Christmas is gay

NOTE: I wrote this post last Christmas season. But since it’s funny and offensive and most of you have never seen it before, I’m running it again.

I was on a forum the other day when someone brought up the inconvenient hypothesis that saying, “That’s gay” might be offensive to gay people.

Typically, I’m a nonconfrontational offender. When I’m alone, I tend to think, “If someone is offended, that’s their problem.” It’s the same philosophy I use when eating meat. I love meat, but I have to pretend it wasn’t at one time frolicking in nature. I’ll let others kill for me, but if the apocalypse came tomorrow and I was suddenly required to kill my own food, I’d become a vegetarian. Same with offense. Once I can put a face together with someone being actually hurt, I often will pussy out and stop. Damn idiotic compassion. Knew I should stop following the Dalai Lama.

“There are worse things,” said my gay friend Nick when I asked his opinion, “but in a perfect world, I kind of wish that expression would just go away.”

Dammit. He was being cool about it, but the handwriting was on the wall. At heart, it bothered him.

He then added that his cousin keeps telling him how gay he is. She’s not doing it on purpose, either.

“She just can’t figure it out,” Nick told me. “Bless her poor, stupid heart.”

You’re probably wondering why I’m sweating any of this, but what you don’t know is that the gay arrow is among the largest and most powerful in my quiver. American Idol is gay, High School Musical is gay, Dancing with the Stars is gay, and the new Ronald McDonald is gay squared. There is no synonym to the way I use “gay.” “Lame” doesn’t cut it. “Dumb” doesn’t cut it. There is a certain particular species of lame/dumb to all of those things that implies that not only do they suck, but that they do so in a Bettie Boop wig, tap-dancing around with their penises tucked back between their legs.

“What if I’m not meaning for it to imply homosexuality in any way?” I begged. “What if it’s just a homonym that is actually an entirely different word, like ‘road’ and ‘rode?’ ”

“But it’s g-a-y, right?” Nick asked.

“A homonym that’s spelled the same way, then. Or maybe it could be g-h-e-y.”

“Look,” he told me, “use it if you want, seriously. Like I said, it’s not a big deal to me. But it will offend some gays, yes.”

Great. That’s like one of my black friends saying, “Well… I guess you could somehow justify referring to that hairstyle as ‘niggery.’ “

I sighed. “Times really do change. It’s funny – it was only 35 years ago that Carly Simon was able to score a major hit with, ‘You’re So Gay.’ “

“I don’t think that’s right,” he said.

“Well, between thirty and forty years, anyway,” I said.

Honestly, I think it’s all kind of unfair. Homosexuals annexed that word without notice. Overnight, it went from referring to a state of happiness and joy to one of wanting to have sex with dudes. Like, Liberace was always so bubbly and happy. In days past, you could have said he was gay. But then all of that changed.

And all of this at the gayest time of year. Revelers are gay. Tidings are gay. Hell, it’s December 6th, so thirty or forty years back, this was all one big gay season. “How are you today, Ted?” a man would ask his neighbor. “Very gay, thank you!” the other would reply. “I’ve never been so gay, in fact! And you, Roger – you’re also looking mightily gay. How’s the family? Gay, I imagine?”

funny blogAs for us, we put up our Christmas tree today. While we were doing it, I made a point to think about how gay it was. I figured Nick wouldn’t mind. The true holiday spirit is one of universal gayness. This is the time of year that we can all be gay together as a people. We decorated; we hung tinsel; we listened to old music. If we wanted, we could even have roasted nuts over the fire.

I’m working on making peace with all of it. And Nick? He’s happy I’m trying.

“You should be my ambassador to the gay community,” I told him in the spirit of the gay holiday. “You know, help me sell some of my books across the rainbow border.”

“The cover art may need to change if you want me to do that,” he said, having seen the dog I placed on the cover of May Contain Nuts. “As it stands, your title implies an expectation that the book does not meet.”

