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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Misfits of the World UNITE!

Our Fearless Leader: Yukon Cornelius

This is a re-post from December 2010. From the Island of Misfit Toys
Author’s note: Each year, living in the state of Michigan gets more and more difficult. Laws that have been enacted are purposely hurting my family, and perhaps even my own well-being. Recently, the Michigan Legislature approved a law that would allow medical workers serving in the public sector the ability to deny care to someone they perceive to be gay.  A rabid anti-gay pastor (and total closet-case) in Arizona recently called for the end of the AIDS crisis by Christmas, his solution, execute all the gays. Yes, you read that right, a CHRISTIAN minister said that we could end the AIDS epidemic by rounding up and executing all the gays. My little family remains strong, as we have a strong support system of friends and family in the state and around the globe. However, it’s stuff like this that make me die a little inside when I read about them. So raise your fist, your paw, your hoof (or whatever) in solidarity for misfits all over the world this holiday season. Together we can survive. TAM-O

Ever since I can remember, I have loved the Christmas special Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. We both premiered in 1964 and the show features two of my favorite things: burly redheads and St. Bernard dogs.  The show is a classic on many levels. I have noticed that a lot of my LGBT friends love the show as well, and I think it’s because of its endearing story and great characters. But there is more than that. It tells the tale of a group of outsiders, or misfits, as they are known in the show. For many of us; it paralleled our own lives as LGBT men and women, especially our childhood. I remember hating gym in school, and the coach reindeer at the beginning of the show mirrored exactly what I endured with all my misguided gym teachers through elementary school.
Hermey, the fey and dentally fixated elf, pines for a better life as a dentist somewhere other than the North Pole while Yukon (the inspiration for our dog’s name) lives as an outsider in the great, white north. And then there is the Island of Misfit Toys. So much of that concept connects with me, because when AIDS first came out in the 80s, the ultra-conservatives talked about rounding up and isolating the gays, so that the disease wouldn’t spread. For a long time, as a young man, I worried that I might end up on my own little island due to who I loved and my misconceived status as a misfit because I was gay.
But, like in the show, the misfits band together and make their own family, one born out of rejection and hatred but ultimately joined in love. Our friend Michelle once sent us a Christmas card that read “friends are the family you chose.”
I agree! With all the current talk of bullying and harassment, this holiday show has a great message of acceptance and unconditional love. I may be a misfit in some people’s eyes, but I am a happy misfit.