Dec 4, 2016

15 Reasons to Skip Christmas

I'm not a big fan of Christmas.  I dread seeing the first Christmas ads of the year, in August or September.  The decorations going up in stores in October.  And the day after Thanksgiving, when the onslaught begins in earnest, a full month of gaudy decorations and tinny music and exhortations to be merry.

It's the most heterosexist time of the year.

Here are 15 reasons to just skip it and spend December hiding out in yurt in Mongolia.

1. The Animated Specials: Unrelenting in their zeal in pairing up Santa Claus, Rudolph, and Frosty the Snowman with their female counterparts, while Burl Ives sings "Somebody waits for you -- kiss her once for me."

2. The TV Movies.  Christmas Magic, A Christmas Kiss, A Bride for Christmas, Undercover Christmas.  A lonely woman finds love with an unexpected man in a "Holiday Miracle."  Over and over and over again.

3. The Nutcracker Ballet.  Ok, so there are ample bulges and biceps to be seen, but it's a hetero-romance composed by a gay man.

4The Commercials.  15,000 tv commercials show young heterosexual couples in expensive bathrobes giving each other elegant gifts and then kissing.  15,000 more show kids ecstatically upwrapping the gift du jour, while their heterosexual parents hug each other fondly.  No same-sex couples, not even pairs of friends.

5. The Songs.  Men and women endlessly meeting each other under the mistletoe.  Kids getting gender-polarized presents.   And "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," the most depressing song ever written, part of the repertoire of Judy Garland, who believed -- with many gay people of her era -- that to be gay was to be constantly sad.

Did you know that the song was originally much more depressing?  I'm not sure how that's possible, but the maven of depressing songs refused to sing it until it was cheered up from "throw yourself in front of a bus" to a mere "sob uncontrollably."

6. "Don we now our gay apparel."  A reminder that the word "gay" previously meant something like "happy, giddy."  Except today it's regularly censored, lest anyone's holiday celebrations be ruined by the recognition that gay people exist.

7. The Visit.  You are required to wait at a crowded airport, sit in a packed airplane made even more cramped by bulky coats and packages, and go "home" to visit your birth family in the Straight World.  But your heterosexual brother and sister are excused.  The message is clear: they have their own home, but you don't.  No matter how long they have lived in a place, no matter what social and emotional connections they have made, gay people have no "home."

8. The Dinner. Christmas Dinner back "home" involves endless discussions of heterosexual husbands and wives, boyfriend and girlfriends, but you are cautioned not to tell Aunt June about your boyfriend, lest her holiday be ruined.

9. The Breakup.  There are an extraordinary number of breakups just after Christmas.  People who don't like their boyfriends or girlfriends always think things like "I can't ruin their Christmas by dumping them.  But the day after..."

My problem has always been going "home" for 10 days and leaving the boyfriend back in West Hollywood or New York or Florida.  The vultures start circling immediately, bulging and flexing and cruising, and when I get back, I'm welcomed by "I didn't plan on it -- it just happened."

10. The Parties.  They never end.  Various offices, departments, schools, organizations, miscellaneous groups of friends.  10 or more before the season is over -- if you're lucky.

Roomsful of people who don't know you're gay, forcing you to come out endlessly and get surprised reactions, or else endure heterosexist small talk and flirting from every heterosexual Cougar  in sight.

And endless supplies of cookies, candy, cakes, bars, and whatever other high-fat, high-sugar horrors that can be decorated in gaudy colors.


11. The Fashions.  After all the parties, no wonder people dress in bulky sweaters and coats.  Primary colors, gaudy designs, knit fabrics.  It's the worst time of the year for showing off your muscles, or getting a glimpse of a Cute Young Thing's biceps and bulge.

12. Santa Claus.  Fat, elderly, married, and wearing red.  The antithesis of a gay icon.

13. The Salvation Army, which teaches that gay people should be stoned to death, is out in numbers ringing those little bells, and people are tossing money in gladly, emphasizing how thin the veneer of tolerance is -- at any moment, "I don't have any problem with you people" could change to screaming.

14. "A Perfect Holiday Gift."   TV commercials and ads call it "the holidays," but they mean Christmas only, showing only Christmas traditions and ending summarily on December 26th, even though there is still New Year's Eve, Kwanzaa, and sometimes Ramadan and Hanukah left.

Gay people hear quite enough of this "universal" means "only us" claptrap:

She's every man's fantasy.
Every woman wants him; every man wants to be him.
There's not a man alive who wouldn't want to get with her.
Every boy "discovers" girls during adolescence.

15. "Cheer up, it's Christmas."  You are required to feel ecstatic all the time.  Even the most upbeat person can't be up all day, every day, but if you experience even a moment of melancholy, there are 3000 people waiting to tell you that there's something wrong with you, you're a Scrooge or a Grinch.

Gay people hear quite enough of this "You must feel a certain way" claptrap:

You're not really gay.  You just haven't met the right person yet.
How do you know you're gay if you haven't tried it with a woman?
Ok, so you're gay, but don't tell me you would kick her out of bed!

But at least there are Pantomimes in England, and the Santa Speedo Run in Boston.

See also: Are the Pantos Gay; and My 12 Christmas Boyfriends