Posts Tagged ‘Christmas in Boystown
Since I cover politics, and spend most days writing about things like Voter Fraud, the Pigford Scam, or terrible things the Left is doing, it’s almost alien for me to write about anything sweet, quiet, and smile-inducing. Even if I try to make whatever awful thing Democrats are doing that day more palatable by ridiculing it and using satire to help get readers through the day, as much as possible, covering politics means not writing about too many feel-good things. Being a vocal critic of the Left means I also, unfortunately, don’t get to have many feel-good moments in my own life, because of the massive retribution I get from the Left for speaking out against them (though, other conservative writers repeatedly tell me I am not doing my job if I don’t have at least a half dozen hate sites dedicated obsessively to me).
Two months ago I started dating a really great guy named Justin, just after Halloween.
I love the guy, and think it’s going to turn into something.
He’s my “unicorn”…the mythical, gay, conservative Republican in Boystown who not only knows who I am and is fine with my politics and profile, but actually cheers me on to hit the Left harder and take everything up to a whole new level in 2011. Justin’s a big fan of Governor Palin’s, too, and has been going to Tea Party events since the beginning. He actually heard me speak at the first Tax Day Tea Party here in Chicago, without knowing who I was at the time, and his mom’s been reading my essays for over a year, also never thinking she or her son would ever meet me.
I’ve been brutalized by the Left for being a gay conservative, especially since I’m a former Democrat who left the party in 2008 when the party I knew deliberately veered irreparably to the Left, booting conservatives like me out for good. Gay Leftists, in particular, focus their ire on me because they don’t want other gays to step off the reservation as well, and start questioning the value of blindly voting Democrat over and over again. So, for that, I must be destroyed in the Left’s mind, and they’ve set about on an Alinsky Methods campaign to alienate me from my community here in Boystown, and larger gay circles nationwide.
I never expected to meet a guy like Justin…someone who clearly sees what the Left is doing, is personally aware of the Left’s bullying of me for being a gay conservative, and is totally unafraid of being with me considering all of this. He loves that I stand up to these bullies, and I love him for that support.
A few days ago, I woke up before Justin and wrestled with whether or not to ask him what he was going to do for Christmas, not knowing whether or not we’d been dating long enough to spend a major holiday together. Male relationships are strange in this regard. The joke with lesbians is that they meet, have a date, and then move in together…so of course they’d spend the holidays together. Straight couples seem to do this as well, if they aren’t going to family events where a boyfriend or girlfriend would be grilled in the “When are you going to get married?” department.
But, with two guys together, it’s awkward and strange when it comes to holidays. Most guys don’t want to be in a relationship, and are just tomcats at heart…so they often deliberately sabotage something before it becomes too serious and holidays bring unwanted expectations to the surface. It’s easier for a guy to break up with someone and move on to the next boy than for him to admit he really likes the guy he’s seeing and confront the possibility that they could share a holiday together…because that would mean something…and meaning something gets more complicated than meeting someone new at Roscoe’s and never bothering to catch his last name.
So, running out of time before Christmas, I wondered if I should ask what Justin was up to that day, since I knew his family’s all in Arkansas, where his mom and dad have a small veterinary practice and his sister teaches kindergarten. His parents love him, but don’t accept that he’s gay, and every time he comes home for anything, they “surprise him” with some friend of theirs who has a daughter who magically shows up unannounced at dinner time to join them…and meet Justin. I didn’t know if he’d be going back to Eureka Springs to spend Christmas with them, or if he’d end up at an “orphans’ Christmas” here in Boystown, with some of his coworkers and their friends, like he did at Thanksgiving.
“Orphans’ Christmas” is what a lot of gay guys here in Chicago do, when either their families don’t want them home for the holidays because they are gay, or when they can’t make it home for Thanksgiving or Christmas, for whatever reason.
After Justin woke up and I gave him enough time to transition out of dream time and into reality, I asked him where he was going to be on Christmas Day and he looked at me, sleepy-eyed, the covers still pulled up almost over his head, and said, “I’m going to be wherever you are, doing whatever crazy thing you are up to that day, most likely hearing about voter fraud from you, or probably Pigford some more”.
He pulled in closer, held me tighter, and added, “And I’m going to make sure you have fun on Christmas, and don’t spend the whole day trying to save the world or washing pots on the Southside, like you did on Thanksgiving, or driving around town up to your usual antics. You’re going to have a real Christmas too, for at least part of the day. And then you can talk about voter fraud all you want on the radio somewhere on Sunday”.
So, Justin’s going to come with me to make a half dozen stops Christmas morning to deliver presents and foods to the homebound AIDS-afflicted with me, through a ministry I volunteer with, and then we’re going to have our own little Christmas back at Buzzquarters where I’m going to put on a Christmas movie I like, and he’s going to put on one of his favorites, and we’ll have dinner and drink a nice bottle of wine and end up listening to music in my room, with the computer screen tuned out of HillBuzz and voter fraud and Pigford…and instead glowing with an electronic yule log, like it should be Christmas Day.
Just me and my unicorn.
I’m his unicorn, too, by the way. He even used the same word I do…because he didn’t think he’d meet another conservative guy in Boystown, after having dated an unbroken string of Lefties and blind-voting Democrats, who didn’t know why they were even “Democrats” except that Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow told them they had to be. His coworkers told him not to talk to me because I was “that conservative writer” and “evil celebrity”, or “that guy from TV we hate”, which ironically enough made Justin more, not less, interested in meeting me.
