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Somewhere in the Crowd

21 May

Do you know what is the single thing that most gay people have in common? Straight parents! (It’s also the leading cause of being straight, just so you know.) So even if this man who calls himself a pastor were to successfully round-up all the “lesbians and queers,” he wouldn’t succeed in his plan, because new gays are being born every day.

If that’s all there was to this clip, I wouldn’t care. People say stupid things all the time. Don’t believe me? Spend an hour on a video game message board or in the comment thread of a news story about a social issue. Actually, don’t.

But something else made me care about this clip. This clip made me sad. Not because this awful man is the pastor of a church, but because of what you can’t see in that video.

Somewhere in that audience is teenager who is starting to realize why he feels like an outsider when the other guys on the baseball team start talking about girls. And the pastor he’s been listening to for years, who his parents look up to as a spiritual leader, just said that he should die.

Growing up, I was very lucky to not attend any virulently anti-gay sermons. But I still lived in fear that I’d somehow give it away. That someone might find out about my secret.

Somewhere in that audience is a teenager who’s been picking on another boy in school because that boy’s slightly effeminate. And the pastor he’s been listening to for years, who his parents look up to as a spiritual leader, just reaffirmed his feeling about that boy deserving scorn and ridicule.

I was never the victim of bullying. But I still heard (and continue to hear) the many synonyms for “gay” used to describe undesirable things on a daily basis.

The realization that you’re gay is very isolating at the best of times and coming out is fraught with peril. And it breaks my heart that this sermon probably made someone’s journey that much harder.

And hopefully somewhere in that audience is a mother, brother, aunt, grandfather, cousin, uncle or father of someone who’s gay. And when they heard the hateful words of this narrow-minded man, they walked out of that church and decided never to go back. And then called their gay relative and told them that they are loved.

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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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