . . Is this the prequel to a Gay Without a Pay?

    I did not call in “gay,” mostly because I find the entire thing (including the name of the “movement”) puerile and ineffective. It subtly equates being gay with being sick. How do I explain coming back into work tomorrow? Am I feeling less gay?

    I am all about civil disobedience, but for some reason, this one just rubs me the wrong way.

  • Dudous Migratorious

    @Miley Crisis: at least you dadn’t say ‘madcap’ or ‘zany’

  • Trick

    No work today!!

  • Ray

    @MasterD: as an effeminate gay man, i find that offensive.

  • Leland Frances

    STILL retarded.

    This is to gay activism what Paris Hilton is to acting.

  • hardmannyc

    “I’m at work today, dressed in black, and wearing a black wristband instead of my rainbow one”

    Honey, if you work in Manhattan, no one will notice because that’s the way EVERYONE dresses.

    The photo is of Mr. Humphreys from Are You Being Served, a hilarious Britcom from the ’70s and entirely appropriate.

  • Jeff

    I would’ve called in, except I’m doing a project with an LGBT non-profit organization, so that would defeat the purpose…

  • at work today

    I work at an organization that has “Gay” in its name, so I’m at my job today.

  • MiamiFL

    Would’ve, but kinda hard when you’ve already been laid off…

    Paging Debbie Downer – waah waaaah


  • Charles J. Mueller

    I am retired, so calling in “gay” is not an option. I will, however, refrain from spending any money today and I think I will even do the withdrawal of $80. from an ATM. Maybe someone will take notice. I am going use the day to write to Charlie Christ, my state governor as well as my representatives to voice my displeasure over the loss of my civil-rights.

  • Charles J. Mueller

    I can’t help but wonder how long it will be before Pat Robertson announces worldwide on his 7090 Club, that gays are the cause of the current economic downturn and that A Day Without a Gay is proof dramatic of our desire to destroy the family and America as well.

    You know, there is going to be a backlash. Bet on it. I was appalled by some of the blogs that followed some of theYouTube videos I viewed on the topic last night. What an outpouring of vitriol and hatred from str8 homophobic posters. One even so far as to suggeest euthanasia as the “solution” to the “Queer problem”.

    Does that have a familiar ring to it?

  • Lostinastr8wrld


    Actually it was a Mens Dept store from British TV show!

  • david

    I live in NYC and know of more then a hundred friends (literally) who participated in the protests but not one person who is doing this

  • Smokey Martini

    @Charles J. Mueller:

    I’ll bet on that backlash, Charles. I wonder who the next Anita Bryant will be… I say Hasselbeck!

  • Charles J. Mueller

    @Smokey Martini:

    Looked her up on Wikipedia, since I had heard of her, but didn’t know very much about her.

    I can see why you you might suggest Hasselbeck as the nest Anita Bryant.

    She is both conservative…and contentious…and has all the makings of a staunch homophobe.

    Let’s hope her jubby doesn’t turn out to be queer, like Anita’s was.

    That was, after all, what got her nipple tassels twirling. lol

  • BoricuaChick

    My company didn’t do too well this year and a number of my coworkers were let go. I didn’t think it would be fair to take a day when we are already short staffed. I think the call in gay day idea had potential but I didn’t know whether the point was to protest, volunteer, not spend money or all of the above. Maybe next year there will be a more cohesive vision. Kudos to all those that were able participate.

  • Stephen

    I own a retail store in Laguna Beach. If I closed my doors today, all I’d be doing is helping the straight owned businesses that would pick up my customers. How does that help our cause? By keeping the doors open as well as being open and honest about my recent marriage does more good than “calling in gay.” Instead I’m donating 10% of todays profits to gay rights organizations. How about of day of “only buy gay”? lol


    I decided to take a mental health day and accidentally called in gay. What did we accomplish? you Californians screwed up. I love that celebrities are now getting on the bandwagon over on the left coast, but where were they 6 weeks ago. You guys let them AMMEND your constitution! This isn’t just a simple little peice of legislation that will get overturned. Good luck and I really hope you can fix it.

  • HerrDoktor

    I volunteered at the local Gay Community Center today. Fortunately, I work in a place where I’m out to my coworkers and which offers its employees community service leave.

