Messin’ with Texas

BTL Staff
By | 2005-07-21T09:00:00-05:00 July 21st, 2005|Opinions|

By R.J. Beaumia

I used to believe that the United States should give Texas back to Mexico, but now I think that would be rude — like returning a borrowed handkerchief without first washing it. We’ve forced enough indignities on the Mexican people as it is.
But imagine if we did cede their land back to them. Think of the unfortunate surprise in store for former illegal aliens upon discovering that the wages they made crossing the Rio Grande at night weren’t much lower than those they’re going to make in a right-to-work state like Texas.
So many reasons to hate the Lone Star state, so little space.
What’s my grudge against Texas? For one, all things Bush and Bible, which goes without further explanation. Also, Karl Rove got his start there (he’s going to get away with everything, by the way). And if I use the perverted logic that fundamentalist Christians apply to Jews, I can say that all Texans are evil and going to hell because they killed John Kennedy. Actually, if Neiman-Marcus opens a store there it will be just like Dallas.
But worst of all, a Texan ruined my vacation… sort of.
A few weeks ago I was returning by plane from San Francisco and the Pride celebrations there. It’s no secret that not only is the city breathtaking it’s also our city, so despite being a bit hung-over, I was full of the energy one gets after a little epiphany or even one of those tacky self-help seminars. I felt good about myself and was, dare I say, uncharacteristically very self-confident.
Departing from my layover in Dallas, I noticed that amongst the passengers on the plane were several guys wearing what appeared to be pilot’s outfits. Some of them sat near me. Uniforms notwithstanding, none of them were my type so I spent the flight undistracted, reading a magazine.
We landed in Detroit, and being that I was so far in the back of the plane, I sat waiting quite a while for the other passengers to disembark. I overheard one of the pilots initiate a conversation with a flight attendant about the retirement of Sandra Day O’Connor from the Supreme Court.
Usually when I say “overheard” I mean “eavesdropped.” I’m a writer after all. But I didn’t have to concentrate to hear what this guy was saying. He began, like a clock radio that wakes you up softly but slowly increases in volume until it agitates you out of sleep.
“It’s gonna be a fight now,” the pilot, in his Texas accent, told the flight attendant about the imminent judicial appointment. “They’re gonna fight whoever the president wants… All these people think they have some sort of right now. Can you believe it?! I mean, you’ve got all these HOMOSEXUALS now that want their rights. I mean, they just think they have the right to go around and, you know, be idiots or whatever. Can you believe it?!”
On and on he went for about five minutes, each “HOMOSEXUAL” louder and more high-pitched than the last, giving his jeremiad more momentum and resonance within the airplane cabin. Predictably, he segued into a monologue about the separation of church and state.
“That’s not in the constitution, you know, like everyone thinks it is,” he said.
I then had the sickening realization that he was speaking indirectly to me; but how did he know I’m gay? Then I remembered that I had been reading the Advocate all through the flight, figuring that he must have witnessed that crime.
It became apparent that this Thor in a polyester shirt was hurtling everything he had – his thinly veiled wrath, his blissful ignorance, his hysterical delight in picking on a lone pariah, and his outrage over sodomites threatening his entitlements – squarely at the faggot in seat 27F.
Suddenly, with that rush of adrenalin-induced fear that momentarily stops the heart, the whole, happy, confident human being who got on the plane in San Francisco went into preservation mode, getting off it in Detroit silent, feeling angry but defeated. Years of conditioning won out and I was fourteen again.
In America it doesn’t take long for someone to remind you that you don’t belong here, or to pass a law to prove it. That’s why the upcoming Supreme Court battle, after Stonewall and AIDS, is the most important fight in the history of the struggle for LGBT rights. If we lose we’re going to be living in our own private Texas, illegal aliens in our own country.
While recently signing an anti-marriage amendment into his state constitution, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said, “Texans have made a decision about marriage and if there is some other state that has a more lenient view than Texas, them maybe that’s a better place for them [emphasis mine] to live.”
Can you believe it?!

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.