A couple of weeks ago I went to a party where I know the hosts pretty well, and had only met some of the guests once, at another party earlier this year. One of the guys who had come alone last time was now there with a partner--a young man from out of state.
The partner and I were probably the two guests who knew the fewest people, so we had a pleasant chat together about travel in Europe, and then when we ran out of things to say about that, we noticed that all the rest of the assembled guests had, indeed, assembled--around his boyfriend.
The boyfriend was recounting how his younger sister is now engaged, and how everyone in his family has been acting happy for her, but how he just can't because he doesn't think it's right for her. Apparently she started going to Bible studies with this guy, and now she shares his faith and they are talking about going on the mission field. They also, evidently, are not living together, because they believe in waiting to have sex until marriage.
This revelation was met with gasps and snickers somewhere in between horror and scorn, and that was when it hit me: virginity is the new homosexuality. To the majority, it's scandalous. What person in his or her right mind would wait around and just hope all aspects of a relationship were going to be okay without checking it out first? Not to mention that the drive for sex is natural and surely depriving oneself of it is unhealthy on a whole lot of levels.
The entire scenario suddenly seemed utterly familiar--and yet utterly surreal. It was like going to a party full of evangelicals, where one of them, with deep sorrow and genuine concern, related that their younger sibling had come out of the closet and was now living with a partner of the same sex. The reactions from the listeners were identical. The story was almost identical. It was only the roles that were reversed. No one was trying to be unkind. They were sympathising with their friend, who clearly was both distraught over and resigned to what he saw as his sister's poor decisions. Some allusion was made to a parent's unwise decisions, too. I imagine most of the people thought how fortunate it was that at least one of the kids had turned out okay.