- June 2022
In Saudi Arabia, the government is chasing rainbows.
The Saudi Commerce Ministry recently posted a video on Twitter showing its employees in stores, hot on the trail of rainbow-hued clothes and toys.
The government says rainbow colors evoke the Pride flag and promote homosexuality in children.
That is, of course, exactly how a gay person is created. Hand a three-year-old boy a rainbow teddy bear and rest assured that by 10 he'll be sewing it Joan Crawford's waitress outfit from "Mildred Pierce."
The Commerce Ministry's super sleuths comb through stores, seizing and confiscating "products that contain symbols and signs that call for aberration and contradict correct nature," according to the Twitter post. Retail establishments caught with aberration-pushing hats and backpacks are penalized.
A TV reporter followed some of these courageous hunters of rainbows through what appears to be a mall in the capital city of Riyadh. Everything they took from a store sat in a pile on the floor, a sad rainbow mound. "It indirectly promotes homosexuality," a ministry official declared of one item, while a voice-over decreed the toys "are nothing but poisoned messages that target the innocence of children."
If Saudi officials believe that playing with a rainbow fidget toy will make a child homosexual, do they believe playing Chinese checkers on a hexagram-shaped board will make a child Jewish?
- November 2021
Qatar is busy boosting its international sports profile. The Arab nation will host the 2022 men's soccer World Cup, and last weekend Formula One drivers raced in the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix.
Which gave Lewis Hamilton, one of the sport's most successful drivers, a chance to send a message in a country where homosexuality is illegal.
Hamilton sported a helmet during his practice session that bore the colors of the Progress Pride flag. I don't know what the colors looked like at top speed—I'm guessing Jello with an attitude—but there was no mistaking the Briton's intent later when he posted a photo of the rainbow helmet on his social media feeds, along with the words "We stand together."
Hamilton went on to win that inaugural race. Will I claim his victory proves divine support for his colorful statement? Please—I'm no religious fundamentalist. He's a great driver who needed the win in the overall standings.
And, just maybe, he felt some extra focus. It could be Hamilton had his head straight after having his head gay.
- September 2021
- June 2021
In Washington state, about 100 miles west of Spokane, is Moses Lake, where you can enjoy boating, fishing, swimming and watching karma be delivered on a platter.
At least that was the case over Memorial Day weekend, according to a person named Robbie, who was one of four people on a boat sporting Pride flags. Another boat carrying three people sped toward them; a woman yelled something unintelligible and flipped her middle finger. Then the boat circled Robbie's at least six times.
“At this point I could clearly hear the words ‘gays’ and ‘flags’ being shouted from their boat,” said Robbie.
I first read "flags" as "fags." Force of habit, I suppose.
Noticing that Robbie's brother was filming, the boat's driver tried to hide his face, then sped off in a macho cloud of smoke.
Seconds later, Robbie's group heard a loud bang and saw black smoke and flames.
“Help us! We’re burning!” shouted the woman with the twitchy middle finger. Robbie and friends pulled them all aboard, raced away and called 911.
The driver sure couldn't hide his face at that point. Perhaps to hide their embarrassment at this turn of events, the passengers behaved boorishly, shouting over their rescuers and vaping without asking permission. They transferred to a friend's boat and never said thank you, noted Robbie.
Well, look at it from their point of view. Queer-bashing on water or on land is supposed to end in a triumphant sense of superiority. It isn't supposed to end with needing life-saving help from your victims. There's real humiliation when you think you're James Bond in a boat, only to discover you belong to McHale's Navy.
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