The Latest Accessory: The Gay

Have you ever felt that gay guys are portrayed in the media as cheeky fairy godmothers rather than same-gender-loving men? Me too!

So, the other night, I watched The Real Housewives of Atlanta. I already know what you're thinking. I assure you I was raised right, but I too have my moments of weakness. If it makes any of you feel better, I sincerely regret it. Not only was I forced to lock eyes with an aggressive blonde creature attacking NeNe Leakes' head, but I also watched these women parade gay men around as nothing more than accessories, probably less expensive than their Birkin bags. It left me with two feelings: rage and nausea. And yes, the extraterrestrial that made a nest on NeNe's head did have something to do with that, but very little.

I remember when it was popular to be the neck-rolling sidekick black chick. I am not exactly sure when the transition happened, but "the gays" are now the resident yes-men. Tell your friends, everyone: It's cool to be gay, but not without conditions, of course. The acceptable gay must be non-intimidating, fluent in shade, a stylist or assistant of some sort, and completely willing to be caricatured. [Please insert sarcastic face here.]

In my best NeNe voice: "I wouldn't do anything without having a gay on my team. ... I believe that gays are very special people, and I have one." The idea that gay men are nothing more than tools in a woman's purse irritates the shit out of me, regardless of the fact that we are "special"! For some of these men, this is obviously acceptable, but I would argue that many are offended by the notion that we are stepping stools standing by to aid the majority in reaching higher heights.

It is incredibly rare to turn on the television and see a gay man or woman in a position of power, whether in a sitcom or a reality show. It seems that we are more accepted living in the background, working to make sure that the "stars" appear their very best. While we stay in the closet, we dress them to the nines. While we quietly remain in the back, we outfit them with the looks and language that propels them forward. Enough.

There has to come a time when we, collectively, are willing to step out of the shadows and into our best light. We need to see in the media a full representation of our diverse community, but the push has to come from us. Until then, we can expect that we will continue to be represented as dramatic, soulless, well-dressed servants. Can you imagine the plethora of possibilities if we armed our own selves with all the great gay goodness we provide everyone else with?

I can.

"Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself."
--Harvey Fierstein