Collect All 50!

A small milestone to celebrate with GG and SG: On the back end (no jokes, please) of the blog we get lots of fun analytics about our reader traffic. One of my favorite bits is a snap shot of the world highlighting each country that's sent a visitor in the last month. Roll over any country to get more information.

When I got the snap shot for the U.S. the past few days, all 50 states are lit up! Yes, we've had at least one visitor from each state in the past month!

Gotcha, Montana. You cannot resist our power.

--Gay Guy

Respondez S'il Vous Gay or Straight

Question from a gay reader:
I recently received a wedding invitation from a friend.

I have chosen not to go because his family has shown some homophobia.

I do like this friend very much but I know that if I choose to bring a date (which would be a guy) that it might be a problem.

I don't like the thought of bringing a female as my date just because it is a straight wedding... but I know it might cause problems if I bring a guy.

Of course I won't go there to make a point or to push buttons. I would just bring my date and celebrate his marriage.

Is it wrong to not go?


If the couple and family extend the invitation for you to bring a guest and know that you are gay, then feel free to take them up on that offer. Not to be too blunt here, but does your invite clearly say that you and a "guest" are invited? If not, then don't bring one, gay or straight. Don't kid yourself, weddings are no fun for an outsider, anyway.

If you have the invite, are out to your friends, and are thinking of bringing another dude, then maybe a call to the couple would be a good idea. If uncle Zebadiah will definitely throw a fit when he sees two guys slowdancing to "Careless Whisper," then it's the couple's job to let you know and advise you of your options. But please don't hold it against them if there are any issues. They can't choose their families, or easily change their attitudes.

Your instincts are right. It's not the right moment to take a stand. But that doesn't mean that you can't attend and support your friends. If it's convenient, stay for the ceremony and meal, then skip out before any garter tossing goes awry. Or, if you're having a good time, stay late, have a drink and sing "Last Dance" with Zebadiah. (Yes, your gaydar reading of "protest too much" was correct.)

Caveat: If this is some complicated destination wedding, then you already have plenty of reasons (time, cost, trouble) to back out gracefully. Don't get me started...

Gay Guy was at my wedding, many years ago. He was invited solo and seated at a singles table with some other folks he knew. Lame? Well, I hope he had a good time, anyway. I was glad he was there, but might there have been an issue if he wanted to bring a boyfriend? Not with me, but perhaps with the polka band.

I'm still in debt to GG for also agreeing to attend my bachelor party, which was a shameful farce. Our shenanigans made the morning papers in a less-than-complimentary review. Sad, but true. I'm sure he's glad he didn't try to bring a date to that mess, either.

How 'bout we try to get to national acceptance of gay marriage before we try to make every straight wedding gay-friendly? Long term, I'm optimistic about both.

Go solo and have a good time.


"Is it wrong not to go?"

Yes, it is wrong not to go.

Why? It's an honor to be invited to someone's wedding. It is a very special, life-changing day for your friend, who you say you like very much. He is kind to invite you, and you will regret not going. Deciding not to go is one thing if you don't have the vacation days or the money or it's too much travel. But don't stay home for politics' sake.

Your friend didn't get to pick his family, but he did pick you to join him on his special day. He has some idea of what the potential dip in the comfort zone could be. He might even have exerted some real effort against a tide of family pressure in order to make sure you stayed on the invite list.

What's the pressure to bring a date? Bring a friend, male or female, and just have a nice time. And, gay or straight, unless you've been together for a while, weddings are no place to bring a date. Way too much pressure.

What should you do? You've already answered you own question: "Of course I won't go there to make a point or to push buttons. I would just bring my date and celebrate [my friend's] marriage." Ta-dah! That's the answer. You don't need to make out on the dance floor. Not that it's wrong -- it's just not nice to upstage the bride and groom on their big day.

I had a blast at Straight Guy's wedding, especially when everyone hit the dance floor for YMCA!

Your question took me back a few years to a painful incident: One of my best friends from college got married. I knew her family pretty well and had been a guest in their home on many occasions. Despite some pretty conservative values and probably some level of discomfort about homosexuality, they were always extremely kind and generous to me.

