Today my part-time band of all stars, the Broughton Cosmos, got whupped by a team called HotScots. I didn't play well, but none of us did really, so no bother. It's other stuff that I'm not happy about.
The thing is, HotScots are a gay team from a gay league, apparently, and the whole thrilling experience seemed to turn some of my team-mates into a raving bunch of homophobic schoolboys – it was as if they couldn't exist in the same world as gay people without making comments and jokes that were hurtful, lame and dumb. I mean, for Heaven's sake, I'm a Christian and don't actually think that homosexuality (I prefer the word 'gayness', it's cuter) is God's preference for us, but nevertheless I've somehow managed to navigate my 27 years without being a hater. Not so some of these guys.
Something I've been noticing: Christians are the ones who hate gay people, apparently – that's what we're told – but I've never actually met a Christian who does. Maybe I've just been fortunate: some have this view and some have that view, but I've never seen what would properly be called bigotry. That has been the exclusive domain of non-Christian friends. Why is this? Why is it so hard to stop someone else's 'preferences' being the lense through which we determine their value? Surely it's not just theists who believe that all humans have inherent worth?
After the match, we had a wash. Communal showers are one of the best bits about playing football (don't ask me to explain that statement; it's just true), but the thought of sharing one with some gay guys apparently petrified some of my team-mates to such an extent that they seemed to be actually, properly scared to go in. Losers! It was like not wanting to stand next to a girl in the line at primary school.
Fortunately, I'm not afraid of naked men.