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Jingle Balls: A Circuit Boy’s Guide To Surviving The Holidays

John Carroll Cr: Kevin Thomas Garcia

It’s that time of year, my friends, daylight is dwindling and the temperature seems to be taking an unfortunate turn for the worse. Many Christians are up in arms and, once again, their “Christ-like” arms are not “raised on high” over war, famine, or human rights violations, but a harmless (and rather stylish, I might add) red coffee cup. And so it is, the Fall/Winter seasons are upon us.

To most of the country, Labor Day marks the end of the warm summer shenanigans but, to a select few in the gay community, it’s Halloween and the scantily clad, whore-inspired costumes that signal it’s time for the “Season of the Slut ” to finally close up shop (and close up legs).

For those of you self-described “Circuit Boys” who’ve spent your time from Memorial Day to now immersed in the Land-of-Make-Believe, leapfrogging from party to party, and now find yourselves alone at home, dying on the vine, I offer up a quick and easy guide on how to survive the next few months.


Wear a Shirt (pronounced “shurt”)

After viewing my Instagram account (@MrJohnCarroll), a good Samaritan recently informed me a shirt is an article of clothing that covers your torso.  It goes over your head and has two additional holes, one for each arm.  It’s recommended to wear one that has sleeves. News to me. You will want to wear this to keep warm. It is not to be taken off or discarded after five minutes of entering a building. It is not to be used to wipe the sweat from your brow nor as a “rag” to clean up any reproductive fluids after you’ve met someone in a bathroom stall.


Just Say No

This time of year is chock full of stressful travel days, unwanted family time with racist Aunt Ethel, and let’s be brutally honest, there’s only so many Christmas carbs your six-pack can handle before it becomes a keg. Just because your stress levels are high, doesn’t mean you have to be. Take a break from the “G,” the “E,” the “X,” “Y” and the “Z.” You know that water bottle you’ve been clutching onto at the club, like a lifeboat on the Titanic, for the last few months? Now that cold and flu season’s here, instead of mixing it with mind-altering drugs, try a little Emergen-C. Fun fact: it fizzes!


Know Your Audience

Chances are, you’ll receive many invitations to another kind of party — it’s called a “Holiday Party.” Wear a shirt (see above).  The festive music playing will not have a club beat or dance remix. Do not be thrown. It’s not supposed to. If there is white powder sprinkled around the venue, 10 times out of 10 it will be decorative and is supposed to resemble fallen snow. Do not attempt to ingest it in any of your orifices. If there is a “toy drive,” it is for children. Little Timmy down at Our Lady of Perpetual Sin’s Shelter for Homeless Youth can do without the leather harness, booty-shorts or bottle of poppers this Christmas. He wants a doll.


Show Some Mercy

For the past six months you have flooded social media with shirtless pics of you in a speedo posing “naturally” on Fire Island, in P-town, Rehoboth, the Hamptons and Mykonos. The only thing left for us to do is wait for the onslaught of pictures of you hopping down the bunny trail and double-black diamonds in Vail, Aspen and the Alps. However, I ask of you, please, for the love of God, show some decency toward the rest of us going about our “humdrum” lives, as we succumb to the affects of hyperthermia brought on by Snowmageddon, before you once again dust off your speedo, lose your shirt, and jet set off to Miami, Mexico, Palm Springs, and a floating syringe of penicillin on the high seas, otherwise known as a gay cruise.


Get Back to Basic, Bitches

You’ve spent the annual budget of a small, third-world country on plane tickets around the globe and admission to over-priced parties with all the bells, whistles, pills and potions that go along with it (though you did save a bundle on shirts!). So you’ve obliterated your liver, kidneys and your credit score along the way.  So what. Who cares? Take some down time. Kick back and relax. Take up knitting, learn to read, try your hand at…

Oh wait, scratch that, I just found out White Party is in two weeks.

I guess my advise to you this holiday season is best wrapped up in the wise words of Jesus Christ when he turned to one of the many Marys and said, “Yass, gurl! Get your life! #YOLO!”

John Carroll is a Broadway performer, writer and activist. For more information on him, go to Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @MrJohnCarroll

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