Monday, December 1, 2008

Emily: Memo From A Fairy Princess

I have, on many occasions, been called a Fag Hag. I HATE it. A hag is an old, saggy, smelly, toothless woman with warts on her nose and boobs around her ankles. And, I have already told you how I feel about the even worse term of Beard. Call me a Fag Hag and I will most likely kick you in the shin. Call me a Beard and I will run at you with a staple gun.

A few years ago, people started referring to me as a Fruit Fly. I'm not sure that Fruit is a whole lot less offensive these days to gay men than Fag. And while Fly is a bit better than Hag, it is still a nasty, germy, annoying insect that starts out as larvae and eats poo. So, no. I reject Fruit Fly.

If you have to stick a label on my forehead just because I love gay men, I have decided that the only acceptable one is Fairy Princess. I learned years ago that, if there is a gay man anywhere in the room, I do not get to be queen. And, while I have reclaimed the throne in my own home, I have accepted the title of lesser royal spiffiness in general. Hag and Fly are out. I am happy being a Fairy Princess.

I am in good company. Margaret Cho kicks ass. Grace and Karen kept us all laughing for years. On TV and in film, the Princesses are fun and brash and as snarky as the Queens whose trains they carry. But, in real life, I am finding cause for concern.

I had already been musing over this topic then had a conversation with my cousins at Thanksgiving that really got me thinking. They have a friend that has been engaged to be married, in the Mormon Temple, for about ten years to a guy that is clearly gay. Everyone in his world knows that he is gay. Everyone in her world knows that he is gay. I'm guessing that he has a fairly good idea but is clinging to his safety net for dear life. She gets violently outraged if anyone dares bring up the subject. They have come close but he calls it off at the last minute. They don't have sex - and this woman is freaking gorgeous. Like, Supermodel right off the pages gorgeous. She is completely devoted to him and won't even think of dating anyone else. They started dating when she was a teenager. Now she is in her late twenties and, looks like, will dangle until the end of time.

He has said: I love you but I won't marry you. I won't ever marry anyone but you and I want you to have my children - but I won't marry you. He lives his own separate life that she has no part of and she keeps dangling. They see one another now once every week or two and she keeps dangling. He won't marry her but they stay engaged and she keeps dangling.


Man, I rode that Merry Go Round from Hell for a long time and it is beyond dizzying. And it is a waste of life. I know a few women that fell in love with gay men in their early twenties, got engaged, then the guy broke it off, came out, broke her heart and they remained best friends for decades and the women never really moved on to find their own relationships with straight men that could love them the way they deserve to be loved. I totally get it. Gay men can be amazingly lovable and charming and sensitive and funny. We fall in love with them then stay best friends after the heartbreak because we can. We love their subsequent boyfriends. We take trips with them, spend holidays with them. We never stop loving them because we don't have to. We still love them and they still love us. We will always be the only woman they ever loved and that thought is intoxicating.

And we can't move on because once we have been in love with a gay man, we expect straight men to be just like them. Only straight. We look for, and expect, straight gay men to come into our lives and shop and cook with us, throw fabulous Oscar parties with us, yell bitchy things at all the contestants in the Miss America Pageant and sing show tunes on road trips with us.

And then, year after year, we go to bed alone.

I finally learned for myself. And I discovered straight men. Hallelujah. And I learned to have the reality check conversation with myself when I started dating someone that wasn't "gay man" enough. Memo to all Princesses everywhere: it is time to put down the Queen's train and wave your magic wand on your own behalf. Spend at least as much time with straight men as with your gay friends. Learn to appreciate and celebrate straight men for all the incredible things that they are and give. (That rant to come at a later time...)

A gay man will decorate your body head to toe like none other but will never love it like a straight man will. A gay man will love your soul with all his heart but will never let it live there.

Go ahead and love your gay friends all you want. March for their rights and support them in being all the wonderful things that they are. But, don't forget yourself. Don't forget that you deserve to be loved too - that you have a life to live too. Trust me, nothing is better than coming home from a night out at the gay clubs and crawling into bed with your very own cowboy.

Just make sure he has never spent time on Brokeback Mountain.