I used to live in Nashville.
It’s one of my favorite cities, and my 2 1/2 years there are filled with some great memories. Late-night runs through the downtown. Watching the crazy line dancers. Eating some insanely good soul food at Cook’s. Love the town and, in manu respects, love that state.
That said, Tennessee can be a tad, well, backward. Back in the day, I was told my soul was headed straight toward hell on more than one occasion. My crime wasn’t just being Jewish, but being a part of a religion responsible for Jesus’s death. Which made me feel sorta guilty, because I was just a kid trying to write a decent lede.
Anyhow, I still love Nashville, and I still love Tennessee.
But, well, the place seems to have gone quite crazy.
A couple of days ago Sen. Stacey Campfield succeeded in getting the state Senate Education Committee to approve a bill that prohibits teachers from talking about homosexuality. The bill will make it “illegal to discuss any sexual behavior other than heterosexuality prior to the ninth grade.”
This, from Salon: “It is already against the law in Tennessee to “teach any sex education that is not part of the ‘family life curriculum’ adopted by the state Board of Education,” making any objective classroom discussion of “homosexual practices” a misdemeanor. But Sen. Campfield insists that gayness is still being talked about, and he aims to stop it.
“Campfield has been introducing this bill into the House for six years running, without success. Now a state senator, he is suddenly having more luck.”
When I originally read about this, I was sorta shocked. Most women I know—liberal, conservative, etc—would never support this sort of bill. I’m not sure why … it just seems men are significantly more fearful of the “gay influence” then females. So to see a woman named Stacey backing such a biggoted ideal …
Well, then I went to Stacey Campfield’s website. And, it turns out, Stacey isn’t a she. She’s a he. Or he’s a he. A man. A dude.
Which makes sense.
I’ll take a crazy stab here, and venture a guess. Stacey Campfield is either:
A. Gay and in denial.
B. Gay, not in denial but in public denial.
C. A straight asshole.
My A and B guesses are based on tons of recent history—of very loud, very angry men who take it upon themselves to crush homosexuality … because they fear the “sinfulness and lust” that eats them up from inside. I don’t actually mean this as an insult, because being gay isn’t insulting. Or wrong. It’s just very, very tough in modern America. Especially modern Southern America. When you’re a Republican politician, representing a conservative neck of the woods. And, ahem, you have a girl’s name. And you’ve been told and told again that gay=wrong.
So I suggest we all kick back and wait, until Stacey is found playing footsie in the men’s room at the Knoxville Holiday Inn. Or found taking a vacation with Juan in Puerto Rico. Or found in the back of his Jeep, receiving a hand job from Ted.
Then I suggest we all act sympathetically. Because he’s a product of his surroundings.
And that sucks.