A Word In Edgewise: From Sydney to Alice Springs–and Back


We attended Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Musical recently, and were blown away by the performances, the choreography, the costumes.

Discussing afterwards, we considered how unlikely it would have been to see a show starring two drag queens and a transsexual in a first-rate venue like the Orpheum back in 1994–the year the Australian film, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert first opened.

The comradeship and the power of love shown on stage were heartwarming, but there are still miles to go, much further than from Sydney to Alice Springs, before everyone feels that love. Consider this recent incident at the Stingray Café in New Bern, North Carolina.

A married lesbian couple, having dined, paid their bill, and exited the restaurant, were followed by owner Ed McGovern who handed them this written note:

God said in the last days that man and wom[a]n would be lover of self, more [than] the lover of God. That man and woman would have unnatural [affection] for one another. Then, the coming of the Son of Man, who is Jesus. So please, look at your life. See how it hurt[s] everyone around you. And ask the Lord to open your eye[s] before it [is] to[o] late.

The Love of Christ
P.S. my daughter also was gay. It destroy[ed] her life and my grandson.

While many online comments railed against McGovern, one stated, “Just because man’s laws accept homosexuality does not mean we have to accept it. I would no more accept homosexuality as I would a murderer or a child molester.”

The Stingray Café receives glowing reviews: “I am partial to the fried oysters and my wife to the steamed shrimp;” “Some of the best crab cakes I’ve ever had.” No mention that Leviticus 11:10 decrees: “Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you,” i.e., crab, shrimp, oysters–and stingrays.

But it is important to note that McGovern took the women’s money before preaching. Money is a great leveler, and GLBT wedding, travel, and real estate dollars talk. As gays become more visible, the more the majority of straights and succeeding younger generations will pay no mind. A time for hope, yes; not yet a victory lap.

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