Hart & Soul

29 Sep 2008 1,445 views
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photoblog image Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

While we were in Sydney, Australia, in April, we saw so many things of interest.
This happens to be the St. Mark's church where Elton John married Renate Blauel on Valentine's Day, 1984.

(with a YouTube video to boot)

They divorced in 1988 when they both felt he could no longer deny that he was gay.
When I saw this door detail, I thought, "How appropriate!"

I am very proud to work at a global company, Starbucks, that not only does NOT discriminate against gays and lesbians
but has "sexual orientation" in its non-discrimination clause.
The "Don't ask, don't tell" term is used in our US military.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

While we were in Sydney, Australia, in April, we saw so many things of interest.
This happens to be the St. Mark's church where Elton John married Renate Blauel on Valentine's Day, 1984.

(with a YouTube video to boot)

They divorced in 1988 when they both felt he could no longer deny that he was gay.
When I saw this door detail, I thought, "How appropriate!"

I am very proud to work at a global company, Starbucks, that not only does NOT discriminate against gays and lesbians
but has "sexual orientation" in its non-discrimination clause.
The "Don't ask, don't tell" term is used in our US military.

comments (67)

  • Rian
  • United States
  • 29 Sep 2008, 01:10
wow.. great facts to accompany this shot.. nice shot too.. it's very fitting for elton john.. lol.. smile
Ginnie Hart: I know, Rian. Very fitting. After all the years he did finally find himself and his purpose in life.
  • Ada
  • a very dark room
  • 29 Sep 2008, 02:15
Yayyyyy.....it's Ginnie!!!! okay the symbolism here is spot on. Where's my frapachino Ginnie?
Ginnie Hart: You know me, Ada...I love symbolism. smile Your frappuccino is coming right up. You want whipped cream on that (we add it by request now!)?
I love the detail. The hing is so cool.
Ginnie Hart: I LOVE that "out and loud" hinge, Gail. So perfect for Elton. smile
That is a lovely composition, Ginnie.
Ginnie Hart: Thank you kindly, Michael.
I like it Ginnie!
Ginnie Hart: Aww, shucks, Chris. Thank you.
  • sherri
  • United States
  • 29 Sep 2008, 06:22
I've listened to Elton John's music since I was a teenager. I think my favorite song is "...hold me closer tiny dancer..." can't recall the name. Always found it strange that one of the lines is "I love my wife" and yet I'm sure he probably did. Didn't mean to drone on. I probably should have just said...nice capture, love the detail and warm tones.
Ginnie Hart: Donica says the song is called "Tiny Dancer." I wouldn't know, I'm afraid, even though I have heard it many times. She says she's pretty sure it IS about his wife. She says the song was written shortly before he got married. But someone else says it may have been about a back-up singer. Who knows.

I was married 21 years to a man, Sherri, back when no one was there to help me understand what it means to be gay...especially in small-town Michigan back in the 60s. I have 2 wonderful children and a g'son because of that union, so I wouldn't change it for anything. I'm guessing Elton feels the same way about Renate.
ton regard est toujours parfait!
Ginnie Hart: Merci, O-P. Merci!
Interesting blurb and picture Ginnie.
My usual coffee is very traditional: small Americano with cold skimmed milk on the side.
Ginnie Hart: Americano coming right up, Richard. Americsano is one of the "exceptions" to the formula rule of how many espresso shots are added (more) because water is added. It's starting to click. smile
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 29 Sep 2008, 07:18
Wonderful details of that church, beautiful contrast of stone and wood, but both filled with a warm toning! I understand well your symbolic thoughts about this place!
I never knew that John Elton got married a woman, but his lot shows the problematic situation of many homophil persons (one of my best friends is one of them)-despite of all legal licences and liberties in our modern countries: First they are unsure, trying to live a life like all the others; I admire their courage (and it needs always courage, today too) and personal painful struggle through their life to finally come out in their special orientation and to tell.... But our behaviour and thinking should be: to see first of all the human being!
Ginnie Hart: Thank you, Philine, for knowing and understanding. If more of us would come out and not be afraid, the rest of the world would HAVE to "deal" with us sooner than later, and see that we are everywhere, even right next to them in their families. So as Louis wrote below, we are part of the problem in that we teach people how to treat us. But it's not as simple as that, as you know.
  • Frida
  • Sweden
  • 29 Sep 2008, 07:42
Wow, now I have already learnt something new today and it's only 8.40am. This must be a good day. Nice composition with a good story behind.
Ginnie Hart: You made me laugh, Frida. smile Thank you.
Ha, and this is a very fine photograph, Ginnie. Well taken and great to see all that detail so close.
Ginnie Hart: That you, kind sir. It was fun to make this observation that day when I heard all about this church. smile
  • Tracy
  • United Kingdom
  • 29 Sep 2008, 08:00
Ginnie this is just a stunning shot, the different textures in the stonework and the grain in the woodwork.
The youTube link is so funny too.
I will be back in Starbucks this morning, as I have to return to the optitions for another test.

