On the Other Hand…

In yesterday’s blog, I came out as a Chick Fil A and Target fan, despite company support for anti-gay groups. If Chick Fil A’s CEO doesn’t shut up, I might change my mind. Unless you’re Mitt Romney, we’re allowed to do that in America.

Today I’m going to blast an organization for their antigay and homophobic rhetoric. Think I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth? I don’t think so. This is different. This one is personal.

In 1974 the Boy Scouts of America bestowed upon me the rank of Eagle, an honor received by only about five percent of Boy Scouts each year. I worked hard to satisfy the requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and finally, Eagle. All in all, it was a great experience for me and something I’ve always been proud to have accomplished.

The camping and hiking trips I took with our troop stand out as some of the best moments of my youth. We were barely supervised, out in the middle of nowhere, free to do whatever we wanted. We had a blast. Somehow, nothing bad ever happened. Nobody ever got hurt.

My scoutmaster was a pedophile. He liked young boys. Perhaps he was gay and too afraid to come on to grown men. I have no idea why he did the things he did. But for whatever reason, he couldn’t keep his hands off of young men.

He only came onto me once. Some of us older guys talked about it, but decided not to tell anyone. We went camping once or twice a month year round and lived like kings in the wilderness. He wasn’t hurting anyone, not as far as we knew at all of fourteen years old.

When I was 20, I returned to scout camp as a volunteer counselor for three weeks. We didn’t know it at the time, but the group of counselors I ran around with–all favorites of the boys–were all gay. We took our jobs seriously and tried to make a difference for the boys placed in our care. We were an asset to the camp, good role models for the boys in our care.

The Boy Scouts of America should by all means weed out any pedophiles. No youth-serving organization needs a predator with a taste for children. But to ban gays from the organization sends a message that all gays are pedophiles or whores and fosters the kind of bullying and hateful rhetoric that makes gay life hard for so many young people.

I’ve got a newsflash for you. My partner and I have been in a committed, monogamous relationship for more than ten years. I run across handsome men of all ages every single day. I might notice. In fact, the better looking the man, the more likely I am to notice. But at no time have I ever or would I ever hit on one. It’s called self-restraint. Gay people have it just as much as straight people do–for better or worse.

Most straight men learn, eventually, not to grope every pair of tits they see. You know it’s true. Gay men learn not to grope every man’s crotch even sooner–at least, the ones that are still alive. In a gay bar, all bets are off. But everywhere else, you’re safe from the gays.

I mean think about it. When was the last time you heard about a bunch of homosexuals raping or beating up a straight man?  Like never. How many gay men have been beaten by straight men? Thousands? Millions? And we’re the ones people want to change.

The Eagle I’ve been so proud of for all these years means nothing to me now. I’m removing it from my Curriculum Vitae and Resume. The medal is around here somewhere. I’ll send it back if I ever run across it again here in…

My Glass House