At the time of my friend's wedding, I was in a relationship. The wedding invitation came in both our names, not "Gay Guy and Guest," but "Gay Guy and His Gay Guy Partner." Right there on the envelope in my friend's mother's scrawl. Stupid Boyfriend refused to go. Not interested, wouldn't know anyone, blah, blah, blah. I was really hurt, not just because he wouldn't do something I really wanted him to do, but also because I felt like the bride's family had really taken a step forward out of their comfort zone, and that he really rejected that. Upon reflection, I shouldn't hold him accountable for the political angle, only that he wouldn't do something just to make me happy.

Go, go, go to the wedding. Just hide at the bar or in the men's room to avoid the garter toss.

Straight Guy Hall of Shame: Summertime Edition

In case you can't tell, this is Toilet Seat Horseshoes, one of the least sanitary games ever invented.

Notice the lanyard and credentials, important because you absolutely cannot allow the riffraff into these competitions. Security is tight.

I assumed this was a straight guy, but just noticed he's blinged out on pinky rings. Getting a hit on your gaydar, GG? Either way, no wedding ring. Shocker.

--Straight Guy

Good Try, Mr. Chips

More e-mail that came in while I was on Gaycation:
Gay Guy,

It's Mrs. Straight Guy here. I don't usually interject in the blog, but I need some insight into Straight Guy.

I missed you at the last Poker Night. As you know, when Straight Guy hosts Poker Nights, it's often a co-ed event. It's usually a fun evening, with expected offerings such as pizza, chips and beer. While I'm not a stereotypical house mom, I politely stay in the background to manage the kids. I like to give Straight Guy some semblance of a man's Poker Night, even with the wife and kids at home.

Here's my quandary: At the last Poker Night, only females showed up. It was a Poker Harem, if you will. So there was Straight Guy, not only hanging out at the Poker table with all the ladies, but also taking all of their chips. Some wives might worry about the female attention. Straight Guy and I are beyond insecurities like that. I worry more about the chip hoarding. Is Straight Guy in need of confidence boosting? Is he taking advantage of these unsuspecting guests? Or was it all just innocent newbies joining the game on the same night? What's really going on here?

--Mrs. Straight Guy

Dear Mrs. Straight Guy,

Always happy to hear from you.

I'm glad that you and Straight Guy don't have insecurities about peripheral female attention. In all the years that I've know SG, the only longing he's shown outside of his relationship with you has been with Best Buy, the Apple Store, and for a raspberry Danish that I had carelessly left in plain sight.

Regarding SG's winning streak: I'm voting that his luck was due to a harem of poker newbies. SG's a very good poker player, I'm sure, but we never get to see him strut his stuff. He's too nice to his guests: He posts the definitions of the hands, we play a few practice hands, he instructs and gives tips throughout the game. If he was hustling us, he would have made a noticeable dent in your mortgage by now.

Here's some personal perspective: I'm not good at poker. I don't win often, and sometimes even when I do take a hand, I don't even know it until SG slides the chips over to me. (It's a little shaming to need someone to explain why you're the winner.)

But, a few months ago, I had an incredible poker night. I couldn't stop winning. It was like stepping into a movie, right down to cradling my forearms around all the chips and sliding them into my stash. Mine, mine, mine. Just like in the movies.

Winning gave me a real testosterone surge. Very primal. I felt like a caveman who had just bagged a wild boar to feed his cave family through the long winter. So if I felt like thumping my chest and grunting, imagine how SG might feel inside.

I don't think Straight Guy's confidence is in need of boosting from poker chips, but I do think he's entitled to more Alpha Male moments than the 21st century provides any of us.

--Gay Guy

"Do Your Believe that Marraige Should Only Take Place Between. . . CLICK"


My mail box filled up while I was away on vacation. Here's a few of the e-mails.

Straight Guy and I received an interesting e-mail from frequent commenter and fellow blogger, Kathryn. Interesting that it came at the same time of California's Prop 8 decision.

Kathryn writes:

"A little FYI: I just got a call from 202.461.3460.
It was an automated poll. Asked if I was registered to vote in NY. (Yes.)
Asked "Do you believe that marriage should only take place between a man and a wo---"
(I hung up)
Obviously, I had a feeling what was coming. . . . "

Kathryn, thanks for being quick with the click.

