I'm From Driftwood is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit archive for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer stories. New stories are posted on the site every Wednesday.
When Paul Lalonde was in his early 20s, he would watch conservative televangelist Charles McVety on TV every Sunday evening. Needless to say, it rubbed him the wrong way. Paul recalls:
He would just go on and on about how if gays get married, it would be the end of society, nothing will work, trains wouldn't be on time, it would be terrible, chaos everywhere. I think what made me so mad is that when I would watch him, he would be talking to me, directly at me, and telling me that I'm a terrible person and I'm awful and I would be a terrible father.
Instead of just getting angry, Paul decided to do something about it. He joined Canada's LGBTQ pro-equality organization "Egale" and was put to work. One day he was asked to attend a public meeting organized by the anti-marriage equality side, which had an unexpected speaker: the very televangelist whose actions and words motivated Paul to get involved in the first place. Sitting in the same room as Charles McVety, Paul remembers his range of emotions:
I was enraged, I had to just sit there and listen to this guy and tell me that I'm going to be an awful parent, society is going to hell and all that stuff. And I think it was actually sitting through that day, that rather than actually being angry, because I wasn't anymore, we won, we got what we wanted, I had won, I beat him, but instead I just almost pitied him. I was looking at this guy like, "Really? You're still fighting this? Dude, get over it."
Get over it, indeed.
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