Monday, June 25, 2012

Aservant's article. Part 2 of 5.

This story spans over 15 years and has many, many details, some of which may seem irrelevant to the issue in question. That being said, I would like to encourage the reader to read on, to eventually be able to understand the need to include so much detail in this story.

I arrived into young adulthood as a default liberal. What I mean by that is that I was never indoctrinated directly during my upbringing to embrace liberal viewpoints, I simply absorbed them by default through the culture at large. I have come to believe that unless one is raised as overtly conservative and often Christian as well, one will ultimately take on the progressive/liberal world view. This was me to a fault.

I have worked in the culinary industry my whole career which has always had its fair share of gays, especially as service staff. Being that I was a young liberal, this was a non- issue. Also, keep in mind that when I started my career just over 25 years ago, the world was a different place. Sure, the gay revolution was well under way, but it wasn't on steroids as it is today. There was no “Queer Eye for The Straight Guy” or “Will and Grace” or aggressive pro-gay campaigns in the name of “tolerance” in public education. As such, although I knew and worked with many openly homosexual men, their attitude towards me, and their attitude in general was very different than what I observe today. They knew I was straight, I knew they were gay, and boundaries were respected. Sometimes there was a bit of good natured teasing that went both ways, but I never personally witnessed any discrimination or bigotry towards the many homosexuals I knew. That isn't to say that homosexuals haven't suffered discrimination or been affected by bigotry, but it wasn't my experience. Everyone got along fine and for all intents and purposes, although I was never close to being anything like a gay activist, in my personal views I was pro-gay. I would define this by saying that I didn't see any homosexuals that I knew as being really any different than myself, with the only exception being their sexual orientation. If anyone expressed a contrary viewpoint, I didn't “fight for gay rights”, but I did get in a few discussions defending what I thought was my “enlightened” point of view, and at the very least, I was uncomfortable hearing viewpoints that portrayed homosexuals as anything “deviant”. But I will say that the thought of actual homosexual acts between men has always been repugnant to me no matter what the social/political viewpoint I expressed at whatever time. This has been so ever since I was old enough to understand the concept of homosexuality. I now strongly believe that my repugnance came and comes from a much deeper truth than the one I became to believe in as a young adult liberal, but I denied it. I learned to deny it by being exposed to relentless propaganda that made me feel that there was something repugnant about my repugnance.......

I did not understand at the time which I described in the above paragraph that my pro-gay beliefs were due to being heavily propagandized by the media to see gays as oppressed victims. This of course would explain the “why” as to my being “pro-gay” in my social/political viewpoint, but at the same time still unable to accept the actual thought of gay sex itself. It is only been within approximately the last 5 years that I have been able to finally put those pieces together with hindsight. As I said before, the world was different 25 years ago, and although the political gay movement wasn't nearly as advanced as it is today, it was well underway. The time I am speaking of was the late 80s and early 90s. This was the time of the AIDS epidemic and the Oscar award-winning movie “Philadelphia”, a brilliant propaganda piece that succeeded in harnessing a massive amount of goodwill towards the gay community from the public at large. I obviously didn't realize it at the time, but due to works like “Philadelphia” and many others to come, done in such a masterful, almost subliminal manner to invoke empathy for homosexuals, I and large segments of mainstream society had or were becoming “pro-gay”. Unaware that we were being indoctrinated into this viewpoint, it seemed as though this was just another “social enlightenment”, such as equal recognition of women under the law or guaranteed civil rights for non-white minorities. I think that I felt, along with many others, that we were just naturally “evolving” into a morally superior people by accepting this benevolent, “diverse” way of life. This was progression, pure and simple.......

But being that I now write this essay for “”, it goes without saying that I now know this was and continues to be a complete farce. I will tell you about here in detail how this fraud was revealed to me through subsequent years of direct exposure to the gay lifestyle, a lifestyle that 25 years ago I thought I knew......but it has now become obvious that my superficial dealings with homosexuals at that time did not educate me in the least about the hard facts of this proclivity. Although the gays I knew at that time were living as open homosexuals, it is once again now blatantly obvious to me that they were very guarded still amongst non-gays about revealing the totality of what “gay culture” was and is. I was very na├»ve as well, too quick to believe in the general good intentions of human beings. In the years since, my same exposure to this culture has seen homosexuals become very emboldened and confident in the political and social gains that their movement has achieved. This has resulted in many gays abandoning their guarded behavior when around non-gays and allowing us to really see the gay lifestyle as it truly is. What I have seen, and what I will tell you about here, is gay culture in reality without the media filter, .... and it isn't pretty. Looking back on a few occasions, I saw signs of this with the homosexuals that I knew, but I ignored and even buried some of the uncomfortable feelings I had from time to time as I believed the problem was with me....I was “intolerant.”

So on the gay question, all was fine more or less for me as a young adult. To sum it up, I was never a radical gay rights activist or anything as such, but I did believe the propaganda that there was really no difference between gay and straight, it was just a matter of preference, and I felt I had the direct experience with many gay friends to back this opinion with truth.