Wonderful mijn vreind.smile
Ginnie Hart: So, mijn vriend, what do you order when you are in Starbucks?? Little by little I am learning how to make the different drinks. There is a LOT to learn and when we are swamped with people, I almost lose it. But that's part of the learning curve, I know. Ptray that I can "get it all" before too long. smile
In Dutch we say "monddood", I think you can translate it.
Good and appropriate shot.
Ginnie Hart: The best I can come up with is "dead mouth," Wim, which makes sense to me. SILENCE. Thanks. smile
  • vintage
  • Brisbane Australia
  • 29 Sep 2008, 08:24
Good photo must go and have a look.
Ginnie Hart: Thanks, Vintage.
We went to a concert at Worcester Cricket Grond a couple of years ago to see Elton John. We have both liked his records since the 70's. It was an open air concert and the sun shone! He was brilliant. Great show! I'd forgotten he got married in Australia. Pleased you are enjoying Starbucks.
Ginnie Hart: I think we have been to 6 or 7 of his concerts, Bill, here in Atlanta, but the last time was in NYC on April 9th when he did a fundraiser for Hilary Clinton's run for the Presidency. We LOVE him. He DOES put on a good show. When the younger performers are on stage for 1-2 hours max, he can stay on the platform for 3 hours straight, with just one break. Tlak about stamina!
  • blackdog
  • United Kingdom
  • 29 Sep 2008, 08:52
Looks like he will "speak no evil"

Hope the job is going well. Strong black to go please ;o)
Ginnie Hart: HA! As Wim said, he's a"dead mouth," Mike. I like that. Strong black coming right up! I DO know how to fix that! smile
  • anniedog
  • United Kingdom
  • 29 Sep 2008, 09:12
Love the details here Ginnie - that face looks like it would never give up its secrets. Glad to hear the job is going well - the people working in coffee shops have to work so hard - they never seem to stop.
Ginnie Hart: No secrets, Ingrid, and he will "speak no evil!" I had my first 8-hour day this week and was on my feet the entire time except for two 10-minute breaks and a 30-minute lunch spot. No need to mention that I put my feet up the entire time! As you'd guess, there are time periods when we're slammed! Then there are lulls when we're able to get the cleaning done, shelves stocked, etc. Always something to do, yes! But it makes the day pass fairly quickly.
Wonderful photo. So neat!
Ginnie Hart: Thank you, kind sir!
  • SFL94
  • 29 Sep 2008, 10:17
Very nice picture, very interesting with a very nice composition...

Ginnie Hart: You're very kind, Sébastien. Merci.
  • L.Reis
  • Portugal
  • 29 Sep 2008, 11:38
Discrimination is only the exposure of our own limitations...if we only could understand that we're not the owners of right and wrong...
Ginnie Hart: That is a beautiful way of saying it, Lina. Thank you.
  • mary
  • 29 Sep 2008, 11:41
a wonderful photo, and an interesting story, too!
Ginnie Hart: The story totally captivated me, Mary, as you'd guess. Thanks.
I like the natural color tone
Ginnie Hart: Thanks, Chantal.
An appropriate title and story for this stone face. Lets hope the rest of the world wakes up.
Ginnie Hart: Louis had an interesting comment after yours about how we gays are partly responsible for our plight (if I read him correctly). I do agree that we all teach people how to treat us, but I'm not sure it's as simple as that with this issue. I have maintained, however, that if all gay people came out of the closet, it would HELP and not hinder the world from accepting us! We're everywhere, and people would just have to sit up and take notice! Thanks, Mary.
  • Padraig
  • United Kingdom
  • 29 Sep 2008, 13:28
this shot is lovely, the textures and colours are great, well spotted too. make mine an expresso please
Ginnie Hart: An espresso coffee coming right up, Padraig! smile
  • Aussie
  • Brisbane
  • 29 Sep 2008, 14:37
Hope to be in Sydney in November for an anaesthetic workshop so will have to check out some of the spot you have been to. I confese I have driven through Sydney twice but have never actually stayed there.
Ginnie Hart: This church is not near the city center, Aussie. It was out on one of our drives in the car. But it was well worth the visit. Hope you can get around one of these visits. Thanks.
Very unique composition Ginnie, no coffee jokes here wink ok... 3 pump, nonfat chai. hehehehee
Ginnie Hart: Good choice, Will. I am really liking that Chai and I like being able to choose non-fat milk for any of my drinks! smile Thanks.
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 29 Sep 2008, 15:03
Great picture, Ginnie.

