Across the country today, a lot people called out of work, not because they’re sick, but because they’re queer. It’s A Day Without A Gay! This boycott hopes to show the gay community’s strength in the face of Prop 8 and other anti-gay marriage bills that passed back in November. It’s days like these that truly remind us how much we idolize our gay friends, relatives, and heroes. It got us thinking…what would happen if they called out of work every day? After the jump, 12 things we would have missed out on if gay men and women weren’t a part of our society.
1. The Blues: Without 1920’s singer Ma Rainey, a lesbian, there would be no Mother of the Blues. Truly an American invention and institution, the blues are also the root of rock ‘n’ roll.
2. Computers: You wouldn’t be able to read this post on your PC because the father of modern computer science, Alan Turing, was gay.
3. Suburban Soft-Core Porn: If True Blood and “American Beauty” creator Alan Ball, stopped going to work, how would we get deliciously suburban soft-core porn? He makes America interesting, sexy, and smart.
5. The Teleidoscope: We’d be stuck with a plain old boring kaleidoscope instead of seeing the infinite rainbows around us, thanks to the teleidoscope, invented by gay activist John Burnside.
6. Continuing Education Programs: How do you like that yoga class? Jane Addams, a Nobel Prize Winner and founder of the U.S. Settlement House Movement, was responsible for creating the first continuing education programs through her not-for-profit, Hull House.
7. Glamour: If stylist Rachel Zoe can’t get help from her assistant Brad and hair and make-up artist Joey, even the Queen of Stupid Pretty and her celeb clients would just look totally fugs. Not to mention, without dresses from designers like Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, and Tom Ford, the world would be chic-less.
8. Glam Rock: There would be no Glam Rock glittering up dance floors with out bisexual boys like David Bowie and T.Rex’s Mark Bolan. They worshiped gay culture and mainstreamed a music style after their favorite drag performers. If it wasn’t for glam, we might all still be hippies.
9. Everything Leonardo Da Vinci Touched: If there was no Leonardo, there’d be no “Mona Lisa” or “The Last Supper.” But art was just a part of his important contribution to society. The artist, scientist, inventor and genius conceptualized a helicopter, a tank, solar power, a calculator, and was ahead of his time in investigating plate tectonics. He is also known for inventing the hang glider, hydraulic pumps, and reversible crane mechanisms. Who knows what else Da Vinci would have been able to do if he didn’t have to waste so much time standing trial for sodomy?!
10. British Wit: Author Oscar Wilde’s British witticisms still define refined intelligence and humor. His timing and insights are truisms that translate even today.
11. “America The Beautiful”: Katherine Lee Bates, a professor at Wellesley College, authored “America The Beautiful.” The remarkable woman could even hit the high notes from “above the fruited plain.” What a gal!
12. The Hellenic Period: King Alexander the Great conquered the world to spread ideas and brought on the prolific Hellenic period where art and knowledge flourished. But perhaps he is best known for wielding both kinds of swords with admirable skill!