The Wonderful World of Wanzie: Thanksgiving is a fraud!

By : Michael Wanzie
Comments: 0

As I flip over the hardware-store calendar to November and see that big-busted gal sitting on her John Deere in her daisy dukes…oh who I am kidding. My calendar’s November picture is of a group of Catholic nuns in full-on black & white habits playing ice hockey, but I digress. As we stumble from the bar into the month of November our thoughts unavoidably turn to “The Holidays.”

November is the month of our annual fraudulent celebration feast commemorating the “First Thanksgiving,” which by now we should all know did not take place anywhere near Plymouth Rock. The actual, fact-checked-and-proven, “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated a full 50 years prior to the Massachusetts gathering by Catholic colonists who were following Spanish explorer Don Pedro Melendez de Aviles. As far as commemorating the first Thanksgiving goes we don’t even get the month right! Records indicate Melendez first spotted what is now Florida on August 28, 1565. When he finally guided his 800 Catholic pals ashore on September 8, he declared the spot would hence forth be known as “St. Augustine” in honor of the saint on whose feast day Melendez had first glimpsed the Florida shoreline through his spyglass.

Continue Reading >>

The Other Side of Life: The Other Hands, The Other We

By : Jason Leclerc
Comments: 0

Hands, it seems, are the new eyes: tools for feeling our way through the many ways we see our America.

Given the flurry of historical reassessments we are currently experiencing, I find that many of my conservative friends are torn between seeing and feeling, between their commitment to their ideals and their short termer’s allegiance with political expediency.

Continue Reading >>

High Fidelity: Beyond the summer of single

By : Miguel Fuller
Comments: 0

“To my neurotic friends, calm down and take a breath. When you go on a date, treat it like you are having drinks and cheese sticks with your best friends.”

Well my friends, cheese sticks happened. That quote was from a column this summer where I was giving you, the reader, and myself tips on dating. The last column I wrote I talked about my summer of single and how I learned so much about myself. Apparently, life has a way of opening itself up and making magic happen. Yes, I’m about to get super corny.

Continue Reading >>

Ladyfingers: Spine-chilling buzz kill

By : Sabrina Ambra
Comments: 0

‘Tis the season for scary stories, I hear. Somewhere between the “Dr. Feltersnatch” OBGYN costume and the human skull beer funnel is the timeless Halloween tradition of inducing panic through the telling of horrifying tales.

They are passed down from generation to generation and then, at some point, from generation to Internet where they will live forever alongside funny cat videos and 2 Girls, 1 Cup. It’s like the circle of life, but with scat. That being said, I think there’s no better time than now to hunker down and write my very own frightening tale. And by write, I mean type “www.WikiHow.com” into the address bar. I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t mention that my address bar auto-filled the page for WikiHow: To Get Down From a Bad High (long story, short: Molly from Manhattan is NOT your friend).

Continue Reading >>

The Tender Activist: King & Queens

By : Scottie Campbell
Comments: 0

Mom would tell it like she told all of her best stories, barely getting the words out through her laughter and sometimes joyful tears. She and Dad had been to see Carrie. Someone in their party grabbed someone’s arm just prior to Carrie’s hand reaching out of the grave causing that first someone to scream, which made the audience scream, all before the scream Brian De Palma intended but, not to worry, they all screamed then, too.

So I might have connected who the author was when I bought my first Stephen King book when I was 11, but I’m fairly certain it was the cover that drew me in. A silver front with a faceless boy’s head floating on it. The store was B. Dalton Bookstore in the Marquette Mall. That small mall and the McDonald’s down the street were our family’s touchstones to civilization while stationed in the frigid Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Can I tell you about the smell of that book? I cannot, because it smelled like nothing else. The scent of those dull, off-white, pulp pages can only be described in intangibles: raw potential and adventure; that whole store smelled that way.

Continue Reading >>

Positive Living: What is family?

By : Greg Stemm
Comments: 0

Share this story:

I am honored to be the chairman of the new Equality Florida Family Values Potluck Picnic on Sunday, October 15 from 2 to 6 pm at Pavilion Seven on Gulfport Beach. The event is on the last day of Come Out St. Pete, our big new LGBTQ celebration in the Sunshine City that not only coincides with National Coming Out Day on October 11, but also is running in collaboration with the Tampa Gay and Lesbian Film Festival that week.

Working on this event has me thinking about my own coming out experience and how that traumatic event for me contributed to my own perspectives about family. While I was sitting in the heat and the dark in the six-day power outage after Irma, I had a lot of time to think about things. I asked myself the question…what does family mean to a 56-year-old single only child with a slightly homophobic 82-year-old father in Ohio and very little else in the way of blood kin, living the life of a Quaker gay activist in St. Petersburg, Florida?