And...very positive stuff about Starbucks Company. Now...if you could just work on making the coffee taste like coffee...
Ginnie Hart: HA! You are so funny, Ray. I'm still trying to figure out what "taste like coffee means" since Starbucks seems to be the standard for the best coffee in the world. Many of the drinks have syrup/sauce flavors added, so I'm guessing that's what you're talking about? If you want coffee straight up, I'm guessing you'd be hard-pressed to find anything better. All their coffee is from 3 regions of the world: Latin America, Africa/Arabia and Asia/Pacific. I'm guessing you're in there somewhere? smile
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 29 Sep 2008, 15:30
DADT.....I had never heard of these words, I have read the wikipedia link you added.
Philine's words are spot on, it is a painful struggle but I have accepted it, I found out I am gay just a short while ago, at 53 and being married for 25 years and having a son of 20, no need to say that my life is upside down right now, but life goes on and I am determined to make the best of it.
Een geweldige foto, the face says it all.....we have a long way to go, but I am glad that the Netherlands is one of the few countries that has the 'same sex marriage' recognised and I do hope many countries will follow.
I am glad you like the job, I think it is a nice place to have een kopje koffie smile
Ginnie Hart: You can be very proud of both yourself AND your country, Astrid! I have often said that if all gays would come out of the closet and make themselves visible, the world would very quickly HAVE to "accept" us because we're everywhere. We're their aunts, g'mas, sisters, nieces, daughters, etc. One person at a time, beetje bij beetje, it will happen. Thanks for doing the hard work! I really AM proud of you. I wish you much success as you move forward in your new life!
  • Tracy
  • United Kingdom
  • 29 Sep 2008, 16:04
Astrid you rock Musketeer I am SO PROUD OF YOU smile
Ginnie Hart: The Three Musketeers! One for all and all for one!
  • Donica
  • Atlanta...for a few more days
  • 29 Sep 2008, 16:05
If I remember correctly, we had a problem finding parking near the church and you and David went to take some pics and Dave and I stayed in the car. I am sorry I missed seeing this face.

As you know, Elton has always been one of my favorite artists and we have seen him at least 5-6 times in the last 10 years. I also remember when he got married and how confused I was over this. I thought it was a well know fact that he was gay...and then...married to a woman. The late 70's and early 80's were a very confusing time for many!!

I am very happy to say that there is at least one place in the United States (CA) where any American can go to get an official marriage license and have an official wedding...no matter the gender of the couple. Of course, if you live in Mass, you can have a gay/lesbian wedding there too. I hope I live to see the day where the world recognizes love as love...no matter where it comes from...and be happy for the lucky couple.

Great textures and color...I love your interpretation of the shot!
Ginnie Hart: Elton has become one of my favorites artists because of you and all the concerts we've attended. I am very lucky, especially to have been at that last one in NYC back in April for the Hilary Clinton fundraiser. Thank you for all those memories. Little by little America is waking up. I hope it will become a federal mandate for nondiscrimination in all companies and the possibility of civil marriages everywhere before I am dead and buried! Thanks.
  • claire
  • Canada
  • 29 Sep 2008, 16:25
oh my... thanks for that youtube video. i never knew he was to a woman once!

and yes the details on the door is really appropriate! grin
Ginnie Hart: The things we learn, Claire, right?! smile
  • claire
  • Canada
  • 29 Sep 2008, 16:36
i meant "married to a woman once" grin
Ginnie Hart: I know. smile
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 29 Sep 2008, 21:52
I bet his family knowingly said she is doing it for the money. Hah.

The time they got married it was the commercial correct thing to do. I remember similar marriages taking place, which lasted some time and got broken up. Something to do with increasing the number of followers.

The comment about discrimination - nothing wrong with discrimination, that is why we have our senses, to be able to discriminate. For instance I can smell if it is good Starbucks or something else.

What happens in the psyche of the human species is that they start to suffer from delusions of grandeur, believing the way I am, or the group I belong to is the best. Leading to the holier than though approach to the 'others'. Others who are not enjoying the status and wishing they could be, kindly respond with an inferiority complex. And the great pity of life is that the superior/inferior status labels tend to become 'facts of life'.

