Someone I know referred to me as homophobic the other day. Incidentally, the person who said this is gay. I don’t like the movie Brokeback Mountain, which is in endless replay on cable TV, and I said so. Somehow the fact that I didn’t like this movie he loved, started to mean that I didn’t like him and if I didn’t like him, I didn’t like people who’re gay… and then I became altogether homophobic.
Fact is, I pretty much only watch movies that involve car chases or explosions. If nothing blows up during your movie, no matter if the main characters are gay or straight, I’ll pass. And nothing blew up in Brokeback Mountain. Watching other people have painful conversations is hardly my idea of entertainment.
I jokingly told this to my friend and said, “It’d still be boring if you weren’t gay… what’s your point?”
“Well, it’s groundbreaking!” He answered.
“Alright. But it’s not interesting! If they were going to break ground, couldn’t it involve blowing up at least one thing? It’s just… Romeo and Juliet with cowboys.”
“But you loved that Romeo Must Die movie.” He countered.
“Right…” I agreed. “And there were major explosions!”
He called me a moron (which isn’t much better than a homophobe) and we moved on.
One of the best ideas of my (moronic) life was to set up my clever, handsome, funny Uncle Jimmy with Miss Clemente, my second grade teacher. They had so much in common, after all. They both played classical piano, liked to paint, and loved me very much. It was a match made in heaven.
So I approached Uncle Jimmy, and told him that he ought to take Miss Clemente to dinner. He squinted around the smoke from his perpetually lit cigarette, and asked, “Why? Is school going okay?” When I clarified, he laughed and told me that he didn’t want a girlfriend and that Ron, who’d been around all my life, was his companion.
“You’d rather have Ron than a wife?” I asked him, startled.
So I took the replacement approach saying, “Did you ever try a girlfriend; Miss Clemente is really pretty.”
“I had a girlfriend once. She was pretty, too. I like Ron better. And I’ve made promises to Ron.” He showed me his ring, the one he’d made from silver with turquoise stones, and told me to notice that Ron had one that matched. He also told me that love is love, and I believed him.
I still do.
Uncle Jimmy and Ron went on to found the Metropolitan Community Church, in Davenport Iowa, which values:
- · The celebration of diversity
- · Serving an open invitation to the Sacrament of Communion
- · The use of inclusive language in worship
- · A commitment to the power of prayer
- · The welcome of all people from diverse faith traditions
- · A dedication to community service
- · Becoming a “user friendly” church
- · A commitment to social justice
- · The open promotion of fellowship
“Our main building houses a 100-seat sanctuary and a fellowship hall on the lower level. Our church offices and education facilities are located in the former church parsonage next door, immediately to the south. This auxiliary building is called “Jim’s House” dedicated to the memory of Jim Moore, a founding and sustaining member of MCCQC, who passed into eternal life in 2005.”
– Metropolitan Community Church of the Quad Cities
The parsonage holds a cross, altar, and pulpit that are hand sculpted by Uncle Jimmy, and they are spectacular.
Iowa is one of the only states where people of the same gender can marry legally, and I think Uncle Jimmy would be proud that his church has three ministers who are able to conduct wedding services on an altar he sculpted in honor of God, who loved him as he loves all of creation. I can’t imagine denying someone I love the privilege and honor of being committed to someone THEY love. Uncle Jimmy Moore’s orientation and union have nothing to do with me, or a priest, or Miss Clemente. I’m just so glad I was born into their family. Knowing them, Uncle Jimmy and Ron, taught me about loving without judgment, commitment and service to God.
Miss Clemente went on to marry a nice trombone player from Chicago.