--Gay Guy

Going for Broke -- Morally and Financially

Straight Guy,

Wouldn't it just be better for the health of the State of California if Californians just focused on their budget crisis, and left same-sex marriage alone?

--Gay Guy

The Family Circus Has Subtext?!?!

Wow. I can't be the only one who noticed this and did a double-take. The cleavage, the pole, the money, the raised heel, the near embrace...

Is Bil Keane's marriage in trouble or something? It's just so off-note for this strip. And, hey, is that other woman inspecting the china or Bill's booty?

I scan the comics daily for a few favorites and a few strips that I loathe but can not ignore. I know, I know. Why torture myself? I have no reasonable answer for why I continue to follow Family Circus and Sally Forth. (More on the soul-sucking Sally Forth soon.)

I guess this is why. Go on with your bad self, Mack Daddy Bill.

Praying we get part 2 of this tomorrow...

--Straight Guy



Straight Guy gave me a lift to the airport on Friday to help me begin my Memorial Day Weekend getaway to visit a friend. He inquired about our plans. I said that I knew we were going to an art exhibit and having brunch.

SG gave me a slow burn look.

"Oh," he said. "Gaycation."

Was it the brunch?

--Gay Guy

P.S.: Straight Guy: We are going to a baseball game this afternoon. Do I get any straight cred for that?

Gay/Straight Ad Watch: Flings and Little Gays

Check out the embedded ads for the Mars Fling candy bar and something called Europride (educate me, GG).

If there's "a little gay in everyone," mine was on display last night in my white-knuckled viewing of the American Idol final results show. My pick, Adam Lambert, obviously deserved to win, but didn't get the votes. At least he was spared the tragedy of having to continue performing "No Boundaries," this year's metaphor-loaded victory ballad. Kris, the new Idol, actually apologized for winning. Good luck to them both. Nice guys with their own GG/SG dynamic.

Back to the ads... WTF? More examples of how straight guys can't win. The clumsy buffoon in the top ad never stood a chance against a candy bar. In advertising, women are always more aroused by chocolate or shampoo than they are by the men standing right next to them. And, yes, it IS naughty when each packet contains two "fingers" for you to enjoy.

As for the second ad, in my book "a little gay" is a Kenneth Cole purchase or man-crushing on old Steve McQueen movies. I'll own up to both. But, there's nothing "little" about elaborate, full-drag, cabaret performance fantasies. Still, I get it. All in good fun... until his wife comes home early from work one afternoon.

Readers: Anything "a little gay" in you? Do your prefer chocolate to anonymous sexual encounters with schlubby dudes in public places? What's wrong with you?

--Straight Guy

Gay Guy is Back Online!

Straight Guy:

After a silly amount of downtime, Gay Guy is back online. It turns out that my cable provider and my computer share the blame, and that their mutual finger-pointing may have been justified: There was a minor adjustment required of my cable modem and I needed a new wireless router. Cable paid a 5-minute-long visit to me and I paid two visits to the computer store (once because I didn't have my stuff together). As an aside, the young 'un at the Mac genius desk was sooo adorable. And so young. And so clever.

I managed to persevere through to resolve both issues without you, SG. I hope that's okay. Given my techno lack of interest, pushing through on my own is something of a challenge and thus something of an accomplishment. I rely too much on you for technical assistance. Mostly, I succeed at being quite independent in my life, but technology is a place where I want someone, specifically you, to take care of me, to just do it for me. I don't think it's a gay guy/straight guy stereotype, I think it's just the place where I don't have enough brain space.

Do straight men have places they just want to be taken care of? I don't mean wanting their girlfriend/wife to be their mommy, too, like my dad, who needs his three meals and ironed clothes taken care of. I mean in a more internal way. Like me just wanting to subcontract technology decisions to you.

Back to technology: As a general rule, I think that gay men are early adopters when it comes to technology. And a lot of other things, too. Lots of I-phones and ridiculously Star Trek-like phone doodles in their ears at all times. Do we just have more time to notice and think about what's new?

