Recently a fellow on the street asked me for some change and I gave him what was in my pocket, as I always do whenever I have any change on me. But before I could continue on my way, he started talking– well kind of ranting, speaking at an inappropriate volume (as Italian people like myself sometimes are guilty of doing) and showing the whites of his eyes– about religious topics. My son later told me he would have asked for his change back at that point, which I think is a pretty funny response, but I would never have even thought about doing that unless he was being evil toward me. Probably not even then, because I clearly had advantages in life that he did not.
The first thing he started with, looking pointedly at the rainbow keychain that I wear hanging from a belt loop on my pants every day (and which does fuck all to get people to recognize my queerness usually)– was that the advice he gives “these LGBT people is to try being heterosexual first, then you can at least know that that doesn’t work for you.”
My mouth fell open but nothing came out. I didn’t know whether to laugh or not. Before I could gather my thoughts and respond that most heterosexual people don’t need to try being gay to make sure it doesn’t work for them, he continued, “It’s all in the Bible. It’s about a man and a woman because it’s all about reproduction.”
“Well, back when the Bible was written, there was not overpopulation like there is now. I think God understands that, and that’s why there are gay people.” (I normally do not use the word “God”– I use the word “Universe” to represent the divine force I perceive, unless it is for the sake of communicating quickly/effectively with someone.)
“There’s a book. We’re not supposed to just do different things from what it says.”
“Well we have to do some things differently. The world is different now.”
“I just don’t want it on the streets. Heterosexual people, them too, nobody. People need to keep things in the bedroom. I don’t want my children influenced.”
“Well it’s not legal to have sex in the streets here,” I said. “So that’s not a real problem.”
He nodded and moved on to the topic of marriage.
I wish I could reproduce his epic rant about the holiness of two people joining together as one as God intended, etc. etc., but he was talking a mile a minute.
Then I felt the conversation took a distinctly wrong turn.
“If you put your penis in my daughter, I don’t want you putting your penis in my daughter, because then you can back out. People shouldn’t be doing things until it’s holy first.”
This one I couldn’t possibly respond what I was thinking. Besides the fact that it was worded too personally for comfort, talking about penises and daughters in one breath is pretty much what’s wrong with the world, not a lack of marriages. Men (primarily cis hetero men) attempting to control/guard the sexuality and reproduction of women is a mark of lizard-brain thinking. That is, using that tiny, primitive portion of the brain to make decisions instead of using the reasoning of the higher mind.
“Marriage is between two people, then nobody else tries to come in there. Males are not going to be fighting anymore. There’s peace because they become one flesh and everyone respects it.”
“I see what you’re saying, but I don’t necessarily believe in marriage. People can still be kind, and not fight, and take care of each other. It doesn’t have anything to do with being married. I have two partners and I take care of them both and they take care of me.”
“Well then it’s between your two partners and you, and nobody else comes in there.”
I didn’t really know what to say to that. The belief that other people are a threat to my relationships is one that I’ve discarded.
I shook his hand before I went on my way, and told him it was nice talking to him.