Dateland: Ahoy, Gays!

Over the years, there have been so many brave GBLT trailblazers—people who have risked their lives and careers to protect our rights and make us more accepted. Well, peeps, you can now count your own Jennifer Parello among this noble group!Last week, I became the first gay member of my local yacht club.Over the years, in order to make my life seem much more exciting and amusing than it actually is, I have used this column to wildly exaggerate situations. But there is no need for me to be creative about this episode. I only need to transcribe my notes on what actually took place.

My mom was recently diagnosed with advanced cancer. Initially, I tried to motivate her by suggesting that she must live for her grandchildren. That proved to be a less than compelling argument. So, I told her that if she agreed to chemo, I’d join my yacht club and take her for lunch there as soon as she could stomach food. Her eyes lit up and she said, “Oooooh, I’ll need to get something new to wear.” (My mother is a clotheshorse, so an opportunity to go shopping and lunching trumps any pesky discomfort from chemo.)

The club is basically a broken down bar and grill that has a great view of the harbor. I assumed that membership would include little more than filling out an application and paying a small fee. So, I was surprised when the “Rear Admiral” (a courtesy title for the club’s membership director) demanded that I meet him for an interview before deciding whether to accept my membership.

The first thing I noticed about the Rear Admiral was that he was drunk out of his gourd. Thus, the interview consisted of him drooling on himself and rambling about how he is solely responsible for the success of the club and how everyone else sucks. Just when he began nodding off and was about to pass out in a pool of his own spittle, he suddenly roused himself.

“I’ve always been a risk taker,” he slurred. “I’ve always wanted to get some gays in this club. When I saw your application, I took it to the board and demanded that they let you in. Their only concern is that you might just be pretending to be gay.”

“That’s what my parents have been hoping for years,” I said.

He pulled a document from a folder with a flourish and laid it in front of me to sign. The title was “Declaration of Homosexuality.” It was authored by someone who was either very drunk or had a terrible head injury.

The document was the club’s ham-handed attempt to confirm that my girlfriend and I are indeed sleeping with each other and, therefore, eligible for a joint membership, and not simply a couple of straight girls trying to cheat the club out of a membership fee.

After signing the document and declaring my homosexuality, the Rear Admiral felt the need to prove just how open-minded he is. He jumped up from the table and grabbed the ass of a guy sitting at the bar. He planted a kiss on his cheek and called him “Sweetie.” “We do gay stuff like that here all the time,” he proudly exclaimed.

I’m certain that gay history books will one day herald my bravery at joining the gayest non-gay yacht club in all the land. But, for now, I’ll settle for the look on my mom’s face when in the midst of her first lunch at the club, a couple of drunk straight guys tongue kiss at the bar just to make us feel welcome.

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