I had a completely
different editorial in mind this month. Honestly, I'm not sure
I want to write about this. I'm having a hard enough time thinking
Three little letters.
One huge concept. Especially for me. Where I liveand I'm
speaking literally and metaphorically herethe cars are
far more likely to have a "Dog
is my Co-Pilot" sticker on the back than that Jesus-fish
thing. See! The Jesus-fish probably has a name, and I don't
even know what it is.
Two things happened
in the last week that left me thinking about God. First, I went
to the San Francisco Pride parade.
As it happened, the "Christian"
protesters were directly across the street from me, with their signs
assuring me that I'd burn in hell, and that God created AIDS to
cure fags. You know, nice, wholesome, family values. Honest to ...
um ... God, I suppose ... that kind of rhetoric has no effect on
me whatsoever. I can't even bother to get mad. I do find it incredibly
fascinating however. The armchair sociologist in me would love to
be inside those brains for an afternoon, just to understand how
they think. In the same way that car wrecks and Martha Stewart's
talk show completely suck me in, I am fascinated by disaster.
But I wasn't bothered.
Mostly, I was just hoping that some big burly leather
run up to the skinny, pale-looking protesters and make out with
them. Not that I'm down with sexual assault. No means No, and all
that, but maybe, just this once ...
Anyway, fast forward
a few days, and a message comes across BENT's companion e-mail list:
"'Being born gay' is like saying 'I was born to murder,' We
all know murder is wrong and cannot be accepted. No one advocates
that murders should be accepted as a lifestyle." This came
from a disabled man who alluded to same-sex experiences in the past,
and to praying that God will "shield" him in the future.
Yikes! I'm not going
to re-hash the whole debate here, but a few interesting things popped
up for me that I keep going over in my head. I replied with a rather
gently-worded e-mail, just to let him know that his words were likely
to be taken as hostile and homophobic to members of the group. The
reply I got was that if we were more "enlightened," we would be
able to tolerate different points of view. To me this seemed creative
doublespeak. The group was being called out as intolerant for daring
to disagree with someone who came into our spaceour spaceand
told us we are all no better than murderers. Who's being intolerant
Others in the group had
also responded, and I can honestly say that all the responses fell
in the realm of "disagreement". Considering the nastiness of what
had been said, I was surprised at the civility of it all. In the
end, the guy did what homophobes always do. He ran away. Rather
than stay and discuss what are obviously some deep-seated beliefs,
he ran away. The easy way out if there ever was one. On one level,
I'm prone to say "Good riddance!" and be done. I can't stop thinking
about it, though. I just feel so bad for the guy. I can't fathom
what it must feel like to have certain attractions, and live constantly
feeling that those attractions condemn you to an eternity of suffering.
Not to mention a lifetime of feeling you're no better than someone
who would kill another human being.
I cannot imagine how
pained someone's life must be that they feel compelled to describe
themselves in those terms. In my spiritual universe, higher powers
have enabled many things to exist. Among them: bacon,
Boys records, roller coasters, family Thanksgivings, e-mail,
running on the beach, reruns of "90210"
and the opportunity for me to love whomever I chose, knowing that
love is pure and good.
In someone else's universe,
things are clearly quite different.
© 2006 Raymond
Parade photograph © 2006 Matt Cohen