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Up close and personal, and far, far away

June 4, 2008

The Advocate has a nice interview with a gay couple who agreed to appear on FX’s 30 Days and host an anti-gay Christian lady live, who spent a month with them and their four adopted kids.

Before we begin, let me just say: Yes, I know that reality shows are fake. My boyfriend was actually in one, and they told him exactly what to say and re-shot the scene over and over again. But this series is produced and narrated by Morgan Spurlock, so that gives it at least a modicum of credibility. And this was an interview with people on the show, not the show itself, so that lends it even more credence in my book.

Speaking of the interview, the two men seemed awfully zen about the whole thing, and a lot more magnanimous that I would probably be. They’re also adorable.

Thomas: … Dennis kind of blackmailed me into it.

Dennis: I told Tom if we didn’t do it, I was gonna be really depressed and no fun to be around.

See? Already, proof that gay couples are just like straight ones. We guilt-trip our partners too!

All kidding aside, this is actually the most telling part of the interview. It’s so completely, unabashedly normal, and not something anyone would fake. (Who wants to appear petty?) As far as I’m concerned, gay couples = normal. QED.

Of course, I’m a bit easier to please than others, including, apparently, their house guest, who won’t be making the rounds at Mardis Gras anytime soon.

Aside from the gay issue, how was Kati as a houseguest?
Thomas: She was a pleasant enough person

Dennis: [Laughs] “A nice enough person.” You sound like Barack Obama.

That’s just adorable. And hey, let’s hear it for having someone to rally behind! If only he were pro-gay marriage instead of trying to please us and the haters at the same time, I’d have no reservations about him at all. (He’ll still get my vote.)

Did you feel bad for Kati?

Thomas: She acted like she wasn’t prejudiced. But even if the words come out monitored or un-angry, they’re still offensive. She didn’t understand the intent behind some of the things she was saying.

Dennis: I think Kati was truly hurt when I told her I couldn’t be her friend. But she told us she was going back to California to work against gay marriage. Ultimately, it’s not a “live and let live” or “agree to disagree” situation. We’re not passing judgment on how she lives her life, but her views and actions threaten the existence our family. Michigan just had a marriage amendment updated by the courts that eradicated domestic-partner health care benefits for state employees. Now Tom’s not covered by my health insurance.

I hate to be so partisan, but I have to agree. When someone doesn’t think of you as a human being, you can’t be their friend, even if on the surface they’re pleasant to you. It’s a lie, and a hurtful one that masks a serious moral chasm. I say moral because anti-gay crusaders may think they’re making the world a better place, but the truth is they’re just too willfully ignorant to look outside of their own little worlds and see what we’re actually like.

The internet is everywhere now, and even the most remote little town has a library with a computer in it. Anyone can see anything, at least in the US, and ignorance is no longer an acceptable excuse. Just the other day an image of the Iguazu Falls in the latest issue of X-Men: First Class (I’m a kid at heart) inspired me to peruse yet again a list of the wonders of the world and yearn desperately to visit every one of them, even (especially) the ones that no longer exist, like the Colossus of Rhodes.

But the moment I start thinking about the logistics, I get depressed. Not because of the cost involved – eventually I’ll find a way to afford those kinds of trips – but because only a few of the wonders are located in countries where we wouldn’t get openly discriminated against or harassed. My brother, half-brother and father have all visited Angkor Wat, and as of yesterday I have a fervent desire to go too. But I probably won’t for a while, at least not as part of a couple, because they’re not so big on the gays, even in private, so I doubt they’d care for us in public.

The Great Pyramid of Gaza is in a country where homosexuality is flat-out illegal. That might put a cramp in our romantic getaway, thus preventing me from going to a country I long to see, thanks in no small part to various episodes of The Tomorrow People, one of my long-time favorite TV shows and itself a giant gay metaphor (among other wonderful things).

Obviously, the solution to this is to become a stereotypically wealthy gay couple and make these places crave our money. So why on earth am I writing professionally? I guess I’ll have to go be an advertising executive like my half-brother, or a corporate lawyer like my brother.

Hmmm, my half-sister is pretty well-off too. If it weren’t for all those super-rich gays, I’d worry I was genetically doomed to poverty.

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