Exposing bigotry

Exposing bigotry

One reason I’m glad I spent good money on a new iPhone for one of my fav teenagers is that they get really good content that they then share with me. (Please refrain from pointing out that crappy gross android things can also be used to find or share information we do not care to hear it.) 

Anyhoo. This particular teen casually rolled out of bed late this morning (it is March break, and they worked a double shift yesterday, kindly cut them all the slack they deserve) and made a beeline for my desk. “Gotta show you something,” they said, shoving their (super, duper) phone under my nose by way of good mid-morning. 

The something was that, which you ought to watch before reading further:

The awesome human challenging Missouri State Rep. Ann Kelley on an anti-LGBTQ bill, is Phil Christofanelli who is also a Republican. A Republican who’s gay. But what’s even more important is that he’s a Republican who’s gay and logical. If I was into gay logical Republican men I’d totally want his baby.

The bill he’s challenging seeks to ban any kind of school instruction about, or even mention of, anything related to sexual orientation or gender identity. If that bill is adopted, nobody in a school, be they teachers or principals or some student’s parents, would be allowed to discuss anything having to do with sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Here’s some blank space to help you catch your breath.

“Who is Martha Washington,” my new favourite Republican gay man asked, noting that Rep. Kelley had mentioned George Washington just a few moments before. 

The bigoted and moronic (but I repeat myself) lawmaker hesitated, which is an indication that, as one commenter on YouTube gloriously put it, she should try reading books instead of seeking to ban them. 

Martha Washington was, of course, George’s wife. Rep. Kelley tentatively admitted as such. 

Under your bill, Rep. Christofanelli pressed, you’d be banned from saying that in a classroom. 

Wanna know what she said in response to that? 

“To me, that’s not sexual orientation.”

What a beautiful trap, into which she jumped with both feet. 

It’s only certain kinds of sexual orientations that would be banned under her bill. Actually, really, there’d be only one kind of sexual orientation allowed in the classroom. And zero gender identity since all you need to know about someone is whether they have boy plumbing or girl plumbing to decide whether they’ll be someone’s husband or wife. 

I know a lot of straight people, including some of my all-time favourite humans. Lovely folks. Beautiful souls. Many are married. Some happily, most meh. But they’re OK with their situation. It’s not unduly uncomfortable and besides, they’re used to it. 

I’m a hopeless romantic. 

The straight people I know are all different from one another. They’re like a big rainbow of diversity (as it were) under that cis-het umbrella. They disagree on everything from sports to food to politics. But most of them agree that being cis and straight does not give them the right to force every other human to be like them. 

It’s only a minority of bigots that keep trying to deny those of us who don’t fit in straight binary boxes the right to exist or vote or teach or breathe. 

But you know what the worst part is? It’s how, after she was caught admitting that really she’s trying to ban anyone who’s not like her, she demanded that he fix her problem by giving her better language for her bill. As though elegant words could fix homophobic. Or moronic. 

“Lady,” he said without hesitation, “I didn’t introduce your bill. You did.” 

And there it is. 

If you want to be out there supporting anti-LGBTQ measures, the least we should expect from you is transparency. Be open and honest about your hatred. Or else we’ll expose you as stupid, too.