My old friend visits me at Gleason’s Gym. I’ve known Kenny for forty-seven years — longer than I’ve known my wife. Back in the sixties we used to go to clubs together and hang out with the Warhol crowd at Max’s Kansas City. We’ve stayed friends as he became a Hollywood screenwriter and I became a big businessman, later a jailbird and a boxing coach. He’s now an academic. He is liberal, and I am conservative. We don’t care; Obama hasn’t infected us with his extreme divisiveness. Well, a little, but not much.
Ken says, “You’re not really right-wing, are you? You believe in gay marriage, right?”
“No,” I say. “We don’t have to redefine marriage just to please the gays.”
“You’re prejudiced. Are you against black rights?””Prejudice is the ability to make clear distinctions. It is an asset, not a liability….”
“Gays suffer like blacks.”
“Blacks were slaves. Gays haven’t been put in chains. They may have been disliked because of their behavior, but they were not jailed and whipped. Except for Oscar Wilde, who did a measly two years like me. Also, blacks were segregated when they deserved their rights. If I were black, I would hate the comparison of gays with the black race. Blacks are hated for different skin color. It’s irrelevant. Gays are perverts.”
“How can you say that? You sound like an idiot.”
“In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, ‘perversion’ is defined as an aberrant sexual practice or interest especially when habitual. Two men having anal sex is certainly perversion. You can’t redefine language to fit your predilections. If you lose your language, how are you going to denigrate me and all conservative views that differ from yours? You need language to disparage me.”