I Like Gay Guys

     Dear United States of America,
     I like gay guys.
     So do you want to shoot me, or what?
     Do you think you should kill me, as a holy act, because your religion says it would be a good thing?
     Does your religious leader tell you it would be OK? A few Christian ministers said that this week.
     These ministers took their tiny balls into their hands and praised the mass murder at a gay nightclub in Orlando. And asked their fellow Christians to kill more gay guys. And women.
     Let’s leave the Muslims out of it today. Let’s not talk about religion either. Let’s talk about gay guys.
     This is important.
     The only people I’ve had sex with, or wanted to have sex with, were women.
     I’ve known dozens of gay guys and liked them. They never scared me. They’re interesting characters.
     My first homosexual friend transferred into my Illinois high school from Pennsylvania in my junior year. He was a flamer. I liked him a lot, because aside from another friend whose dad was mobbed up he was the only guy I could talk to about Baudelaire and Beethoven.
     I got a lot of flak for being Robert’s best friend. But despite my low status in high school — not a top athlete, unfortunately an A student — I didn’t care what the cool guys said. I just wanted to talk to someone about Baudelaire.
     I played second-chair clarinet in the high school band. Eight years later I was in Europe, playing bass clarinet in a tour of “Porgy and Bess”: All-Neger Ensemble Aus New York.
     Many of the opera singers and violinists — surprise! — were gay guys. Some of them were married to women. It helped their careers.
     I liked them all — except for a violist who shot daggers at me through his eyes whenever I talked to a lovely cellist he considered his special friend.
     “Forget it,” she told me after the show one night when I apologized for having talked to her. She said her special friend was just a jealous baby.
     I left them alone after that. I would have done the same thing if the violist had had eyes for her.
     Do you understand this, my 319 million fellow Americans?
     Gay guys are not dangerous. They’re just like you and me. There’s not even any reason to call them gay, any more than there is to call a guy “my friend with brown hair” or “my friend who is 5 foot 11.”
     No one deserves to be murdered for being born, any more than a philatelist should be murdered for not collecting coins.
     Numerous scientific studies have been conducted on homosexual behavior in goats, a mammal renowned for its sexual prowess. One study reported homosexual behavior in 11 percent of goats, and attributed it to frustration because of the alpha goats’ monopolization of nannies.
     Similar homosexual behavior has been reported in lions, giraffes, whales, bison, penguins and dragonflies. And tragedians.
     Our nation today is convulsed in arguments about “Islamic terrorism.” But the slaughter in Orlando was not Islamic terrorism. It was a crime of self-hate.
     That’s not a crime category that the FBI or anyone else is tracking, but perhaps it should be.
     Christian fundamentalism, which teaches gay boys to hate themselves, is as big a threat to our nation as Islamic fundamentalism, if for no other reason than that it is far more widespread.
     Come on, America. We’re better than this. It’s no more shameful to be homosexual than it is to be black, or Latino, or Asian, or a woman, or left-handed. Or handsome. Or a good athlete.
     Who’s next, America?
     Who’s next?

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