It’s a comedic archetype most have seen, experienced or joked about before.
If you’ve ever watched the now-iconic 2003 gay film “Latter Days,” you’ll see it right as the film opens. Two beautiful young men dressed in black slacks, white button-up shirts and black ties walk up to an unexpecting home only to be unexpectedly surprised themselves.
“We’re from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter…,” says one, rudely cut off by the homeowner.
“Just a moment,” he says. “Honey! Stacey! You’ll want to hear this,” he calls out as the young men turn to look toward one another and smile.
The homeowner’s hunky, shirtless partner comes to the door.
“What have we here?” he asks without hesitation.
The young men — dazed and confused — clear their throats and look down at the ground as one of them says, “Never mind,” before quickly turning to walk away.
I’d always thought it’d be fun to repeat that scene in real life. I’m single, so I don’t possess the luxury of having a hot boyfriend to help scare away innocent Mormon missionaries but, if need be, I’m sure I could come up with something on the spot. Unfortunately, divine providence has not looked favorably upon my quest to josh around with cute messengers from God; the only door-knocking evangelists to stumble upon my humble abode have been Jehovah’s Witnesses. Recently, though, I nearly had my chance. Again, like a legendary tragic hero, fate proved my adversary.
Two Mormons did, in fact, make it to my door step. Instead of the two, hot missionary boys I’d imagined, however, I received two ankle-length skirt- and flowery blouse-wearing young women. Perhaps someone down at the great Mormon headquarters in Salt Lake City had touched bases with Charlotte’s anti-gay, street-preaching radicals — who, though in what sane world I can’t imagine, believe the Queen City is being completely overrun by the gays. I can just hear the forewarning they gave the Mormon Church’s Charlotte-area canvassers.
“They don’t call Charlotte the ‘Queen City’ for nothing, y’all,” now-convicted stalker and harasser Flip Benham would say. “Don’t send your innocent blonde-hair, blue-eyed boys into the lion’s den; Charlotte’s dangerous homosexual menace would certainly eat them alive!”
“Oh my!” the great Mormon missionary gurus would exclaim. “Who knew the home of Billy Graham was so dangerous?”
“Oh yes,” Benham would inform. “The homosexuals here have not yet heeded my demand for them to return to the grave from which they came! They’re even planning on staging their annual gay sex lust fest right in the middle of our downtown. It’s all so very frustrating; I had to turn to stalking that damned abortion doctor.”
“Oh goodness,” the Mormons would follow-up. “You mean they actually give women a voice in their own health-related matters there, too?”
“Absolutely,” Benham would cry, blood pressure skyrocketing. “And even the courts here are in cahoots with Satan; that judge and jury just couldn’t bring themselves to let me place my God-ordained bounty on that baby-killer’s head.”
“Well,” the Mormons, breathless and near fainting, would extol, “this certainly is a place where the truth and light of our message is needed!”
“Just remember…” Benham would caution, “Do not to sacrifice your precious young men to the evil eyes of Charlotte’s homosexuals. Tell them they can come visit me instead!”
And, thus, I was graced on what had to be the hottest of all days so far this year with the lovely presence and company of two very nice young ladies working diligently to recruit new members into the cult of the magic and holy undergarments.
“We’re here to spread a message of good news,” one of the women told me.
“And what is that, exactly?” I asked.
“Have you ever heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?” the other queried.
“Yes, I have,” I said, “and I also know you all aren’t too friendly toward gays.”
“Oh, that’s not true,” one of the women responded.
“Oh, yes it is — your church played a key role in passing California’s Proposition 8,” I shot back.
“Actually, I’m from California and I have a very close friend who is gay and he is still a part of the church,” one of the women said.
“His life must suck,” I thought to myself (or, at least, I hope I didn’t say aloud).
Our conversation continued for a brief moment more. I commented on Southern Baptists and living as a gay man in the South. The women, as nice and polite as ever, tried to relate, though I’m sure it was tough for them.
We parted on good terms. I wished them well and told them to get out of the heat and into some air conditioning. I left them with one final piece of advice.
“Oh, and by the way,” I said. “Y’all might want to try another neighborhood. There’s lots of gay folk around here.”
I don’t think they left. Bad news, I think, for all my fellow gay men living in the complex, though, for a change, I’m guessing my neighborly lesbian friends found their own version of some good news. : :
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