July 28, 2007

So That's What It Feels Like

I had my first direct, mild, brush with bigotry tonight, and it happened at my home.

I was sitting in our family room with Pastor Brenda and happened to see an unfamiliar man walk up our driveway. He was walking his dog and had something in his hand that he was taking to the neighbor's recycle bin. I recognized the item as the sign we've been displaying in our yard for several weeks from Equality Maryland that says, "Civil Marriage is a Civil Right." There is also a website supporting that campaign.

I shot out of the house and confronted the elderly man who had apparently walked past our yard, picked up the sign, and deposited it in the trash. He said, noteably without making eye contact with me, that the sign was "littering up the neighborhood."

I told him "No it isn't, it is expressing an opinion. You had no right to throw it away." Rather than taking an opportunity to engage in dialogue, forget the apology he owed me, he slinked away to his home further down the street.

It's easy to be a bigot when no one is watching, isn't it? Not quite as easy when someone calls you on it. It's pretty hard to respect someone like that too.


  1. The man was being not only a bigot but also a thief. He was removing property that was not his.

  2. Yes - it's doesn't surprise me that people will try to do this clandestinely.

    We have it at my church, and so far, no one has tried anything. I was quite concerned given our location in Baltimore County, but it seems to be staying up.

  3. He may be clinging to the hope that throwing away the sign will bring back the good ole days (for him) when the glbt community kept pretty much out of sight. Times are a-changin' Mr. Sign Snatcher!

    There are quite a few of the signs in my neighborhood. No troubles yet, at least none that I'm aware of.

  4. Good for you, Jim! I am openly gay to both branches of my extended family. On my mom's side, there is great acceptance. On my dad's side, there are cousins from Maryland who are "home-schooling their kids because of the homosexual agenda in the Maryland public schools"!!! This is such a hilarious statement coming from this family where there are/were 4 first cousins who are gay and several from a previous generation. Sadly, these bigoted relatives are also heavily involved in evangelical movements (one is a minister) in the Baltimore area.

    I wish you well in your efforts to support equal rights, my relatives not-withstanding.

  5. It is also easy to be a bigot when people do not consider you a person, or at least not a "morally upstanding" person.

  6. My name is Jason, and I live in Hamilton. My partner and I had our sign up for a week before someone ripped it down while we were at work. No worries, though, because I have a couple more to replace it with.