A true story: Several years ago, a gay acquaintance ripped me a new one for lolling about town without my cell and then without a Blackberry. Like I should always be available -- for social planning. "Why, you might not be able to be part of multiple rounds of phone calls required to choose what movie to go to. You might even miss out on the movie altogether," he said. Like part of my responsibilities as a gay man to be available. BTW, if it takes more than two calls to choose a restaurant or movie, I drop out: Somebody make a choice and I'll go along, or I'll happily resign for the evening and see you another time. Life, at least mine, cannot be so decision-laden.

Back to that conversation, which obviously made a huge impression on me: I still remember his final and trump reason for my needing a cell phone on me at all times: "What if I was going to Spain for a long trip, or even moving there, and a guy I was interested in called at the last minute to tell me that he was interested in me, too. What if I moved away without knowing that?" It's a paraphrase, but a pretty accurate one. I kid you not.

My answer was that it would be better for me to not know and thus not spend time obsessing and revisiting the topic. Learning at the final moment would make me resent the guy for not coughing up his feelings faster when I could act upon them. Worse it would keep me/slow me down from enjoying senors galore in Espana. And, to state the obvious, that I was not moving to Spain.

I reject the common theory among advertisers that gays have more disposable income and thus more inclination to consume. I know it's true, but I think it just puts us in the silly flit, presentation obsessed, drawn to the bright shiny object camp. That we just indulge every whim. I like to be taken more seriously than that. I like to, say, look nice and travel well, but being comfortable and wearing something that looks good on me is more important than being captive to, say, vertical stripes.

--Gay Guy

So Many Options, So Little Time

Gay Guy,

I've captured the two ads that Google keeps pushing on me today (see above). I think their demographics might be a little off. These ads were appearing in multiple feeds, so it must have been something I said, or searched for.

So I've been ID'd as a man of established success, with sugar daddy potential, but on death's doorstep. Has there ever been a more desirable combination?

Memo to Established Men copywriter: Kudos on packing maximum skank into a tiny wordcount. Extra points for using "girls." The commitment to ALL CAPS seals the deal.

--Straight Guy

First Rule of Straight Guy Club: You Do Not Talk About Wire Hangers!

Gay Guy, has compiled a list of the 50 greatest movie monologues. Better than that, they've managed to YouTube almost all of them. Good stuff if you're prepping for an audition. Which we definitely are not.

"Do you feel lucky, punk?"
"You talkin' to me?"
"I could have been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am."
"Greed is good."
"You do not talk about Fight Club."

Took me a moment to realize how this list is dominated by classic straight guy performances. Not much for your team to sink it's teeth into. Though the "No wire hangers!" moment from Mommie Dearest has a certain drag ferociousness to it, perhaps even more than the Tootsie big-reveal quote also included on the list.

What's missing from the list? Any great monologues from Philadelphia or Priscilla? Or am I thinking too narrowly? (No. I don't really think that gay-friendly monologues are limited to the topics of HIV and disco drag queens.) Women, what about you? There's got to be more than Gone With the Wind.

Side note: Is it possible that gay guys are fans of the Mommie Dearest, Baby Jane, and Virginia Woolf films because those characters (wild eyed,
verbally merciless, and overly made up older women) scare the crap out of straight guys? I'll admit it. Though I admire the performances, I can hardly endure them. To get run over and ripped apart by a woman like that... give me Pride of the Yankees or Blade Runner anytime.

--Straight Guy

Rock On, Gay Idol

Here's a stereotype switcheroo for you. I (Straight Guy) am a long-time American Idol addict but Gay Guy has absolutely no interest in the show. And, not that it matters much, but I am rooting for the gay front runner this season, Adam Lambert.

He's talented, fun, interesting, and unique. He might have outsung every other contestant on every single week of this competition so far. He's never bombed or lazily phoned it in. He has a ton of confidence on stage, but outside of his performances, he seems like a humble, genuinely nice guy. I don't know that anyone has ever dominated the competition in the way he has and I think his "bottom three" ranking a few weeks ago was probably due to voter fatigue from the fans who were mistakenly assured that he was a sure thing. They won't make the same mistake twice.

