By Anna Pulley
By Erin Sherbert
By Chris Roberts
By Erin Sherbert
By Rachel Swan
By Joe Eskenazi
By Erin Sherbert
By Erin Sherbert
I drop my eyes to the ground in shame and answer yes.
"I went to the Web site and looked for the signs, and he fit right into that sort of scenario," I explain, highly disturbed. "It said that now is the time to take action and take the needed steps for prevention."
"Is it a boy or a girl?"
"It's a boy."
"How old is he?"
"He's 7!" I answer in a soft voice.
There are a few seconds of stunned silence; this is obviously a new situation for participants in this group. Much like parents who want their child to get into a good kindergarten, the Gaymores are taking early steps to prevent their precious son from turning a little gay, since he's in the Christian ministry's definition of the all-important developmental years of 5 to 11.
Debbie bobbles her head and prays: "I'd like to thank you, Heavenly Father. Thank you for bringing Carl and Isabella to us tonight."
I look at my fake wife with a glimmer of hope. "Thanks for having us," I muster.
Carol takes over with some mean Scripture-quoting (1 Corinthians, to be exact): "Those who won't inherit the Kingdom of God: the sexually immoral, idolaters, male prostitutes, the homosexual, drunkards, the greedy ...."
It's now time for everyone to tell his story for being here tonight. First comes bobble-headed Debbie, who says both her children have turned gay.
"I didn't know where to go. I didn't know where to turn. I didn't know what to do. I didn't even know how to say the word 'lesbian,'" she shares, bobbling her head. "Though working with Carol, I really spent some time gaining knowledge on what little wire could just kind of short-circuit.
"I went to Parents and Friends of Gays and Lesbians. That was the only place I knew. 'Cause that's what the kids hear in school (huff): that it's OK, anyone's sexual preference is OK. (More huffing.) If I would have stayed on that path, I probably would have said it's fine. But I believe now that there is an incredible power, and we can change people. I love my children and I'm praying for them. (Nervous cackle.) Because without God, we're all lost." (Big laughs.)
With a bobble of the head, Debbie then directs her attention to the Gaymores. "I don't know at 7 I would have recognized the signs, 'cause I don't know at 7 [that] they know. Do you know what I'm saying?"
We, the Gaymores, shake our gloomy heads in unison.
"I believe it takes a lot of guts to walk through that door, to say, 'I even know someone who is homosexual, and I question it.' Because socially, it's like drinking," she spews, disgustedly. "Social drinking is very acceptable. They don't know it's wrong."
"We all need God!" exclaims Carol.
"Amen!" someone says.
"What do you tell the kids?!" I throw out as a rhetorical question.
"I sit in the back of the church crying my eyes out," Carol remarks; she's talking about her son, who was kicked out of a Christian college when he was caught in bed with his prayer buddy.
"She's my little prayer warrior," Debbie says.
"I remember standing there, and my son told me he was homosexual. And it's like a death," Carol remarks solemnly. "It's like a death in the family."
"What do you tell the kids?!" I repeat again for no reason.
It seems that the large crying woman has a son who recently moved not just to San Francisco, but to the Castro District.
"Right in the heart of it," she says between sobs, going on to explain how shocking it was to hear about the antics of a typical Castro Halloween.
"Halloween is a scary time over there," Debbie agrees, bobbling her head in disapproval.
"I wish he weren't gay. I know that homosexuality is a sin," the large woman says. "It's a sin in God's eyes."
"Amen," adds Debbie.
"Amen," adds Carol.
"Amen," add the Gaymores.
"It's a sin!" the large crying woman repeats.
"What do you tell the kids?!" I add.
The large woman's crying intensifies.
"My son designs Web sites. He said to me, 'Mom, look at this Web site I designed.' He brought it up on the computer, and these male figures came up. And it was a gay porn site!" the large woman says. "My mouth had dropped, and I said, 'Oh my God! What are you doing?'"
"You had to look at them, too," Debbie sympathizes.
"Was there any tea-bagging going on?" I ask, gravely concerned.
Carol sets the record straight. "They do not believe they are living in sin," she says. "They live in denial, because they believe what the world has bombarded upon them, and they have bought into it to justify how they live is OK."
Debbie's head-bobbling intensifies: "To them it is not a sin."
Carol poses a little theory. "I pretty much believe that the Christian world has created the Castro, because that's the only place they can go for their sins and live in denial," she says. "Do you know what I'm saying? And I'm not saying it's right, it's just as wrong as any other sin."