I'm Not Sure If I Am Amused or Ashamed, But I'm Definitely Not Surprised!


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Every day I read some of the news from my hometown, basically to see who among my friends and classmates has passed away. Luckily, for the past few days of checking no one I knew had passed away.  But the news feed was full of the featured story, a fast-food chicken franchise was recently opened. I'm not going to reveal the name of the franchise or the name of my hometown. I doubt that anyone I know from my hometown will ever read this, but I'm still a bit embarrassed.
For three days photos and articles were showing long lines at the fast food restaurant with the ensuing traffic jams.  There was even a picture of the Trump sycophant congresswoman at the grand opening, hoping to grab some headlines for her far-right campaign. It appeared that this was the most significant event the city had seen since the end of WW II.
What was really sad, was reading the comments of some of the residents of my hometown.  You would think this was the second coming of Christ.  Numerous people commented on how the opening of this restaurant would save the town. From what, I don't know. They were thankful "the Lord's chicken" finally came to their little Red town. Amusing, but I'm not surprised.
Now for a little history of my hometown. It is a very Conservative city that has been struggling with high unemployment and poverty ever since I can remember. They have almost always voted Republican and the hardcore Republicans always seem to vote against their best interests. There is little industry there. The largest employer is the US military. The population has been slowly declining since I left. There is a community college, but most people leave the area after graduation, due to the lack of opportunities. It is and has always been a very conservative area, with numerous churches, especially evangelical churches. It is 85% white and predominantly Christian, with very people of Jewish, Muslim, or Eastern Religions. When I live there everyone seemed to get along quite well.

I must admit it was tough, being gay, growing up there. I understand it is much better now, except for your usual religious fanatics.  I can remember when I was in high school our own version of "the Church Lady" fought to ban a certain book at our public library over the nudity in the book. It was a book of Michelangelo's artwork! It seemed back then there was always something the religious nuts wanted to ban, whether they be books, movies, bars, or the gay flag. 

Now back to the "lord's chicken". It seemed odd to me that people bitching about the high price of gas would sit for hours with their car idling, wasting gas, just for a piece of frigging chicken. And the media, instead of covering news or topics that would be of some use to the poor people of the area, cover the opening of a fast-food chain restaurant. I have to admit that I have never been to one of these restaurants because of their financial support for movements to abolish gay marriage and LGBTQ rights. I do not wish to support a business that is trying to destroy my marriage and my life. When I see people in my hometown, lined up to pay for a piece of chicken at a business that supports destroying who and what I am, all in the name of religion, I feel anger and disgust, and even pity.

My hometown is not unique. There are towns like this scattered all over our country. Some are better, and some are worse. I have some good memories of growing up in my hometown and there are a lot of good people there, including many old classmates, but I couldn't go back there to live.  What's the old saying? You can never go home again?







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