I watched this popular YouTube video of an EF-1 (86–110 mph) tornado in the Bronx two days ago after photographer Jo Ann Santangelo mentioned to me her partner had just come up from the subway to discover the aftermath. Jo Ann had traveled through Picher, OK on her way to my mother’s ranch to do a photo shoot so that I might be included in her project featuring gay and lesbian servicemen and women who were discharged for being gay. We had begun chatting and she said, “Hey, I traveled through Picher, Oklahoma and what the heck happened to that town?” I explained the double disasters that befell Picher, and that it had been flattened by an Oklahoma EF-4 (166–200 mph) tornado, and because it was a superfund clean up site poisoned by lead and zinc mining, the authorities thought it was finally time to make Picher a ghost town. Believe me, that town with its chat piles and demolished buildings is an eerie sight to behold.
Back to why I thought this video of the tornado was interesting was that I scanned some of the comments on this tornado video and found it amazing how many people were commenting on the photographer’s perceived sexual orientation as possibly being gay. I watched the video again and I think I detected one of them exclaim, “Get inside, girl!” at 0:36 but not exactly sure. By reading the comments I was interested to note there was just as much commentary and controversy on the potential of them being gay as the amazing footage from a high rise building of an actual tornado in Brooklyn, NY, where tornadoes rarely form!
Two gay guys in Brooklyn, NY? Uh, not so uncommon. A tornado in Brooklyn, NY? Extremely uncommon! I’m not naive about the fact the comments on YouTube videos are not known for their serious nature and valued more for their comedic potential and less for their sensitivity. I just don’t know if I would bother debating whether or not the two guys in the sprawling metropolis of NYC who filmed the tornado were gay?