When I think of LGBT people, I think of my dad's best friend, the village's sole male hairdresser who catered to female clients and how he taught my mom and me how to French braid so I could be cooler in my ballet class. I think of the sweet high school boy who kissed me over a screening of "Truth Or Dare" (yes, I know) and later was so worried that I would hate him forever when he told me he liked boys. I think of my friend in high school who, after she came out, had guys screaming "Dyke!" at her as she walked down the hall to her locker, and all the teachers who never came out of their classrooms to have her back. I think of my friend's two mommies, my college roommate who came out as bi, the guys at the goth club who felt they could only there kiss in front of straight people and know no one cared, my friend who found drag at an urban university a world away from Texas, the guy upstairs, the couple across the hall, my cousins, fellow writer friends, artist friends, my family.


You think of sex with children. And sex with animals. And goodness only knows what else (other than butt sex and until what point in life a man's, i.e., your own, sperm is viable, which isn't exactly giving straight marriage the best reputation).

Who, exactly, is perverse again?

Painting happy gay couples as child molesters and dog-diddlers (which: that your mind goes there so immediately and so often doesn't speak well for you, let me tell you) doesn't broadly work anymore because more and more Americans are like me: they have friends, family, loved ones, neighbors, fellow church-goers, children and classmates who are LGBT, and who aren't afraid or ashamed to be that way (and who shouldn't be), and who love them and are loved by them. The "us" versus "them" you're tapping into isn't a straight "us" and a supposedly weird "them," it's the "us" who live in 2013 and know LGBT people as our fellow humans, and the "them" like you who keep trying to spread your fear and impose your shame.

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