Jay Brannan, je t’aime

November 19, 2009


I used to dream about one day running into Angelina Jolie on the street. Upon our serendipitous meeting, she would take me in her loving, motherly embrace and whisper in my ear “Don’t worry. Everything’s going to be okay.” Then she’d walk away and everyone one of my problems would be solved.

Now, I want to do this for Jay Brannan.

For those of you who don’t know who Jay Brannan is, he’s the guy who had the Star Spangled Banner sung into his butt in the movie “Shortbus.” For those of you who haven’t seen Shortbus, log onto Netflix right now and put it at the top of your queue. Basically, the movie is about a group of strangers all in varying stages of their own person sexual development, who all meet in this sex club. Jay hooks up with this gay couple and they try to make a go of a three way relationship. I won’t spoil the ending because you are all going to rent it. It’s amazing.

There’s one scene in the movie where Jay is playing the guitar and singing a delightful song called “Soda Shop” to his two male suitors. The song caught my ear and I bought the sound track as soon as it came out. After a few months of me listening to that song on repeat whenever we were in the car, my bf threatened domestic violence if I didn’t find some more music to play. But I couldn’t think of anything that I’d rather hear than Jay’s angelic voice singing about walking home drunk and throwing up on his bedroom floor.

So, I turned to the oracle, aka the internet, and searched for musicians who shared some of the same qualities as my newest musical obsession. I praised Madonna when I found that my dear sweet Jay had released his own album, Goddamned. Immediately I logged onto iTunes and downloaded it.

It was like nectar from the God’s hearing my Jay-Jay sing about wanting to be a housewife, the problems with commercializing Jerusalem and religion and wondering if his inner turmoil is caused by thoughts of suicide or just being hungry. Like his song, Soda shop, I listened to Goddamned nonstop for months. I listened to it on the train ride to work, all day in front of my desk and every evening at dinner. And to my wonderful surprise, it wasn’t annoying my bf. He fell in love with the album and, for the first time ever, actually started singing along with the lyrics when we were in the car.

Even though all of Jay’s songs are morbidly depressing and darkly unhappy, his sweet tone and cherubic voice make everything seem okay. There’s one song in which he says the f-word like, fifteen times in one verse, but it doesn’t sound dirty, vulgar or even out of place. He has a wonderful quality of turning something so emotionally crippling into an experience that actually removes me from reality and makes me want to run out and sponsor an illiterate child in Africa. For a short time I even had to stop listening to him in the car because I would get so caught up in his music that I almost ran over several pedestrians at a cross walk.

And then it happened. Jay Brannan announced his first tour: Fat is a Feeling, Not a Shape. I looked on his website, jaybrannan.com and he was coming to Atlanta. I thanked the gay gods and instantly put the date in my calendar. The only thing: I wrote down the wrong date. You can only imagine my disappointment when I showed up at the venue only to have the bouncer tell me that I had missed the concert by one day. I went home and cried into my pillow, sad in the fact that I would never be able to hug Jay and let him know that everything was going to be okay. I spent the next few months in a depressed coma, eating my weight in bon bons every night and lamenting my concert scheduling mishap. I commented on every one of Jay’s facebook posts, spent way too much money on his web-based merchandise and even planned a trip to New York to ambush him outside his apartment, all in the hopes that I cold one day impart on him the wisdom that I had dreamed of from Angelina Jolie for so long. But nothing worked out.

But then again, there was another shining light: a new album. This one, titled “In living Cover” was a series of covers and two new songs. Naturally, I pre-ordered the album and even stayed home from work the day it was delivered so I could hear it as soon as I could. I sat in my living room and popped the cd in the stereo. The first song, Beautifully, poured out of the stereo speakers, filling the room and my heart with the warm audible sensation of Jay’s voice.

The song is a love song from a gay man to his fag hag. By the end of the second verse, I was blowing my nose, tears streaming down my face, filled with all the memories of girls that I loved, but was unable to love they way they wanted. For anyone reading this that has either had unrequited love for a gay man or emotionally, but not physically, loved a straight woman, please download this song. It will explain everything.

And once again, Jay announced a tour. Instantly, I bought my tickets, making sure I had had the right date and venue. The next several weeks dragged on until the evening of the concert. I showered several times and agonized over my outfit, confident in the fact that Jay was going to ask me to join him on stage for our hug.

I arrived super early for the concert to make sure that I got a good seat. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t the only Jay Brannan stalker in Atlanta. I took my place behind all the other queens in line and tried to assert my status as alpha-fan by inserting myself into the conversations around me, correcting any mistakes my fellow fans were making about Jay’s background, his favorite restaurant , which is Red Lobster by the way, and any other tidbits of information I had picked up on the internet. But I was unable to intimidate anyone, so I had to wait my turn to get inside. Once through the door, I walked in and stood in the back of the venue, waiting for my new fictional boyfriend to come on stage. Eventually, he did, performed a show that brought tears to my eyes several times and then disappeared behind the black curtain at the back of the stage.

I stood there for a few minutes, confused as to why Jay didn’t approach me in the way he had in my dreams. I waited until everyone had left, thinking that maybe Jay wanted to have our cathartic hugging moment in private. After the room had cleared and the lights went down the bouncer asked me to leave and I slowly walked out the front door, turning back on last time to see if Jay was going to fulfill the promise that I was sure he had secretly made to me.

It wasn’t until several days later that I realized that Jay Brannan probably didn’t need me to hug him and tell him that everything was okay. He was an international singing sensation, movie star and overall hottie. Although his songs may be depressing, I doubted that his life was, as well.

Then I realized: Jay had given me a hug in the form of his songs. Like my once longing for Angelina Jolie’s embrace, his lyrics and style of music had enveloped me in a cocoon of understanding, telling me that, although life can be pretty crappy sometimes, there’s always something that can make you feel better. So, sorry Angelina, you’ve been replaced. It’s probably for the best anyway. If I had ever met her and she did give me a hug, her boobs would probably have gotten in the way.

My advice to Jay Brannan:

-Don’t change a thing about yourself. Keep producing your music and spreading the message that, even though life can suck sometime, you can still deliver it in a pretty package.

-Also, if you’re ever in Atlanta, look me up. Even though I don’t need to hug you and assure you that everything in your life is going to be okay, that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends and have dinner.

My advice to everyone else:

-If you know of Jay Brannan, tell everyone you know about him. My hope is to make him so popular that he actually becomes the head of his very own religion.

– If you don’t know who Jay Brannan is, Wikipedia/google/iphone him now and buy all his music, merchandise and movies.

Take a look at my future boyfriend performing Soda Shop shirtless in his New York City apartment. Enjoy.

Note: There quite a bit of talking at the beginning. Forward to time 2:35 to hear the song.

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6 Responses to “Jay Brannan, je t’aime”

  1. marsha Says:

    sweetie,this one left me a little worried.call me xxoxoxo

  2. Jarred Says:

    I’m friends with someone who is friends with Paul Dawson, who I guess was in Short Bus (I’ve never seen it). I’ve even met him a few times.

  3. kevin Says:

    I really loved & enjoyed it alot. He’s very “brave” to do a live music video from on the toilet but that’s what makes it sooooo good, Jay bein real. Thanks for makin the video & sharin ur personal life in the bathroom with ur fans. 🙂 p.s. panning the camera all the way to the floor so we cud see u had ur pants down around ur ankles on the toilet that’s real…priceless

    • mnkey75 Says:

      Jay just released a new album, “Rob Me Blind”. Have been listening to it non-stop. Highly recommend.
      Thanks for reading!


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