“Boyfriend of 25 Years”

I enjoyed Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz’s profile of New York magazine’s editor Adam Moss, but was caught off guard by this paragraph:

There was no chance he would pass up the opportunity. Growing up on Long Island and reading his parents’ subscription to New York magazine, “it was a romantic idea of mine that one day I might have a chance to edit it,” Moss says. He walks or bikes to work from his apartment in the West Village, where he lives with his boyfriend of 25 years, a bookstore owner.

A boyfriend of 25 years. I wasn’t convinced it was wrong or inappropriate, but I couldn’t imagine Sam Shepard being described as Jessica Lange’s “boyfriend of 26 years.” It just seemed awkward or imperfect.

Apparently, Kurtz and Moss felt the same way. Here’s what Kurtz said in his weekly chat at WaPo when quizzed about the story.

Washington, D.C.: Towards the end of today’s profile of Adam Moss, you referred to Mr. Moss’ “boyfriend of 25 years.” Was the term “boyfriend” one used by Mr. Moss, or is it your term”? Frankly, the term seems to demean a long-term relationship. And coming from a writer who has publicly criticized his newspaper as too supportive of gay marriage rights, I am skeptical about its use in the profile.

Howard Kurtz: I actually talked to Adam about that. He said boyfriend or partner was find, that he himself didn’t know what term to use.

These seems like a proper response.

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