During 2004, I had the pleasure of working on campus on Tom Hutchings’ local campaign for assembly. His campaign manager was Paul Boisvert, who is openly gay. I’m straight, and come from a small town, and though I would consider myself a fairly open-minded person, just because of my lack of exposure to the outside world, this might have had the possibility to be uncomfortable. It was the first time in my life that I’d spent so much time around someone I knew to be gay. But it was never uncomfortable. Paul was a very intelligent man and cared very much for the community, which is why he poured himself into Tom’s campaign. I found myself respecting Paul immediately. He’s a hard-working man of high character who continues to work on issues he believes will benefit the community.
Also during 2004, I was on campus during the wow club carnival, helping to promote the Progressive Student Alliance. Nearly every club was out there, including Campus Crusade for Christ. One of their members came up to me and tried to present me with some information. I told him I was Jewish. It’s not a complete lie, as there are ethnic Jews in my family history, but I was not raised a part of the religion. As we walked away, in a last-ditch effort to convert me, the crusader yelled out “Jesus was a Jew!” Talk about uncomfortable.
There’s an important difference in experiences here. Paul never tried to convert me to homosexuality – just as I respect his lifestyle, he respects mine. But even after I expressed no interest in the Crusader’s information, he still did not let up. I’ve dealt with a lot of evangelical, fundamentalist folks since I’ve been at Poly, and in general, they do a disservice to their religion.
If the fundamentalist viewpoint on life, the universe and everything is full-on correct, then I’d much rather spend an eternity in hell with every homosexual that has ever lived, than five minutes in heaven with one fundamentalist. Somehow, I think I’d be happier that way.