Gay Guy / Straight Guy / Mummer Guy

Gay Guy,

Just can't stop making fun of the Mummers. If you don't know, this is a Philadelphia New Year's tradition. Neighborhood social clubs spend all year assembling sparkled, spangled outfits for a big musical parade... but it's not gay. They have all-male "fancy brigades" and "wench brigades"... but it's not gay. They will not perform in bad weather "
as the expensive and fancy costumes are easily harmed by precipitation"... but it's not gay.

But it's not exactly straight, either.

I grew up in a small town halfway between Philadelphia and Lancaster Pennsylvania. I've seen both sides, so how 'bout a "West Side Story" rewrite? Mummer boy swoons for Amish girl, but there are gangs that will kill to keep them apart.

I kid the Mummers, but who am I to judge? It's a proud, centuries-old tradition. This is exactly how male peacocks attract all the ladies, after all.

Last year, I spent New Year's playing Scrabble with my in-laws. So, rock on with 'dem Golden Slippers, dudes!

--Straight Guy


Straight in Upstate said...

GG, you left out the music. I don't think any self-respecting gay man would be caught playing "Alabama Jubilee" on a banjo for 5 miles regardless of how many sequins and feathers you throw in.

Gay Guy said...

Sequins? Feathers?

Anonymous said...

Anyone who does this might have TOO MUCH self respect. All modesty is banished beyond city limits for the day.

virgin blogger said...

My favorite is the Fancy Division because this division allows for elaborate and outrageous dress. I guess the other divisions are modest and conservative in style.

Straight Guy said...

Oh, Virgin Blogger, you are truly naive and innocent when it comes to the Mummers. The other divisions are filled with burly men dressed like characters from H.R. Pufnstuf and the Bugaloos. They move to a specially created "Mummer Strut."

The man in the photo may vote republican, but I think we can all agree that he cannot be labeled as a conservative.

Straight but Fabulous said...

I met a mummer in June....(this sounds like the start of a nursery rhyme....)

His father was a DEDICATED mummer too. His father DIED from pneumonia, which he contracted while marching one New Year in the mummer parade - which the city had cancelled due to bad weather (and yet the mummers went on despite....).

He was a mummer martyr. That's so wrong.

Anonymous said...

The Mummers are like one of those bizarre illnesses. You get something you've never heard of before, mention it to someone & before you know it, you've found 25 other people who have had the same condition. Here's my Mummer run-in.

A few years ago I was running the Marine Corps Marathon. The race start is on VA's Rte 110, just below the Iwo Jima Memorial. I found a quiet place to sit and close my eyes to relax before the long day began. So there I am, feeling pretty athletic and straight. Didn't know why this area was so quiet -- until I opened my eyes a few minutes later and realized there were Mummers staging around me. Apparently they were in town to lead off the Marathon in some robust fashion. Mummers met Marines that day. I didn't know what to make of it, but it was a sight to be seen.

Norm said...


There's an excellent indie film out there called New Year Parade, and the movie begins and ends with the Mummers Parade. The guys in the movie involved in the parade definitely do not seem gay. They seem pretty badass actually, and have barfights, and act like most football teams. I mean, c'mon, it is Philly for Chrissakes.


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