Haha, oh, wow. Here’s something else I’d forgotten had happened.
[tw: Church stuff, Christian homophobia, fictional conversion therapy and sex/implied corrective rape, fictional suicide attempt, dang this is a lot of stuff oops okay this is gonna be heavier than I thought]
Wanna hear about the time me and my best friend at the time watched a movie that “satirized” Christians and Christianity?
We were eleven or twelve or so. It was a PG-13 movie and I had to get permission from my mom over the phone. E, as I’ll call her, suggested we watch it because we were bored and couldn’t find anything else around except for VHS tapes of shows for little children, because we were hanging out in and around kids’ room of the parish hall for reasons I can’t remember.
Why her mother had this movie in her office, or why she gave her daughter permission to watch it, I can’t say.
I didn’t initially understand that the movie was supposed to be satirical or what the heck it was going for with its message or tone, but I remember getting a bad feeling about it from the opening scenes. Early on, there was a joke about the idea of heaven/a desirable afterlife, with a young character walking into traffic and trying to kill herself to get there. It made me uneasy, but I ignored it and kept watching because this was what E wanted to watch and we had nothing better to do.
Then the main character, a teenage(?) girl, finds out that one of her male friends is gay. She sees this as a problem and wants to make him become straight. For some reason (?) he cooperates with her attempts to change him (I can’t remember whether he was supposed to be a Christian too).
These attempts culminate in what I remember as a shot of some objects rattling on a shelf while those two characters are having implied just-off-screen sex, because that’s her idea of how to make him not be gay.
I couldn’t suppress my discomfort anymore. I don’t remember if I said anything as I stood up and turned it off.
My friend, E, objected and looked at me in disapproving confusion. All I remember of what she said is the sentence, “It’s better than Veggie Tales” — meaning only that it was the more tolerable of two unappealing options.
I remember saying, “No. It’s not.”
And I don’t remember much after that, besides that being a very strange, awkward moment for us. I had always adored that girl with the reverent desperation of a lost puppy. I had never gone against her like that.
The way our friendship fizzled out of existence involved a long, gradual process of fading contact and strained interactions, and it can’t be attributed to any one thing. But given where that day falls in the timeline, I can’t help thinking that moment, that refusal, had something to do with it.
And it’s probably things like that that taught me, very early on, that rejection of sex in any form could get me rejected as well.