. He challenged the current Übersupport for homosexuality, calling it the disgrace of our society. Had this not been such a frequently expressed view, I would have seriously second-guessed my respect for this man. According to a 2013 survey conducted by the Gallup Organization, 43% of Americans are still opposed to same-sex marriage. Amongst them are figures of prominence, such as Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson and actor Alec Baldwin. “Do you think that gays choose their sexual orientation?,” I countered. “Do you think that they consciously choose to be attracted to the same sex?” He obviously had not thought about the roots of homosexuality, judging by his dumb-founded silence. “Even if they don’t, why are they forcing our hand into accepting it and make us watch gay reality shows now?,” he resisted with a whole lot of anger, but more curiously, a hint of helplessness. We had just seen a trailer for HBO’s new gay show, Looking. It’s what spurred this whole debate — one that is, by the way, starting to sound more and more like a broken record. (And albeit cringeworthy, we must continue to play and listen to it until we find a new tune that can be tolerated by all of us.) “Somehow, it’s OK for women to kiss on TV?! We don’t hear any outrage over all those girl-on-girl scenes. Why is that?,” I inquired rhetorically. He insisted that he belonged to the minority that doesn’t support lesbian idealization on TV. I look over to a younger bystander who flashed a smirk to let me know that he was totally OK with girl-on-girl action. I continued to reason with the older fellow, suggesting that it is unfair to treat others as unequals just because they have a different sexual orientation. That is vile discrimination. Plain-old ignorance! 20 years from now, the majority of us are going to look back at these senseless debates and think, ‘Wow! We were so narrow-minded back then.’ Thankfully, history suggests that bigotry does have a shelf life. Remember that women and blacks used to be considered unequals. “Well I don’t want to see it!,” he exclaimed. “Then don’t look!,” I insisted, “But at least give the thought a chance. Understand that this is not a choice. This is not about power. This is about equality.” Clearly frustrated, he asked, “Why are you so pro-homosexuality?” I thought about this for a moment and finally said in what I swore was my final attempt at convincing this man that homosexuality is no atrocity: “I’m not pro-homosexuality. I’m anti-discrimination. Period.,” I proclaimed. “I want to live in a future that is free of all discrimination. I want to see people of different race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation live in a state of understanding and tolerance. This is the kind of future that I want for myself and for my children. Don’t you?” I studied his face and waited. I could see in his restless eye movement that he was searching for something to think, something to say that would effectively counter my point. This is not about power. Slowly his mind relaxed. His gaze became humble. His voice spoke softly, “I want that future for you and your children too.” .
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