Not that there is anything wrong with that...
|by Darryl Schnell|
|Recently I was invited to a friends cast party for Guys and Dolls, and a welcome home celebration for another friend who had just been discharged from the Air Force. Since I didn't have anything better to do and really wanted to see the guy that was returning home from the Air Force, I accepted.
The party consisted of the usual group of people. Some I went to school with, others I knew through the friend throwing the party. The guests I didn't know I figured were friends of his wife.
There was an eclectic group in attendance. Good ole' boys and the theater crowd, heterosexuals and homosexuals, rich and poor, black, white, green, purple, well you get the picture. It was a party.
Since I'm a quiet, reserved personok I'm just plain shyI sat in the corner near the ring bologna and cheese watching the bustling action unfold around me. Occasionally someone would grunt a hello or how are you doing to me as they speared a piece of cheese, but otherwise I was pretty much left alone.
Then a guy wearing a baseball cap and carrying a can of beer stumbled over to the table and sat down. For a few minutes we just sat there pretending to ignore one another. Then he said something that made me laugh and we started talking. I won't bore you with the entire conversation, but suffice it to say he was part of the stage crew and the husband to one of the female leads. He was a nice enough guy, although when he started in about cars, I pretty much had to fake my end of the conversation.
Anyway, as the conversation continued he asked about my Air Force friend. I told him he was a bit unusual. He asked me what I meant and I told him he runs around and does silly things like kissing you on the cheek and giving you hugs. The guy looked at me and asked if he was, "One of those types?" meaning a homosexual. Without thinking I blurted out, "No. No. He's normal."
Two guys, I knew to be gay, were standing nearby and overheard my comment. They didn't say anything, but I knew from the hurt look in their eyes that they thought I was a bigot and a gay basher.
I'm none of those things, but at that moment I could understand their response. But this incident has got me thinking about words and the way we use them. Even in the beginning of this article I used terms like heterosexual, homosexual, black and white. Why does humanity feel the need to label other humans? We should label CDs and Tupperware containers not each other.
Instead we try to class everyone's sexual activities as normal or abnormal, the color of their skin as black or white, and religious beliefs as Christians or heathens.
We can't even be politically correct without being offensive. "I'm not gay, not that there is anything wrong with that." I don't know what's worse, that people feel the need to justify their sexuality or that homosexuals need the permission of heterosexuals to be labeled normal.
First, I'd like to apologize to those two men that I offended at that party with my insensitive comments and second, in the words of Ron White, the next time you have an offensive thought "just let it go," the world will be a much better place for it.
Darryl Schnell lives in Leighton, Pennsylvania.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 15, No. 6 June 3, 2005