So what does any of that have to do with his orientation? Not much except that maybe the "performance gene" seems to often be co-activated with the "gay gene"... must be right next door to each other on the RNA strand. Look, the dude is addicted to guyliner, hairspray, and a wardrobe that would also work for Cher. He has a background in musical theater (playing Fiyero in Wicked, and yes, I googled that), and works an affected snarl for his closeups. So maybe his theatricality and fabulousness are enhancing his routines, but not every drama queen can sing, right? I realize that glam is not synonymous with gay, especially in rock and roll (hello, Prince!). But for Adam, the combination of style and talent add up to a whole greater than the sum of its parts.

The rest of the media is making too much of a big deal about this (see EW's cover story this week). But since GG and I have framed our blog around these types of discussions, it's fair game (and definitely not sensationalist) for us. Apparently, the deal is that Adam is out in private and not out in public. He doesn't deny anything, but I can respect that we're all allowed to set our own boundaries. The show hasn't provided very much background on Adam, though, especially in comparison to the other two guys in the final three. Maybe it's too complicated for them to package.

Here's a quote from EW:

As a culture, we like gay underdogs, but on reality-competition shows, we haven't seen many Adams before — someone who enjoys selling his sexuality, who looks you in the eye, flirts, and dares you not to flirt back. We're fine with gay men as vulnerable lost souls singing suicide-hotline emo ballads like ''Mad World.'' But what's exciting about Adam is that, despite that superb performance, he really isn't that guy. He's out, loud, and proud. Well, two out of three.

Many readers will say ''Why are we even discussing this? Why does it matter whether he's gay or not?'' It doesn't. Or rather, it shouldn't. Except that unlike his counterparts, who commodify their lives on their sleeves, Adam isn't talking about it. He's handled inquiries with disarming jokiness. Ambushed recently by a TMZ reporter who said, awkwardly, ''So, you could be the first...,'' Adam replied, smiling, ''The first what?'' daring the reporter to finish the thought. He didn't. But neither did Adam. Maybe it's still too costly to say who you are. It's certainly costly not to. Does he feel he can't? Does the show feel he shouldn't? Is his choice personal or strategic? Will it pay off? And does any of this represent progress?

So here's my question, readers and GG: Why do the girls continue to get unhinged for this guy? They certainly seem more crazed for him than the other competitors. You see them in the audience, screaming, shaking, and losing their composure like fangirls have always done, dating back to Elvis and the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. One recently broke through security and rushed the stage at Adam's hometown concert. These are not critical assessments of his craft, these are hormones run amok. I refuse to believe that it's because they have no idea that Adam's gay. They must know by now that he's not straight. GG hasn't seen the show, but his gaydar went off when I showed him a single photo.

But, I thought that the fantasy had more to do with the faint possibility that the stars could love a fan back, if only they had the chance to get to know each other. That it wasn't only about hormones and proximity. With a straight rock star, there's always the hope that a fan could get noticed and become a groupie, that a groupie could become a girlfriend, that a girlfriend could become a wife. That's the fantasy that won't happen with Adam. It should crush a fangirl's heart to know that a middle-aged straight guy (yeah, I said it) has a better chance than they do, but it doesn't seem to be slowing them down.

Is it the lure of forbidden fruit? Do they dream they can convert him?

Sure, straight women and gay men connect all the time as friends and confidants. Of course you can be "hot" to the opposite sex, even if you are gay, out, or both. Crazed female fans have always been more bonkers than guys. Yeah, straight guys do some nutty stuff in the name of fandom (hello, NASCAR!, hello, ComicCon!). But girls usually get this right... they throw their panties at Elvis, Jay Z, and John Mayer and keep their composure for Barry Manilow, Elton John, and the Scissor Sisters dude.

The crucial voting block for American Idol is probably girls aged 10 - 20... you can't win without their support. I think Adam has them right where he wants them... whether he wants them or not.

--Straight Guy

Amnesia On Demand: Gay Thing or Guy Thing?

Straight Guy,

Need your straight perspective.

I was once again on the receiving end of what I call "gay amnesia."

Here's what happened: A friend and I were in line at the drug store, and right behind us is a guy I see every day. My finely tuned gaydar tells me he's my people, but this is only an untested theory. He must live and work near me: He gets on the bus one stop after me every work day, transfers at the same stop and gets off at the same stop. Plus I see him out at lunch time.