“It’s going to be hard for my mom and dad to hate you when they meet you,” Justin said later in the morning, after we’d been talking about Christmas. “They’ll want to hate you, because you’re gay and we’re together, but it’s going to be hard because my mom reads you and my dad agrees with everything you say, except the liking guys stuff. It’s going to be funny. I can’t wait to see the smoke come out of their ears as they try to figure you out. My sister will probably just make noises. She won’t know what to say. She does that sometimes”.
That, right there, was an early Christmas present for me, too…because rarer than a unicorn is a gay man who wants his boyfriend to meet his parents…especially when he’s never brought anyone down to Eureka Springs to meet his parents before.
That’s definitely not happening this year…and next Christmas I’ll be in Iowa campaigning for Governor Palin in advance of the 2012 primary…but Christmas in Arkansas might just be in the cards for me come 2012.
It really is a wonderful life, full of all sorts of oddball twists and turns.
Whatever you are doing today and tomorrow, I hope you have something quietly magical in your own lives on par with what I’ve found in Justin.
I hope you all have love in your hearts, and all around you, this Christmas…and if you do, I surely hope you know and appreciate it.
Knowing you are blessed, and thanking God for every minute of it, celebrating and savoring it, is rarer than any Christmas unicorn.
So, our friend Joe is visiting from Philadelphia next week. He hasn’t been to Chicago in ten years. We stayed with him a few times when we were campaigning first for Hillary Clinton in the primaries last year, and then for McCain/Palin in the last days before the general election. So, he’s coming to Buzzquarters for Christmas and we’re going to have many adventures, we’re sure.
We asked him if he had his Christmas costume and he texted, “What’s that?”.
We’ve lived in Chicago for so long we almost forgot other cities exist where people don’t wear holiday costumes like here in Boystown.
There are few different routes you can go with this stuff, too:
(1) The Ugly Sweater — find the absolute most hideous Christmas sweater you can find, something that when you were a child you would have been mortified to receive as a gift and would have thrown tantrums to keep from wearing in public. Now, as someone in your 20s or 30s, put that sucker on and hit the bars, guaranteeing yourself a free drink or two as people are so delighted by your sweater’s holiday infused ugliness that drinks will be on them. We swear this happens. Ragstock, just off Halsted at Belmont (in the alley to the side of Hollywood Mirror), has an enormous supply of Christmas sweaters in a wide range of ugly. There are actually some we remember our moms wearing in the 80s. It’s fun when a group of people get their ugly sweater mojo on, go out together, and spread that holiday spirit.
(2) Christmas tee shirts — Another fun option if you don’t want to do an ugly sweater is to find some fun holiday themed tee shirts. Threadless, on Broadway near Barry here in Chicago has GREAT, funny, snarky tees…with some fun Christmas ones. Also, on Clark north of Belmont, there are several great tee shirt shops with lots of holiday options. Wear them over a red or green henley and you’ll be warm, but rocking a Christmas tee, by yourself or in a group. Festive!
(3) Santa hats — De rigeur on holiday pub crawls this time of year, and can be bought just about anywhere, including CVS. For cooler hats, checkout Beatnik, Batteries Not Included, and Cupid’s Treasures on Halsted, for all sorts of sexy and crazy holiday themed hats. They have some that look like menorahs for Hannakhah, too…some that look like reindeer antlers…some that look like the Whos from The Grinch. In the bars this time of year, you’ll find lots of people rocking these holiday hats. Merry, mary.
(4) Full-on costumes — A lot of people dress up all in green with elf hats and ears, or all in red as various members of the Claus family. The sexier the better in Boystown…and the same costumes can be worn on July 25th for the summer’s Christmas in July party (a highlight leading up to Pride). We spotted a group of guys out last night wearing elf hats and white tee shirts — they personalized the shirts as different elf characters, like “Lumberjack Elf” or “Tipsy Elf”, and had the personalities to match. They just tied christmas bows to themselves in various places, and brought the looks in really cheaply. You can do sexy versions of Frosty, Rudolph, the Krampus, and all sorts of other holiday characters too. The go-go boys are rocking red and green speedos and jocks. The drag queens are be-tinsled, some dressed up like big green trees with lights and ornaments. Since there are actual strings of battery-operated holiday lights, you can even complete your look with strings of these lights lit up when you go out. We saw two guys do this the other night and it was a lot of fun.
Two of the holiday pub crawls have already happened, like “Santa Con” (Santa convention) and “Naughty Elves”, where people dressed up as santa or elves in the hundreds and assembled in different places to hop bar to bar. There’s no Santa Speedo Run in Chicago like there is in Boston, but that would be fun to start in the future…to raise money for charity like they do in Beantown.
On Halsted last night, a band was caroling, playing live Christmas music up and down the street. Rumor has it in the next few days there will be Victorian-costumed Christmas carolers walking Boystown too…with Miss Foozie herself (the unofficial mayor of Boystown), leading the singing.
It seems all the bars are decked out with great Christmas decorations, and each one’s doing something cool and inventive for holiday parties. Scarlet’s got a Christmas burlesque show tomorrow, starring Hot Toddy and his male revue. Lucky Horseshoe has Christmas strippers. Sidetracks has holiday music worked into its Showtunes playlist for tonight. Pie Hole has a Christmas Pizza (BBQ sauce, ham, sweet potatoes) that we’ll probably get for dinner tonight.
We like to share what fun things are going on here so that you, wherever you are, might incorporate some of it into your own towns. There are so many grinches in this world. Boystown is not grinch-friendly, and is a place where we celebrate every holiday imaginable with bright lights, big smiles, tons of fun, and sparkle, sparkle, sparkle.
You kind of should too.