Gays like to lounge about with a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape, naming all of the famous gay artists and writers they can remember, especially if straights are within earshot. Nevermind that some of these guesses are unsubstantiated; gays enjoy the challenge of proclaiming how they know Walt Whitman enjoyed the site of young men bathing or Viriginia Woolf never had sex with her husband, Leonard, because she was in love with another woman writer of the day.
Many websites, books, letters, and long conversations have been devoted to speculating on and debating the sexual preferences of everyone from Michaelangelo to Lindsay Lohan. The thrill of researching the lives of important people and laying claim to their team consumes much gay time and attention.
Straights can easily be lured into this gossipy recreation, but the banter may become less festive when the bottle runs low and one begins to wonder just how many geniuses gays would like to recruit from beyond the grave. After all, if everyone still thought Leonardo Da Vinci and Rock Hudson were straight, how would life be any different?
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Log Cabin gays are much like black Mormons – oil and alcohol, two elements that, no matter how much you dress them up and swirl them together, finally never hold hands. Gay Republicans demand civil rights, like the right to marry other gays and to face down the battlefield while telling straight soldiers they look good in their khakis, always remaining faithful to the masquerade of playing straight-laced conservative friends.
This set of gays will tell you how Ronald Reagan really tried to let them tie the knot, just before they hit the squash courts in cardigans and paisley. They want you to know just how individual liberty will save the country from welfare queens and the uninsured sick. And they won’t drink anything less than a twelve-year-old bourbon. They enjoy romps like “Brideshead Revisited,” and pray to God each Sunday before checking their stock stats.
Race isn’t an issue for gay Republicans because anyone who doesn’t succeed at overcoming unfair employee treatment or is caught after six years of illegally spraying crops with pesticides for untaxed salaries will find it’s their own fault, indiscriminately. John McCain wins their votes, and a spin on Daddy’s lap, in November because he secretly shook the gay Republican President’s hand and didn’t wipe it on his handkerchief.
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Sometimes you will notice gays walking down the street wearing S&M regalia such as a black leather biker hat, cross-hatched chest bracelets, or assless chaps. You cannot chat with these gays randomly, even if the gay-friendly friend you are having coffee with knows the couple. You must wait to be introduced and try to identify who is in charge, avoiding all eye contact with the subordinate gay. This is usually quite easy, as there will be an identifiable feature like a leash or a standing order that territorially demarcates who’s on top.
The gay wearing the collar and/or standing just behind or off to the side of the friendly one is the subordinate. You can freely address the dominant gay, but typically, you should avoid asking about the subordinate until he is mentioned in conversation. If the dominant wants to bring his pet into the sidewalk banter, he’ll address his partner himself.
Though this game might appear to be fun, and you may well be tempted to try your hand at subservience or dominance, do not in any way mess with the dynamics exhibited before you. This couple will permanently remain an insular one unless they ask you over for tea or to try out their new jacuzzi. Until then, you must find your own playmate to practice S&M techniques on and leave these gays alone.
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Gays like to dangle bold versions of culture in front of straights and dare them to enjoy their productions. For instance, they claim to own the market on “edgy” and “avant-garde” performance. Think show tunes, Broadway, and drag queens.
But larger cultural outlets like the film and music industries belong to everyone. So why do gays like Todd Haynes toy with gender and sexuality, publicly, casting men as women and vice versa? For example, Cate Blanchett appears as Bob Dylan in his film, “I’m Not There.” He’s not just testing the acting skills of one well-known actress here. What if straights actually find Blanchett’s Dylan attractive?
Gays like to see how far they can push the envelope and make straights wonder if playing with long-standing gender roles is actually “cool” or, taking it to another level, cause straights to fear being seen as homophobic if they don’t quietly accept the blurring of masculinity and femininity. Straights also run the risk of appearing confused when they try to play this gender game.
Dylan has always belonged to the straight hip crowd; best depicting him as a hot woman might challenge whose team really owns his talent. Is this Haynes’s attempt to cross the line and claim Dylan in a gay way? Do gays sometimes infringe on straight culture in an effort to own certain liberal straights who were not theirs to begin with? The answer, my friends — for now — is blowin’ in the wind …
Tilda Swinton as Constantine
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A fun game gays enjoy, particularly together over brunch or when hanging out with straight friends, involves guessing which celebrities and politicians will go gay next. Straight people might interject during this game with a faint protest that their gay friends “want everyone to go gay,” but this resistance is the fuel that fans the flames.
Watching straights squirm and grow a little uncomfortable is all part of the hunt. Moving along and making them wonder aloud about their friends’ secret sexualities ups the ante. Gays enjoy guessing who did what wearing panties and a whip as they turn Tom Cruise and Queen Latifah gay over eggs benedict. This game can be played by anyone but is usually not played without at least two gays initiating it.
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Gays come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. With that knowledge, they often try to blend in among the rest of the crowd, usually without identifying themselves until a key moment that allows them to embarrass straight people for one reason or another.
For example, straights might be enjoying a dinner out, unknowingly with a clandestine gay, and over the arrival of the main course of filet mignon, a couple may quietly toast the lucrative write-off they took on their taxes this year, thanks to their recent marriage. The gay person, originally thought to be a single straight friend and something of a wallflower, may decide to announce her oppressed rank at the celebratory moment and protest to the group that she does not get such a tax break since gays can’t marry, though she has been with her partner for four years.
Why didn’t she tell anyone that she was gay before she created the awkward silence at the height of the meal? Is it fair to the straights, who are actually gay-friendly, that this gay has made everyone uncomfortable and essentially ruined the rest of the evening? Beware of those gays that don’t fit the molds society has identified; they will use their anonymous status to play games with your head and toy with your expectations, all in an effort to call attention to their plight and upset what was a perfectly pleasant evening out.
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