Today was Outfest in Philadelphia. For those who don’t know, it’s a day we celebrate the LGBTQ+ community for coming out the closet. And every year in we throw a nice little party.
Outfest is no different from every other function pertaining to the LGBTQ+ community. The homophobes show up with their signs and their scriptures talking about “Jesus” and blah blah blah… But what I experienced today was like nothing I could have anticipated.
I saw this little boy—no older than, like, 12 years old—holding a sign that said, “GOT AIDS YET?” I guess this year it was “Homophobe Rally: Bring Your Kid Edition.”
Now, I am normally able to brush them off. I normally laugh at them and keep it pushing. I find them annoying at best. But, when I saw that little boy with that sign, my heart instantly fell. It was one the most horrible things I’d ever seen. It’s like, how can you teach your children so much hate—in the name of Jesus and all that is Christian—and then give them a sign like that? It was just like seeing evil in human form. These homophobic “Christians” are so quick to tear the LGBTQ+ community down and hurt us—but we’re already hurting. Why?! For fucking why?! Do they know how damaging they are, how cruel?
I FELT HURT. I FELT TORN DOWN. MY STRONG GUARDS AGAINST THE FORCES OF HOMOPHOBIA WERE TORN ASUNDER BY ONE SIGN, AND ONE LITTLE BOY.
It makes me, as a black gay male, never want to set foot in a church again for as long as I live. How can I find spiritual peace when it feels like spirituality itself is against me? How can I find joy in a God when people claiming to love him tell me I’m not wanted just for being who I naturally am? Being told that I’m an abomination, having AIDS wished upon me and my community—and in the name of God—is absolutely horrible.
It just hurts so much.