They clutched their pearls with murderous claws. They grimaced—as much as Botox would allow—behind their menus. When Robert Jaffe, Bernie Madoff’s super-suave sidekick, walked into the fancy-pants Chez Jean-Pierre restaurant in Palm Beach last week and hoisted himself onto a bar stool, a frission of indignation crackled through the room. All the white-haired titans of industry dug their un-calloused fingers into their bread rolls. All the ladies swallowed deep, thereby jiggling their remaining diamonds. It was shocking to see this infamous bloke blithely inhabiting the milieu upon which he had—wittingly or unwittingly?—wrought so much havoc.
I thought about standing up and doing a whole “J’accuse!” number, but my Jonny always tells me he can never tell whether I am sitting or standing, so I decided against it. My Jonny is excessively and gleefully focused on my lack of height: He claims that my being a couple of inches shorter than he provides him with what he lovingly calls “a flattering adjacency.”
As we watched Mr. Jaffe—he carries and dresses himself like a retired male model/croupier—sucking down a cocktail, we could not help reflecting on the overwhelmingly heterosexual nature of the whole Madoff thingy. Yes, I know that we gays are by no means perfect: We did after all popularize many horrid trends, including diamond stud earrings and wedge haircuts. But Ponzi schemes? Feeder funds? Not so much. The gays are far more interested in fondling than hondling.
This is, in point of fact, a really great moment for the gays. As hetero males around the world devolve from bad to worse—did you see those horrible fellas in Afghanistan throwing rocks at their fabulously courageous womenfolk?—the gays are, circa 2009, suddenly smelling like roses.
The global recession is clearly a straight-guy thing. No gay could ever come up with all those toxic assets and daffy derivatives. No gay could ever bring himself to stand on a trading floor yelling at the top of his lungs about pork bellies. Maybe a lesbian could—yes, definitely, I can see her now in my mind’s eye—but a gay man? Never! We define ourselves via fabulousness rather than finagling. So, thank you, all you pompous, bonus-grabbing heteros, for providing us gays with such a flattering adjacency!
The gays did not cause the recession, but nor, truth be told, are we suffering as much as the straights. We are less likely to lose our jobs than you breeders because we provide critical services like, for example, hair coloring. Neither Robert Jaffe nor Ruth Madoff show any signs of going “natural,” and neither does anybody else. As a result, the pink dollar is alive and pert. We inverts do not have dependants beyond the occasional poodle, and, even if there are kids in the picture, we gays are très resourceful. If push comes to shove, we will toss our brats into a child pageant to earn their keep. “If ringlets were good enough for Shirley Temple …”
The straights are starting, albeit grudgingly, to show some acknowledgment of our majesty. The gay marriage thingy is moving in the right direction, suggesting that we may one day even get our civil rights. Iowa, bonjour! One hopes that when they finally arrive, I will still be alive and not too shrunken to enjoy them.
And, as if further proof were needed that the gays are on a roll, there is a strong possibility that one of our own is actually going to win American Idol: I refer to the charismatic and kohl-eyed Adam Lambert. Call me lowbrow, but I am a huge Idol fan, and Adam—a sizzling combo of Robert Plant, Bryan Ferry and Shirley Bassey—keeps turning my blouse inside out every single week. Check out his version of “Ring of Fire” on YouTube. Even Simon Cowell has given him a standing ovation. I gave him one, too. But nobody seemed to notice—especially not my Jonny.