With the holidays upon us, I'm sure you must be very busy. With parties to plan, delicious goodies to bake and nostalgic TV specials to watch, who really has a moment to themselves? True, it can all be very overwhelming, but if we surrender ourselves to the spirit of the season, it also can be a great deal of fun. It's a time of year that allows for joyous reunions, happy laughter and the systematic destruction of tradition.
If one of those things seems not like the other, then you'd be correct to raise your eyebrow in yuletide quandary.
You see, even as we go about the planning of our various festivities, there are those up on Mount Crumpit (aka Fox News) who seem to think that the gay community is up to some serious Scrooge-ing. On a recent broadcast of his show, Bill O'Reilly and a panel of frosty friends asserted that, among other things, the "gay agenda" was at the root of the war on Christmas. Basically, Bill and his buds claimed that the continued devaluation of their favorite holiday owed a great deal to the LGBT community's need for social acceptance. After all, when Tiny Tim proclaimed, "God bless us, everyone," he clearly didn't mean those who are different. That would totally fly in the face of the whole "good will to men" concept of the season.
However, I'm not here to get self-righteous about Bill's assumption. If I learned anything from old Ebenezer's story, it's that being bitter over the holidays gets you nowhere. So I'm going to forgive Bill and company their case of mistaken blame. In fact, I'm going to do him one better. Though I can't speak for the other guys he claimed to be our allies in the war on Christmas, I'm going to explain to Bill why gays aren't at war with the holiday season at all.
In fact, Mr. O'Reilly, I'm about to tell you how gays make the holiday season better.
Not sure you believe me? Why, look only to your Christmas tree! Decked out in tinsel and lights, the tree is a glitzy emblem of the holiday season, a tradition that goes back centuries. But really, what's a Christmas tree other than an evergreen in drag?
Moreover, Rudolph has a disco ball for a nose, Frosty only comes to life after he accessorizes (girl, don't we all), and a good percentage of Santa's employees incorporate jingle bells into their wardrobe.
RuPaul had a highly rated Christmas special on TV in the '90s, John Waters does an annual live holiday show, and my ghoulfriend Peaches Christ is doing her third Christmas event in San Francisco next week, likely to a sold-out audience.
I mean, if you're going to a Christmas party, would you rather it be a gathering at your Aunt Sue's house or a party that has been meticulously planned by us? You know our playlists are better, our cocktails are better, and our dancing is better.
Also, when you ironically wear that ugly reindeer sweater to said party, just who do you think told you it was ironic in the first place? You guys were totally wearing that business for real before us.
But, joking aside, it's important for Mr. O'Reilly (and everyone else) to know: Gay people don't hate Christmas. We love Christmas. We love Hanukkah, too. In fact, if you poll most members of the LGBT community, you'll discover that we love most holidays. As a people, we've seen dark times and sadness. When the world at large has, at one time or another, waged war on you, you sieze those moments of celebration. We need those times of laughter, joy and togetherness as much as you, and sometimes more.
We're not at war with Christmas, Bill. We want to have it, and we want you to have it, as well. We're not at war with your holiday; we just want a chance to join all the other Whos down in Whoville.
And if you think for some reason that I'm avoiding the biggest issue, the real "reason for the season," then let me leave you with a final thought.
His message was simple and should be remembered especially at this time of year. His message was love.
That's what we want, and that's what you want, at Christmas, Hanukkah and always.
So, in closing, let me be the first to say: Merry Christmas, Bill O'Reilly. The war is over.