Yep, I travelled an hour by car with my very pregnant friend C. to the Mr. Hetero Contest held in Worcester, MA. So much to report on this event, but I don’t have much time right now. (I’m on chemotherapy patrol this week–damn cancer!)
Really it was a fascinating time. In essence Pastor Tom Crouse created a safe space for heterosexual men to be goofy and play around with what it means to be a heterosexual man.
It was like a straight drag show, where straight men let their hair down and explored their straightness and to some degree their maleness. They loosened up their straight-jackets just enough to relax and have some fun.
Of course they don’t need a Mr. Hetero event to do that but so often straight white men feel constrained in expressing themselves and rarely take the opportunity to look into their heterosexuality and masculinity.
I spoke with Pastor Tom after the event. He asked, “Was it mean-spirited?” I responded, no, I didn’t get that sense, but I did sense a lot of fear. In much of what Pastor Tom said about having to be politically correct and in their aggrieved cry to take back the rainbow (“We’re taking it back!”) I heard fear. Fear that something valuable is being taken from them, that rights are being denied, that some power and privilege they feel they’ve enjoyed has evaporated.
Hey, rainbows are big. They cover the whole sky. Really, there is enough rainbow to go around.
I have loads more to say, but wanted to get out a quick post. But as always in my travels, I met lovely people, funny people, people worried that their needs will not be met.
I also saw and heard dangerous messages. Some of the most dangerous and desperate acts are committed out of fear.
More later. Oh, and you can read Worcester Independent’s Mike Benedetti share his detailed account of the event.