“This year our gingerbread houses will take a stand against inequality,” Justin announced as he plopped a can of frosting onto the kitchen table. “They’ll be like edible advocates of the gay lifestyle.”
I looked up from my pile of gingerbread pieces. “Uh…because everyone knows the world of candy houses is rampant with homophobia?”
He gave me a warning look and I didn’t question him further. If Justin wanted Skittle rainbows and same-sex gingerbread people holding hands, then that was our new holiday theme.
“Wait,” said Melanie, whose expression mirrored mine. “How exactly will our homosexual houses take a stand against hatred sitting on our kitchen counters? The only person that’s going to see yours is your mom, and she bought you condoms two days after you came out, so I think she’s an adversary to your sexuality.”
“Yeah,” I said. “Besides, aren’t all gingerbread people male? Every time a kid puts two of them in front of the house holding hands they’re technically gay homeowners by default.”
“Silence!” Justin bellowed. “You’re totally missing the point, people! These houses are going to be vibrant expressions of love and tolerance! Tolerance, dammit!”
Melanie leaned into my ear. “He watched Boys Don’t Cry again last night,” she whispered. “Just go with it.”
So we set to work, creating candy houses exhibiting a gay factor that met Justin’s approval. While Melanie created a conga line of gingerbread drag queens, I broke out the food coloring and slathered my house in rainbow frosting. I created three gingerbread figures, two with skirts, and placed them in front of the house.
When Justin raised an eyebrow I said, “This is Melissa. She’s dating Steve—” I gestured to the gingerbread man with licorice hair, “—but she’s in love with Erin.
"See, Erin and Melissa were roommates in college and developed strong feelings for each other. They both loved an obscure indie band called Electric Hamster. What are the chances, right? Anyway, Erin wasn’t ashamed to say that she was a lesbian but Melissa grappled with her sexuality, torn between her desire to please her conservative, uber religious parents and her love for Erin.
"Their secret affair was steamy. Smoldering. But after college Melissa began dating Steve in an attempt to be the traditional, good Catholic girl she thought the world demanded. But every time Steve whipped out his twig and berries, Melissa died a little inside. So the affair with Erin continued.
"Steve, thinking Erin was just Melissa’s super huggy friend, invited Erin to spend a sun-soaked weekend at his parents’ beach house. This scene depicts the unspoken longing between Erin and Melissa as they arrive at the house. Later, after Steve gets drunk and passes out while watching the O’Reilly Factor, Erin and Melissa will sneak out and embrace on the beach, waves lapping at their naked bodies as they make love beneath a moonlit sky. It is then that Melissa will find the courage to break up with Steve and spend the rest of her life proudly introducing Erin as her girlfriend.”
Blank faces stared back at me.
“One of Erin’s frosting boobs is sliding off,” said Melanie.
An hour later we had completed our candied structures of love and tolerance. Justin surveyed our achievement and gave a speech as if he were accepting a Nobel Prize.
“Ladies and gentleman,” he said proudly. “What we have accomplished here today exceeds all gingerbread themes from holidays past. Although Courtney’s gingerbread strip club complete with licorice poles is still noteworthy and will forever hold a place in our hearts, today we have created meaning out of frosting and candy by addressing the difficult issues facing the gay community.”
Melanie and I exchanged bewildered looks. “We did something here today, didn’t we? We did some—”
Justin gasped as his house collapsed, his gay gingerbread couple buried beneath an avalanche of frosting and gumdrops. His eyes bulged and he was silent a long time, staring in horror at the carnage. I waited for him to scream. To cry. To bemoan this tragic setback to the gay community.
“Are you okay, honey?” Melanie said.
Justin smiled and shrugged. “No biggie. I was just about to eat the whole thing anyway.”
He grabbed the head of a former gingerbread man and popped it in his mouth.
Courtney Bee's articles on sex and relationships have appeared in Hustler, Playgirl, and numerous adult books. On ellorascave.com she's the bestselling author of Athima, an erotic novella, and a contributor to the new X-rated anthology Flavors of Ecstasy III. She's also a top-ranked sex columnist on examiner.com, where she betrays her prim Catholic upbringing on a daily basis.