  • Gwen

    I followed the advice of Gay Rights leader Cleve Jones who said, “Keep your eyes on the prize and the prize is federal action.” As Cleve suggested I wrote to Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid “demanding comprehensive unequivocal, decisive legislation from the congress that guarantees our rights in all areas: civil marriage, military service, adoption, taxation, immigration and especially social security.”

  • scott

    the idea sounds good but really in this economy, i’m not sure it’s so smart.

    i’d rather donate and do rallys then lose my job or pay.

    so, nope. didn’t do it. sorry.

  • Mister C


  • faghag

    I’m freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
    PS: only British people will get this. ;)

  • tallskin

    Yep, I am british and I get it!

    Actually I though ARE YOU BEING SERVED (the show from which the pic and phrase was taken) was quite big over your side of the pond?

    Mr Humphrey’s (for it is he!) is a very camp gay man and the only one of the shop assistants who is getting any sex! The others, all straight, are all frustrated. Which is part of the joke.

  • Doug Hendrix

    I did not call in Gay. I don’t have any time off left at work and working in the state of Kansas makes doing something like this impossible without time off. they have the right to fire you without reason here. These days, with the financial problems ongoing, thought it pertinent to take myself to work and just be vocal about Prop 8.

  • seitan-on-a-stick

    WTF – Paul Raposo lives in Canada so I don’t understand the Day without Gays thing.

    Are you Being Served is a dated British sitcom featuring the very Camp (and stereotypical) actor John Inman who refused to come out ever since. It’s like Benny Hill meets Keeping Up Appearances which is not a compliment.

    Queerty are lazy and lack gay sensitivity (are y’all in your tweens?)

    Waiting for the Fearless Leaders (not Geoff or Lorri) on the next event of Stonewall 2.0 (Join the Impact)

  • Charles J. Mueller

    In the original post Did You Call in Gay, it stated, “We’ll be updating on news about the event throughout the day.”

    Okay. It’s five o’clock in the afternoon, EST and the date is December 11, 2008, the day after A Day Without a Gay and International Human Rights Day.

    With baited breath, we got to read today about the Golden Globe Awards, The Gay Hockey Team, Susan Sontag’s Secret Diaries and Meth-Head Michael Brandons “rehabilitation” and other world-shaking news, but not one word about the outcome of a Day Without a Gay.

    Unless I am drunk and disorderly under the piano, in a time warp or just simply forgot to wipe my glasses clean after I masturbated before finally going to sleep at five o’clock this morning while waiting for news about the outcome of ADWAG, could someone at Queerty please tell me why no one is commenting on this event?

    Or, do I need to go to Fox News (God forbid) to find out WTF happened yesterday?

  • ThunderRoad

    A little surprised the Day Without a Gay wasn’t a bigger success. So many people spoke about supporting the cause, yet not being able to take a day off of work. Tough economic situation. A good compilation of some of the news as the day started:


    I guess the silent protest wasn’t heard.

  • chuck


    Is there any way to get this POS named Roland Basque tossed from this site?

    I am sure that I speak for other posters on these blogs that we don’t come here to be verbally abused by homophobic str8 pismires whose only purpose in life seems to be hurling insults and epithets at people he does not know and has never met face to face.

    Freedom of speech is one thing, but this is, after all, a gay site and if he does not like what he hears, he is free to leave at any time. I would like to think that there are some limits as to how much filth and abuse one is allowed to spew before he has worn his welcome out on Queerty.

  • Smokey Martini


    He might not be tossed, but if enough people flag him (aka click on the “Flag?” button on the bottom-right-most corner of his post), something magic happens. I don’t know what, exactly, but something definitely happens.

  • Smokey Martini

    I did it. Now it’s time for others to follow suit.

  • Muckrucker

    @Roland Basque: If you’d take off your ignorant-colored glasses you’d easily find evidence that gays have indeed done many things to improve the world. Without even considering the innumerable artistic and cultural contributions made by gays throughout history, it’s possible to pinpoint many instances where gays have improved neighborhoods in urban (and, actually, suburban and rural) areas from coast to coast. Ask any realtor – the gays are the ones who transform blighted areas into the “next hot neighborhood.” As for science and medicine, I can’t name anyone specific, but you’re definitely a fool if you think that there aren’t gays making contributions in those areas and many, many others across a wide array of fields and industries.

