The look of Toyota Mitsubishi in overhead florescent lighting and the sound of their Nikes tapping on glossy chessboard tile is almost as appealing as watching them whip their ponytail and ass in reverse for all of Savannah to gag on.
Walking down the aisles of Kroger, Wal-Mart, Target, Buy This Shit And Love It, I feel like we’re a pair of fuzzy dice hanging from a rear-view mirror, bouncing off and into each other—same height, same frame and equal parts hands in the air not giving a fuck.
They were headed to some queer Boho outdoor retreat in Tennessee and I was coming to the Gunt haus for my last, fleeting bit of Kia & Toyota time before the long weekend would turn into hours of nothing in particular slipping by like a time lapse.
For our last domestic hurrah, we drove to Kroger on Gwinnett and walked through the door all lah-de-dah to gather supplies for our respective weekends. I needed cat food. They needed condoms and lube.
“Ok so you go get your pet food and I’ll be over here,” they said making their way towards the pharmacy. I tilted my head.
“What? You’re afraid people will think you’re a hetero?” Keep in mind we were out of drag and make a really cute couple together ;-)
“They’re going to think that anyway,” they called out, then disappeared stage right into the aisle with uncanny timing.
Laughing, I turned on my heels and sauntered my way over to the pet section. Such is life that a typical setting like a gas station or grocery store would be the time your friend off-handedly yells something you hadn’t thought about before. Either way, it didn’t hit me until I was staring head on into the cat food labels:
Outside of my bubbled reality of glitzy showgirls and trash glam queens, the world sees Toyota as straight because, most of the time, they want them to be straight.
They want them to be safe, mainstream, attainable and desired.
It’s not just Mr. & Mrs. LL Bean Fall Collection 2016 who put queers into this box.
It’s the countless Beckys who put their hands on their hips, tilt their heads to the side, and say to my friends, “BUT YOU’RE SOOO HOT! WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE GAY?!”
It’s the drunk straight boys in the clubs who will inch closer and closer to me no matter how many times I proclaim NOT INTERESTED to the point where I feel their pelvises grinding into my backside and I have to physically push them away.
It’s every time I’ve stood beside my sisters in full Gunty garb and felt crestfallen and helpless as a straight couple or group of frat-centric tourists yells WHAT THE FUCK and FAGGOT ASS at them. You’re straight until proven gay, and then it’s a shooting range.
With the bag of Purina cradled in my arms like a baby, I wondered: how many people in this Kroger, in this city, in this planet will ever see Toyota the way I do.
Or how many will see them as straight until proven gay.
I found them crouched down in front of the glass pharmacy case, inspecting the brightly colored boxes and labels with a green bottle of natural (of course) lube in hand. They turned their head up to me.
“Should I get the kind with spermicide?”
“What? No. Why would you need spermicide?”
Early the next morning I rode my bike around the dewy Savannah streets, feeling the wind blow my hair back and watching the sunlight slip through the tree branches and tangled moss. The air felt comforting and almost aquatic to me. To my right, I saw Toyota through the nouveau riche window display at their job working one more shift just before taking flight to Tennessee.
I pulled over.
Kia Sedona is the resident bio queen and housewife to the Gunties. When she’s not serving exaggerated horror-fem or playing cars with Toyota, she also performs burlesque under the name Edie Bellini. You can follow her misadventures via Instagram @kiatropolis and @ediebellini.