Santa’s On The Line

By now the organization that Eddie and I knew as the Gay Switchboard when we first met in 1979 has grown to be part of a coast-to-coast network of similar services, with the Gay and Lesbian National Hotline (NYC Office) being its New York branch. Eddie was a volunteer for the switchboard back then, which for me was one of several early clues that this was an admirable guy worth courting.

I mention this because I recently came across the drawing you see above, which I drew for a flier promoting a party that was held on Christmas Eve to raise money for the switchboard.

This seems like a good time of year to reflect on how valuable hotlines like this one continue to be. It’s easy to forget, in this era of Will & Grace, Ellen Degeneres, and Rachel Maddow, that there are still lonely people in the world who don’t know what to do with the confusing feelings they secretly harbor, feelings the Rev. Rick Warrens of the world tell them are akin to pedophilia and incest.

As we listen to Rev. Warren’s invocation during Barack Obama’s Innnauguration next month, we should reflect on the damage that is done when we blithely tolerate ignorance from national leaders who are smart enough to know better.

It’s tough being a world-famous icon when you’ve got personal issues you need to talk through with someone.

Fortunately, the Gay Switchboard of New York was set up decades ago to be a sympathetic listening ear for closeted or otherwise troubled gays or lesbians needed to break out of their isolation and speak with volunteers who would understand where they were coming from.

About Howard

I'm a cartoonist and writer, best known for my graphic novel, Stuck Rubber Baby, and my comic strip from the 1980s, Wendel.
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One Response to Santa’s On The Line

  1. Thanks for keeping the Switchboard in people’s awareness. They, and all the others like them, continue to do great work.

    (Among the things I value most personally about my time at GSBNY is that it brought Eddie and you into my life…)