Pregnant pop singer Fergie was not about to let her unborn fetus be a part of any event that uses toilet paper as a main material in the décor and wardrobe.
So on July 28, Fergie's gay agent, her gay hairstylist and her gay friends, DSquared fashion designer duo Dean and Dan Caten, threw her a “gayby” shower — a fabulous spin on the dowdy tradition. Adam Lambert, Lance Bass, Jake Shears, Kelly Osbourne and RuPaul made appearances, while Los Angeles drag queen Courtney Act performed for the chic celebrity crowd.
A month after the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decisions on the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8, it seems gay men are primed to evolve into the next step of domesticity: babies. With Ricky Martin, Neil Patrick Harris and even Perez Hilton already leading the daddy dance, gay men throwing “gayby” showers (either for themselves or for their friends) is bound to be the next hip item on the urban social agenda.
“As families have become more diverse and gender roles have been evolving, baby showers have become more inclusive,” said Chris Nordquist, the blogger behind DomesticDaddy.net. “They're no longer female-only events.”
Great, but since we've been legally left out of marriage, adoption and homemaking, how are gay men supposed to learn the proper baby shower etiquette? What does an unborn baby want as a gift? What should one wear? And perhaps more importantly, is it appropriate to get tipsy in front of a pregnant person?
“Do not assume that the baby shower will be nontraditional just because it is for your LGBT friends,” said Brady Wood, vice president of product marketing at Minted.com, a San Francisco-based stationary site that sells baby shower invitations and decor. “The invitation for the shower sets the tone for the event and should offer clues.”
Nordquist, who has recently hosted two baby showers, said that opening gifts is a baby shower staple and most expectant parents have signed up for a gift registry.
“The best gifts are practical,” he added. “Things the parents will actually need in the baby's first year. If there's no registry, ask your mother what you should bring.”
Don't feel like you have to break the bank, as spending around $50 on a gift is good enough. Or, if you want to be the favorite gay uncle, then stop by Mudpie, the quaint, high-end baby boutique at 2185 Fillmore St. that sells $90 satin-trimmed baby blankets. It's actually advisable to try to err on the side of classy when it comes to shopping for a baby gift.
“Keep in mind that your friends' relatives or parents might attend,” Wood said. “This is not the time for that embarrassing gag gift.”
As for the dress code, go for “smart casual” at a daytime baby shower; for an evening affair, check your closet for cocktail attire.
And what about alcohol? Fergie had guests at her “gayby” shower drinking Patron margaritas. But even though an evening baby shower might be more prone to libations, Nordquist still says not to count on getting hammered.
And no matter how fabulous and eccentric the party, illicit drugs are an absolute no-no.
Back to the circuit party it is.
Oscar Raymundo is the head of marketing at a leading LGBT media company. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.