As coming-out videos go, it’s a heartbreaker. It’s pretty moving. They’ve got the style right on: black and white, sentimental music, earnest testimonies delivered straight to the camera. A little bit of tearfulness at the back of the throat, because seriously, it’s hard to come out. It’s hard to be honest with people when you don’t know how they’re going to react, that they’re not going to judge you. It’s scary putting yourself out there and saying, “Listen, I trust you to take this part of me, this vulnerable piece of me that I’m putting in your hands, and still love me once you know the truth. The truth, that I am…
… A CATHOLIC WHO’S AGAINST SAME-SEX MARRIAGE.”
It’s a coming-out video from Catholics who are against same-sex marriage.
Words fail me.
And they know exactly what they’re doing, too: It’s not until you’re nearly a minute in that they finally reveal that being nervous that people won’t welcome them, that feeling like society already thinks they’re weird, that you wonder who you can really be open with, that you’ve tried to change — that they’re talking about being opposed to marriage equality. Fifty-four seconds they hold out, keeping everything specifically vague and emotional, before they spring on you that they’ve co-opted this particular style of earnest confessional for an anti-marriage-equality message.
I honestly don’t think it’s a parody, either, that they’re trying to be funny. I think they’re seriously trying to make connections. “See, LQBT folk? You know how hard it is to be yourself in society, worrying that you’ll be judged and disowned and assaulted and murdered and oppressed because of who you are and who you love? It’s just like that for Catholics who are afraid that people won’t like us once they know how intolerant we are!” “Bigoted” is a big word. And the only way to break down barriers… sniff… is to get to know us. Us Catholics who don’t think you deserve basic rights, because you aren’t like us. And who don’t want to let you in on our precious rite because — sniff — you’re gross and into butt stuff. And to all you other Catholics who are afraid of being persecuted for your bigoted beliefs? You’re not alone.
Whew. Bet that felt good to get off your chests, right? You… are not… alone.
Fuck my life.
One at a time, people walk in and sit against a plain white background, facing the camera. WOMAN 1. MAN 4. WOMAN 2. Quiet piano music is sentimental, a little bit tentative, a little bit hopeful. Our people are as well.
WOMAN 1. I am a little bit nervous about people, um, kind of hearing that I’m this way and then thinking, “Oh, well,” you know, “she’s not welcome here.”
MAN 1 [chuckling]. I would say I’m different. We’re all different.
MAN 2. Most people probably think I’m already weird anyway, I mean, so I don’t think society’s impression of me is going to change drastically based on one or two discoveries that come to light after this video.
MAN 3. Pretty scary, you know? You — you wonder, how many people can I really, truly, honestly be open with?
W2 [dabbing at tears]. I’ve tried to change this before, but… it’s too important to me.
The music’s starting to pick up, just a little.
W1. I actually think marriage is between a man and a woman.
M2. I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.
M4. I already have an idea of what marriage should be. That will never change.
M2. At the end of the day, I think we don’t need to truly be ashamed of how we really feel about things, so… so be you.
M4. No one should be looked down upon. No one should be suppressed, or no one’s views should be suppressed.
M3. I know a lot of people who are gay. I have friends who are gay, I don’t fear them, you know? They’re wonderful people. I love them. What I do feel insecure about is speaking from the heart. And being really open and honest about what I believe.
M2. I mean, I love my friends. Several of them happen to be gay. How would it not be the case that — that the ever-loving Creator, who gave us everything we have, doesn’t love us?
The music’s picking up a little bit more, now with a touch of strings coming in.
M1. Where’s that balance, you know? Where can you say, “No, I’m not going to be a part of this?” but still respect someone?
M3. “Bigoted” is a huge word that gets thrown around. It’s just not true.
M4. You cannot have a society of hatred, or a society of bigotry.
M2. I happen to know what marriage is, and I don’t see how it could change.
W1. The best way to kind of break down all these barriers — [choked up] sorry — is to just get to know people one on one.
W2. [Tearfully] You’re not alone. [Over solemn, tearful shots of the other speakers] You’re not alone. You’re not… alone.
The music swells dramatically as we, too, are moved to tears along with the speakers, and then the final art card:
Speak truth with love.
Catholicvote.org Education Fund