" ...It's in a substore around the corner like the gays during the Reagan era."
--the answer I got from one of my FoodGays, when I asked how he was able to buy wine at Kroger Reserve (his name for the Woodford County Kroger; unlike Atlanta's MurderKroger, we can't buy wine at our Krogers yet, until the petition passes that says we can)
You won't typically see me referring to Mah Gays by name here on the blog, or in the column, or on facebook -- unless it's with their express permission (and that's actually true of most folks I know socially -- straight, gay, or indifferent -- unless I'm linking to their blogs or something, where they've probably ID'd themselves. I have plenty cousins who don't speak to me from things I wrote in the 80s, so I try to be respectful of anonymity.)
As far as I know, every one of my Gays is out, out, out.... but not everybody's gays are. Some of my girlfriends have Gays who are conditionally out... but just not at work... or out...but only at work... or out, to everybody but their family members, or out, to everybody but their office. In every case, I call them the Lance-Bass-kidding-themselves-Gays if they think anybody has ever believed they were In, but that is most assuredly not my call. I don't want to inadvertently blow somebody's cover to their boss or their granny or their congregation on my facebook wall.
(Some people find Facebook overbearing in specifying marital status and whether or not you're interested in men or women -- I think it doesn't go far enough. I want to know: gay? straight? married? rich? poor-but-genteel? white trash? married-but-separated? married-but-slippin-it-to-the-secretary? married-to-a-woman, but-interested-in-men-under-30-with-6paks. Get it all out there and save everybody some time.)
Mah Gays loosely fall into three categories: Power Gays (my longtime gay husband is a Power Gay, but he wasn't openly one in college, so I'm definitely not the one in charge of which frat brothers know what); Food Gays (who may also be cross-classified as Power Gays); and Junior Gays (20-something gays who are working their way up). My Fashion Gay, for example, is a Junior Gay, but his destiny is as a Power Gay.
At a wonderfully elaborate dinner a few weeks ago, I sat across the table from my gay husband and hishusband (my husband-in-law), next to my new friend Amy, and she gasped audibly when I said something about only wishing the FoodGays could be there. We looked around to see if something had perhaps stung her, and she explained, "I didn't know you could say that." Our collective answer was, "didn't know you could say what...Food...?" She explained she'd been told that sort of reference was pejorative and homophobic. That was met with a collective Siiiiiigh... cause it made us all... saaaaaaad. There are no homophobes in our social circle that we know of (if there were, we probably would out them... and force them to watch Tim Gunn on a loop.)
Her reaction gave me a moment's pause though, as one of my Food Gays, ChefT, had just said something on facebook recently about his leg injury and whether or not he'd make it to Church the next day on crutches or a cane. I immediately smarted off on his wall something to the effect of... Oh relax... that nobody was expecting him to kneel on that injury ...except maybe [insert name of his life partner here].
I had already taken "my Ambien" for the night (that's what my Mom started calling it and now it's never "an Ambien" or just "Ambien," it's My Ambien, or Mah Ambien, to more accurately reflect my accent).
But I did worry -- even through the pharmaceutical haze -- that maybe I'd said something... inappropriate, at best, or at least not for public consumption. Then the Life Partner posted a very jovial comment right underneath mine, along the lines of "...and that Ladies and Gentleman, is why ace has 5000 facebook friends."
Then I told them both they had to learn to Play Hurt. (They're FoodGays-who-also-watch-Football, so I knew that reference was appropriate.)