daily californian logo


Pastors, Pence and prostates

article image


We're an independent student-run newspaper, and need your support to maintain our coverage.



NOVEMBER 15, 2016

Queers: Our very existence is our strongest form of resistance. To continue homo life as usual is the last thing the decrepit old white men, who completely hijacked our government, want for us. Every single gay orgasm is an act of utter rebellion. Each queer hug, smile and chuckle an outward revolt. If we continue to live out our queerness, while organizing and fighting back, we can convert our country into a nation of acceptance and love. We will survive the next four years of oppression, just as we have all the other centuries.

While a completely red government will lay siege to everything we’ve fought so hard to achieve, our fight was never won to begin with. Prejudice never left post-marriage equality.

Exhibit A: my parents’ reaction to my coming out two years ago under the thriving liberalism of an Obama administration.

“I am deeply ashamed to say that I had cravings for sodomy throughout my adolescence. God deplores this type of unnatural behavior and sends those who choose to partake in such actions to Hell.” The pastor charmingly began.

For the low price of $19.99, my mom and dad invested in a “previously” gay reverend’s at-home conversion series, hoping his religious instructions would cleanse me of my demonic darkness. I was forced to listen to the gay-to-straight narrative over a stereo system that usually plays my mother’s favorite smooth jazz station.

They locked me in the car, began driving and hit play.

“Homosexuality is the work of Satan. I consciously expelled his demonic influence through frequent prayer and strong faith in our good Lord.” He continued in his distinct Southern drawl, the kind that still stalks my nightmares.

With our vehicle speeding at 70 miles per hour on an unfamiliar highway, I had no choice but to endure every agonizing second of the six-hour ride.

I stared outside at the passing trees … and wept.

I wept then and I weep now. Our new vice president wants to strap my whole community into a chair and turn the electro-dial up to 666 watts. He wants to send thousands of young queers off to conversion therapy to lose their individuality and self-worth. He wants to create a political climate that teaches me to harbor deep self-loathing and shame for who I am.

Similarly, the pastor’s narrative of manufactured straightness was devised to make me hate myself to the point of self-alteration. My parents thought that, with enough indoctrination and self-denial, I too could reach heterosexual perfection. I too could have a wife and nine kids.

They supplemented the message of this bogus CD with their own hurtful initiatives. They threw slurs at me, hurled bibles and cast prayers. After the apparent failure of their conversion regimen, my parents began looking at other, more extreme options. They told me I would soon be meeting with multiple religious experts to fix my “problem.”

Even as an 18-year-old “adult” with complete legal agency, I felt out of control of my body. I began to question my identity, something I had been so concretely sure of for years. More than anything, I felt betrayed by those who were supposed to love and protect me the most.

Luckily, I was privileged enough to have the liberal bastion of UC Berkeley to escape to. When I returned, I was met by two of my closest queer friends who picked me up, helped me with my luggage and dried my tears. Without the individuals in this “bubble,” I don’t think I could have survived my parental onslaught.

But, watching the results of last week’s election instantly threw me right back into the seat in my family car. Once again, I had no control as I watched hate and homophobia take the wheel. Except this time, I wasn’t the only passenger. Millions of people will face far worse discrimination than I and at the hands of a radical Cheeto and its puppeteers.

Just the mere threat of conversion therapy and my parents’ shoddy attempts at DIY homosexual expulsion were enough to scar me for life. I cannot even imagine what LGBTQ+ youth will now be forced to endure, especially when they don’t have adult rights or a liberal university to escape to. They will grow up under a federal government that will actively work to strip away the freedoms people lost their lives to have hammered into legislation.

Hey, Mike Pence, my gay ass isn’t going anywhere. Your impending assault on my rights makes me want to fuck on the White House lawn, bareback on the Declaration of Independence and jizz on a Donald Trump effigy. All in heels. I want to watch RuPaul and paint my nails as I simultaneously message 30 dudes on Grindr. I want my eventual husband to eat my ass while I knit a Christmas sweater for our hypoallergenic cat.

I really wish all of our problems could be resolved by Mike Pence and that pastor tickling each other’s prostates, but our reality is much more serious than that.

The next four years are going to be rough, but we will not be converted.

Chris Cox writes the Tuesday column on sex. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @chriscoxrox.

NOVEMBER 14, 2016