Not That There is Anything Wrong with That

A disclaimer: I understand that some people might be offended by the material contained in the story below. These people might include my mother, my wife, my ecclesiastical leader, as well as a few more sensitive people. I would hope that this column would be read in the spirit of every other Bag Stranded column – as a meaningless piece of semi-humorous satire. I don’t truly feel that my son is what I claim to believe him to be. Incidents in this account are exaggerated for comedic effect. Please don’t light my lawn on fire.

A few days ago, I experienced an event that no parent ever wants to face. After having several sneaking suspicions, picking up on a few telltale signs, my worst fears about my son’s condition were fully realized. It happened when my son Zachary, who just turned three, went up to his room to change out of his pajamas and into something more suitable for the day's events which included some shopping and a trip to the aquarium. I began to make my way to the stairs when Zachary came out of his room, stood at the top of the flight of stairs, and confirmed what I really already knew.

“Daddy, I want to dress like a Spanish lady.”

With this brave and bold statement, I finally knew it was true. My son was gay.

As I said, there have been many instances in his history that have pointed to this lifestyle direction throughout his three years of flamboyant life. Around his first birthday, I noticed Zach playing in his playroom and lining up his toy cars in groups of colors that really complimented each other. By the time he turned two, he was quickly learning the lyrics for the Broadway show Rent. And now, at the tender age of three, not only was he requesting steamed asparagus and crème brûlée at dinner time he is now making known his desire to dress, or cross-dress, himself as a Spanish lady. I know one day I am going to walk into his room and find a poster of Lance Bass hanging up. I know it.

Sure, part of the stereotypical traits that he shares with many of the homosexual community might be a matter of happenstance. They might be related to his early onset OCD or his incredible ability to learn new things, especially when set to showtune music with a tap dancing chorus. Though I know that my wife is to blame, what with her penchant for dressing up our two boys in ribbons and curls while I am at work, I might also be partially to blame. For two years now, I have had Zach participate in a Fall Fashion Preview to model, in a series of carefully posed pictures, and show off some of the new clothes that he has for the Fall season. While modeling one snappy number, I told him to point at me while I took the picture, hoping for something like George Clooney from GQ. Instead, what Zach gave me was more like Adam Lambert in Out magazine. See the evidence below.

"Oh, stop it, you."

Zachary also has a cousin named Clarke. While Zachary might be a prodigy when it comes to learning historic landmarks and calculating algebraic formulas, Clarke is incredibly gifted at doing things that, well, most regular, straight-as-an-arrow boys do. Clarke can throw a football with a moderate arc to achieve a good distance, as opposed to letting a football fall out of his open palm while performing a pirouette. Clarke enjoys eating meat and potatoes instead of daintily pecking at cream-cheese and Ritz hors d’oeuvres. And Clarke doesn’t mind too much if he makes a mess while eating. He simply wipes off the excess onto his sleeve and continues about his business of running around the house terrorizing innocent things. Zachary, on the other hand, stares in horror at his fingers if even a slight bit of residue is left from his meal and will refuse to touch anything unless his hands are promptly washed with an anti-bacterial soap.

It is not as if Zachary does not enjoy sports. Though Clarke is a wiz at the Wii and loves everything from boxing to bowling, Zachary prefers the sport of figure skating. We own a game called Deca Sports and Zachary frequently requests that I play the figure skating event so that he, in his black mock turtleneck and stretchy pants, can perform a similar routine around our living room floor. Heaven help me once he discovers sequins.

It is easy to hear the voice of Zachary and be won over by his cute, well-enunciated charm. I, however, hear a very high-pitched man-child announcing that Feist is the Judy Garland for this generation. Occasionally, his mother and I try to help him discover his true self by asking him to say certain things in a much lower tone. “Zachary can you say ‘Mommy that blouse you are wearing looks absolutely fabulous,’ in a lower tone of voice, like this…” He tries it, summoning deep within his diaphragm what we refer to as his “real” voice though it sounds like a cross between Diane Ream and Telly Savalas. Inevitably though, he falls back into his higher octave, or what we refer to as his “gay” voice.

Now, I realize that it might be a little upsetting for some that I am labeling my own son as “gay” before he has even reached the age where he has properly learned how to use eating utensils. It may also be disconcerting for some as gayness seems to be a rather hot button issue right now (the Hot Button, by the way, is an excellent club downtown which you should really check out sometime, DUDES ONLY!) Recently, the church that my son and I adhere to has been the center of controversy amongst communities of like-minded, that is to say gay-minded, individuals. It seems like one celebrity after another is bravely shooting a cover shot for US Weekly, announcing what everyone really already knew. Brüno, a new documentary featuring a startlingly accurate account of a modern-day homosexual male, is the hottest movie in the country right now. So even though gay seems to be the new black, I am not jumping on the bandwagon here. It is just as disturbing to me as it may be to some of you.

As I am sure any dad would be, I am upset at learning about my son unknowingly coming out soon after he came out of his mother three years ago. I would love it if one day he could throw a baseball without including it in a dance number. I would love it if he watched Spike TV with me instead of LoGo or that totally flaming Diego show. But, I mostly don’t want him to get beaten up at school, called horribly offensive names, unfairly judged at a single glance, or denied the privilege to do what makes him happy.

I love my son more than I ever thought I could love anything in this world and he is a beautiful, brilliant, and, overall, a sweet and good little boy. I guess I could give him some time to discover the manliness of his personality as he is still pretty young for any kind of lifestyle outside of playing with stuffed animals and reading Dr, Seuss. But, whatever decisions he makes in his life, I will always love my little buddy. I just won’t let him listen to Andrew Lloyd Webber or read Oscar Wilde to him before bedtime anymore. Have to draw the line somewhere.

7 comments:

doug said...

On the bright side, at least he'll be able to help you do your hair and shop for clothes. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

mh said...

All kinds of comments came to my mind, but I am not really sure which ones would be appropriate. =) Clarke does have a good arm! Zachary is so very cute, but that may or may not help the argument! My own son likes to have his toenails painted, but only with the batman or superman symbol. On occasion he has worn a bow in his hair, but only when forced while I tested it out for his little sister!

Marsha said...

You KNOW you're in trouble, Mister! We'll talk later (about all my fears about you!).

Amy said...

Gay people are totally cool...you're lucky...

Joe said...

The video says it all.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJXFVmT8y3s

Kara said...

I'm sorry....but you don't have anything to really worry about. My son as a 3 year old came out wearing my sister inlaws "hooker" boots that came up to his thighs at the time and said "I'm fashion!" He has also had many a girl friend and is quite the little flirt now coming to the age of 6, and he like your son can't throw as well, even as well as his 3 year old cousin. Don't worry too much, just realize that he will be accepting of others. :)

Brian R said...

To be fair, I've been known to have my finger nails painted, and wear dresses around (there are pictures on facebook if you look hard enough), watch America's Next Top Model, and wear sparkly-shiny clothes, but I'm straight. However, it's too bad only about 5% of all people are gay, because if every family had at least one gay child, nobody would hate gay people at all.