I’ve run across quite a few people who like to claim that they are victims of something. I didn’t commit a crime; I was framed by a system that hates certain kinds of people, and my childhood was horrible and left me with no other options. I didn’t cheat on my spouse; I looked elsewhere because I was unhappy and it was their fault because I didn’t feel loved enough. I’m a minority; everyone hates me because of my race, and I’m going to prove it!

The one that gets under my skin the most (for obvious reasons): I’m gay and people hate me for being gay, so I’m going to call everyone who disagrees with me hateful and bigoted.

Such was the attitude when lesbian ex-Marine Dayna Morales posted a scan of a receipt she had gotten as a waitress at the Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, NJ. It was posted to Facebook on the “Have a Gay Day” fan page along with a remarkably unprofessional message that ended with, “keep your damn mouth shut and pray we never cross paths again.” People from all over the world commented about how horrible this was and began sending her “tip money” – to the tune of about $3,000.

(And, really? “Pray we never cross paths again?” What were you gonna do, honey? The real badasses I know would not assault anyone, regardless of anything they said or wrote. If you’re that willing to physically attack a peaceful person who did nothing more than say something that you disliked, then you have issues. You’re also likely blowing hot air to sound tougher than you are.)

It didn’t take long for the truth to come out. The couple who supposedly refused to tip and left the note saw a news broadcast about the incident and recognized the dollar amount and time stamp on the receipt. They even recognized the father’s name despite it being blurred out. They gave an interview showing that, in fact, they HAD tipped her $18 on a $93 check, and their credit card had been charged $111 (that’s nearly a 20% tip, by the way). Apparently there had been a misunderstanding about her name. They thought they had been told their server would be someone named Dan, and they told her so – and she was offended to the point that she reported it to her manager. A couple of days later, the controversy began.

As this is happening, people from Dayna’s past start coming out of the woodwork. While working at a Cheesecake Factory, she told coworkers that she had brain cancer and had shaved her head so she wouldn’t have to actually lose her hair. She told friends that her father had raped her and gotten her pregnant, but that cervical cancer had caused a miscarriage. She claimed that Hurricane Sandy had sent a boat barreling into her living room and destroying her home, but friends who stopped by to help found her home with very little damage – and no boat to be seen. She also claimed that while serving in Afghanistan with the Marines her entire platoon was wiped out by a land mine – save for her. It has since come out that she was a Marine reservist, but she was dishonorably discharged this past May when she stopped showing up for drills. She also never deployed, not once.

This is not the first gay hate crime to be fabricated. I have posted about it before. Other conservative pundits have also posted about fake hate crimes. What’s worst about this brand of compulsive lying is that she’s doing damage not only to herself, but to the entire gay community as well. Just as using accusations of racism and Nazism inappropriately blinds people to the real thing, this, too, leaves people wondering if there’s really as much hate in the world as they’ve been led to believe.

If a conservative had been caught telling even one of Dayna’s stories from the past (I have brain cancer, I was raped, a hurricane destroyed my house), liberals would have them tarred and feathered. We’d never hear the end of it. When it’s one of their own, however, they simply say, “oh, this person needs help, so we’re not going to hound them.” Never once have I seen an incident like this really enrage the gay community, and they should be furious. So many of these have happened in the last decade or so that nobody believes that there are people out there who hate us.

In closing I would say this: even if this hadn’t been an act, that note is not hateful. It’s not homophobic. It’s ignorant, that’s for sure, but this isn’t hate. The word hate has a power that most of you have forgotten. It is meant to be an extreme term, and I don’t think you realize what kind of extreme it is. If you continue to use extreme words where they are not warranted, then when something truly extreme happens, you’ll have no way to describe it. The fact that Dayna would write it and pass it off as hate – and everyone else would agree – only proves that you don’t know what hate really is.

And please, stop with the victimhood. It’s very unbecoming.

Tis The Season

I was hard at work early in the morning on Thanksgiving and didn’t hear about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade until later in the day. A friend posted that a performance by drag queens had been allowed and he’d had to explain it to his kids.

I found out later that it was a performance by the Broadway cast of the hit show Kinky Boots. When I looked up the video, I was appalled. Matt Lauer gushed about the musical and the name came up on the screen before a small army of men wearing thigh-high stiletto boots (some of them in all-out drag) began performing two songs from the show.

To be sure, I would like to see Kinky Boots. It sounds like a fantastic musical. The problem I have is that this is being marketed to kids during a family-oriented program. I had heard a kid ask his father in a hospital ER what the word “kinky” meant. The father was stymied. That really isn’t a conversation you want to have with your child before they’re old enough to understand what sex is in the first place. I didn’t realize why the child was asking until I heard about what had gone on.

Naturally, a few people were upset by the display. I cannot imagine my brother or any of my cousins having to tell my nieces and nephews why a bunch of men are prancing around in drag; if one of them had asked me, I would have changed the subject. It’s not a conversation that I would be ready to have. I can understand why some folks would be upset by this – and Macy’s had to know that it would cause an uproar. Strangely, though, most of the big-name conservative pundits – Michelle Malkin, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, Megyn Kelly, and a host of others that the left points to has hatemongers – haven’t said a word about it. The Advocate, however, proclaimed in its headline, “Conservatives Outraged by ‘Kinky Boots’ Performance in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.” The Huffington Post reported that “the performance received an instant backlash of often-homophobic negativity on social media…” right before linking a Twitchy page that didn’t have an ounce of homophobia on it, only a lot of people questioning whether Kinky Boots is really all that family-friendly.

So who was it that was being so hateful? None of the conservative pundits I respect and admire. I have no idea who Amy Stradling, Andrea Latta Hardgrave, or “Broccoli Bob” are, but apparently the leftist websites were so desperately in need of examples of hate that they posted their Tweets and their full names and then passed it off as all conservatives somehow showing their true homophobic colors.

To be fair, it is ridiculous to claim in all caps that Macy’s ruined your entire holiday. If your holiday was ruined over this performance, that is your fault. Neither Macy’s nor the cast of the musical is at fault for your bad day. If you let it get to you that much, then you have issues you need to work out on your own. I do not, however, think that it was appropriate for the parade and I’m annoyed with producer Harvey Fierstein’s response to the backlash. He said, “You have to start a dialogue, and you can’t have a dialogue unless someone says something first. It takes actual work to open up [people’s] minds.”

Harvey, this is not an exercise in opening people’s minds. It’s little more than an attempt to shock them into numbness. That is not the way to win anyone’s hearts and minds. Compared to some drag shows I’ve witnessed in the past, yes, this performance was tame – that’s not necessarily a good thing. Either way, it was still too shocking for a good portion of the audience, and you should have considered that before including it during family programming.

This isn’t about homophobia. It’s about not being comfortable with our kids seeing these things. To label it as homophobia leaves people blind to the real thing when it does rear its ugly head, just as accusations of being a racist or a Nazi leave people unwilling to believe that it really still happens. Stop abusing the word. Learn to live in their world and maybe, just maybe, they’ll be open to living in yours someday.