The curveball of sexual identity politics

  • June 22, 2022

I went to a baseball game a few weeks ago at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. The play on the field was great as the Blue Jays destroyed the Minnesota Twins 12-3. Our starting pitcher, Jose Berrios, who has been inconsistent this year, struck out 13 opposing players. For those who are not aficionados of pitching, that was a work of art.

I’ve always loved going to see a game at the ballpark. Not only to watch the action but to talk with whomever I happen to be with. Often the talk is about baseball or just catching up on family and mutual friends. Going to the game is a chance to forget about all the nonsense going on in the world for at least a few hours.

Today, though, a simple pleasure such as a baseball game must carry a social lesson, a reinforcement of a certain ideology. It’s what many companies do so as not to be targeted as being homophobic or otherwise bigoted and ensure they are seen walking on the left side of the street.

It turned out the day I went to the game was Gay Pride Weekend at the Rogers Centre. The first 15,000 fans through the gate were given a small rainbow flag to wave. I missed out on the flag; it saved me the awkwardness of appearing homophobic by refusing this souvenir.

I’m not homophobic but nor am I pro homosexuality. I’m indifferent in the same way I’m utterly uninterested in the sex lives of straight people. One’s sexuality to me is not a mark of good character.

For those who felt as I did at the Rogers Centre that day there was a lesson we needed to be taught and there was no getting away from it.

On the monster screen in the outfield there was a group of transvestites entertaining the crowd from time to time with songs that blasted out at deafening volume. What used to be a speciality of certain bars has now become mainstream. I’m not sure what parents told their children about the day’s entertainment but I’m glad it wasn’t me who had to explain it. Besides, the singing was… how do you say in English… awful.

Baseball games used to be a place where we told the young people in our lives about the history of the game or explain the game’s idiosyncratic rules. The only singing was “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” I never heard anyone say, “I wish they’d find a new song.”

Also on the big screen was a film about a gay Canadian now playing college baseball in the U.S. He looked like a nice young man and I wish him well but I really didn’t need the lecture about how his orientation is accepted by his teammates. It was pedantic in the extreme. “See… they treat him as a normal human being.” I would hope they would. What would his sexuality have to do with his ability to hit a fastball? Nothing. Certainly not in 2022.

I understand what gay men and women have gone through. I don’t think being gay is a choice, either. When I was a police reporter for the Ottawa Citizen in the early 1990s, there were some grotesque homophobic attacks I covered. A young man, a waiter, was set upon by a bunch of thugs and thrown off a bridge to his death. They thought he was gay. He wasn’t. But that didn’t matter. Just imagine having to worry about that when you’re walking home minding your own business.

But Canada has moved on. Gay men and women have the same rights as the rest of Canadians and in a civil society that’s how it should be.

Now there has been an overreach. From acceptance of gay men and women there is the destructive ideology of gender dysphoria. Some gay Canadians are worried about this too. Others feel anything sexual outside of straight needs to be defended as a misguided form of comradery.

It shouldn’t be defended because no child has the capacity to decide on changing their sex. To allow a child to start down that dangerous road is a great sin.

My sense is what I witnessed on that sunny day at the Jays game was a pushing of an ideology that says all must be accepted and celebrated. I don’t celebrate sexuality; I prefer to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and when the Jays win.

It’s hard to go anywhere without being told what to think.

(Lewis is a regular contributor to The Catholic Register.)

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