Friday, October 12, 2012

Know Your LGBT History - Stephen Stucker

Those of us who remember the classic manic comedy Airplane! (1980) remember actor Stephen Stucker who literally walked away with the movie with funny lines like such:

According to Wikipedia:

Stucker was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on July 2, 1947. His family moved to Shaker Heights, Ohio, where he distinguished himself in school as a pianist and class clown, and graduated from high school in 1965. Stucker made his screen debut co-starring in the 1975 comedic sexploitation film Carnal Madness as Bruce Wilson, a gay fashion designer who escapes an insane asylum with two fellow inmates, fleeing to an all-girls school.

He went on to perform in the 1977 earthquake-in-Los-Angeles comedy Cracking Up, alongside Fred Willard, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer. Stucker was a scene-stealing member of the cast of the Madison, Wisconsin Kentucky Fried Theater sketch comedy troupe founded by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker.[1] In 1977 he appeared in the film based on it, directed by John Landis. This led to his memorable supporting role in the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker comedy Airplane!, which he reprised in Airplane II: The Sequel. For the initial film, the writers gave Stucker the straight lines for his scenes and let him write his character's off-the-wall responses.

In 1982 he had a guest role in a three-episode sequence in the TV series Mork and Mindy and, in 1983, he had a small featured role in Landis' Trading Places. In 1984, Stucker had a co-starring role as the sex-obsessed psychiatrist, Dr. Bender in the teen comedy film Bad Manners (aka: Growing Pains).

However, there is another reason why the lgbt community should remember Stucker. He was one of the first celebrities to go public with his HIV infection in 1985. As such, he appeared on talk shows like Donahue, where his wild and acerbic personality sometimes bumped hard against an audience ignorant and fearful of the disease AIDS. Some may criticize Stucker for his behavior, but I found him refreshingly honest and uncompromising:


Stucker died of AIDS-related complications in 1986.

While we mourn this man's life and what could have been, let's never forget Stucker and those who lived before the age of Ellen, Will and Grace, and the openess regarding who we are as a people.

They endured so we didn't have to.

 Past Know Your LGBT History posts:

'Video defense of anti-gay hate group falls FLAT' and other Friday midday news briefs

Video: Bradlee Dean defends FRC by offending vast majority - Wow! If Bradlee Dean tried to defend the Family Research Council against the charges of being a hate group with the following video, he does a sh@@ty job:


 In other news:

 Nordstrom Joins Starbucks, Microsoft, & Amazon in Support of Referendum 74 - More companies standing up for marriage equality is always a good thing.

 Bryan Fischer: No Dialogue, No Middle Ground On LGBT Equality - When it comes to folks like Bryan Fischer, I agree. You will lose, Bryan.

 Coming Out Improves LGBT Youth Happiness, Family Ties - Remember that when religious right spokespeople (I'm especially talking to you, Peter Sprigg) trot out numbers about how "detrimental" the supposed homosexual lifestyle is, they always omit that it's because that we have to deal with homophobia. This study proves that point.

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Kirk Cameron knows NOTHING about humility or the love of God

Former child star Kirk Cameron recently gave a speech at Liberty University in which he talked about the controversy stemming from his interview on Piers Morgan's talk show. Naturally, he made himself look like the victim:


For the edification of those who do not know what Cameron actually said, this is the portion of the interview in question:


My personal opinion is simple. When Cameron voiced his disagreement with marriage equality, that was fine. He had every right. However, where I draw the line is when he called being gay "detrimental" and "destructive." He wasn't talking about an "ism." He was talking about actual people and actual families, many whom he had never met.

As a matter of fact, when a group of gay students wanted to have a meeting with him about his comments, Cameron refused.

That's the problem with folks like Cameron. Their words and actions are not about bringing glory to God or understanding to the human experience as it relates to God.

 It's all about them and their so-called "strong convictions." It's all about their egos.

Despite of what Cameron claimed in his Liberty University speech, there is no love in his words to Piers Morgan nor is he a victim.

To me, the real victim is a young gay child who hears those words and hates him or herself a little more. Who is there for them while Cameron basks in his martyrdom and self-victimhood? Who is going to be there for them while Cameron basks in his media attention and receives praises from religious right groups and their supporters?

In Matthew 25:40, Jesus said " . . .whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

I don't think he meant kicking an anonymous gay child in the face and then bragging about it later.

Take the hint, Kirk.

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