So I want to address something that I said the other day. In a kvetchy post about my ongoing struggle to balance blogging, book-writing, my family, and the job that actually supports all three, I made the following perfunctory remark:
I…know that quitting might encourage some of the (probably-closeted) trolls who have trolled me so hard these past few years to be even more trollish to others.
This is one of those situations where the technical meaning of the words is lost to their implication. That statement implies that I think almost anyone who disagrees with me is really just repressing their own same-sex desires.
That would be dumb.
I am tempted to try to explain how, actually, the word “some” is modifying the word “trolls,” etc… But I won’t. It is a writer’s job to make herself clear. In this case, I didn’t. Rather than try to erase my faux pas, I have let it stand with a slight modification.
Of course, I do think that some people (almost always men) who express strong anti-gay opinions probably are dealing with their own frustrations, but I am not the only person who thinks that. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence to support that view. There have even been pretty compelling scientific studies. (See the latter part of this post.)
Let me put it another way. Three kinds of people set off my gaydar.
- Men like Jack from Will and Grace.
- Men with amazing abs.*
- Men who dress like lumberjacks and call people “fags.”
I call them, “Lumbergays.”™
That does not mean that a “manly man” probably likes other men. I do not assume that. The lumbergay exists as a phenomenon, but there is no way to identify him on a case-by-case basis. At least, I am no good at it. Some men who rush to badmouth “perverts” and “sodomites” are “in the closet” (they are not being honest with themselves and/or others). Then again, some men are just assholes.
Of course, I really do not care. Another man’s desires are between him and Jesus (and one hopes his confessor). I apologize if I gave the impression of wagging a self-righteous finger at people who disagree with me. My intent was not to imply that any person in particular (or in general) was being a hypocrite. It was to point out the elephant in the room.
I am not sorry for that. I think the church (in particular I mean the Orthodox Church) needs to have a frank and robust conversation about faith and sexuality. People who bring unacknowledged baggage to the table make that difficult because they speak from a place of fear. They cannot listen to what other people have to say because they are constantly reacting to their own shame. Like I said, we need a robust conversation. In order for that to happen, we need to listen to each other. All of us! (Myself included.) A conversation cannot be robust if it is not also civil.
In my carelessness, I was less civil than I try to be. Please forgive me. If you are a person who is opposed to LGBTQ, but also feels some of those desires yourself, I do not condemn you. You are not a hypocrite. You are a human being just trying to figure yourself out. I am doing the same.
No matter what, please continue this conversation. Bring your opinions to the table, whatever they are. Just lose words like “faggot,” “homo,” and “sodomite” from your vocabulary. They add more heat than light.
And maybe re-think the flannel.
What do you think? Is the lumbergay real?
* Point #2 is, of course, facetious. (And surprisingly accurate.) Also, I mean no disrespect to lumberjacks. If you are a lumberjack, you are okay.