Back to the drug store: While I slowly inched forward in the line, I said "hi" to him or nodded and smiled at him. He gave me that look that says, "I've never seen you before --Who are you and why do you recognize me?"

This happens to me a lot.
I admit to being hyper-observant and thus might have unreasonable expectations for memories to light the corners of other people's minds. Usually, I don't take it personally. It's not a friend; it's some guy on the same bus schedule or someone who works out at the same time as me or whatever.

Why does this bug me? I truly don't want anything in return. I don't expect to make a friend or have a chat or act like long-lost buddies. I'm not hitting on them. I just want a little silent recognition and acknowledgment. A little nod that says, "Oh, I recognize you from the gym and, gee whiz, there you are strolling down the sidewalk."

So I need to know, SG, is "gay amnesia" a:
--Figment of my imagination?
--DNA social tick unique to my people?
--General guy thing?

--Sign of my unreasonable expectations that there's a happy gay village inside the big straight city?

--Gay Guy

Dom DeLuise, Never the Straightman

Dom DeLuise passed away yesterday. He was a player in many of the important comedies of my childhood, from Mel Brooks' History of the World Part I to Cannonball Run.

He regularly played the sissy -- the feminized fraidy cat -- and allowed the other leads to play it, ahem, straight. I have no idea whether he was gay or not, but his on-screen relationship with Burt Reynolds was definitely bromantic.

His passing gives me reason to post the Blazing Saddles clip above, where the western brawl spills over to the other Hollywood sets.

As usual, I ask Gay Guy to let me know if I am "laughing at" or "laughing with" when it comes to exploitive gay humor. Brooks' comedies are about as broad as they get, always cashing in on stereotypes. But in this case, at least the chorus line seems to get the best of the cowboys, no?

--Straight Guy

Pope's Posse: Adding Some Miss to the Swiss

Straight Guy,

The Swiss Guard, with 500+ years of protecting the Pope under its pantaloons, is considering opening its ranks to women, according to this recent news bite.

I think letting women into the Swiss Guard is a great idea, if for no other reason than they would bring a fashion-forward yet tailored look to the squad. Maybe get Gucci on board. In kindest terms the Swiss Guard has something of a flamboyant look going on. Look at them on parade, they look like the Rockettes Under the Big Top Circus Salute.

I do have to admit that I am eternally grateful to the Swiss Guard uniform -- best Halloween costume I ever made, bar none.

Here's a paragraph with a familiar ring. The previous commander of the guard
"argued that mixing the sexes could be more trouble than it was worth and cited cramped Vatican barracks as another reason for excluding women."

Cramped barracks? . . . hmm, where have I heard this lame reason to discriminate before? Oh, right, one of the reasons not to allow out service members. It got us Don't Ask, Don't Tell. I hope the new "Swiss Miss Battalion" of the Guard fares better.

--Gay Guy

Straight Guy here... willing to pay top dollar for photos of that Halloween costume... Anyone?

Gay/Straight Ad Watch: Hot Sex Sells

Gay Quizno's oven tries to seduce a staff member.

"Hot." Check.

"Meat." Check.

"Put it in." Check, and ready to launch "torpedo."

(And the supreme court is still mulling over Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction, now how many years later?)

--Straight Guy

Niagra Falls for My People, Too: Gays Get Honeymoons

Straight Guy,

My Internet service was down all weekend, so I was unable to post.

The lack of Internet went surprisingly well. I wasn't too itchy without my connection to the outside world. Maybe because I went to parties and a concert, so I engaged in the outside world in the pre-Internet fashion.

I will try to steal some time from my employer today to pull off a post.

In the meantime, I found a fun travel news brief in Sunday's Washington Post on a service with expertise in gay honeymoons. (You have to read past a swine flu update to get to the joyous occasion.)

Quip of the clip:
"Straight couples might spend a lot on that big dress. But among my people, we see smaller weddings and more spending on honeymoons," says Jeffrey Ward, owner and founder of Savvy Navigator.

SG, I've absolutely no expectation of booking a honeymoon hotel any time soon (the economy is not the only recession of crisis proportions), but good to know that if I do get to the moonlight madness there will be his-and-his robes when I arrive.

--Gay Guy

Gay Guy / Straight Guy Archive