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Making the Yuletide Gay
Room for Squares
by Philip Wong on Dec 21, 2007
If youíre anything like me (i.e. wary of organized religion and opposed to all-around cheer and merriment), then youíre probably wondering whatís with the annual hullaballoo that seems to infest peopleís minds during this particular time of year. Endless lines at the register and throngs of people crowded into tiny, cramped little stores, everything leading to an even deeper hole in your wallet than was already there. Are any of these actually reasons to celebrate?
The holidays are filled with such a ďmore, more, moreĒ mentality that it has become hard to separate what is real from what isnít. Have all of us forgotten that Christmas is a Christian holiday for Godís sake? Isnít that the very same religion that finds our ways of life unsavory? The very same religion that threatens to kick us out of its halls, even after weíve decked them out with boughs of holly and donned our gay apparel?
The way I see it, to many people in our country, our lifestyles are a bold slap in the face to the so-called teachings of Christ. Why would I want to spend my money in celebration of ideals that have, in conservative interpretation at least, decried the very same ideals of love and friendship that we gay Americans proudly uphold, Christian or not? How is it that even in the most unsettling of locales, like that inexplicably crowded Pottery Barn on the corners of Market and Castro, are gay consumers willing to shed their hard earned bucks all for the supposed sake of old St. Nick? It appears as if even the power of God has fallen to the combined might of that ever lucrative gay dollar.
As much as we gays love to give and receive in kind, weíve also unwittingly turned our cash over to the money grubbing monster that is Christmas. Itís almost as if for three weeks out of every year, the religious conservatives in this country decide to remain mum about our gay-ass lives while we stupidly fork over our hard earned cash to feed the major cash cow of their rightist agenda. Only $50 to buy your silence, at least until the debate over gay marriage heats up again? Do you take cash or credit?
Whoa, Iím sorry. That might be taking it a bit too far. Iím merely trying to illustrate the point that while it may sound like an underhanded trick, itís not the first time that the wool has been pulled over the eyes of poor, innocent consumers for the purpose of business. Remember Kathie Lee? Like in her deal with Wal-Mart and sweatshops, are we really ready to give into the ideals of a businessÖer, pardon me, religion that is organized into action against us just to satisfy our consumer desires? I guess if itís the difference between a new Louis Vuitton bag or a bag of coal, the answer would have to be yes.
Itís give for the sake of taking now. Where has the spirit of giving gone? The spirit that doesnít equate value with a price tag? Where is the spirit of Christmases past? Where have all the cowboys gone? And most importantly, where is Charlie Brown? I mean, Christmas isnít only about buying the shiniest, most expensive presents, is it? Itís also about family and friends, and eggnog and fireplaces. Itís about making out under the mistletoe and getting hot and steamy in ugly sweaters. But perhaps most fittingly, itís about sitting on the lap of a big hairy Bear whoís into leather boots and riding reindeer. Ho ho ho.
by Philip Wong on Dec 21, 2007