Yesterday afternoon after picking up some weekly essentials from the grocery store, we decided to swing by the Redbox and pick up a movie. We finished our discs of Queer As Folk on Netflix, so we were without anything to watch after Nellie went to bed.
We pulled up into the parking lot and I got out and walked to the Redbox. I was perusing the selection displayed when I noticed what looked like a note taped over one of the movies. I stepped up for a closer look, when I saw that it was in fact a hand-written note that read:
“WARNING: I Love You Phillip Morris has man on man action. GROSS!” and underneath, someone had drawn a “yucky” face.
I was suddenly filled with so much outrage, anger and I felt so insulted that I stormed back to the car where Josh was sitting waiting on me. He looked at me, puzzled and I said, “Do you have a pen?”
“What?” he asked.
“Is there a pen in there?!”
He handed me one and asked me what I needed it for. I didn’t answer him and I hurried back over to the Redbox. Before I knew what I was doing or why I was doing it, I scribbled beside it:
“Ignorance like this is what’s REALLY gross. NO H8.”
I went back to give Josh the pen back and explain what I had done. I walked back over to the Redbox and looked at the hateful, ignorant note with my two cents written next to it. I stood there and read both sets of words, wishing that the idiotic person who wrote the first statement would come by and read what I’d written. The longer I stood there, the more I realized that scenario most likely would not come to fruition and someone else would come along and read the words the first person had written. Maybe they would agree with those words. Maybe they would agree with mine. After another moment of contemplation I decided to peel the piece of paper – which was taped multiple times over the picture of the movie I Love You Phillip Morris – off the Redbox and throw it in the trash so no one would have to read that ignorance. As much as I wanted my voice to be heard too, and as much as I wanted the person who wrote those words to see that there are people out there who vehemently disagree.. I decided in the end that it’d be better for the words to be tossed in the garbage.
It kills me. I guarantee that at least one, if not more, of the movies for rent there include sex and love scenes between heterosexual couples. I can also pretty much guarantee that you’ll never walk up to a Redbox and find a hand-written note warning you that a particular movie contains said sex and love scene. No, just because the people engaged in a sex scene happen to have the same reproductive organs, that makes it “gross”. Fucking stupid. I’m sorry, but it’s fucking stupid. I cannot wrap my brain around that. We can show movies with women and men screwing, people getting their guts ripped out and faces torn off but a sex scene between two men is “gross” and warrants a warning? That’s fucked up.
We left the parking lot shaking our heads at whomever took time out of their lives to spread such ignorance and hate. It’s just one more thing that makes me hope with every fiber of my being that my little girl grows up in a very different world… I know there will never be a world completely void of discrimination and hate, but maybe – just maybe – when she is grown, she will be allowed to publicly, and legally, love whomever she chooses and do so with less judgment than people face today. Maybe I’m being too optimistic and naive, but that’s my hope for my daughter. I know that I’m going to raise her to believe the truth: that love is love, and everyone deserves to express their love. To deny someone the right to do that? THAT is what’s gross.