Saturday, March 3, 2012

Training Girls Apologia

This is an open letter to the Training Girls of America. By Training Girls, I mean those sometimes oblivious, sometimes awesomely co-conspiratorial young women, who date closeted or otherwise not-man-ready gay guys.

Training Girls come in all shapes, sizes, flavors and colors, although somewhat chubby or Christian girls are the norm. To scaredy-cat queer boys, a good Training Girl is a godsend. She’s a perfect hetero mask to wear – no more talking about “My girlfriend, Christine, who lives faaaar away in Ohio, I mean Canada. Yeah, Canada…” or festooning ye olde adolescent bedroom landscape with posters, featuring the balloonesque breasts of women in pull-string blouses with a beer stein in each hand and a facial expression that says, “Hey, boys! I have a vagina! Tee hee!”

But anyone who is useful, is ultimately used, and that’s exactly what most training girls are: unfairly and sometimes callously used by guys who are projecting their own fears onto the shoulders of someone else. It’s not fair. In fact, it’s downright bastardly. Lying when you tell someone that you love them in a romantic/sexual way? Dick move. Big-time dick move.

So this is an apology, specifically from me to my Training Girl, Tina, but also from all gay men to their training girls of yore. Maybe you’ve already apologized to yours. If so, you’re a real man now. If not, get to it. Let this be your reconciliatory diving board, if you will. You can even read it to her over the phone, if you like. I’ll never, ever know that you stole my words and used them as your own. Who’s going to tell? And hey, maybe she’ll throw out those you-shaped voodoo dolls, after all. To wit:

Training Girls, we’re really sorry. We were selfish and scared and we took advantage of your affection. We gagged a little when we kissed you, but we still played along with your wedding fantasies and your name-our-future-spawn games. We’re sorry that we used lame excuses like pregnancy, performance anxiety and Jesus to avoid sexual congress with you. We’re sorry about how dispassionate we were and how repulsed we may have looked if we actually did get jiggy with you. And we’re sorry we kept wrestling with your hottie of a brother. Well, mostly sorry.

We may have been lying to ourselves, and that’s cowardly; but we were also lying to you, and that’s just apathetic and cruel. We owe you some weapons-grade contrition for that, we do. We owe you “Sorry I couldn’t go down on you” flowers, “Wish I’d been honest with myself” candies, and probably a few “I hope you don’t hate men now” backrubs. We’ll probably never give you any of those things, least of all the backrubs, but we still hope you’ll accept our humble, self-deprecating apologies.

The good news is that fewer and fewer girls are being subjected to this kind of year-round relationship tricking-sans-treating. Today’s queer youth have more peer support and less fear of letting their fag flags fly. Remember, new generation of gay boys: Girls are friends, not sexuality duck blinds. Having a thing for the cock doesn’t give you permission to be one. Those who would otherwise be Training Girls are taking their rightful and glorious places as Power-Hags and Amazonian Allies. Instead of wondering why their boyfriend likes Ethel Merman so much, they can join him and his partner for a round of “Something For the Boys.” With jazz hands.

For those who may still find themselves in awkward, unrequited love affairs, Hallmark’s got you covered: “So, your boyfriend likes boys…Play again!”