Continue Reading >>

Stonewall Rebellion: It wasn’t Judy!

By : Perry Brass
Comments: 0

Judy Garland, while a gay icon, was not the reason for the Stonewall riots in 1969.

Many things have been said and written about “Stonewall,” the historic confrontation in June 1969 after a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, a Mafia-run gay bar on Christopher Street in New York City’s Greenwich Village that ignited the Gay Revolution—and an incredible change in attitudes and feelings about queer people throughout the world.

Among them, it happened on the night of a full moon, so a lot of the craziness on the streets can be blamed on that—not true. Another rumor is that it was all sparked by the death—and funeral, at Frank E. Campbell’s mortuary, uptown on Madison Avenue and 83rd, around the corner from the Metropolitan Museum—of gay icon Judy Garland. The “girls” were just so discombobulated by grief that they let go of all restraint and started breaking windows, uprooting parking meters (remember them?), throwing 40-pound garbage cans through the windows and even biting cops on the legs.

Continue Reading >>

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF WANZIE: What I did over the summer

By : Michael Wanzie
Comments: 0

School is back in session so as routine dictates it’s time to report – What I did over the summer:

I’m not a student, so the only thing that made me aware school was out in June was my inability to skip haphazardly though a theme park with carefree abandon – as I have been known to do from time to time. Instead I was reduced to a vigilant crawl carefully navigating and calculating every step so as not collide with another god damned stroller. Never-the-less, I thoroughly enjoyed my “Flight of Passage” on the back of a banshee in the new land of Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I must admit all my pent up resentment over the fact the ride was nothing more than a cross utilization of the already existing “Soarin’” technology was quickly allayed about five seconds into this spectacular experience. It was actually worth the 90-minute wait.

Continue Reading >>

Positive Living: Our staunchest political friend needs our help

By : Greg Stemm
Comments: 0

It was the summer of 1983 and I had just moved to St. Petersburg from Columbus, Ohio.

St. Petersburg? Yuck, they said. “God’s waiting room.” “Home of the newlywed and nearly dead.”

Continue Reading >>

Trans of Thought: Transphobia

By : Melody Maia Monet
Comments: 0

Hello, I’m a transgender woman and I am mentally unstable. My well being is propped up on a razor’s edge by hormones, complicated and expensive medical procedures, as well as therapy.

I am a ticking time bomb and cannot be trusted around your children, women in the ladies’ room, or to do my job in combat situations. I suffer from a mental illness that deludes me into thinking I am a woman, but in actuality I am the sick byproduct of a patriarchy compelled to undermine female power and invade their spaces. I entrap straight men into committing unwitting homosexual acts and trick lesbians into sex with men. I am a deceiver and counterfeit with the intent of forcing the world to reject common sense views on gender and sexual identity. The only positive aspect of my existence is that I am part of a group so small that my rights as a human being can be conveniently disregarded by society based on the slimmest of suspicions, but without any basis in proven fact.

Continue Reading >>

The Other Side of Life: All That Freedom, And a Bag of Chips (eh?)

By : Jason Leclerc
Comments: 0

“We don’t need two bags of chips,” I scowled, “but, I reckon they’ll keep.” Who was I to turn down a Publix BOGO sack of Ruffles. I expected full well that they’d be devoured in time for the next week’s grocery trip; all we had to do was pay full price for the first bag.

We started with the All-American Classics then scoured the shelf for the gimmicky “get-one.” Four curious eyes zeroed in on the maple leaf-decorated ‘All-Dressed’ flavor. Since our autumn visit to Toronto, we were open to things that our northern-nation neighbors had to offer. We joked, right there in the snack aisle, about poutines-as-fake-nachos. We laughed about how a kilometer was only two-thirds of a mile and how a loonie was only three-fourths of a dollar. Even their easy-on-the-eyes leader is a scaled-down version of our own odd, party-sized POTUS.

Continue Reading >>

Ladyfingers: Crazy cat lady

By : Sabrina Ambra
Comments: 0

In light of the recent news that Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc., is filing for IPO after being backed by Ashton Kutcher (oh, you didn’t hear?), I have decided to come up with a chicken noodle recipe of my own. Happiness, inspiration and hope are great and all, but gloom, reality and pessimism have the potential to be so much funnier.

Also, the thought of the Chicken Soup roundtable reading my story while huffin’ and puffin’, and/or dry-heaving makes me giggle like the adorable little troll I am. Plus, double-plus for the millennials, they would never let me say “fuck” in there. As far as I’m concerned, the most valuable lessons that life will teach you involve the word “fuck” in some form or another.  So with that, I present to you: Chicken Soup for the Asshole: You’ve Cat to be Kitten Me.  

Continue Reading >>