A few months ago a writer friend of mine wrote a hilarious story about a gay character, who was terribly annoyed by another gay character, who was way too flamboyant for his taste. One of the critics at one of my friend's reading told him that his character sounded fake and offensive. “Gay people don’t use the word queer,” said the straight critic to support his point.
My writer friend and I threw our heads back and roared, for we both knew the character in his story. The man wears hot pink tank tops and lime green booty shorts that should be banned from society. He owns a purse, not a man bag, but a purse with HUGE writing that spells “Queen Queer”. The purse is a pale shade of pink and the writing is puke green. It cost me an arm and a leg, but I got it anyway because I knew my dear friend would love it. I smile every time I see him because he never leaves home without it. My writer friend, who happens to be his spouse, got him a lime green scarf to go with it.
Yesterday, I was on the phone with someone who I’ve known since high school. She is the lesbian child of a lesbian couple. She lived in foster homes for 14 years, until she hit the jackpot and was adopted by two loving mommies. My friend had difficulty finding a permanent family because she was one of those kids who knew she was different from a very early age, and was not afraid to talk about it. “I fell madly in love with a historian who worked at our public library, when I was seven.” She told me once. “I used to spend hours staring at her and all her books, until one day she kicked me out because I tried to steal her favorite pen.”
Today, my friend works in the book business. She is in charge of reviewing/approving/rejecting technical manuals and textbooks that are used at several public institutions. Last week she was told that a particular institution wanted her to remove And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson from their reading list. They told her that the true story about two male penguins that cared for an egg, and then raised beautiful chick, Tango, went against “good Christian family values, promoted homosexuality, and opened children’s mind to evil thoughts.”
My friend was devastated, as you can probably imagine. She felt that she couldn’t be objective in Tango’s case, and being the professional that she is, she asked a colleague for help. She told the colleague that she was afraid the case was too close to home, for her to come up with an unbiased decision. The colleague told her that the team had selected her to deal with the case because she was a living example of what the type of book in question could promote. My friend was happy, hopeful and found new respect for her team.
She proudly presented the letter she wrote to the institution in her next staff meeting. In it, she explained that the book would not be removed from the reading list without the intervention of the courts. My friend’s smile died when she noticed that most members of her team were looking at her like she had just grown an extra head, and the spare oddity was lesbian too. My friend’s boss refused to explain why he thought my friend would be the “best person to handle the job”. However, another colleague told her that they were expecting that the fact that she had been "damaged by gay upbringing would be the best proof that gay books didn’t belong on the children’s rack.”
Now I ask you, my Wicked Darlings, what in the Gods’ names is wrong with these freaking people!?
I thought about it for a long, long, long, long, long time, and finally diagnosed them with a chronic case of ignorance and bigotry on steroids.
What do you think?