Funny. I had dinner with my sister only tonight and we spoke about how life would be so much easier if we could just keep our mouths shut. She told me about finally losing it with a racist and giving him both barrels. My sister is a lot nicer than I am, and way smarter. She’s also a hundred times more fierce than I am. I almost felt sorry for the racist.
When I got home, I went to the pub for a late pint and brought my paper along for company. Sometimes I like to just enjoy a pint in peace and read the paper. So I sat and I read. And I tried. I really tried really hard not to listen.
“Queers. Fucking queers. Getting fucking married. What has gone wrong with this fucking country?”
“Labour. I blame Labour. Them cunts in Labour. And fucking Shatter. The Jew. He’s in favour of this shit.”
“Hi, you can’t fucking talk, your fucking crowd is as bad. That fucking bollix Micheál Martin. He’s in favour of that shit as well. Fianna Fucking Fáil.”
“You’re right. Queers. And they’ll be adopting children and turning them queer too.”
That was it.
Yes, I got involved. I put down my paper and I spoke up. And my sister is right. Life would be a lot easier if I could just shut up. And I’d be a lot more popular too.
I tried to be calm and reasonable. I tried to argue rationally and respectfully and of course it got hot and of course I was asked if I’m “a fucking queer too”.
Me being me, of course, I went a bit Spartacus and replied “And what if I fucking am?” but in truth it wasn’t my finest hour.
Those opinion poll figures are very, very soft indeed, folks. It’s going to be a very long year to the referendum on marriage equality. Let’s not make the mistake of thinking it’s a foregone conclusion.
P.S. I was also, in the heat of the debate, somewhat predictably called “Mr Fucking Irish Times”, a charge which I felt was unfair at the time as my ostentatious display of offensive literacy was actually the Irish Examiner.