Bepenised Texan Rick Perry's been in the news over the last few days for releasing a nakedly bigoted anti-gay ad that he believes will help revive his dying campaign. It won't.
I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theater from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. I studied jazz, tap, and ballet for years. I’m terrible at sports and I’m an excellent chef. I think Judy Garland is sublime. I realize those facts are like a spacious warehouse of red flags broadcasting homosexuality, but the fact is, I’m straight. If I had to guess, the chief indicator that I’m straight is that when I think about or stand near women, my dick gets hard. When I’m around guys—even fit, muscular ones with no shirts on—my dick remains in its dormant state. When I’m around women, I think about my dick and how it might feel inside of their body somewhere (like their vagina; not like in France or something, though that would be nice too (I just remembered that I speak French too, which can often identify an American man as “le gay”)).
When I’m around men, I don’t think about my dick, unless it wriggles out of my boxer flap, as it sometimes does, and touches a cold button of my jeans’ fly, and then I’m like “Get back in your cubby, you little rascal!” and nonchalantly adjust myself.
Bepenised Texan Rick Perry's been in the news over the last few days for releasing a nakedly bigoted anti-gay ad that he believes will help revive his dying campaign. It won't, but it made me think of a story I recently heard that illustrated the mindset and motivation of someone who actively fights to reduce and take away the rights of homosexual human beings.
It's the story of a young man slowly discovering and accepting his homosexuality and it is extraordinarily painful and beautiful to hear. I cried. What's most interesting is that the guy in the story used to actively and publicly campaign against gay rights.
People who concern themselves with the rights of other adults who engage in consensual acts involving sex, love, and/or eating croissants together are damaged and in pain.
Hating them won't work. That doesn't fix anything.
So far, the greatest quote I've heard in my 34 years is this: "Hatred never ceases by hatred in this world. By love alone it ceases; this is eternal law." Gotama the Buddha said that about 2,500 years ago. Since it's eternal, as he said, that means it applies right now.
I'm not suggesting that Rick Perry or those who campaign against gay rights are gay themselves. Some of them are, some of them aren't; I don't care. But they are damaged by, and damaging with, their hatred. I hope, for them, and for the people they are actively harming, that they can begin to experiment with some kindness and sympathy, and try on for size that Golden Rule that benefits both the giver and the recipient with real and immediate peace.
Homophobes aren't going to hell, like they often say their perceived opponents are. Rather they are in hell, and they prolong their stay with each hateful act, word, and thought. They can leave whenever they want.
I hope you will listen to this story, because it is wonderful. It's from an episode of This American Life called "So Crazy It Just Might Work." It's about a guy named Benny, whom you're going to love.
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