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Never a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride

Room for Squares

Gay men and weddings. An overly emotional mixture of white lace, floral arrangements, multi-tiered cakes and boozed up straight men in black tuxedos. Save for the inexplicable pairing of sequins and ice skates, I can’t for the life of me think of a match more made in tear-jerking, handkerchief blowing heaven. Sadly though, the closest we’re going to get to ever walking down the aisle is by the sides of our straight friends...and even that’s if we’re lucky.

Everyone’s been talking about marriage equality, as if all we’ll ever need is to get married. And to a certain extent, they’re right. But there’s more to a wedding than just two grooms, two brides or a groom and a bride or what have you. For starters, you have invitations, favors, tux rentals, gown shopping, photographers, cake and floral arrangements, venue reservations, rehearsals, guest seating charts and the list goes on. There is just no way for two people to handle all of those things by themselves.

Enter the gay wedding planners, of which there are a lot. I guess if you’re not allowed to have your own, the next best thing you could do would be to plan somebody else’s. But let me tell you that when I was a kid, I didn’t grow up dreaming of planning somebody else’s big day. Nope. Nor did I fantasize about getting married to the girl of my dreams (or the boy of my dreams, as I would later realize). Instead, I always wanted to be an important part of the bridal party, and when one of my girlfriends got engaged earlier this year, I thought I’d soon get my chance.

That’s when the question of sexuality reared its ugly head. Now we were talking about a different kind of marriage equality. How was a gay man like myself to factor into her bridal party? She knew that she wanted me in her party, but she wasn’t quite sure how I’d look in the bridesmaid’s dress. It got me thinking, “There must be a lot of women out there with the same problem of trying to fit their gay best friends into their weddings.” To be fair, it seems a rather modern predicament, so of course there isn’t one correct way to tackle this problem...yet.

One way of solving the problem is to make the gay guy in question a groomsman, but that’d only be possible if: A) he knew the groom and B) the groom were willing. Luckily for me, I do and he was -- so that’s what they made me. I started looking up the tasks that a groomsman is expected to complete and one thing immediately stuck out: “helps to plan the bachelor party”. All of a sudden I began to see the glaring holes in our little makeshift raft of compromise.

For one thing, to say that getting a lap dance from a female stripper would make me uncomfortable would be an understatement. For another thing, I want to see a male stripper! Now, I realize the implausibility of that situation is something completely of my own making, but it in no way takes away from the inherent unfairness. Couple this with the fact that women are now allowed into the groom’s party as “honor attendants” and the injustice is doubly hurtful. “Just suck it up and be there for your friend,” you say? Well, I’d like to, but men dressed in more than a g-string aren’t generally allowed into bachelorette parties.

I don’t mean to discount my or any other gay man’s position as a close friend of the groom, but there comes a time when girlfriend needs a girlfriend…and few of those times are as important as weddings. But for the love of God, marriage and all things holy, can’t we at least be allowed to see the male strippers? It’s probably as close as we’ll ever get to being a bride.