  • chuck

    @Smokey Martini:

    Thank you, Smokey Martini. I clicked on the flag as you suggested and voila. The offensive post vanished into thin air like magic. ;-)

  • Lesbo fly-on-the-wall


    I’m not at all surprised the day wasn’t a bigger success. Most folks these days aren’t willing to make personal sacrifices and be uncomfortable for the greater good.

    Just look at Dawster’s post, no. 22. It’s a perfect example of someone willing to put themselves out as long as it doesn’t inconvenience them or disrupt their comfort level in any way.

    I mean, *GOD FORBID* people should say of him after he’s dead that he was willing to take a stand on anything and give up a days pay to do so. It is much more important to say he did a DAMN GOOD JOB at work, yes sirree, Bob! Employee of the year, Dawster was! That old queer was the best ant this nest ever rolled out – which nobody can deny!

  • Charles J. Mueller

    Best little whor…err, workshop in Texas, Lesbo. ;-)

  • Etienne St.Jean

    Only an idiot would claim that the American government is fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for purely humanitarian reasons – they are basically an opportunity to kick the world back into line after the earthquake of 9/11 shook American complacency about their unchallenged global hyperpower status that existed since the collapse of the Soviet and the Berlin Wall and its a business opportunity for various carpet baggers and arms dealers.


    Nobody can deny that there does exist a loose alliance of radically fundamentalist Islamists throughout the world who espouse a religiously bigotted, misogynist, homophobic, anti-modern, anti-democratic, apocalyptic worldview that is widely popular among a generation of young alienated Muslim males throughout the Muslim world.

    We can talk about the injustices of colonial, American imperialism, globalisation etc etc which has fueled the rise of this reactionary belief system till the cows come home.

    The unavoidable fact is that it is a lethal urgent problem and somethings has to be done about it.

    The Islamist movement does not differentiate between the guilty and the innocent.

    Bush and the elite he represents might deserve to blown to kingdom come by Al-Qaeda but Al-Qaeda is more interested in attacking innocent men women and children who have no say in the decisions of the multi-national corporations and their political minions who are largely responsible for the mess in the Middle East.

    The Islamists are bent on jihad against entirely innocent people in the Middle East and in the West in their goal to establish a global caliphate espousing Sharia law – basically returning the world to the Dark Ages.

    I am an atheist, a socialist, I believe in the right to live according to your sexual orientation, espouse whatever belief system you want, read, speak and argue anyway you want and live in harmony with my fellow human beings, the right to work for an honest living and get ahead if you want to and spreading the wealth around to the less fortunate and I am an internationalist, I believe in universality of human rights and freedom and that all people of whatever language, creed or race basically want the same thing and future for themselves and their children.

    My belief system is uncompromising and when it is threatened by the like of the Islamist movement that honestly cannot be reasoned with, there is no other option but to fight to defend civilisation (what little of it exists in this world) against these medieval fanatics no matter how much I sympathise with the plight of the people of the Middle East.

    I’m not going to wait until there are more attacks in New York, London, Madrid, Bali or wherever else these bastards have struck and to be honest I am shit scared that these maniacs will get their hands on biological, nuclear and chemical weapons.

    I say kill them before they kill us.

  • Brian

    I was fired for being gay… so I didn’t go to work… and it was because I was gay — but I don’t think it had the same effect.

  • Lesbo Fly-On The-Wall

    LOL! I’m so sorry to hear that, Brian. I don’t know if you were trying to be funny or not, but the way you put it, it came off that way.

    Still, that’s f*#!d up that you got fired for your orientation. I’ve never heard of anyone getting fired for being straight?!

    “What? You mean to say that you are a WHITE, HETEROSEXUAL MALE!!! Oh, no Steve, that just won’t do! I think you might be a better fit at some other organization. You have 15 minutes to clear out your things and someone will escort you off the property!”

  • Brian

    @Lesbo Fly-On The-Wall:

    lol, right!

    like on the door there’s a plaque that says, “No shoes, no shirt, no breeders” or something.

    Dare to dream.

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