Remember when you were in elementary school and everything was gay? Skinny jeans — that's gay. Baggy jeans — that's gay. Holding hands — that's gay. Yogurt — that's gay.

The point is, kids are assholes, and elementary school (for some of us, at least) was back in those days when pesky little things like political correctness and accepting those who are different from you was frowned upon. Thankfully this is 2017, a time when such bigotry would seem ridiculous to any sane person. Right?

Times have changed since then.

Homosexuality is no longer used as a pejorative, except by a certain subset of people (*ahem* homophobes and white supremacists).

That is unless, of course, they're using the word gay in the classical sense — as a synonym for the word happy.

Appropriate examples of this would be, "Today is a beautiful and gay day. The sun is shining, the clouds are puffy, and the entire world is gay." Or, "What a lovely gay dress you've got on. It makes me feel positively gay."

Wait, who are we kidding — the world hasn't changed since then. In fact it's gotten worse.

Republicans are rolling back protections for LGBTQ people, the President of the United States, who, by the way, has been proclaimed "The Most Anti-LGBTQ President In U.S. History," says employers can fire employees for being gay.

In fact, the Trump administration has even gone so far as to back a baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple.

Citing the baker's First Amendment rights, the administration said that the baker, Jack Phillips, should be exempt from Colorado's anti-discrimination law because "making custom cakes is a form of free expression."

We cite all this to say that the current zeitgeist is particularly conducive to the most virulently childish and homophobic impulses in people (already) inclined to childishness and homophobia.

Case in point: conservative Pennsylvania Republican Daryl Metcalfe, an extreme tea party legislator who has spent his 18-year career systematically disenfranchising the poor, the brown, the LGBTQ, the female — basically, if you're not a heterosexual white guy, you're not worth much in Metcalfe's eyes.

Except, as it turns out, even heterosexual white guys can be the subject of Metcalfe's ire.

On Tuesday, Metcalfe, who is chairman of the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee (an amorphous entity that has done its best to disenfranchise minorities of all stripes statewide) was moderating a discussion on a land use bill.

When minority chair Matthew Bradford, D-Montgomery, touched his arm politely to make an interjection, things went from zero to hysterical homophobic fury.

"I’m a heterosexual," Metcalfe said, taking umbrage with this steamy — nay, practically salacious attempt to get a word in edgewise. "I have a wife, I love my wife, I don’t like men, as you might, but — stop touching me all the time."

Metcalfe didn't end there.

He was obviously disturbed by this, er, lecherous attempt to distract him from pressing political matters, so he then added, "If you want to touch somebody, you have people on your side of the aisle that might like it. I don’t." Because all Democrats are secretly gay and Republicans have nothing to hide, right?

People, understandably, didn't take well to this political equivalent of elementary school bigotry.

The Democratic Party quickly called for Metcalfe's resignation, noting that his words were homophobic and inappropriate. Of course, this is nothing to say of his policies, which are, quite frankly, horrifying.

But Metcalfe isn't backing down.

He noted that Bradford's sensual touches may be an ill thought-out attempt to bait him into anger. "Staff members and other members have said they thought [Bradford] was doing it routinely throughout the meetings to try and provoke me," Metcalfe said, further opining that Bradford's attempts at political seduction were tantamount to battery, although he has no current plans to sue for his pain and suffering.

Furthermore, Metcalfe had some words on the scandalous actions of modern "homosexuals."


"It’s routine in our society now, that homosexuals can flaunt their sexuality in our faces," Metcalfe said. "But me as a heterosexual, I say I’m a heterosexual, and somehow that’s going to be offensive to people?"

Bradford, for his part, had a more measured reaction about his colleague's gay hysteria.

"The chairman’s a unique guy. I’ve never seen anyone go from there to melting down in an anti-gay diatribe," he said, further adding that he has learned to keep his hands to himself in the future. Good for him.