A few weeks ago, a Brokeback coat-clad Rick Perry proclaimed that our president was waging a war on religion (and by that, he meant Christianity), and that schoolchildren cannot celebrate Christmas openly. Being the homosexual heathen that I am, I normally dismiss just about everything that comes out of this yahoo's mouth, but the notion that American Christians are oppressed and Christmas is suppressed really just sticks in my craw. In the 40-odd years that I have been alive, every single student in public and private school has been granted weeks off from school to celebrate Christmas all they want. There is no war in this country against Christians or Christmas. In fact, I feel like Christmas is at war with us. Let me explain.
The war started mid-October when all of the stores were first festooned. Slowly but surely, every surface was covered in tinsel, fake fir, or red velvet. There were a few token jack-o-lanterns here and there, but mostly Halloween was dropped from the retail calendar. Thanksgiving was completely erased. In fact, if Lady Gaga hadn't aired that Thanksgiving special, no one would have noticed Thanksgiving at all. Christmas won the battle against these other nonreligious holidays. It is now a two-month, non-stop extravaganza that you cannot ignore, let alone suppress.
Next came the ambush of Christmas songs that replaced regular music on the radio around the first of November. Tween heartthrob Justin Bieber was singing about mistletoe, and even RuPaul was warbling, "All I want for Christmas is my liposuction." These relentless Christmas songs took over every elevator, restaurant, and Target. I tried to tune out this onslaught, but a permanent loop of "Jingle Bells" was successfully implanted into my brain.
Black Friday was like something out The Walking Dead. People were turned into militant Christmas zombies, single-mindedly focused on shopping, shopping, shopping! They will tell you that they are doing most of their buying online nowadays, but do not believe it. There are women out in the malls and marts wearing "Peace on Earth" sweatshirts who will knock you over with their shopping carts in a heartbeat if you get in their way or go too slowly down an aisle.
Those jingling Salvation Army volunteers invaded around this time, too. I realize that they are doing charitable, good work, but somehow it bothers me that this anti-gay church is begging for my gay dollars every time I run out to purchase a carton of milk.
You take your life into your hands if you try to drive anywhere during this Christmas attack. Turn signals are obsolete, yield signs are ignored, and all drivers are on the phone. Cars are the new phone booths. I am not sure what all these drivers are talking about, but I suspect it has something to do with the Christmas stuff they are about to purchase. I saw an elderly man sideswiped by a car as he stepped into a store's crosswalk the other day. The car did not even stop. It was one of those giant SUVs with the stick-figure "traditional" families (man, woman, soccer boy, ballerina girl, dog, dog, cat) stuck on the rear window.
I knew the Christmas victory was complete when a gay guy in a gay bar told me last week that he will not listen to Lady Gaga because her latest album is an affront to "our Lord." I wanted to tell him that a) maybe his god is not mine, and that b) Lady Gaga is one of the staunchest celebrity gay-rights advocates, but I held my tongue. He had one of those Christmas zombie expressions, and there would be no reasoning with him. He probably wouldn't have heard me anyway, because Mariah Carey was wailing "All I Want for Christmas Is You" loudly over the speakers.
I sound like a Scrooge, but I am not. I can enjoy the holiday season just as much as anyone, but I would like to do it on my own terms. Rick Perry, your religion and your holiday are not being persecuted. In fact, they have been part of my daily life for almost two months, whether I like it or not. So, get off your soapbox, go inside to your own church, and have yourself a merry little Christmas. I am going to make my yuletide gay.