How many times have you heard the phrase, “the gay lifestyle?”
Have you ever stopped to wonder what, exactly, the gay lifestyle is? Wonder no more — because today, right here, right now, I’m going to expose the gay lifestyle for exactly what it really is. I’m going to drag it (no pun intended) out of the darkness and into the light.
What follows is not for the faint of heart.
We’re up early. While Clyde reads the paper, I catch up on email and take a shower. Clyde makes breakfast. I walk Chelsea and clean the kitchen. Clyde leaves for work, and I spend the morning making posters to help new customers understand the big changes we’ve made at the family store. I spend most of the day writing. That night, we watch television until it’s time for bed.
We’re up early. While Clyde reads the paper, I update a website or two. Clyde makes breakfast. I walk Chelsea, then vacuum and dust the living room. Clyde leaves for work, and I spend the morning publishing my newsletter. Clyde’s Dad and two of the nephews happen to be in town, so we have lunch with them at the Thai House. I pack and ship forty DVDs to send to people who buy from Clyde’s online business. I write for an hour or two more. We go to our new Chinese restaurant, watch Big Brother All Stars, come home, and go to bed by 10:00.
We’re up earlier than usual, because we want to get work done on the exterior of the family business before the sun rises. We spend an hour and a half adhering huge vinyl letters to four faces of a cube-shaped sign in the parking lot. Back home, I shower while Clyde makes breakfast while I shower. When he leaves for work, I clean the master bedroom and bath, then write for the rest of the morning. After we have lunch, I pack and ship forty DVDs to send to people who buy from Clyde’s online business. I write the rest of the afternoon, and then serve us a dinner of slightly undercooked pasta. We catch up on The Closer and 30 Days before going up to bed around 9:45.
We’re up early. While Clyde reads the paper, I answer email. Clyde makes breakfast. I shower, walk the dog, then clean the office. Clyde goes to work; I spend the morning writing. We have a good lunch together, and then I pack and ship the day’s DVDs. I deliver newly printed posters to the family business, and we talk about the need for postcards. I go to New Vibrations to meet a client. Back home, Clyde and I eat bowls of cereal for dinner, then watch Big Brother All Stars before calling it a night around 9:30.
We’re up early. While Clyde reads the paper, I read a few pages of Byron Katie’s Loving What Is. After breakfast, I walk Chelsea and vacuum the whole house. I wonder if we’ll have time to see a movie, and Clyde thinks we’ll be too busy. I write most of the morning and develop brochures for the family business. We have a quick lunch, and then I pack DVDs. That afternoon, I finish a huge project for my publisher, and can’t get motivated to do much else. We have a simple dinner, then watch t.v. until 9:30.
We’re up early. While Clyde reads the paper, I make a list of the cleaning supplies I need for the house. Clyde goes in to work while I spend time writing. Because I’m hoping to see a movie today, I go early to pack DVDs, and spot Clyde in the parking lot in the noonday sun, plastering vinyl stickers on a metal box. I stop to help, but he’s already giving up, thanks to the terrible, terrible heat. I pack and ship the DVDs. We have lunch in Madison, then go see The Night Listener, which is a great movie for seventy minutes and a terrible movie for the last twelve. I write some during the afternoon, and then Clyde and I join friends for sushi and a chat. Back home, we watch Diary of a Mad Black Woman and do laundry before going to bed around 10:00.
And there you have it: the gay lifestyle in all its dark and sinister glory, finally exposed for the world to see!
Whenever I hear the phrase “the gay lifestyle,” I burst out laughing. I’m not trying to be rude; it’s just that the very idea that all gay people are alike enough to share a single “lifestyle” is one of the most preposterous things I’ve ever heard.
Think about it, and you will have to agree. Is there a “straight lifestyle” that all straight people share? Is there a “black lifestyle?” A “white lifestyle?” A “Christian lifestyle?”
Gay lifestyle is a clever turn of phrase — a marketing trick devised by people who hope others will be weak-minded enough to repeat it without thinking. Those who conceived the phrase knew that it would encourage otherwise level-headed straight people to imagine that gay people like me spend all day parading down the street in a lime-green Speedo while shopping for antiques and preparing to spend the night strapped to a pool table in smoky leather bar filled with hundreds of men with bicycle mustaches.
“The gay lifestyle” is a fallacy, a fantasy, a phrase designed to perpetuate prejudice — nothing more.
The next time someone uses the phrase “the gay lifestyle,” burst out laughing. Ask them what, exactly, they imagine the gay lifestyle to be. Ask them to describe it. Ask them if they are living “the straight lifestyle,” and ask them to define it, too.
If they’re brave enough to admit the phrase makes no sense, you might also ask them why they ever used it to begin with.