Friday, August 15, 2003

Straight Crush on a Queer Guy- by Toya

Last night I was dead set on being productive. Really I was. I was going to finish up some laundry, do some reading and get to bed. That’s a pretty easy decision to make during rerun season. Usually when I am in the house alone, I need to turn on the TV for background noise and “Queer Eye for a Straight Guy” was on. I had no intention on being sucked in but before I knew it, my feet were propped up and the TV had my full attention. I did manage to multi-task however in the midst of my laziness. I managed to do my laundry and soak my newly pierced belly button in salt water while lying on the couch.

For sometime I couldn’t watch anything with flamboyant gay men because I worked in a hair salon while living in New Jersey. These men were gay with a vengeance. I remember when “The Birdcage” came out with Robin Williams and I couldn’t get past 5 minutes of it because I had just come home from a full day at work and had been subjected to a live, somewhat reality-TV version of The Birdcage all day long. I had no desire to hear the phrases “fabulous” and “to die for” for the umpteenth time in the safety of my own home. As much as I love The Isaac Mizrahi Show now (I just recently wasted away on the couch watching a whole marathon of it on the Oxygen Network), I don’t think I would have been able to watch it back then.

Last night’s episode had the Fab Five as they are now called, makeover an LA cowboy who wanted to propose to his live-in girlfriend. If you aren’t familiar with the show, each member of the Fab Five contributes in their area of expertise: food and wine, wardrobe, grooming, interior decorating and social and cultural skills. They range in age as well as personality. There are Ted and Thom, who I would never guess were gay if they weren’t on the show. Kyan, of whom I would be a little suspicious. Carson, who is so ostentatious I swear he is Joan Rivers’ missing fraternal twin. And finally, the object of my current crush, Jai, who is somewhere in the middle. Okay, he is leaning more to the obvious side but he is so fly that when Tia saw him she stopped in her tracks and said, “Oh…he almost made me cuss.” When Jai was instructing the LA cowboy on his social and cultural skills, he gave him all of these amazing ideas of how to show the woman he loves that she was special. He taught him how to say, “I love you” in her native Armenian language. I yelled at the television “Why would you not want to do that for a woman? What did we do? Can’t you see you are just in denial?” I remember feeling this way about Rupert Everett and another celebrity who hasn’t officially come out of the closet yet but is also homosexual. I remember vehemently denying that either of them was gay even after Rupert Everett said he was. I just cannot accept that there are men this sensitive and amazing in the world that are absolutely not available to women. What on earth do they see in each other?

Remember when you did not know what gay was? If you are between the ages of 25 and 32, you may. I was reminded of this most recently when Nicole and I went into a vintage shop downtown where they had quite a bit of 80’s memorabilia. As we walked in, there were two young gay guys behind the counter, one who said to fashionably chic Nicole “Nice hat, girlfriend.” Then he quickly propped himself up on the counter and looked at Nicole’s feet to make sure that she had matched her hat with the appropriate shoes, nodded with approval and sat back behind the counter. I was in hog heaven when I saw that they had 80’s rock pins, two for a dollar. While I was frantically looking for a Duran Duran pin, which I luckily found, I came across a Wham! pin. “Who’s that guy next to George Michael?” This kid was obviously in his early twenties. “That’s Andrew Ridgeley. He and George Michael had a group called Wham! in the mid-eighties.” I turned to Nicole and said, “How did we not know George Michael was gay?” Nicole shrugged. I then had a flashback of Wham!’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” video where George was parading around the stage in a fluorescent hot pink sweatshirt and a pair of banana yellow crotch cutter shorts. I remember his perfectly feathered hair and how he shook his toukus as he begged, “Take me dancing tonight.” I remember that I was confused about him having earrings in both ears. “How did you not know?” the style inspector kid behind the counter, who I found out didn’t even work there but was just visiting, asked. “He is so obviously a gay boy.” “Well,” I replied shyly, “We just thought he was… British”. He laughed dead in our faces and so did his friend, who was on the phone and actually worked there. When you think about it, as a kid, you didn’t really know what gay was. Boy George to me was not gay. He was just a peculiar boy who liked to dress up in women’s clothing because he was British and over there you could get away with stuff like that. I had no idea that he liked men! Not only did he like men, he was dating the drummer! The one I liked! (I am reading this to Tia who has just let out a big, angry “ME TOO !!!”).

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece about men and what I love about them most-their masculinity. So I didn’t quite understand why I was so smitten with Jai. Now I know that while I love the “aargh aargh” side of men, their sensitive,feminine side (not to be confused with an “effeminate” side) can sometimes be just as attractive. And even though some men hide this so deeply that it will never be seen in public, there is still a type of male sensitivity that even the most macho straight men possess that is second to none. Last night, when they were done making over the cowboy and were recapping the day, this fine, rugged hunk of man broke down and cried tears of joy and happiness. He was so overcome by the love he had for his girlfriend and by the joy he felt because he could provide her with the most magically romantic night, that he cried. It was the most manly, masculine thing I had seen on the entire show. So while Jai is cute as a button, I’d take a guy like the cowboy any day of the week. Anyway, I don’t really have a choice because once again, Jai is without a doubt, a "queer guy".

Of course he could really be straight and is just doing this to get a name in Hollywood kind of like that actress on Felicity that turned out to be, like 36. Oh forget it!

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