Though I’d grown up with kids of Asian, African, and Latin descent, I had very little, if any exposure to homosexual people. That’s probably why a friend thought it would be amusing to stick a pride colors bumper sticker on my truck once I’d settled into the Metroplex.
It was a while before I found out, but when I did, I distinctly remember thinking “meh.”
This memory came back to me when the Stonewall Democrats, San Antonio’s “voice of the LGBTQIA community,” invited me to fill out a questionnaire and take part in their forum for candidates for mayor and city council. The same day, the House of Representatives passed the “Equality Act.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the third question on their survey asked if I supported it.
Around the time of the bumper sticker, I went to a predominantly gay club for the first time, The Village Station (now called Station 4). I spent that night holding my friends’ (most straight) coats while just observing.
A couple years later, after I had removed the sticker, The Village became a regular stop on my personal club circuit. To say it was a vibrant atmosphere would be an understatement.
I made friends there, some of whom went with me to my beloved heavy metal concerts. I took dates there. People just wanted to have fun. Any negative pre-conceived notions about the community that I'd heard up to that point quickly evaporated.
I also lost some friends.
One night my girlfriend and I had some folks over to our apartment. One of the them was the top IT guy where I worked. He was a very cool guy. He was also gay.
I also invited a college/golfing buddy. As soon as he walked in the door and saw my friend from IT, he stiffened up, turned around and walked right back out the door, literally minutes later.
"I just wish you would have told me" he said. I never played golf with him again.
I've shared that story with my four daughters a couple times when telling them that the best way to affect change is to live it. It therefore would come as no surprise to them that I answered “yes” when Stonewall asked if I’d hire someone from the LGBTQ community.
All that matters to me is a person’s competency to do the job. I could care less what they do on their own time or who they do it with, as long as no one is being harmed or compelled to participate against their will.
And that is part of the reason I said I did not support the “Equality Act.”
I’ve no doubt that gender dysphoria is a real thing. To the extent it affects children, it’s yet another affliction that makes me ache for them. Having biological boys compete directly with biological girls in sports however, is not the answer.
There’s more to it than that though. There’s a violation of free will, and freedom of association.
I reminded my girls of when they participated in “pee wee” sports: soccer, t-ball, tae kwon do, etc. During those days, playing co-ed is common. The playing field is fairly even.
When puberty hits, boys experience a testosterone boost that infuses them with physical advantages. That’s generally when sports leagues start to split between gender, or biological differences if you will.
If the criteria of a boys or girls sports league includes a requirement that participants’ biological sex match that of the league, that’s their call.
If they eventually change those conditions, fine. If not, so be it.
Just like any other demographic group in a free society, transgender folks or parents thereof, are free to create their own league. To compel existing organizations to change their ways is fundamentally wrong.
Too often however, when confronted with such a situation, we fall prey to the buzzards circling above that take human form as sue-happy lawyers and power-hungry politicians. These vultures are on a constant lookout for opportunities to get quick, cheap riches and notoriety.
Going this route only breeds resentment amongst nearly all involved, except of course the aforementioned predators.
We’ve made great strides regarding equal treatment of the LGBTQ community. Granted, my view is largely informed by my daughters’ actions. It’s heartening to see that who they choose as friends isn’t determined by such inconsequential characteristics.
It certainly didn’t take requiring The Village Station to admit straight people like their old man to change hearts and minds.