It’s time I come clean.
I can no longer play a part in LEO’s little charade. But before I do, let me start off with a quote by Richard Nixon, the real quote I’ve always kept folded in my pocket: “Always give your best. Never get discouraged. Never be petty. Always remember: Others may hate you. But those who hate you don’t win, unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.”
So here it goes (my palms are sweaty). Please remember when you read this that times are hard, and I’ve got debt, so don’t hate me, don’t destroy yourself. I am NOT gay. Nor have I ever been gay. Rainbows are stupid. Every time I see the color pink, I throw up a little in my mouth. I’m not even sure I like gays.
Don’t panic. I’m still the same person I was before I told you this. My life as a lie began with graduate school — or rather, with graduating from graduate school. I left New York completely broke, with nothing but an MFA and massive debt. I had no job prospects when I moved back to Louisville (back to my parents’ house), and after a few weeks of taking out the trash and keeping my room clean, I knew I had to do something: a $10 allowance only goes so far.
Luckily, I didn’t have to wait too long for my fortune to change. One dark and stormy night, I ran into Stephen George at a bar. I was drinking a slow gin fizz; I’m not sure what Stephen was drinking. We got to talking about life and catching up; I told him how I’d just graduated and needed money. And, like all bleeding hearts, after hearing which school I had graduated from, he jumped to conclusions and asked me if I wanted to write a column about gay life in Louisville. Apparently, the powers that be at LEO wanted the magazine to be just a little edgier, you know.
At first I was offended; lots of straight women have short hair. But, after Stephen told me I’d be making $80,000 a year, plus benefits, offense turned to glee. I couldn’t believe my luck. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for the fizz to go to my head, and I signed a 10-year contract right then and there.
You know how sometimes you make decisions under the influence you’d never in a million years make otherwise? Like that time I ended up in The Party Crasher freakin’ some random dude on the dance floor with my skirt pulled high, I awoke the next morning completely paralyzed with fear. After remaining catatonic for about two hours, I called Stephen. I begged and begged, pleaded and pleaded, but it was all in vain — just like the Army, once you sign a contract with LEO, you’re theirs.
I have to admit, the healthcare coverage is magnificent: My co-pay for out-of-network is $2.50, I can go to the dentist or ophthalmologist 12 times a year for free, and I get all the therapy sessions I want.
But I’m not gay; I can no longer live this lie. I’ve never been to Tink’s or The Connection. I make this shit up as I go. I’m actually a Republican — I voted for W three times (in one election!). And because I was educated at a liberal college with an abnormally high population of gay kids, I know what it feels like to be a minority.
My name isn’t Kate Welsh. There is a Kate Welsh who resides in Louisville (two, to be exact), but I’m not her. I met Kate in a Sapphic chat room. It was my first day posing as a lesbian, and after 20 minutes I knew I could trust her with my secret. As luck would have it, she had a secret too. She’s a chatty kind of closet case; she tells me the issues, I write. I pay her $50 a column, for compensation and confidentiality.
Miley Cyrus once said, “The only advice my dad’s given me is: If you ain’t having fun, it ain’t working, so always have fun with what you’re doing. If you don’t love it, then there’s no reason to do it. And don’t do it for fame or money — do it because it’s something that you feel is right.”
Well, I’m tired of the fame, I’m not having fun, and I don’t feel being gay is right. This is my last column, for I have been dishonorably discharged from LEO.
I am not gay, signing off.
*This story is part of LEO’s Fake Issue.