By Susie Day
Now that the Defense of Marriage Act has been repealed and same-sex couples in select states are free to legally marry, homophobia has lost much of its cultural currency. These days, discerning bigots consider it passé to hate homos, bi’s, trannies, or the gender-questioning, as long as they’ve gone to all the trouble of registering their silver patterns at Macy’s.
Since society tends to see the sexual commingling of legally sanctioned couples – either straight or gay – as a bland, nonthreatening amalgam, the fashionably phobic now choose a more refined target on which to project their innate fears and insecurity: the single queer. Sans spouse, sans mate, sans boo – sans everything.
If you’re single; if you have no one you can chastise for ordering the wrong flavor of sexual lube on the Internet; if there’s no Special Someone in your life to blurt out your most intimate secrets in front of dozens of strangers on the A Train, cheer up. Your time will come. Meanwhile, the important thing is not to call attention to yourself as the pissed-off stereotype of the single LGBTQ reprobate that you probably are. “Out and Proud” is so old hat; “Effete and Discrete” is where it’s at. Here are some pointers to follow until the Right Partner comes along.
DON’T: throw gin bottles at the TV and scream, “WHY CAN’T I FILE A JOINT TAX RETURN?” while gay and/or lesbian “power couples” strut their joie de vivre stuff in front of news cameras. Other married people in the room can sense your desperation and might start to shun you as one of those embarrassing single people. Try to understand that, in today’s world, sexuality of all shapes and sizes is acceptable. It is the fact of your own solitary existence – alone, staring into the Infinity’s bleak, cold void of human purposelessness and mortality – that makes you the real pervert.
DO: dress in clothes that tastefully conform to the image of a hip, gay married person. This means, ladies: no jockstraps; gents: no hoopskirts. Red ribbons and rainbow flag pins should be neatly pinned to lapels, not through nipples. When in doubt as to your costume, consult your local genitalia. Persons of the gyno persuasion should wear a slimming dress or smart, “Rachel Maddow” slacks, while those of the dudely persuasion should don a casual, “Anderson Cooper” suit with pants reaching well below the knee.
DON’T: tease the radical “queers.” These people stridently call married people horrid names like “breeders” and “couple-talist pigs.” They enjoy making everyone around them unhappy with their ridiculous protests about keeping the “law” off their “bodies.” Historians of the 1980s record these malcontents following President Reagan around, chanting, “Racist-Sexist-Anti-Gay-Ronald-Reagan-Go-Away.” For pity’s sake, if they really wanted the president to “Go Away,” they wouldn’t have gone to a place where they knew he would be, would they? Given their illogic and volatility, it is best not to point and laugh while they protest. Their little faces get red and they have seizures and pass out, then are carried off by cops, who do god knows what with them, thus hastening their inevitable, dinosaur-like extinction. On second thought: go ahead and tease them.
NEVER: question your governmental authorities about issues that are not specifically about gay rights. After all, what do you know about U.S. policy? Maybe Pakistan thinks drone attacks are cool! Maybe polar bears enjoy playing on melting icecaps! Remember, if it’s not our problem, it doesn’t really exist. Vive our difference!
DO: jump to your feet and cheer like a Hun witnessing a human sacrifice when our President begins a speech with rote chumminess like, “Michelle and I …” Remember, our President is now a Fellow Couple. He’s also having a mighty hard time these days, so cheer after anything he says that is not blatantly against gay marriage. Nothing impresses a president like adoration, which will remind him that we are not terrorists and do not deserve to be sent to Guantánamo to be held under “indefinite detention.” (Note to single queers: send President wee note, thanking him for not holding you under indefinite detention. A small hanging plant might also help him through this financial crisis.)
DON’T: perform the gaucherie of attempting to start a third “radical” political party. This is the height of ingratitude, and has been done to death. Both married and single homos have the potential to be just as sleazy and compromising as any heterosexual in either Party – let’s use it!
DO: go online! A life devoted to blogging and tweeting makes you feel like you’re on the verge of thousands of intimate relationships, when in reality, your life becomes more atomized and interior than ever! It’s fun to have a gay singles website – you may get thousands of “hits” – but you’ll never get an STD! LOL!
DON’T: stop, no matter how alone you are, adding to your gay-marriage hope chest! All the best TV sit-coms prove that married people will inevitably like you if you keep showing them that you, as a single person, hate yourself! Making disparaging remarks about your weight and/or body image is good. Also useful are whimsical remarks about how you never got dates in high school. And don’t forget developing funny, self-degrading crushes on unattainable icons, stars, and heroes. Just keep insulting yourself, and ultimately, people will accept you for whatever it is you might be if you could ever get married.