When I was in high school, I was heavily involved in my high school’s theater department. Throughout my time at Flintridge, I was in many different shows, but my favorites were always the musicals. Everyone from different performing arts departments collaborated to put together solid song-and-dance shows. At any rate, my best friend at the time was a really effeminate guy who did all these shows with me. We stayed close for many years, and one day he told me about how his dad smacked him across the face because he wasn’t “acting like a man.” I was shocked to say the least, and I approached my dad because he’s good at giving out advice about these sorts of things.

“Well, Adam, he’s clearly gay.”

What?! No he isn’t. So what if he is? What kind of sick person does that to their son?

“I can see you’re really upset about this — is there something you want to tell me?”

Now wait just a minute… is he saying what I think he’s saying? “Whoa, Dad, what, do you think I’M gay or something?”


“DAD! What the hell, I’m not gay.”

“Good… that’s not a choice you want to make,” said the wise sage from whom I get my eyes, my temper and my life’s philosophy. What the hell is his problem? Why is this pissing me off so much? Am I… queer?

Thus began a period of questions, a period made all the more difficult by my friend coming out to me two summers ago. Could I be queer? What if I was? Would my father accept me if I were? Would I still be me? After much soul searching, I concluded that I am not queer, but I will never forget the confusion and the anguish that I went through during that time. Chapter over, I thought. Then came a 62-year-old retired firefighter from Los Angeles with a 6-foot banner berating “miscellaneous heathens” and a piece of charred “brimstone,” which I assume he used to deface the chalk markings by writing things like “SIN! HELL TO PAY! SHAME!” next to the scrawl.

First thing’s first, I am going to officially come out as an ally of the queer community. I look forward to this week’s workshops. Second, who in God’s name does this Wilfred Brimley — the “check your blood sugar” guy — look-alike putz think he is? Far be it for a Jew to tell someone about Jesus, but I seem to recall reading a thing or two about “Blessed are they who are persecuted. Blessed are they who suffer” and all that “love thy neighbor” business. Why do you think people listened to this guy, Mr. Johnson? People don’t take claims like “I am the son of God” very lightly. Do you really think that Jesus came swooping down from the heavens screeching, “I am the son of the Lord! All you queers and blacks and Jews are gonna BURN!” They’d run that guy out on a rail. People listen and learn from the teachings of Jesus because Jesus preaches the gospel of love, not the diatribe of hate for those who aren’t straight and white. All that fear garbage you were spouting — Angels of Death, 10 plagues — you’ve got your testaments confused there buddy. And no, you’re definitely not a Jew either. Your brand of Christianity has so bastardized the word of your mentor that it completely undermines and ignores the tenets of your faith. I suggest you reread your Bible before you further besmirch the name of a courageous man who died to prevent the very pollution and hate that your presence has brought to our campus.

I leave you with this chant. Maybe someone will put it to use: “We’re here. We’re queer. Our words are very clear. Spread love, not hate, or blow it out your rear.”

See y’all at the wedding!

Adam Graff is the Associated Students off-campus representative and a junior biology major.