“Time for a break!” I thought to myself – but it’s not because I dislike LGBT people. In fact, when I was just 5 ½ years old, my first music teacher was an openly gay man, and he would come to our house to give lessons to my sister and me, often accompanied by his partner. And both of them would then join us for dinner.
So, I grew up without a hint of “homophobia,” and, more importantly, as a follower of Jesus, it is second nature for me to treat everyone with dignity and respect, regardless of our differences. It’s just that I didn’t expect my granddaughters to encounter a man in the ladies room at McDonald’s, nor did I expect a girl wanting to be Prom King to be the topic of discussion among the neighborhood kids.
Getting back to the dream, as I was researching the Prom King story, I spotted a link on BBC News about Richard O’Brien, writer of the hit musical The Rocky Horror Show. According to the headline, he now described himself as “70% man.”
“What in the world?” I thought to myself.
So I clicked on the link to the article, which contained a totally unexpected, really sad picture. (If you think I’m exaggerating, go to the article.)
According to the story, “a decade ago, he started taking the female hormone oestrogen - and is happy with the results. . . . He has also developed small breasts. But O'Brien is not intending to go further and have sex reassignment surgery.”
“Enough with this!” I said to myself.
To be sure, I felt nothing but pity for this poor man, even if that makes me homophobic (or, transphobic) in some people’s eyes, but I was determined to change subjects, so I went over to the ESPN home page, only to find that the lead story was about . . . homosexuality. Who would be the first gay athlete to come out? And there was another article on Magic Johnson’s gay son, and another article on the top female college basketball player, who was also openly gay.
“Can’t I just enjoy sports for a few minutes without homosexuality coming up again?”
So I decided to go to another sports website, but there was breaking news there too: Jason Collins had just come out as the first openly gay NBA player.
Yes, I care about him as an individual too, but I had to wonder: Is homosexuality the biggest sports story out there?
So I turned on the TV to catch up on the latest scores, except the subject was not the NBA playoffs or the NFL draft. Instead, sports pundits were ganging up on ESPN reporter Chris Broussard who, when asked his opinion as a Christian about Jason Collins’ claim to be a practicing homosexual Christian, gave a straightforward Christian answer. “How homophobic!” everyone cried out.
And then I came to a startling realization. This was not a dream after all. I was awake the whole time.
This was a slice of America, April, 2013. Who can imagine what April, 2014 will look like?