Do not put on a show, do not impose anything on them, do not talk about it. You’ll be fine, as long as you keep it to yourself. This is what we are told at the Thanksgiving table and after the opening of Christmas presents, when everyone plays the game of appearances, when we would have liked to try to confide in each other, to explain ourselves, to give them a chance to see us as we are and to love us. No question of giving up, not yet.
When I learned that a shooting had taken place at Club Q, a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, I couldn’t help but think back to the speeches made by [le psychologue et auteur évangélique] James Dobson and his associates.
We know full well what stands before us. We have seen these ideas catch on, in church and in our families. We know the talk they have between people of good company – about loving the sinner and hating the sin.
And we know the words they use when they listen to their Christian radios, their pastor or their priest, Rush Limbaugh [ancien animateur radio ultraconservateur] or Fox News, which talk about abomination and predators that would rage in the toilets or stalk teenagers on the Internet. All those words they use when they’ve had too much to drink to refer to people who could be our friends. Who could we be?
These words, they told us and repeated them, forced us to read them. Often, these speeches came from Colorado Springs, where Focus on the Family, the evangelical association founded by James Dobson, has set up its headquarters. In his books, Dobson taught parents how to raise strong-willed children – corporal punishment, because “a little pain is the key to success” – and how to make real men out of their boys.
He compared homosexuality to pedophilia and even seemed to have found the solution for fathers who dread seeing their daughters sharing public toilets with trans women: “If this had happened a hundred years ago, there might have been deaths, he once said. Where did the manhood go? God help us!”