One of my personal beliefs is that by far the greatest part of power that someone holds over others, is bestowed on that person by the others. If they would withhold their recognition, that person can not have power.

A very appropriate picture of the guy with his mouth taped shut. That must be the cupboard door right next to him.
Ginnie Hart: Another way to say this, Louis, is that we teach people how to treat us! Exactly! I do understanding what you're saying and just wish everyone else "got it."
Glad your job is going well, love the contrasts in your photo, and find the Elton John info interesting.
Ginnie Hart: Very interesting indeed, Jennie!
  • Larry Bliss
  • Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
  • 30 Sep 2008, 01:42
Have you noticed that the right eyebrow of the head is ever so slightly lifted? smile
Ginnie Hart: It's funny, Larry, but I didn't notice that till you mentioned it! smile Thanks for the comment.
  • Martie
  • United States
  • 30 Sep 2008, 02:50
Ginnie - this is GREAT! I love that the mouth seems to be sealed - and I imagine that there are many secrets to be kept until the owners are ready to set them free.
Ginnie Hart: Exactly, Martie. But as regards the gay community, if more "came out" and told their stories, I think the world would have much better understanding!
  • Kay
  • United States
  • 30 Sep 2008, 03:54
Congrats on your new job, Ginnie! I hope it goes well for you.

And this image is beautiful. Toned so well.
Ginnie Hart: Thank you so much, Kay. So far so good! smile
  • Kay
  • United States
  • 30 Sep 2008, 04:02
Ginnie, to add to the comments here - those who are close-minded don't see as well as those who aren't.
Ginnie Hart: You are right, of course, Kay! Thanks.
  • cako
  • Germany
  • 30 Sep 2008, 06:34
Triple grande sugar free vanilla latte, please ! ;-) I like this shot ... the saturation of the colors and the sharpness of the details ... great !
Ginnie Hart: Triple grande sugar free vanilla latte coming right up, Carsten! smile I love it.
  • navin
  • India
  • 30 Sep 2008, 10:14
My lips are sealed
Ginnie Hart: HA! You're a sweetheart! smile
I took a photo very much like this actually at (I'm serious about the name!) Hart House, at the University of Toronto.

Very nice composition smile
Ginnie Hart: Oh my goodness, Iain. I'd love to see it! What a coincidence.
Don't ask, don't tell? Is that why the head has lost it's mouth, just in case it might tell things it shouldn't? lol! Poor EJ, was never man enough.
Ginnie Hart: Exactly! grin
  • Marcie
  • United States
  • 30 Sep 2008, 15:04
Wonderful image. Love the detail of the door hinge..the color..the composition and how you captured the light.
Ginnie Hart: Thank you for your kind words. Marcie!
  • Ruth
  • United States
  • 30 Sep 2008, 17:21
I love this picture. And it really is enhanced by the Elton John history therein.
Ginnie Hart: Yes, Ruth...lots of "synchronicity." smile
  • Magnus
  • Norway
  • 30 Sep 2008, 20:08
Love the tones in this one and all the different shapes, forms and textures.
Ginnie Hart: Thank you, Magnus. I do, too. smile
  • Still
  • France
  • 30 Sep 2008, 21:12
A beautiful detail! Thanks for the informations.
Ginnie Hart: You are ever so welcome, Still!
  • Ellie
  • United Kingdom
  • 30 Sep 2008, 23:00
A classic sort of picture isn't it, till you notice what's happened to the carving, it tells its story well.

Hope you're OK Ginnie, am busy trying to catch up on people's blogs but loads seem to have vanished.
Ginnie Hart: It's good to see you back, Ellie. I often wondered what you were doing and if you were okay! Thanks for stopping by again.
  • Red Pen
  • United States
  • 1 Oct 2008, 00:51
I love the combination of textures in this shot, Ginnie. And good for Starbucks. smile
Ginnie Hart: Yes, I agree, Red Pen. Thanks for your support. smile
Buena composición Ginnie. Me extraña no ver los tonos que tú acostumbras a usar, pero aquí el contraste entre la piedra y la puerta es muyn bueno!
Ginnie Hart: I know, José Angel. I decided to just leave it as it was. Gotta switch it up ever so often, you know! smile
  • zohre
  • United Arab Emirates
  • 1 Oct 2008, 10:34
Great picture.Great composition.smile
Ginnie Hart: Thank you kindly, Zohre.
  • rags
  • United States
  • 1 Oct 2008, 18:13
I like the image. It really goes well with the title. More power to you! How have you been?
Ginnie Hart: It was good to see you again, Kanyi. I have missed you. I've started to work at Starbucks in the last 2-3 weeks and have been in a big learning curve, coming out of retirement! Nothing ever stays the same, as they say. smile
  • jelb
  • France
  • 1 Oct 2008, 20:40
Nice composition..Stunning comment..Bravo!
Ginnie Hart: It's nice to see you again, Jelb! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Ginnie this is really awsome I said the other day to my hubby, that we should visit Australia som day... This is so great thanks for showing.

