Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Out of the closet?

I suppose it had to happen eventually - I got found out. I was at the life-chain rally in early October and a (former) co-worker saw me and so the people at work know now. We all went out for drinks and the former co-worker showed up and she starts out with "so, you're anti-abortion?". I'm not too good at thinking during a conversation (one of the world's worst debaters) and I began to wonder how to navigate this situation with courage and compassion.

The next remark caught me totally off guard: "I should kick your ass :)". Before I could blurt out "see the violence inherent in the system" (which in my case would have taken about an hour), she switches the subject in the interests of keeping this happy and polite.

This leaves me with a few questions: Why does it feel like the conversation started out in a self-centered and irresponsible fashion but got "aborted" before it got inconvenient? If I had been spotted at a gay-pride rally and someone said even jokingly that they should kick my ass, how long before HR would take swift and drastic action?


Calvin said...

This will be an odd anecdote. In junior high I had a hard time meshing with other students, I had few friends and was often picked on. Once we did a class survey, I will make you a bit uncomfortable here and tell you it was "what's attractive abuot the opposite sex." I chose as one answer "smell." Ah yes, you can start to see why I was such an easy target.

Anyhow, one of the popular students came up to me and asked me about that, in order to disparage me. "Haha, you are attracted by *smell*?" he said.

I then learned a useful lesson which has stuck with me since. That is, sometimes a solid "yes" in the face of this kind of attitude is very powerful.

Michael said...

I used to do game-playing of saying "Yes I am, and proud of it too" to any disparaging remark but it simply didn’t feel right anymore.
Jesus demands a greater compassion from me.
So I listen.
I’ll hear all they have to say and I resist the temptation to give the knee-jerk response.
I will ask “So tell me why you feel that way?” or “How did you come to your view on that?” I try to actually listen, find out what makes a person tick.
It’s harder but it feels like what I’m supposed to do.

Dave King said...

Rejoice rejoice,
has come to you O Israel.


Richard said...


Excellent advice for when the conversation continues. But what about when the person who raised the subject wants to "drop it" instantly?

It's always easier to end a topic when you got to have the last word. I'd imagine this holds as much for me as her. As a Christian, I ought to be more concerned over her sensitivities than my own.

I'm reminded of Churchill's definition of a fanatic: someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.

Michael said...

I don't know Richard
I honestly have never had it happen. The idea of listening is still new for me.
I'm just trying to love the person, find out who they are.
If they just walk away what could I say? "Well, see you around then."