I thought that was a funny thing to say, so I laughed and reveled in my holiday spirit of infinite gayness toward all mankind. I guess I can live without saying “that’s gay,” though I will indeed miss it. Perhaps I can find something less offensive, more universal.

But really, when you think about it, the whole situation is pretty retarded.

Now that you've read this post, go here:


  1. Fabian says:

    Language is a big ugly trap, so you better make fun of it and don’t care too much. Ask a spaniard wanting to “take the bus” (coger el bus) in Latin America, and people laughing at him because of his apparent horniness towards public transport…

    On a related note, after seeing you being gay with a Christmas tree, I’d really like some visuals on “niggery” hair, just to get the idea…

  2. David Spinks says:

    Like many other things in my life, I base my judgements on what South Park tells me is okay. I believe a recent episode of south park summed up this situation pretty well.

    Found an article discussing it:


  3. Johnny says:

    That’s hilarious. I still try not to do it, but there is SO a difference in meaning!

  4. Gib Wallis says:

    Somehow, I was expecting this post to have a punch line where I’d go, “Wow, that’s funny and offensive! I’m ashamed of myself for laughing.”

    Alas, no such luck.

    End the post at the self-realization with the hair comment and this would be much more fun to read.

  5. lorrie says:

    Cartman rocks my world.

    Johnny, when are you going to put a ‘share’ button on your damn posts?

  6. Johnny says:

    Duh, sorry about that. I’ve added it to this and the archive… thanks!

  7. Start a gay revolution – turn it back to meaning something good again! Say that’s so gay to mean cool.

    If it’s any consolation my gay friends & I say that’s so hetro – which isn’t a compliment…. ;o)

  8. I’m with your friend Nick (thanks, ResLife training and general populace sensitivity), but still have to occasionally curtail the phrase from exiting my mouth, so I know where you’re comin from. And I don’t know what Gib was talking about above; the last line made me laugh out loud, unexpectedly.

    And now I’m wondering if that makes me a bad person.

  9. Johnny says:

    Meh, just a tiny bit bad. A tiny bit.

  10. Tim says:

    That last line is genius.

    Bring on the on the equivalent “Easter is retarded” post!

  11. Mary Mullins says:

    That was one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. Seriously. I had tears running down my face.
    Thank you for making my day!!

  12. O. Bear says:

    What you say about Christmas being a “gay” holiday is true (ex: don we now our gay apparel…) and if that was the context that most people used ‘gay’ in then that may be alright.
    But the reality that this bear has noticed is that when people say “That’s gay” they are usually NOT referring to the textbook definition of gay (which is cheery, bright and pleasant). If you are using “gay” to mean bright, cheery and pleasant, that’s cool. But sadly whenever I hear “That’s gay” it is not in the context of “That’s bright & cheery” but usually in the context of “That’s whack (or lame).” This subverts the word from equating gay with cheeriness to equating gay with whack-ness (or lameness). And I can see how that subversion of the word ‘gay’ can make the term ‘That’s gay” carry more sting for some humans. If you self-identify with being gay, you may indeed NOT mind the connotation of ‘gay’ meaning bright and cheery (the original definition) BUT you may mind the new connotation of ‘gay’ meaning whack or lame (which is the way many people use it now).
    Just my observations.

    • Johnny says:

      Yep, I totally agree. It’s been a few years since I wrote this, and at the time I was still struggling with the use of the word “gay” and mainly backed off because a few gay people I knew didn’t like it… but didn’t really get it myself. I do now. I also no longer allow myself to say “retarded,” which was tough because I used it a lot.

      Sigh. I’m getting all PC in my old age.

      • mari says:

        my boys say “that’s so retarded” all the time. and now i’m doing it. :sigh: i’m trying so hard to stop. there’s got to be a better way. lol

  13. mari says:
  14. Julie says:

    When I read the title I thought it was going to be an anti Christmas rant. Glad to see it wasn’t, but was a hilarious post on how language is hijacked. Don’t give in to the PC police too much, Johnny. Don’t do it!


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