Things began to change for me in the late nineties because of a close friendship I developed with a homosexual. Now, at the time, I wasn't the man that writes this today in many significant ways, most importantly, I was not a Christian, and I would even go as far as saying that I was somewhat anti-Christian, although I did not call myself that. I saw Christian doctrine through the lens of the typical, modern progressive liberal, although I had never read the Bible. Of course this made me extremely ignorant about my own supposed convictions, but you wouldn't convince me of that at the time. I was quite indoctrinated, and like almost all progressives of our age, my opinion was that Christianity had some good ideas, yes, but the majority of the philosophy was basically a manipulation to keep humans in line through oppression. So at the time in my life where my story begins, I want the reader to know that I wasn't and never had been a criminal or a delinquent, but from where I stand now looking back, I was in some very deep spiritual trouble at the time, although completely oblivious to that fact. But
for most judging me by appearance, I was a pretty capable, hardworking, intelligent young man with a lot going for him.

Let me give you an even better idea of the person that I was at this time. I think this is important because I now know as well that broken people will believe in broken ideologies. It is now clear to me that the promotion of homosexuality as a “normal” lifestyle is a broken ideology, so of course, as I have already made clear, I took it in, for I was spiritually “broken”. I came from a home of divorced parents with an abusive childhood, which left me without a solid foundation for forming healthy relationships. This left me restless and longing for meaningful connection with others. Although I always had a strong work ethic and was considered a high performer, I was in bad spiritual straights at this time in my life as I have already mentioned. Through other circumstances in my life not to do with this issue; family, romantic and professional issues, I had begun to question much about society in general and what my role in the world was, and mostly in a very negative way. Once again, all this has become clear to me in hindsight, and I was completely oblivious to it at the time, but the few solid values that I did have, the ones that had carried me through until that point in my life were trashed.....and they were trashed by me. Values like solid commitment to my work and scrutinizing the character of those I associated with. It will become clearer as to what this means and how it relates to this tale as my story progresses.

I had relocated to the American South West by this time in my life, and I was on a sort of “adventure” ….so to speak, to find myself. I was disenchanted with my profession, but still trying to have faith, but I more or less worked as a way to pay the bills. I found a job running a small hotel kitchen, and this is where the my friendship with the gay individual began, for he had just gotten a job at the same property. I will call him John.

John had just recently located to the area as well, and upon meeting him, I had no idea that he was gay. He was not effeminate and very much an extrovert. In a word, he was very entertaining. Furthermore, I had come from a large city and was now in a rural area with a different culture and I felt somewhat out of place. I knew no one in the area and it was rather lonely. John had also come from a large city where he had worked as a fine dining waiter and dining room manager, and he too felt somewhat out of place. So began our friendship.....

Within a few months, John had landed a job at a small fine dining room in the area, one of a handful, as the dining room manager, and they were badly in need of a qualified chef. I got the job immediately.

In my business, after hours socialization among the staff is very common, and as you can imagine, this usually involves alcohol and sometimes other substances. My situation was no different here. We often went out as a group and had a lot of fun, with some having more “fun” than others, to the point of overdoing it. I was rarely one of those individuals, mostly because my position demanded too many hours, although there were a few hangovers, but on a personal level, I knew I was escaping my accepted norms of personal discipline bit by bit.

It was through these social interactions that I and others at our work place began to suspect that John was maybe gay, but it wasn't really an issue, more of a curiosity. Meanwhile, improprieties began to surface in the dining room where we worked. For example, John would often take bottles of wine for personal consumption and sometimes share them with me and others. It started with the odd bottle, but soon progressed to a couple or more bottles virtually every night. Now, remember that in my position I was half of the management with John for an owner of the business, and although I had a few more late nights than I should have at times, I was always honest to a “T” and ethical about my position. So finally one night I inquired with John as to if the wine was always paid for as it began to seem excessive. He of course assured me it was, and being that the owner of the business was involved in the operation day to day, I couldn't imagine that he was getting away with consistent thievery, so I took him at his word.

But soon other issues about John's character began to appear and they began to bother me. For example, he would often ask me to lend him money until payday......usually no more than $50 dollars. But when payday came, I would have to ask for my money, it wasn't volunteered to be paid, and it was almost always short. This happened several times, until I finally became frustrated and asked as to why he couldn't simply pay what he had borrowed. John was very taken aback, and replied...... “Why didn't you tell me I owed you more?” To this I replied.... “Your debts are your responsibility, not mine, and I am not your parent. Why don't you keep track of your debts in an honest manner?” Judging by the expression on his face, this seemed to be an alien concept to him, but he did pay me.

Finally, after only about 5 months of working together, a huge scandal ensued. A couple of waiters that worked with us came to my place of residence in a panic and told me that the owner was calling the police. They said that he had discovered that he was missing several cases of high dollar wine and suspected he had been being robbed for quite some time. John was the prime suspect of course, but as these waiters rambled on about the situation in a rather frazzled manner, other names were being dropped and fingers were pointing in every direction. Finally, John himself showed up at my place, naming names himself and attempting to admit to maybe some small improprieties, but in large he was trying to absolve himself of all responsibility in the matter. I told them all that I wanted nothing to do with this and they all needed to leave. I felt my initial suspicions about John had been correct.

It turned out that no charges were filed, some wine was returned, John and a waiter resigned and no one in particular was blamed. To this day I don't really know exactly what happened, for it was inconsequential to me. At the same time this “scandal” ensued, I had met a regular diner that very much liked my food and wanted me to do a restaurant for him, so I conveniently resigned myself and went to go work on this project.

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