I rarely encounter overt homophobia in my adult life, and I know how lucky I've been. I've had the good fortune to live and work in major cities in the USA, usually very close to gay or metrosexual districts, among highly educated people. I've been very, very lucky and never take it for granted. New York, Chicago, Boston, DC and now Los Angeles. I'm blessed.
But yesterday my husband and I went to the movies, and we had an encounter with a homophobe. Here's what went down (and stay tuned for a quick summary of our awesome experience at the LA Pride parade and the flip side of bigotry on parade).
My husband Tommy and I went to the Arclight Cinema to see "Prometheus," and stopped for a coffee before going to the cinema dome for an exciting 3D experience.
A woman ahead of us was holding up the line. She passed us and smiled vaguely along the line of people waiting to order... she was middle aged, nondescript, and had a dog with her. As she passed, I kissed my hubby on the lips, and she did a comical double take, her head spinning around as she passed by! She was in shock! In LA! In Hollywood! She said, "Oh you should put that back in the closet."
She walked over to the coffee bar and stirred, attempting to look smug and self-fulfilled somehow. I stared in wonderment of such an idiotic remark! I glanced over and called out in a friendly tone, "I'm sorry, did you say something needed to go into the closet?"
She declares, "Yes, children have enough to deal with, they shouldn't have to see that." I looked around and no children. This was the first week of "Prometheus," which is a horror movie of the scariest kind, so yeah, even Hollywood, there were no children present.
"I'm so sorry," I cooed, "but ya know -- I think children can totally handle seeing love. God is love, ma'am." I've always wanted to say that!
Her countenance hardened. "Not in public," she said. "It's a perversion. A perVERsion!" We're in Hollywood, but she's not an actress. She means this. I can't tell is she's intelligent but bigoted, or just crazy.
But I'm still being really maddeningly nice (I'm good at this): "Oh please, put your bible away, you're asking me to hide my love, and I'm not gonna do that. You have a great day."
We turned to place our order...it was our turn finally. She continued muttering over by some books. Then she gestured to a bookshelf of movie history, "Like looking at those book covers, women kissing women, men kissing men, it's outrageous."
My super sweet husband was starting to get angry but he followed my lead of being pleasant but mocking. But we were openly laughing at her at this point, but I beamed my wonderful fake warm empathetic smile at her, that smile that serves me so well in retail.
I turned to the barista, who looked a tiny bit frightened by the intensity of the situation. "Hi there, I'm wondering," I said, loud enough for the muttering woman to overhear. "I'm wondering, do you serve perverts?" Then Tommy and I burst out laughing. The barista burst out in relieved and appreciative laughters. She was super cool and very relieved. The woman was still muttering about perversion.
Last Sunday we got to see the Los Angeles Pride Parade. We took a bus to West Hollywood and got to see probably 95% of the floats. We were mostly fixated on Shangela, a very talented and famous drag queen in these parts, who was the Guest of Honor at the top of a firetruck!
On our way toward the end of the parade, trying to catch up with Shangela, we saw the Hate Corner, a roped off area of idiots ranting with bibles aloft about perversion, etc. We shouted at them for awhile, including a mini-chant we got going of "GOD IS LOVE!", and made them angry but smiling and making hugging motions, like we thought they just needed a hug. Come on, one must always represent some love, that's my Pollyanna-ish motto.
We got pictures with Shangela, which made our day.
That's what our pride is all about.
I hope that woman at the movie theater finds some love in her bible some day. And I hope you all have a great week. I love my Kossack Brothers and Sisters so very, very much. And I love you, Tommy, my husband, so f***ing much.
Peace and love,