Does this wrapping paper make me look fat?

2009-11-05_cover_frontMy interview with Metro Weekly comes out today (Thursday), and Good Lord, I’m on the cover. I look like a Christmas burrito! (Hey, New Mexico people: I’m red and green. And delish.) There’s also a really good, long Q&A interview by Sean Bugg.

Reading it, I’m amazed at how much I told Sean (he’s that good), and also I’m a little scandalized at how barnyard some of my language is. I mean, I do work in a brawling, foulmouthed environment (a joke! a joke!) and I didn’t think I needed to watch my mouth so much, but you’d think I could say “Christmas items” instead of “Christmas shit.” Right?

(Nevertheless: I really do think Christmas is “the great American mind fuck,” and I wish there was a prettier word for it. Also I wonder about AP style on “mind fuck.” I think of it as one word — mindfuck — instead of two words, don’t you? Or stet?)

Whenever an interview comes out where I’m the subject instead of the questioner, especially a transcribed Q&A or an archived radio show, I  realize all over again the importance of slowing down and being quite clear about what I say. Every word of this interview is exactly as spoken, which is instructive, because I think there are there things I said here that could be misunderstood. If I was smarter and more cautious, I would have put some things better, but then I’d be no fun at parties.

I can’t help it! Sean makes me spill it!

stuever_pipe_MWOkay, the pictures: Love them. Had a blast doing them. Applause for Todd Franson.

And about Metro Weekly, the institution: Love it. I don’t know if Washington gays ever stop to think too often about how well-served we are, when so much other media is kicking the bucket. There’s the Washington Blade, of course, which does the deadly serious work of covering the politics and news of gays and lesbians through the prism of the nation’s capital, and then there’s Metro Weekly, which is a fascinating mix of Washington nightlife, culture, consumerismo, politics, sex, entertainment, opinion, and, always, pictures of people hanging out in bars and at events. Randy Shulman and Sean Bugg (and over the years, their many staff writers, editors, photogs and designers) have given tirelessly of themselves for 15-plus years now, with, I’m guessing, not a great deal of financial reward. I never miss an issue.

2002-05-30_cover_frontAnd in case you didn’t know, I owe the best thing in my life to Metro Weekly. As mentioned in the interview lead-in, I met Michael Wichita in the late spring of 2002, when he was the photo editor of Metro Weekly and they did a cover profile about me. (I know! Overexposure!) Michael is now the photo editor at AARP Bulletin. Back then, for that issue’s cover, he had me dress up as an old-timey paperboy (knickers, vest, cap) and we walked around my neighborhood and I tossed papers and pretended to do the “Extra! Extra!” thing. Sean did a good interview then, too.

I was totally charmed by sweet, creative, art-schooly Michael. Those eyes. That laugh. When it was all over and Metro Weekly had come out, I wanted to call him and see if he’d go out with me, but figured that happened on all his assignments — some man he takes a picture of calls him up a few days later and asks him out. Gross!

Oh, what the hell, I thought. I’ll call him. It took a summer of pining away, and Michael and I still can’t seem to settle on a full and accurate version of who called who back and asked the other one out, but eventually he did call me back and we went on a date on Aug. 3, 2002.

We’re still on it.

Thanks, Metro Weekly!


  1. blathering on November 5, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Love the photos!

  2. Randy Shulman on November 5, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Thank YOU, Hank. You have provided us with TWO memorable covers. Though I must say, that inside picture is the bomb. You should have gone into acting. 😉

  3. Judy Coode on November 5, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    My vote is for mindfuck.

    And God, I am so glad Michael called you that night. … Happiness.

  4. Jolene on November 6, 2009 at 5:34 am

    Definitely mindfuck. Like clusterfuck.

  5. Desson on November 6, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Winningly told as always. A sweet quasi-Christmas story!

  6. Derba on November 6, 2009 at 10:11 am

    I could listen to that “how-we-met” story every day.

  7. Jolene on November 7, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Read your blogpost a couple of days ago, but came back today to
    read the interview. Well done on both your part and Sean’s. Two
    phrases made me laugh: “in the early stages of being a cranky old
    man” and “not watch the children at all, unless they were between
    me ant MYV.”

  8. Emily Callaghan on November 15, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Smart all around. I could hear you speaking while I read — my favorite part. And, most certainly mindfuck.

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