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Pop Op: Stop Judging Me

With the latest bout of ballot initiatives that have banned gay marriage- I am getting really tired of people who don’t know me judging my lifestyle (and taking my rights away). I also believe that turnabout is fair play. When it comes to judging someone, it's safe to say gay men have raised it to an art form. That’s why I am thinking it’s time we sharpen our skills.

I can't help but wonder, shouldn't we declare open season on passing judgments?

Status update

Even the best of us have our moments when we feel as if we are being judged- and we all deal with it in our own special way. For example- my co-worker Steve decided to share one of those moments in the public domain of Facebook status updates when he announced, “Mortified at the Verizon store when shirtless “Zefron” popped up on his wallpaper as the employee uploaded the software on his new phone...”

And through the magic of the Internet my friend Sean quickly commented, “I just laugh-snorted on the plane and got weird looks.”

Which proves the old adage: judge not lest ye be judged.

Times are changing

Whenever I walk in the doors at Martinis Above Fourth I am greeted with a hug from the owners Dale and Chaz (and Johnny too, if he’s at the restaurant). What can I say, it’s my old hangout- a place where I know I can get a stiff drink (and it doesn’t hurt that my buddy Alex works behind the bar). For months now I have been harassing Alex about his hairstyle of choice, the Mohawk, and I wasn’t about to skip on an opportunity to pass judgment on it in front of his bosses.

“You know that hairstyle doesn’t make you butch,” I said, leveling my eyes on Alex’s hair as he came to greet me.

“I’m all the butch you can handle!” he proclaimed, opting to go for the “fake out” and instead turned to walk away from me.

Chaz laughed. “Not with a turn and flourish like that you aren’t!”

Food for thought…

“Are you drunk texting Nick?” Alex inquired as we sat down at Mel’s Diner in West Hollywood about 20 minutes after last call.

It was the aftermath of Halloween on Santa Monica Blvd and the place was packed. We were still in our X-Men costumes, buzzed and ready for a late night snack.

I looked up and quickly said, “No, I am twittering that @TheRealTBone is about to break his Halloween diet. No more spandex and body paint… for at least two weeks.”

Alex gave me a knowing look.

“I don’t have to worry about having abs anymore,” I explained. “I can eat whatever I want.”

“You’re ordering the pie aren’t you?” he asked in his most interrogative tone.

“Don’t judge me,” I insisted. I decided I was having a chocolate malt too.

Parental guidance strongly suggested

One of the great things about working for a studio is that we regularly have weekend screening of movies on the lot. If you ask me, nothing is better than a Saturday afternoon screening, followed by a happy hour at Pink Taco.

I was sitting in the theater with my friends Calvin and Steve, when we took note that it was quickly filling up. It was a screening of the Drew Barrymore directed film Whip It and we were ready for a good time. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Whip It is a movie about roller derby targeted at teen girls (which, let’s face it, is the same demographic as gay men). How could it be bad?

But back to my point; sitting next to us was a woman and two children, who were at least five years short of the movie’s PG-13 suggested rating. I wasn’t about to judge, however, because she was there to provide them with the suggested “Parental Guidance”… until she stood up and said, “Can you make sure no one takes this seat? There’s another kid coming.”

Before we could respond she went to sit three rows away with her adult friends.

“Inappropriate,” my friend Steve said, turning to look at me.

“Does she expect us to keep an eye on her kids? Didn’t she notice we’re gay? We don’t want that kind of responsibility.” Calvin added.

“Parenting fail,” I said, issuing the final judgment as Calvin and Steve nodded in agreement.

A matter of “Church and State”

Church and State is the hottest new French Bistro with gourmet flavors in downtown LA, but a few weeks before the restaurant was name dropped in an episode of Melrose Place, my foodie friend and restaurant reviewer, Eric, and I sat down there for dinner.

As we shared a dessert platter after sampling, savoring, dishing and discussing 15 different menu items that included everything from New York steak to fried pigs ears, four different wines and a pair of cocktails, I asked Eric how he judged a restaurant.

“Well, first of all, I am not going to judge anyone's taste in anything, you should see some of the things that I have eaten when they were put in front of me," Eric said taking a sip of framboise to wash down a bite of berry cobbler. "I've learned it's best not to judge, but to describe."

You want a piece of me?

So here’s the thing, I don’t have a problem with qualified people judging me. Lord knows I appreciate it when my friends call me out or make me laugh at myself. But here’s what makes me mad: judging me and passing legislation that takes away my rights.

The last time I checked letting two guys get married isn’t going to ruin anyone else’s marriage, so they need to back off. I can say that on more than one occasion an unsupervised child has ruined my movie-going experience, and that is $12 that I will never get back.