Watch my sailingtrip on the IJsel-Markermeer in Holland and some windmils +History& poem..

Greetings JoAnn's D Eyes Holland
Ginnie Hart: I hope you can go some day, JoAnn. You will love it!
The epitomy of the edge and surround of a church door Ginnie. I just love it. Hope the job is going o.k.
Ginnie Hart: The job is growing better with every day, Brian. The more I practice everything, the more it sinks in! smile Thanks.
Well spotted - the head seems to be flying/floating in the air. I also like the tone of colour here
Ginnie Hart: Thank you, Aksel. It DOES seem to be floating, you're right!
  • SFL94
  • 3 Oct 2008, 12:05
Have a nice week-end Ginnie

See you
Ginnie Hart: Now that it's come and gone, Sébastien, I hope you had a good one too!
hmmm amazing foto....very natural and good dimension foto. Nice detail texture. Regards from Yogyakarta Indonesia.
Ginnie Hart: You're a sweetheart, Bram. Thanks.
Interesting capture, the arch design is very unique. Are those door hinges? Like the way you framed this shot, really a very curious image. Nice one Ginnie.
Ginnie Hart: Yes, those are door hinges, John. Well, at least I think they are? They could be decoration???
ASTRID - what Tracy said I say too!
Ginnie Hart: Truly for sooth and verily henceforth to wit!
  • Klaus
  • Germany
  • 4 Oct 2008, 11:57
Ginnie, nice composition and so great colors, well done!!
Ginnie Hart: I always appreciate your comments, Klaus. Thank you.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 4 Oct 2008, 17:05
Ginnie, I'm very, very proud of yourself and I' m very proud of Astrid,too!
Only one remark: As I have heard from male homophil persons (I think they have special problems- and probably more problems?) there are some different reasons why they don't have the courage and don't wish to come out, because they want to be only individuals (and not members of a so-called gay in-group/community with a special culture and special rites and habits...) and they want that we see them first as human beings -like I and you- (the sexual orientation is for them a private good and should not be interesting for other eyes and ears although their sexual orientation is naturally a part of their personality). I know that some jews have the same problem, they don't want to be seen or called as jews, but their highest desire is to be only a human being as I and you. Naturally there are many jews who have a pronounced jewish identity and they like to accentuate that. A similar situation I see onder homophil persons. Many of them refuse to be called "gay" or "schwul" (in German), they are persons, human beings, nothing else. Very difficult and painful indeed!
Ginnie Hart: I do think that as a rule the gay guys have more problems with acceptance in the world than we gay women, Philine. It doesn't make a lot of sense, when you think about it, but it reminds me of the same issue when women started becoming preachers her in the USA. Many men who had no problems whatsoever with women being missionaries in foreign countries, "preaching" to men, had BIG problems with women preaching to men here. The same kind of disconnect. Sigh. Painful AND difficult. Thanks for knowing and understanding!
  • The confines of a contented soul
  • 4 Oct 2008, 18:31
Superb as always Ginnie. I've just been contributing heavily to the Starbucks empire over in the USA and Canada smile
Ginnie Hart: HA! Well, thank you, Paul. smile
Accurate is the word ! Very interresting way to show and tell something interresting : Bravo !
Ginnie Hart: Thank you, kind sir!
  • Arash
  • United Arab Emirates
  • 6 Oct 2008, 10:33
nice details, I like tones and the story behind, Ginnie.
Ginnie Hart: Thanks a million, Arash.
In his case can't tellsmile
Very appropriate imagery for your story. Good luck in coffee landsmile
Ginnie Hart: Awww. Thanks a million, Nigel.
Hi Ginnie, after a bit long time again have chance to enjoy your shots. Sharpness of your pictures really surprises me. I've learned many things here from you smile
Ginnie Hart: You are so very kind and sweet, CISI. Thank you!
  • trotsky
  • Coumbus, Ohio
  • 7 Oct 2008, 03:37
you do get around! this is terrific...and says a lot, or doesn't smile
Ginnie Hart: Yes, Trotsky. Well said. smile

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