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So you've called in 'gay.' Now what?

December 10, 2008 |  1:21 pm

Today, December 10, 2008, has been dubbed "Day Without a Gay" by equal-rights activists. Inspired by Latino immigrants' 2006 Great American Boycott, gay activists encouraged the gay community to "call in gay" to work today, to show how central the gay community is to American society. So, great! You've called in gay. Now what?

Handler 1. Turn off your computer

Why are you reading this? urges people to stay off the Internet today since "advertising is everywhere and a simple page load could cause money to be spent."

Instead, catch up on your back issues of the Advocate. In the latest issue of the LGBT news magazine, comedian and ex-Mormon Chelsea Handler calls herself "a gay man trapped in a woman's body."

2. Volunteer

The "Day Without a Gay" website suggests you spend the day giving back and has a handy tool for finding local LGBT and human rights organizations.

3. Turn off the TV.

Sorry, but it's one of the rules.

Even the gay-hosted "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" is off-limits. Watch "Ellen" Thursday instead, when she interviews Courteney Cox, and Common performs with Cee-Lo.

4. Don't buy anything. Jacobs

But nobody said you couldn't window shop.

If you spend today perusing the Barney's racks, chances are you'll see clothes by iconic gay designers like Marc Jacobs, who has been in the spotlight lately, appearing in magazines such as Out and Harper's Bazaar.

5. Don't go to the movies.

Going to the movies lands under the no-spending-money umbrella. Instead, make a plan to go see "Milk" with a friend Thursday, when the boycott is over.

In the new biopic, Sean Penn plays Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay men elected to major public office in this country.

Added bonus: Director Gus Van Sant is gay.

Sedaris 6. Read!

It's free, and you probably have an unread book or two lying around. Then Thursday, pick up the audio book of "When You Are Engulfed in Flames."

The new book by renowned gay humorist David Sedaris is even better on CD; Sedaris reads the stories, and his comedic timing adds another layer of wit to the already hilarious prose.

Also in honor of “Call in Gay Day,” we built a photo gallery, imagining Hollywood without its many gay contributors. It's a grim picture.

-- Stephanie Lysaght

Photo credit: Getty Images (Handler and Jacobs); Jean Baptiste Mondino / Handout (Sedaris)