So there’s some talk going around about this thing called “The Gay Lifestyle” – has anyone else heard of it? Obviously, anyone who knows what they’re talking about laughs at the idea. Is there a straight lifestyle? A black lifestyle? A short people lifestyle? I’m not exactly sure what homophobic people mean when they say “gay lifestyle” – I assure you no LGBT person has ever uttered those words except to make fun of them – but I think maybe they expect something crazy, sexy, colorful, wild and exciting. Sorry to disappoint you, Ann Coulter, but you can stop thinking that my family’s life is way cooler than yours. Here are the top three reasons why my family definitely doesn’t live up to the “gay lifestyle” fantasy and why my moms are WAY more boring than you thought.
3) They’re SUPER conservative. Not in the Ann Coulter way, of course, but still really, really, conservative. We’re socially liberal – so we support marriage, gender, racial and religious equality, immigration reform and reproductive rights to name a few – and we’re fiscally moderate, but after that we get deadly dull. My parents’ tolerance for us having sex, drugs or alcohol? Not just zero, negative ten. No sex until you’re an adult, no alcohol until you’re legal, and no drugs of any kind EVER. When we play rap music, my mom Audrey cringes from the bad grammar – “It would use the same number of syllables to say ‘lie’ instead of ‘lay’!!!” If we listen to music of any kind from our phones, Karen has to leave the room because of how “tinny” it sounds. If I got a tattoo, went to a crazy party, dyed my hair blue, got anything other than my ears pierced, or had any other breach of “good, clean-cut, class,” all hell might break loose. I’m sort of kidding here, but am also totally serious. Both my moms were HORRIFIED that I said “bitch” in my first blog post; thank goodness I put the name of a college next to it or else they really would have thought I’d gone astray. My parents were both raised in Fundamentalist Christian families, and though they’ve ditched the religion and the closed-mindedness, they’ve raised us with the same morals my great-grandmother would have been proud of.
2) They’re too old for Pride Parade. In a mid-teen crisis last year, I started to feel guilty that we spent so much time on cancer activism, but little to no time putting ourselves out there for LGBT rights. My parents had decided years before that they were ready to stop “fighting for their life and start living it.” I was born to argue; I want to fight about everything. I cried that we weren’t in Washington D.C. when DOMA and Prop 8 were on the docket. We had failed the movement. Why didn’t I own a single rainbow outfit?!? Desperate to prove we were really part of the club, I decided that this would be the year my whole family went to PrideFest. A “Glee” star was performing, there would be rainbow flags galore, my moms would finally get to wear their matching “Born This Way” t-shirts, and we’d be a symbol of hope and success for all the young couples there who couldn’t wait to have kids of their own. Well, I think the youngins cared a litttttllee more about the beer and concerts than being inspired to settle down. Instead of finally “fitting in” with our fellow outcasts, we felt achingly boring and God forbid, “normal.” The most exciting part for me was drinking at least a half-gallon of sugar-laced lemonade and vandalizing my high-tops with equal signs. We probably would have fit in at the DOMA protest, but PrideFest was an epic fail; in fact, we stuck out just as much as any straight family with middle-aged parents and tween to teen kids would have. I still don’t own any rainbow clothing. Such an embarrassment.
And finally 1) Pearlie May Whovier (Whoveay), our 14-year-old, special needs, toy poodle. She is not technically my parents’ fault since WE begged for her after our dog, Reese, died. But she definitely makes their lives more boring because they take care of her, whether they wanted her or not. Aunt Pearl’s sweet as can be, but she drools, can barely get up the stairs, and sleeps 95% of the day. Every time she eats or drinks, someone has to go wipe her mouth. She has to have special food because she basically has no teeth – okay, so some canine Kentuckians DO fit the stereotype. Pearlie loves to wear sweaters in the winter, so maybe my moms should take up knitting them for her and become still MORE tame if that’s even possible.
My friends, if there is a gay lifestyle, run away fast. If it spreads to your neighborhood, you’ll quickly become a sober, monogamous, tattoo-less, classy, crocheting, crossworder who hates rap music and ruins a good Pride party. At least your drooling dog will love you.
P.S. Ann Coulter, my family’s life is still way cooler than yours.