I am sitting here at 9:06 p.m. on a Thursday night listening to "The Power of Love," sober, alone, and quite content. Many (but not all) gay men share common traits with housewives in their mid 40s or 50s. We like interior design, fashion, gossip, and pretending to go to the gym on most days. It's a little scary how similar my life is to that of a 46-year-old soon-to-be-empty-nester living in the suburbs, but at the same time, the relationship I share with this seemingly opposite community is quite entwined and relatable.
"Let's Have a Kiki," a song by the one of my favorite groups, the Scissor Sisters, perfectly illustrates how these two different demographics share many traits. First, you must look at the definition of a "kiki" to understand that it is nothing more than a gossip circle comprising you and your best friends. A mom kiki would most likely take the form of a Mahjong group, a PTA, some board of directors at church, a WASPy country club, or maybe even a local political organization for the bolder ends of the spectrum. Work may or may not get done, but plenty of gossip, drama, and nothingness sure will. Kikis are great excuses to see one another and keep up to date on the actual goings on of those around you. It is also a good way to build up your photo count on Facebook or come up with what you think are witty tweets.
Gays living in New York, or at least my friends, are very similar. We have kikis before going out, at the library when we should be studying, or at brunch. Don't even get me started on all the kiki-ing that happens on Sunday brunch in New York City. The same thing -- gossip, drama, and nothingness -- occurs in these kikis. The subject matter may differ, just like the location, but the structure and purpose of these "meetings" typically accomplish the same thing.
Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, and maybe even Enya unite suburban-mom and urban-gay kikis, as well. For one reason or another, we both like to associate ourselves with, sing the songs of, and emulate strong, powerful women. It could be because of the glitzy and glamorous lives they live, but I think it is more the fact that they really speak to us. We are in touch with our emotions and feel comfortable expressing lost loves through song, especially when we are all together having a kiki. Bring in a nice glass of wine and you'll be dealing with the waterworks on both sides, too.
Finally, there are the musicals. The first two that pop into my head are Evita and Mamma Mia! After seeing the new Broadway revival of Evita, starring Argentinian performer Elena Roger, I can assure you that Madonna really did an amazing job in the film adaptation. Both suburban moms and urban gays will shed tears, even in the absence of alcohol, for Evita. The relationship between struggle and success and how they become entangled are things that both gays and women can relate to. Mamma Mia, on the other hand, presents something a bit different. While there is the relationship between mother and daughter (which can translate to mother and gay son), it is also a fun representation of our younger and wilder years. So often I deal with older gay friends (older being mid 20s) who say that they are over going out and through with their wilder days. The same can be said for housewives, who now have a family and home to take care of. While one group may be more sincere than the other in their aversion to going out, what can be said about both groups is that we probably had a wild youth full of promiscuity and maybe a little too much fun, only to have toned it down to focus on our families and careers.
At the end of the day, the relationship between 20-something gay men and 40-something housewives is an interesting and similar one. Although we have plenty to joke about, I am very interested to see how this relationship will change as gays become increasingly mainstream. Women have not gained equal rights quite as rapidly as gays have, but the movements for women's and LGBT equality will become intertwined, seeing that these two groups have much more in common that most people will admit.