As messages go, “queer people are just like you” isn’t the worst. But it’s also not exactly true.

It’s ironic that once I finally felt as though I could leave the house and do anything I wanted, I discovered a television show so addictive, all I wanted to do was stay home on the couch, glued to the boob tube. If you haven’t seen it, HBO’s Mare of Easttown might be the most perfectly constructed long-form murder mystery I’ve ever seen. And yet, I noticed about halfway through that the mystery was not what kept me coming back to the show to devour yet another episode. It was the people.

And not just people — specifically, the women…

Conservatives want you to be scared of something called “Cancel Culture.” Is it even a thing?

There’s apparently something dark and insidious happening in our country today, a phenomenon that is determined to do away with free speech and diversity of thought, and turn us into a bunch of robotic zombies who can no longer think for themselves, but are only capable of blurting out whatever is deemed acceptable by the Disney Company and the rest of the nation’s liberal overlords. I speak, of course, of “Cancel Culture.”

An illustration featuring four people with colorful X’s over their blank faces.
An illustration featuring four people with colorful X’s over their blank faces.

And, naturally, I’m engaging in the tiniest bit of hyperbole, but only slightly. To those who believe in “Cancel Culture,” it’s truly something to be frightened of. According…

To be single and okay, you first have to reject the pervasive story that coupledom is the only happy ending.

As a professional Diversity & Inclusion practitioner, I spend a lot of my time talking about race and gender, two identities that personally afford me, a white man, a great deal of privilege. I spend less time talking about the identities where I am not in the privileged camp. I’m gay, and while I don’t claim that homophobia is dead and gone by any means, I must admit that in my coastal urban bubble, it doesn’t scare me nearly as much as it used to. Maybe that’s because society is improving, or I’ve just gotten used to myself, or perhaps…

Should Hollywood cast gay roles with only gay actors? The debate rages on.

by Eric Peterson

In late September, when my feeds and timelines were packed with news about the coronavirus, remembrances of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and anxiety about the upcoming election, a trailer for a new movie started to generate a lot of excitement. Well, excitement might be the wrong word. The comments I saw, even before I hit play were of the “who’s chopping onions?” variety, with lots of crying emojis.

This welcome distraction is called Supernova, and it’s scheduled for a US release date later this month. At first, it appears to be about two men in mid-life driving…

Royalists worry that the Netflix juggernaut THE CROWN is bad for their business. They’re absolutely right.

by Eric Peterson

’Tis the season for those seemingly holiday-related things that seem verboten outside the window between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day: molasses cookies, decorated trees indoors, tolerating your racist uncle, or Bing Crosby’s “Let it Snow” (despite the fact that it typically snows more in February than December, but no matter). Recently, this list seems to include Netflix’s The Crown, a beautifully dressed drama about the British Commonwealth’s royal family that appears most years in December.

Emma Corrin as Princess Diana, Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II, and Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher.
Emma Corrin as Princess Diana, Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II, and Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher.

This year, Christmas came early, as it were: Season 4 dropped well before Thanksgiving, allowing viewers a fictionalized peek inside the palace…

Maybe a merry little Christmas is the best kind.

by Eric Peterson

As a staunch atheist eleven months out of the year, people are often surprised at how much I love Christmas music, but like anyone else, I contain Whitmanesque multitudes I suppose. Every year, between the day after Thanksgiving and about a week after New Year’s Day, I listen to Christmas music all the time, and I love almost all of it. I’ve been known to tear up listening to someone crooning “The Little Drummer Boy,” and whenever I hear Alvin the Chipmunk pine for a hula-hoop, I’m five years old again. I do draw the line at…

If you can barely remember the “scandal” that nearly broke Randy Rainbow’s career, you’re not alone. But a good and effective apology is worth examining.

by Eric Peterson

It’s 2020, so mid-August seems like a lifetime ago. But it’s only been three and a half short months since Kamala Harris joined Joe Biden’s ticket, a California gender reveal party sparked fires that soon consumed the state, and some old tweets written by Randy Rainbow resurfaced, causing many to wonder if the wunderkind’s career was meeting a premature end.

YouTube celebrity Randy Rainbow, posing with a photoshopped rainbow behind him.
YouTube celebrity Randy Rainbow, posing with a photoshopped rainbow behind him.

For many a liberal fan of musical theatre, Randy Rainbow was a godsend during the Age of Trump. His political parody versions of songs from Oklahoma!, Grease, and Hamilton (and the occasional pop song — his rendition…

Friends, I have something to tell you. I’m GAY.

It’s #NationalComingOutDay, and even though I describe myself as having been out for a quarter century, coming out is something you don’t do just once. It’s a process that repeats, over and over again.

Once your family knows, once your work colleagues know, it gets a bit easier — but there’s always a stranger you just met, a moment of questioning, a decision to favor their comfort or your authenticity, and, still — the opportunity to be minimized, disrespected, or violently attacked.

To my beloved LGBTQ+ community, you have my heart…

Sometimes laughter is the best activism.

by Eric Peterson

Picture it. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware: 1998.

There, I stood, waiting in the wings, a microphone in my left hand. Every Labor Day weekend, the LGBT community in Rehoboth Beach, DE hosts a fundraiser that consists of an enormous auction on Saturday and a big dance party on Sunday. This was a Saturday night, the silent auction was wrapping up, and the live auction would begin in about ten minutes.

To entice an audience away from the tables and closer to the stage, I had been asked to sing a show tune while scores of volunteers worked furiously…

Netflix will soon release the latest film version of THE BOYS IN THE BAND. First a play, then a film, then a Tony-winning revival, and soon streaming into living rooms across America, it’s a complicated tale.

by Eric C. Peterson

Facebook “memories” are a funny thing. Yes, I’m aware that I should probably delete my account, given the very real social ills created by this tech giant, including data privacy violations, questionable policies around political advertising, and more. But in my sixth month of living like a hermit in the year 2020, it’s difficult to let go of what is sometimes my only contact with the people in my life on a given day.

But in addition to the posts, likes, comments, and conversations that Facebook provides, it also sends out “memories” — images, usually, from…

Eric Peterson

(he/him) I’m a funny, serious, outgoing, introspective, #diversity & #inclusion practitioner. Finished my first novel.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store