Roger Marolt: Straight I for the queer guy
All right, somebody has to tell you. It may as well be me since I’ve witnessed more of these events than most of the participants have. Gay Ski Week is in dire need of a complete makeover.It’s true. You guys have been so busy gallivanting around here every January for, what? … 15 … 20 … 26 … oh hell, it may as well be 100 years as tired as this circus looks, and you haven’t even noticed. It’s time to update. What do I mean? Where do I begin?Gawd, what a mess. It’s just so … so … in your face. I mean, what’s your point anymore? It’s become an event that looks more like a Branson, Mo., swingers convention than a cutting-edge cosmopolitan gathering. It appears as if otherwise normal people are packing up their Bourbon Street alter egos, locking the trailer doors, getting on a plane and coming here for the sole purpose of going berserk. That was fine when this all began. Now it’s sooo trashy!Haven’t you heard? There’s a renaissance of sorts going on in Aspen. Flamboyance is pass. Unassuming is cool. Standing out is out. Blending in is in. Most of us want to get back to where we left off in the 70s when everyone, except you, came here to get unnoticed. It’s the truth. I think you guys may have started the whole “ostentatious” thing when you first came to town. I sort of understood it then. You were coming out of your closets and trying to make a statement to the world. A great way to do that was to show up in a high-profile, tolerant town like Aspen and make some headlines. It was new to you and it was new to us. You were excited, we were shocked. It all worked out.But pu-leeze, we’re over it already. You’re accepted, all right? We’ve taken your statement, now get on with it. Besides, this isn’t the place to get noticed anymore. We’re so darn weird here anyway that we couldn’t surprise Jack if the mayor laid a golden egg. So, let’s start plucking and primping and straightening (figure of speech) things up. First of all, the old clichd jokes are getting a little threadbare. Let me know if I’m mistaken, but I’m guessing that just about now, somewhere in Aspen, someone is unpacking his pregnant nun getup. That’s amusing. There’s nothing funnier than one persecuted group making fun of another. I laugh every year when you run that one out. Ha! Ha! Ha! Stop it. It’s not appropriate. Anywhere!Next, you’ve got to do something about that contest where you all dress up in drag and make fun of the way women act. Again, there’s nothing like the hackneyed expression of a sexist stereotype to really get the crowd rolling in the aisles. But how about being a little progressive with something new this year? While you’re at it, ground the guy who dresses up like Superman every year, too. You remember, he’s the one with the giant fake penis hanging out from his bikini shorts. That one’s as funny now as it was back at Ridgemont High.But, all it really proves anymore is what we all suspected anyway; some of the biggest homophobic jerks in our high schools probably really were gay. Try to come up with some clever, original costumes this year. There are a few that have nothing to do with sex, you know.Then, of course, there’s the big “ski race” today. You’ll want it to be rude and raunchy like always. My favorite offensive display took place there a couple of years ago. A man dressed up like Little Bo Peep came skiing down Little Nell pretending to sodomize a stuffed sheep. Hi-larious! Cruelty to animals is always funny.But, can you imagine how quickly the X Games would be ixnayed from Aspen if an athlete performed one of those sick Backside Cripplers in ESPN’s superpipe? Come on. This is your one event that everyone sees; an opportunity to show some class to the town that welcomes you with open arms and open minds. Don’t ruin that. Clean it up! You’re gay, for Pete’s sake, you’re not 12-year-old boys in the middle school locker room. You don’t have to act straight, just your age. Remember, too, PETA is watching. And I know you’re going to be tempted to make all kinds of jokes about George Bush. It’s an election year with the whole gay marriage issue. The obvious innuendo is going to be very alluring. I can see the placards at the “ski race” already: “Bush We’re not interested.” Save it. It’s wasted here. There aren’t any Republicans around here to see it. Finally, we have to do something about all the businesses in town that aren’t quite getting it and continue to run advertisements and hang signs that say things like, “Welcome Gays.” Sheesh. When (if) the Fire & Ice Ski Club ever returns, should we put signs in our doors saying “Welcome Blacks”? Of course not! For crying out loud, all people are welcome here; all the time. The only exception is hunters. They’re welcome only a few weeks in the fall when things are really slow and there’s no one around to see them anyway. You can hang signs for them. Other than that, it’s patronizing. There! We’re finished. It hurt a little. But have a glance in the mirror. The little things make a big difference. You’ll look better, you’ll feel better, and I think you’ll be surprised at how much more respect you’ll get now. [Roger Marolt is thankful we can all freely express ourselves here. He just thinks that sometimes we shouldn’t. Speak freely at firstname.lastname@example.org]
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