homophobia alive & well at gay pride parade

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I want homophobia to stop infringing upon Gay Pride. Attending the Gay Pride parade yesterday in downtown St. Louis, I expected to see a lot of familiar scenes. Sights included beautiful men in rainbow g-strings and exuberant women with glitter tops. Children of all ages weighted themselves down with colorful beads. And grandmothers waved gay pride flags next to friends dancing in the streets.

What I didn’t expect to see was homophobia on full display. Christian protesters held large wooden signs proclaiming gay people as sinners doomed to hell and damnation. Their message seemed as timely as fax technology on a flip phone. I spied the anti-gay brethren the day before picking up my daughter and friends from a Pride festival event. Inspired by the homophobes, I drove by the doomsday crowd with my windows down. At the crucial moment I screamed, “GOD LOVES FAGS! GOD LOVES FAGS!” until my voice was hoarse. It’s sad when the adult parent driver is the least mature person in the car.

scotus and homophobia

Last week, however, reinforced my faith in humanity in the United States. After so much racist hatred in our country, SCOTUS’ ruling has finally raised us up. I can see equality at the end of the tunnel. Without question, we still have much work to do. The world is changing around homophobes. They must feel frightened and picked upon. It’s getting more dangerous to voice anti-gay sentiments. Sometimes, it’s downright legally actionable thanks to SCOTUS.

and the beat goes on…

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To go from such a position of certainty then to have it challenged in such a monumental way must be scary. It almost makes one pity them. But then they open their mouth. They yell about God hating the perversion of gay sex. Or they stand on the corner with a sign blaming gay people for natural disasters and all manner of shit that doesn’t even include glitter.

I marvel at the level of commitment it must take to walk into a crowd of thousands who disagree with you on fundamental human rights issues. It must take a tremendous amount of something. Is it conviction? What about anger? Intolerance is finally becoming unfashionable. To go from being the top of the food chain of favorable perception to the bottom must challenge one’s faith. Will these people ever embrace the adage that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em? I know how powerful denial can be from past family experiences with addiction. I admit I don’t understand religious denial of human rights, but it’s the same type of denial that has fueled some of the worst actions by people in history.

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Some religiousy people may have started out trying to convert sinners to follow the Lord, or some such. Faith may not care, but the tide of public opinion is changing. The homophobes of faith don’t offer reflections of God’s love. Instead, they spew hatred intended to provoke a spirited reaction by scantily-clad people wearing skittles glued to their buttocks. They are the last playground bully who lost their audience and can’t find anyone else to pick on.

Michael B. Thomas / AFP - Getty Images
Michael B. Thomas / AFP – Getty Images

To those homophobes still protesting in the name of God, I say pick up your toys and walk away from the playground. And, also, when you’re ready, you can wear a rainbow beer guzzler helmet and Richard Simmons short shorts to join us in the street. We have plenty of room for you. We welcome you with open hearts and open minds.

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