Pet Gays

America, I’m not your pet gay.

America, I never said I wanted to marry you.  Can’t we just live together?

America, I’m not a Care Bear on your suburban lawn with an adopted Guatemalan baby in my arms and my legal-in-twelve-states-and-DC husband weeping beside me and humming the score of Rent through his grateful tears.

America, I’m not a happy happy drag queen sent to earth by Jesus, Cher, and Harvey Fierstein to teach joy and love and endurance to straight people in tour buses.

America, have you ever met a drag queen?  On a Monday morning, out of make-up and cigarettes?  Do you think her first thought is to teach you to love?

America, “straight allies” is an oxymoron.  Were you never in high school gym class?

Do the words “dodge ball” mean anything to you, America?

America, don’t raise a faggot and expect him to vote Republican.

I love gay Republicans, their even tans, their lovely sweaters, their faces tight as Barry Manilow’s, their violated houseboys, their Paula Deen black-butlered-ante-bellum lawn parties, mute servants in and out through the back door, and I mean the pun.

America, I’d rather there were gay Republicans in the world because they’re proof at least that people are different from each other.

You don’t seem to know that, America.

America, when will you uncloset your Congressional queers?

America, when will you give Lindsey Graham a Senate page with a cell phone and directions to the airport Men’s Room?

When will you cancel your subscription to The New Yorker?

I’m obsessed with The New Yorker.  My mother papered the walls of our kitchen with New Yorker covers.  When I graduated from college, my gift was the cover of The New Yorker from the week I was born.

The New Yorker leers at me from my iPad, laptop, newsstand, mailbox, coffee table.

America, Jonathan Franzen owns a coffee table!  I know because he said so in the New York Times Book Review.

I’m obsessed with Jonathan Franzen.

I’m obsessed with straight writers who publish in The New Yorker.  Here’s something they don’t know: they are published in The New Yorker and elsewhere because they’re straight.

They get reviewed in The New York Times and elsewhere because they’re straight.  They win prizes because they’re straight.  They don’t have to be good, they just have to be straight.  Advocacy publishing.

All those straight people winning fellowships, first book contests, arts grants, tenure track positions, editorial positions, international writers awards: do they know the rumors?  Do they hear the whispering?  “If he weren’t straight, no one would read him.”  “If she weren’t straight, she wouldn’t have gotten that job.”  “Okay, they’re in pain, who isn’t?  There’s more to life than being straight.”

America, when will your straight writers stop being straight?

Can’t they write about anything else?

Something more universal?  Something everyone can relate to?

America, I don’t want to be universal.

It’s not my job to be someone you can relate to.

America, I refuse to be equal.

If black people can’t vote in Alabama, or Pennsylvania, or Miami, or the Bronx; if my elderly mom can’t find her birth certificate; if war vets with prostheses can’t pull the voting lever; if college kids are sent home from the polling place because they’re voting out-of-state; if farmers in Texas don’t have a day free to drive one hundred miles to the nearest state-issued-photo-ID stand; if migrant workers who have a hard time convincing a white guy with his arms crossed behind a big desk that they’re citizens; if women who speak mostly Cantonese:

If these people can’t vote, America, I don’t want my rights back.

How dare you presume to “give” me what you stole from me in the first place.

America, do you think I’m stupid?

Homosexuals can be fired from their jobs in 29 states, America.

Transgender people can be fired from their jobs in 33 states, America.

Women can be told to feed and carry the bio-product of the men who violated them, America.

America, why isn’t there a cure for AIDS?

Go sequester yourself.

America, you made me.

America, I know how to quit you.

Go fuck yourself with your equal rights.

I’m taking my faggoty-assed faggot ass to your polling places, America.

I’ve got my eye on you.  My gay gaze.

I’m putting my limp wrist on your voting lever.