Gay (gā) adj. A. 1. Of persons, their attributes and actions: Full of or disposed to joy and mirth; light-hearted, exuberantly cheerful, sportive, merry. 1843 Lytton, Last Bar. 1. i. Edward was the handsomest, the gayest, and the bravest prince in Christendom. 1789, W. Buchan, Dom. Med. (1790) 89 That greatest of human blessings [sleep]… visits the happy, the cheerful, and the gay.2. Addicted to social pleasures and dissipations. Often euphemistically: Of loose or immoral life. 1851 Mayhew, Lond. Labour I. 382 The principal of the firm was what is termed “gay”. He was particularly fond of attending public entertainments. 1891 E. Peacock, N. Brendon I. 302 This elder Narcissa had led a gay and wild life while beauty lasted.3. Bright or lively-looking, esp. in colour; brilliant, showy.5. In immaterial sense: Brilliant, attractive, charming.6. Brilliantly good; excellent, fine.*
What is “gay”? Is it just two guys that date? Is it just two guys that have sex? Is it just same-sex relationships in general? What is the answer? Is there even a solidly and widely recognized answer? I know that in our nation’s wave of “political correctness”, we have determined that each soul is unique and special like a snowflake. Pshaw! Screw that. I want real, hard, gritty, soul-stirring answers.
What is it to be gay in this “post-coming-out” era? For one thing, coming out used to be a process. It was important to look inside yourself, determine your sexuality, and come right on out. In the 80s and 90s, you would come out, it would mark you somewhat in society and you would live your life. Openly, if you were brave enough and had the support that was needed. And if not openly, you were forced into the closet for whatever reasons. Don’t forget that not so long ago, it wasn’t trendy or popular to be gay or bisexual, or curious, or an ally. It was something that we were raised to be ashamed of. It was something we were told that made us different, and less-than, and abomination. Yawn. But, for the brave souls that were visible, and chose to be counted as homosexual and especially for those gay men that went before me, the struggles of the 1970’s and 1980’s were not in vain. My own coming out in the mid-nineties was not a difficult thing for me personally. I saw so many friends go through difficult struggles with their families. Unnecessary struggles that tore them apart and even made some commit suicide or turn to substances to take their minds and hearts elsewhere, all because of misconceptions and the lies of men.
- Fashion – check.
- Hair and coiffure – check.
- Makeup – check.
- Sports – check.
- Professional careers – check.
- Actors, movies, TV – check.
- Music, singers, bands – check.
If it’s hereditary, then why in the world are so many of us begging for little Asian babies and trying to prove we are no better than the sloppy redneck couple down the street? Have we already stooped so low in our fight for equality and civil rights that we finally believe we are equally as lame? Equally as slobbish and mundane? Que Pedestrian!!! For years, we assured ourselves that our persecution was because we WERE better. We knew that she looked horrible in her ensemble to go to Wal-Mart and we knew our life’s mission was to be better, more fabulous, have better clubs, restaurants, and salons. We were metro, way before the straight men decided to work out, get ripped, and use mousse and gel. We knew the names of those bitches stomping down catwalks before they were ever on a reality show with that five-headed Tyra! WE were the ones that kept Tom Ford, Yves St. Laurent and Comme de Garcon in business during a freaking recession!!! Not some tired piece of snatch on Project Runway and that awful orange queen sitting beside her!!
The harsh truth of the matter is: we, the gays, ARE better at most things...
Perhaps we are just plain lucky to be gay. Maybe we are really the ones that got the lottery. Let’s face it, I’ll never have to call my mother to tell her to plan a shotgun wedding because I “accidentally” got some ho knocked up. I’ll always be able to help her in a pinch when it comes to party planning, to catering, how to complete the look for her new den, and to catch her up on the latest gossip! I’ll know how to dress her and light her when she’s older and how to coif her hair and make her just as pretty. God knows none of her other kids will. (No offense you guys, but seriously… it would have always been me.) Or, maybe I’m just nostalgic. Maybe I miss the days when being gay gave you a freedom to be unique and exotic and wildly imaginative in your wardrobe, your style, your personality. We felt more free to create a persona and flaunt it. Once you were out, you were just out, and there was no need to be timid or afraid or even… respectable. But now… NOW we all want to be LL Bean and Ralph Lauren copycats and join the local clubs and have tame dinner parties. I’ll pass. Hell, maybe I just miss youth… and beauty… I miss painting myself gold and wearing a sheer curtain as a toga for Halloween, or a random Saturday night on the town. Or just for no reason.