Friday, July 14, 2006

Disturbing discussion with bigotted co-worker.

A customer was renting "Brokeback Mountain" and asked me if it was any good. I replied that it was a good, bittersweet love story, but that even if it hadn't been a good story, in my opinion it was worth watching just because the 2 leads were so hawwwwt. (I might be old, but I'm not blind. Yet.) After the customer left, my 22-year-old co-worker said "That's one movie I'll never see". I wasn't prepared for what she said when I asked her why: "Because it's not natural".

I was actually rendered speechless for a few seconds (no mean feat for someone who's always mouthing off about something). I managed to sputter a very articulate "Are you fucking kidding me?" and she assured me she was not, that she was "Anti-Gay" (the way she said it sounded like it was capitalized). I pointed out that being "Anti-Gay" was a lot like being Anti-Black or Anti-Jewish or Anti-Green-Eyed People, and that if she was okay with bigotry against one group then pretty soon it would be another and another until finally someone would decide that "her kind" wasn't natural either. "Besides", I added, "who made you or me or anyone the arbiter of what's natural between consenting adults?" "Well", she said, "it can't be natural, because what about kids?"

Oh please, spare me the fucking "what about the children???" bullshit. I told her I was married for 13 years and I made a conscious decision not to have kids, and did that make my marriage unnatural? Of course it didn't and of course I easily shot down her lame arguments (it helps to have reality on your side), but in the end she still didn't see the connection between what she was saying and bigotry. We went around in circles until her shift ended and she left (probably late for a KKK meeting).

I was pissed off and sad, but more than that I was profoundly disappointed. This kid is an average representative of her generation, the generation that's supposed to lead the world into this great future where we all respect each other and celebrate diversity. I was shocked to realize that the same arguments I remember having with 51-year-olds when I was 22, I was now having with a 22-year-old, at the age of 51. Bizarro world. I only hope that with respect to her ignorance, this kid is at odds with the rest of her generation. The world depends on it.