Sunday, July 17, 2016

Feedback on overseas anti-gay culture at a breakfast yesterday


Saturday, I did have some interesting conversation at the monthly AGLA brunch at Freddie’s in Arlington.

One was that a power failure in Saw in DC affected some bars on U Street Friday night. (Town’s Twitter feed says it was affected, “Still waiting on PEPCO”).   But the closure of Metro at 12 Midnight is not affecting business much, according to what I was told.  Apparently, many employees are used to having to get home after the previous closing at 3 AM anyway, as were many customers.

There was also a young man from Nigeria who described gay social life as somewhat out of sight, kept quite private, even in Lagos, after the anti-gay laws signed by Goodluck Jonathan.  He also indicated that anti-gay laws in sub-Saharan Africa, below the Muslim areas, are influenced by an intellectually naïve application of evangelical Christianity, which is trying to establish its own religious identity.

The anti-gay planks reported in the GOP platform sound the same.  Yet it’s possible for people like Pence (Indiana) to rationalize their views, but it doesn’t seem like they want to; “old time religion” seems good enough for them.  One of the platform provisions would allow parents to force minor kids into ex-gay programs  (diverting money away from HIV prevention), illegal now in many states.  Again, there seems to be an idea that parents have a “fundamental right” to as many grandchildren as possible.  Procreation, in a cultural sense, is a way to level the “psychological playing field.” It could be connected to arguments about making a population more resilient. But no one bothers.

A note about the event: We were on the patio, not closed off for air conditioning. I do like social events where there is a sit-down meal or pot-luck.  I'm less enthused about happy hour socials unless they are fundraisers or in places I haven't visited. Today, I heard a sermon about "scruffy hospitality" (as an offshoot of "radical hospitality").  Indeed, I have been "busy" and haven't been into the activity of hosting events myself. (I don't think I've done that since 1985, after moving into a Dallas condo; but I had done it in my apartment in NYC in the 1970s);

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