I had dinner with my grandfather, GP, last night. This was particularly awesome because I don’t see him very often these days and certainly not without the distraction of children and dogs. Besides the fact that he’s a great guy, he helps me to check my politics (he was ahead of my family curve of swinging to the left) and reminds me that there are plenty of Christians out there that are standing among those I would call The Good Guys.
We’d planned for an early dinner with his lady friend, J, and I arrived at his place around 4pm. We sat down and started talking books, because I had spent the day trolling every bookstore from Andersonville to Lincoln Park, and he told me that his church had a book club. The most recent title was the memoir of a transgender lady. He stumbled a bit over the word “transgender”, as though he wasn’t entirely certain that was the correct and/or polite adjective. I didn’t really notice that at the time, since my head had exploded, but I managed to ask the title of the book. He didn’t have it quite right, but I am pretty sure it was Crossing: A Memoir, by Dierdre McCoskey. She is a professor at the University of Chicago.
Me: So, did you read it?
GP: No, but J did. She can tell you about it. I went to the discussion, though.
Me: What did you think?
GP: Mm. I don’t like her politics.
Me: What’s wrong with her politics?
GP: Well. She’s an economist and she was talking about minimum wage. She said that it is better for the economy if Wal-Mart is allowed to pay its employees whatever it wants. You know, I am a fiscal conservative and even I think that is wrong.
That was it. That was all he had to say about her. At dinner, I asked J about the book:
J: Yes, I read it twice.
Me: Why did you have to read it twice?
J: It was a lot of information and I wanted to be sure I understood. It’s very…detailed. About the process a person goes through.
Me: GP says he doesn’t like her politics.
J: GP! She said she’s a Libertarian!
GP: I know! That’s what I don’t like!
J went on to tell me that the book club meeting was packed full.. far more people than usual. She expected that people were just curious. I understood her to mean “curious” in a tabloid story kind of way, but I don’t even care. This church – which is not just open to, but led by gay people – invited its parishioners to read and discuss the story of a local lady whose experience was completely foreign to them. They invited the lady to meet with the parish and talk about it.
And my grandfather didn’t mention a man or a woman. He only saw a Libertarian. Happy Pride Day.