17 May 2002

Dear Straight People

Dear Straight People,


Since Man and Woman were created equal centuries ago, evolution played its cruel hand and since than, much has changed. So much in fact, that the straights seem to get away with more things than we gays ever could. Or would. Here are just some of the gripes we have with straight men and women we want to highlight. And trust me, we were never meant to be created equal. Not in this life anyway.

Gripe: Morning Routines
Straight men never take more than 10 minutes each morning to shower and get dressed for work. They just jump into the shower, use a bar of soap as shampoo, conditioner, body wash and facial gel all in one. While he stands under the showerhead getting the lather rinsed away, the shaving process gets underway. A quick scrub with the toothbrush, and they’re on their way, paragons of heterosexual hygiene. We, on the other hand, have to sacrifice at least an hour or two of our beauty sleep in order to beautify ourselves in anticipation of the harsh climate ahead. Sunny forecast? More pigmentation cream perhaps. Hot date tonight? Packing that little extra something for the night’s festivities. We take pride, but they touch and go, and it’s “all right”. Hpmh!

Gripe: Feeding Time
Straight men never cook. Unless of course, instant noodles, jam sandwiches and coke count as culinary fare. Once in a while, you may come across a straight man (very long while) who actually cooks well enough to put your mother to shame, but those are always an exception and never the norm. After all, there are always mothers, and later on, girlfriends and wives to ensure there is always food on the table. We, on the other hand have to plough through our cookbooks and try to be creative to ensure our hunky date is happily fed. Especially nowadays, when gay men are so picky and food-conscious, just “throwing something in the casserole” does not cut it. Even the beverages have to be well thought out. Before dinner cocktails, followed by proper wines for each course, and only the best coffee afterwards. Anything resembling fermented fruit works for a straight man. And even then, they’d prefer beer.

Gripe: Decorating
Step into a straight man’s home and more often than not, you want to step right out again. Most of them buy from furniture mega malls selling cheap designer knockoffs in combinations of 3 + 1 + 1. Or worse still, rip off entire design concepts from some home magazine featuring some gay man’s pride and joy, and making it more “macho”. One would wish that a kind soul had informed them that retro does not mean all four walls in orange with Warhol prints everywhere. Worse still, whenever guests or relatives visit, everything, from old newspapers to mail is shoved into drawers, dirt swept under carpets and the whole apartment is masked with room freshener. Martha Stewart would weep.

Gripe: Humour, and the sad lack of it
When it comes to the fine art of witty banter and joke telling, our straight brothers and sisters have yet to reach the finish line. Sometimes the starting line, too. Whenever we try and enlighten them with some exquisite bit of humour, brilliant double entendre or hilarious anecdote, we’re often rewarded with blank stares or feeble attempts to pretend to “get it”. And when it comes to their turn to tell us something funny, more often than not, it almost always involves something blond, racist, feminist, blonde, drunk or blond. Yes, the sad truth is such, when it comes to humour, our straight counterparts fall short. They don’t get our jokes, we don’t like theirs, and more often than not, their outfit.

Gripe: Hair!
Straight men and bad hair days? Pfaugh! Most days, everything north of their face is slicked thick with some gooey substance and that often seems to do the trick for them. Other times, they just head out with hair sticking up everywhere – but can’t be bothered. Or worse, after the morning shower routine, everything is left to dry and au natural, which just leaves them looking either oddly boyish at age 35 or sporting the “bird’s nest” look. While we almost always have to be perfectly coiffed and set, and pay through our Gucci wallets for our favourite stylist’s time, haircuts for straight men are almost always at some neighbourhood barber, for about the price of a cup of good coffee. At least straight women understand the crucial importance of a well done coif.

Gripe: Dress Sense
The words ‘fashion’ and ‘style’ can never be found a straight man’s dictionary. Their best friends never gave them Arena Homme, GQ or Wallpaper* to read, just Playboy, Hustler and sports magazines. They never get flak for dressing as they wish, and only because we forgive them for being straight. It is also precisely this reason why Giordano is always making money and also why we wonder why the straight men always seem to look like each other. In addition, the whole issue with singlets really pisses us off. One should have the decency and mercy to only wear singlets if one has been working out obsessively at the gym and has gotten a golden tan to go with it. Nowadays, you see fat/thin/scrawny/fair straight men walking around in singlets. On top of oddly-designed, eye-watering bermudas, too. Sacrilege!

Gripe: Huh?… Whazzat?
Straight men always seem to do this to their straight spouses. They come home, some exciting sports match is going on, they mumble some niceties (or just gulp down dinner) and almost immediately get sucked into their armchairs in fron of the television. If we ever started daydreaming while talking to our lovers, god forbid, all hell will break loose. “Who are you thinking about!” “Don’t you love me anymore?!!” “Is there someone else?” And we would cringe in fear. Straight spouses, on the other hand, will simply complain to their colleagues / friends / mother the next day. The smarter spouses of course, take advantage of this situation and slip in bits of information they know they can get away with at that precise moment. “Darling, I maxed out the credit cards today.” “Goal!” “There’s a slight dent in the fender.” “Foul!” “I think your mother is a cow.” “Woohoo!” You get the picture.

Gripe: Childbearing Hips
Since time began, mothers have always prized big hips on their sons’ women. The bigger and more ample the hips, the more grandchildren they were expected to pop out. 4, 6 or their own little football team – wide hips have always appealed to the older folk. While we spend eternities on the step machines in the gym to ensure our buns become bubble-round and steel-hard, straight women are content with their huge butts and wide hips, so as to delight their prospective mothers-in-law. And what mother loves, son will love too, as most straight men are also often mummy’s boys. If our butts ever grew that huge, we’d be begging close friends to put us out of our misery.

Gripe: The ‘F’ word
More than just a gripe, this is perhaps something which really cheeses us off. FOOD! Straight men evolve with time and space, their waistlines seem to mirror their age as they progress into adulthood. In a sense, everything goes south, especially after they get hitched, eating whatever they want as well. On the other hand, we need to keep spending the equivalent of a small African nation’s GNP to keep ourselves trim and fit throughout our lives. We diet, we hit the gym, we buy protein shakes and fat burners, we pump iron till we hurt all over, just to ensure every inch of our beautiful bodies look like some Greek god out of a porn magazine (or so we hope). And yes, everything sweet becomes our mortal enemy. The straights do not seem to care, but for us, everytime we step into a gay club, eyes are burning up and down our bodies, just to check out the ‘goods’. But everything comes with a price. So there.

Bottom Line (no pun intended)
But ultimately, though we may gripe about straights, we also can’t help but feel just a teeny bit sorry for them. After all, they will never truly understand the fabulous world we sashay through, coloured by all shades of the rainbow, watered by the tears of generations of drama queens. So the next time you see a straight person, stop for a moment and think of the lives they live (shudder). Ultimately, we should all remember that straights are people too, and deserving of kindness, understanding and respect. As long as they don’t fart.