I've known my BFF Natalie Palmer since ninth grade. She's still my best friend 21 years later. We've shared some defining moments: her wedding and the birth of her two children; my coming out of the closet as a gay man; losing my mother at 23 years old; our 20-year college reunion. I couldn't imagine making it through any of these milestones without her by my side. Though I have one loving sister, I easily consider Natalie a sister from another mother. More important, she set the standard for an ilk of relationship that I have grown to treasure and celebrate: the bond between gay men and their straight girlfriends.
FEA-From-Graffiti-to-Galleries (with art)
It starts with a squiggle on an abandoned building, then another, and another, until the once-blank wall is transformed into a mural. A tag from the author marks the final touch. Eventually, this makeshift canvas will be wiped clean, restored to a mundane white wall, so the process can begin again. It's the nature of street art: spontaneous, public, fleeting.
FEA-Where-Does-Your-Grocery-Money-Go? (with art)
A few months ago, a small farmer in the Northeast approached me at a conference, intense and red-faced. How could I say that Americans shouldn't pay more for their food? She sold lettuce and beets to well-heeled women, their ears dangling gold and fingers sporting diamonds. Yet many of them balked at the prospect of paying an extra dollar per pound. To grow her food without extensive chemicals, and to sell her wares at market, she needed to fetch a higher price. Surely, couldn't these women could pay more?