The New York State Senate just voted to allow gay people to keep getting away with not getting married. Taking their cue from the Federal government, which for years exempted gays from the military draft and excused them from serving in today’s all-volunteer armed services, the New York legislators perpetuated Gay America’s life on Easy Street. Which only prompts many a person who was drafted into the Army and who is now or has ever been married to ask this pressing question: “Why should they get away with it?”

So now you’re thinking to yourself, “How can I get in on this whole gay deal?” You run through your limited memory references and come up with vague recollections of gay guys getting out of fist fighting, lifting heavy objects and crawling under the hood of the car and getting all greasy and skinned up fixing the dammed thing. And on top of that, they get out of getting married and having a spouse who’s main job switches from pleasing you before your wedding to breaking your balls mercilessly after you’re married. And you wonder how cool it would be to lead a life exempted from all that bleeding and getting dirty and straining your back and joining the army and getting shot at and then getting married and getting nagged the rest of your life and having to put up with disappointing offspring who are just like you.

You’re thinking, hey, these people are skating! With the government on their side, no less! Now you’re scheming furiously, wondering what does it take to be gay, since you’re not really sure how that whole thing works. Do you have to like Barbra Streisand? That seems unreasonable. Are there rules about how often you have to see Broadway musicals? Bad enough the lovely wife insists on going every so often, you’d hate for it to be an every-week thing. Will you need a makeover like when those Queer Eye dudes come over and throw out all your clothes and get you some really sharp new ones and give you a cool looking haircut? That one seems like a pretty good deal, especially when they paint and decorate your place better than you ever could.

So many questions! Do you have to have a boyfriend? That might be awkward. Odds are the guy would know right away that you’re new at this stuff, maybe report you to the other gays, then you’d lose your exemptions, and the government would cross you off the list of people who don’t have to do unpleasant things their whole life. Can you just say you’re gay? Other than gay dudes, who would know?  Maybe lesbians. Now that word starts you thinking really, really furiously, that if you pretend to be gay, on top of getting out of all kinds of unpleasant duties, you get to meet lots of lesbians! And Lord, who doesn’t love a lesbian?

This is looking better and better, you’re thinking. You figure gay dudes and lesbians must hang out together all the time, which would be cool, because now you’d have someone to talk to about sports. And just maybe every man’s dream of a threesome with a couple of lesbians… That does it, now you’re committed, and you want in on this gay privileged life action! Of course there’s that little matter of explaining it to the lovely wife, but you figure that once she hears you’re gay, she’ll be glad to be rid of you. Hell, she’ll just figure you never measured up anyway, and there’s real men out there just dying to be nagged into an early grave by her. You assure her that must be the case, and better luck whipping Mr. Right #2 into perfection.

Then you have to inform the guys at work they’ll have to do all the heavy lifting from now on because you’re gay. When they threaten to punch your lights out you just threaten them back with reporting them for hate crimes against a privileged minority. Maybe they won’t want to hang out with you anymore, but screw them, you’re going to be spending your nights hanging around with lesbians, begging them to let you watch them have sex and trying to convince them to let a gay guy join them for the sheer novelty. Of course you’ll have to pretend not to like it so that they let you try it a bunch more times until you get it right. You’re mind is on fire now!

Maybe you’ll even quit your damned job and get one of those gay jobs, like art director, whatever the hell that is, or one of those guys who puts up the mannequin displays in department store windows. How hard could that be? Just put a scarf on every other mannequin, and drape a sweater with the sleeves tied together around the shoulders of the other ones. Piece of cake!

Maybe some of those New York State Senators who so generously voted to keep gays a protected and elite minority will help you out with the paperwork of registering to be gay, you know, making it official that you don’t have to get married or visit your sick boyfriend in the hospital, or have custody of your own bratty kids, or adopt some one else’s brats, or serve your country, or get involved in messy inheritance issues, or try to figure out complicated health insurance plans since you’re not entitled to them as a mere “life partner.” As a brand new gay guy, you write a thank you note to your State Senator for helping to protect your traditional status as one of society’s outcasts. You proudly take on the mantle of America’s New Nigger!

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