St. Patrick’s Day is coming up. I’m a native New Yorker and New York is home to the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade IN THE WORLD. I’m also a gay. I’ve been a straight-ish, I’ve been a bi (probably still am), and I am now – due to my completely committed relationship with Wifesy – A GAY. Since I plan to be with her until I take my last breath, I will always be a gay. And guess what, if – god forbid – something happens to me, her, or our relationship – I’ll probably still be a gay. I don’t think you can just shake it off, regardless of what these lunatic ex-gay groups think. What’s my point in bringing up my sexuality timeline? Well, to prove that things are never black and white. They are most often grey. What IS black and white, to me, however, is discrimination.
Because apparently you can NOT be Irish-green and Gay-pink at the same time. At least that’s what the NYC parade organizers think because the gays ARE NOT ALLOWED TO MARCH on St. Paddy’s Day. Let me amend that, they ARE allowed to march, just as long as they don’t “publicize their sexuality”.
So, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has been repealed by our nation’s government. Gay men and women can serve openly in the armed forces, they can die for their country, but yet THEY CAN NOT MARCH IN THE FECKIN’ PARADE!! And to add insult to injury, now they CAN be from the great state of New York, serve openly in the military, AND GET MARRIED IN NEW YORK, and yet they STILL can NOT march in the parade??!!
Whose fault is this? Whose hypocrisy is this?
Well, the Catholics, of course.
The St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York was started by the Ancient Order of Hibernians, a Catholic organization. The Hibernians ran the parade up until the 90’s – now a separate, independent group runs it. The way the Catholics uphold the “gays can’t march” rule is due to a 1990’s Supreme Court decision in Boston that deemed the St. Patrick’s Day parade a “private, religious procession”. Yes, the biggest Irish parade in the world is a “private, religious procession”. WTF. It’s also important to note that the entire concept, idea, and original parade was conducted by a group of Irish soldiers. Better said, Irish-American soldiers. They marched downtown up to the original St. Patrick’s church on Mott and Prince, were blessed by the priest, and then headed off to the Irish pubs to get drunk. The parade TODAY is till led by the 165th cavalry, which is supposed to act as an extension of those original Irish soldiers. It is amazing to me that an organization that is SO linked with the U.S. military, would hold fast to its anti-gay practices even after the entire U.S. military has abandoned them!
Doesn’t that strike anyone else as a bit ridiculous? And no one’s talking about this. Unless, I’m oblivious and its been repealed, in which case – for once – I hope this blog is dead wrong. But, from what I’m seeing online, it’s not. The gays can’t march, publicly. They can go back in the closet and do it, but they can’t be proud of themselves and their relationships and carry their Irish pride all on the same day.
It’s stupid, silly, and childish. As a comedian, I’d like to combat it with concepts that are also stupid, silly, and childish. So, here are some of my ideas for being Gay AND Irish — at the same time and maybe even during the parade:
Calling all Gay U.S. Soldiers – Change your names to McDonagey or for the moment take mine – Donohue – I will adopt any U.S. soldier for the day or marry him, since my other marriage isn’t federal anyway. I can make you Irish-American for a day. I have that power. Then, just as you march your Irish a** right past Cardinal Dolan (probably waiting with a cheshire grin) on the steps of St. Patrick’s cathedral, turn, and MAKEOUT. Make it a good one. In fact, if you can dip your significant other while in uniform re-doing that iconic “sailor returned home from the war and kisses a girl pic” I can almost guarantee you’ll hit the cover of every major newspaper in the U.S.
Calling all Irish-American citizens who are Gay or Gay allied – as an American, you have rights, regardless of your sexuality. One of those rights is the “right to bear arms” as protected by the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution. Now, since everyone in the world (mistakenly, by the way) assumes that Americans carry guns, let’s make them right for a day. Get a gun permit. Every single one of you who loves a gay. Get a permit to wear your weapon out in the open. Have it holstered, strapped to your back, your upper thigh – wherever it makes you feel most alive. Then put on your t-shirt. Your t-shirt will say, “I am not gay (at least not publicly), but I hold my government-sanctioned weapon up to anyone who physically harms a gay or who is vehemently, anti-gay.” Then, as you pass the Cardinal turn, raise your weapon, and pull the trigger. No, I’m not saying kill the Cardinal. (I have not gone all Sinead O’Connor in this post.) All of these guns will be “trick” guns where a flag unfurls out of the barrel. (The permits will be secured to scare the bejesus out of the parade organizers.) The flags that will unfurl out of the barrel will be Irish flags with a big picture of Colin Farrell and his gay brother, Eamon, plastered all over them. It will make a valiant, yet hilarious point – the best kind.
If the Cardinal seems fearful for a moment right before the trick-triggers are pulled, so be it. At least he will understand momentarily what it’s like to be a gay person standing against an anti-gay mob for one moment in his entire life.
Calling all TV persons, stylists, and producers who are Gay or Gay allied – Set up makeover booths in front of every Irish bar along the parade route and within its perimeters. Call the booths, “Queer Eye for the Irish Guy” and position “tv ready” gay men in front of them in extremely stylish clothing. It is a truth, in New York, that most of the people who attend the St. Patrick’s Day parade are NOT the stylin’ New Yorker, trend-setting, hipster guys, whether gay or straight, that you might find in Brooklyn. Nor is it the Irish-Irish tourist dressed in his perfectly tapered shirt and tailored – can’t get this brand in New York just yet – denim jeans attending the St. Pat’s parade. These are not the guys who go. (In fact, if it’s an Irish-Irish guy in New York, he’s probably trying to run away from all things Irish!) It’s the wannabe Irish-American guys from Staten Island, Queens, New Jersey and every place else in the world who frequent this parade and I’m sorry to say, but some of them need a makeover. (Because flannel button down shirts are only good for lumberjacks! Not for mass consumption!) The good looking, “tv ready” gay guys will approach their girlfriends, lest they get punched in the face by the flanneled-out dudes. Offer these girls, gift certificates to Forever 21 and Express and whatever the hell else is in the mall near them, if and only if, their guys get queer-eyed makeovers. Next, a team of stylists will turn these ex-lumberjacks into stylish trend setters. Meanwhile, the production team keeps their girlfriends soused in the bar next door. And the last step, turn these hot new specimens loose on their girlfriends who will drunkenly engage them in the best sex of their lives.
These corresponding ideas – “gay-makeovers, irish parade, great sex” – will forever become branded in the minds of these ex-lumberjacks assuring that next year’s petition to allow the gays to march will be signed by every straight man in the five boroughs, if not the entire tri-state area.
That’s progress. Gays, straights, and the Irish all unified in their quest to get drunk and be proud.
Erin Go Bragh.
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