Pope Benedict made some waves last month with his Christmas address for saying, amongst other things, that homosexuality and transsexuality were liable to cause the “self-destruction” of the human race. It hasn’t so far, but perhaps he means sometime in the future we’ll reach a sort of trans critical mass and one Friday night at 2am, an especially loud Church Street drag queen will tip us over into the gender apocalypse.
The Pope also briefly compared the “protection” of humanity from homosexuality to the protection of the rainforest. Aside from being a curiously outdated approach to the climate change concerns of the present decade (when was the last time anybody said “rainforest”? Do we even have any rainforests left?) I think there may be in this the seeds of how the Catholic Church and the homos can finally live together. It’s called “queer offsetting.”
As with the (somewhat dubious) practice of carbon offsetting, in which you arrange for some trees to be planted to make up for the damage to the environment by your carbon-belching SUV, queer offsetting would require queers to plant an appropriate number of trees every time their homosexuality impacts the world around them. So, for instance, an overly camp Christmas pantomime might warrant two or three, and when Pride Week brings all of downtown to a standstill someone better be out there planting a forest.
Or maybe the Catholic Church should stop hiding behind rhetoric about the end of days, admit that “tolerance” is no substitute for acceptance, and turn its attention to something that matters.
Cate Simpson is a freelance journalist and the web editor for Shameless magazine. She lives in Toronto.