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  • Where Have All the Cowboys Gone by Jeremy Owens

    Hey there. Hi. Remember me? I’m your old friend the homosexual. Yeah, I know. It has been a little while; I thought I’d drop by and remind all of you that I am still here. Nearly six months have passed since Obergefell v. Hodges. Do you even remember what that is? It’s a very big deal, which bears repeating, so I’ll remind you. It’s the landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held in a 5-4 decision that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause AND the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteen Amendment to the United States Constitution. WOW. That’s really just a lot of fancy words to say “we all have to get married now.” So, you know, thanks for that. YAY.

    Decision Day: June 26, 2015 was a very big day indeed. The ruling caused the entire gay community to eat its weight in Chick-fil-A while waiting around for Mike Huckabee’s predictions of fire raining from the sky. We do love a show, but not one single set of interesting curses or plagues has befallen our little racist nation. No one has turned into a pillar of salt. Obama hasn’t thrown any Evangelical Christians into jail, Texas has not succeeded from the Union, pedophilia is still illegal, my next-door neighbor has yet to propose to her goats, and for reasons beyond anyone’s comprehension Pat Robertson is still breathing.

    No, so far as anyone can tell, our Bible thumping friends got it all wrong. In the months since the Supreme Court’s decision, all that has happened is that we gays have become completely beige and have faded into the ether like so many seasons of American Horror Story. The only question that has come up in the last six months is, to borrow a line from Paula Cole, “Where have all the cowboys gone?”

    One might think that all of us have vanished. I don’t mean to scream fire in an old speakeasy, but we’re beginning to blend in with the rest of you. It’s not so easy to pick us out of a crowd anymore. All of you are wearing skinny jeans, lip syncing on the Tonight Show and look like George Surat. Musicals are full of rap and my grandmother has seen Justin Beiber’s penis. The world has turned upside down, and if I have to attend one more baby shower or watch any more recently married queens dancing to Adele I’m going to pop a blood vessel.

    Sadly, our little tribe of miscreants has become so culturally insignificant lately, so mundane, so mainstream that the only person who has gained any traction by harboring resentments toward us is that old lady in Kentucky whose hair thinks it’s 1993. Famously mouthy Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump can’t even be bothered to say a disparaging word about us. In fact, he hasn’t taken the time to slight us at all. Nothing. Not once!

    The queer brothers and sisters among us might rightly suspect that this has far more do with his wife Melania’s glamor squad than anything else. Piss those folks off and the gig is up. Those poor souls are taxed with keeping Mr. Trump from looking anything more like Cousin It; they’re also the only thing keeping the world from realizing Melania’s true identity: Obviously she’s Russian Spy Julia Child.

    Donald Trump is a man who has become notorious for his unapologetic insults to Latinos, Asians, veterans, and people with vaginas. Just last week, he reached the pinnacle of his buffoonery by openly mocking a disabled New York Times reporter at a campaign rally. Friends, if this dude doesn’t have anything defamatory to say about us we are toast. Our fifteen minutes are over.

    Big D, that’s what I like to call him, with his penchant for name-calling and plans to deport every undocumented immigrant living in the United States, has not exactly established a reputation for tolerance. Yet his record suggests that he might actually be the most LGBTQ-friendly Republican running for president.

    Yeah. Let that one sink in.

    When asked whether private companies should be able to fire employees simply because they’re gay, Trump told “Meet The Press” host Chuck Todd that he didn’t think sexual orientation “should be a reason” for letting workers go. As far back as 2000, Trump was advocating the idea of amending the 1964 Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation . . . something the currently–pending Equality Act would basically do if any of those jerks in Washington did anything other than take turns blowing Mitch McConnell.

    None of this is said to imply that the real estate mogul and reality TV host doesn’t have miles to go. He was consistently opposed to marriage equality and has remained relatively silent on transgender rights. He has been despicable to women and just about everyone else on the planet, but if the guy who is leading the pack and setting the tone is not coming after us what does that say about our place at the table? Would we get one?

    Are we witnessing the death of gay culture? Will this mean that I won’t have to dodge bachelorette parties at Sidetrack? How long until they put up a plaque in front of Roscoe’s? When we said, “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it,” This is not what we had in mind. Listen, I understand how lucky I am to live in a world where I can have a husband and eat cheese imported from France, but I miss the old days. Way back when you could tell which side a man’s bread was buttered by the color of handkerchief in his back pocket. Way back when we were a sure fire hit at all of your parties. Way, way back before we became invisible.