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America At The Movies 2016

'I thought I knew what was going on in this country. I was wrong.'

I just got a phone call from an old friend in north Texas. She does a lot of work with law enforcement, especially in the area of domestic violence counseling and response. I hope she will not mind me saying, but she’s a tough Texas chick. She called to tell me what she and her teenage son dealt with last night at the movies in Frisco, a prosperous suburb of Dallas.

“I thought I knew what was going on in this country,” she said. “I was wrong.”

She had taken her teenage son to see the Captain America: Civil War movie for his birthday. In line behind them waiting to buy tickets stood several men in their early 30s who were obviously transgendered, and a young woman who presented as a man, though was plainly a female. My friend, “N.”, said the group started talking about sex, including their favorite positions, their favorite sex toys, you name it. One of the group was 20; an older transgender said to him, “You’re just a kid now, but when you turn 21, we’re going to take you out and get you broken in.” They proposed an orgy.

On and on like this. And more transgenders joined them, not waiting in line, but moving towards the front to stand with their friends. N. told me that the trans group was very aware of itself, and did not care who heard their filthy talk.

N. said, “I’ve been molested. I’ve been raped. If this had been a group of men talking that way about their sexual adventures, I wouldn’t have had any problem going up to them and asking them to tone it down. But I was scared of this group. They were so angry. You could feel it coming off of them.”

“Why didn’t you go to the theater management and ask them to say something to the transgenders?” I said.

“Because the group would have known it was me,” she said. “I would have had to have left the line. Plus, in this environment, I doubted that they would have done anything. Nobody wants to risk being called a bigot.”

She said that after they went into the theater, but before the movie started, the trans group continued their foul, verbally abusive behavior. N. asked her son if he wanted to go to the bathroom before the movie started. He told her he did not feel safe doing that.

“Rod, I have gay and lesbian friends. I have a bi friend,” she said. “None of them behave like that. I’ve never seen anything like it. They were egging each other on. And the sense of rage coming off those people — it was evil. And here’s the thing: this was not in Austin, this was not in Deep Ellum [hipster Dallas neighborhood], this was in the far north suburbs.

“This was not at the fringes. It’s in a town that’s home to three of the biggest churches in Texas!”

It was just one night at the movies, granted. And any sort of person could be a jackass at the movies. What got to N. was that this trans group — she described them as over 20 people — was so confident in itself that its members thought they had no responsibility to anybody else around them to respect civility. That, and the fact that nobody dared to confront them over their obnoxious behavior, either not wanting the hassle, or thinking that nothing would be done by the authorities running the theater, because trans folk are this week’s Chosen People. That’s all a theater chain needs: national headlines saying that it is HATEFUL to trans people.

“I was thinking, ‘Well, sign me up for the Benedict Option,” she said.

After our conversation, N. texted:

I found it very ironic that we went to see the movie Civil War last night. What I watched go on outside that theater while we were in line and inside that theater made me realize a civil war is coming. It is undeniable at this point. I kept thinking, someday. You know how you think that? ‘Someday it’ll get bad. Someday we’ll have to take a hard stand. Someday people will be persecuted for their beliefs.’

Rod, it’s not someday anymore. It is in our face. And I can easily see where this erupts into extreme violence. I can easily see where a civil war is coming. …

I don’t know which would be worse, Hillary and her liberalism, or Trump with his hatred and his wolf in sheep’s clothing politics. But it’s about to get really, really bad.

What makes this a Thing, in my view, is that my friend, and every other person in that line and in the theater who was subjected to this filth, felt afraid to say a word to these disgusting loudmouths — or, it appears, to ask management to do something about it. This, for fear that the scene might get ugly — and that authorities would not do anything about it, for fear of being called bigots. And this, in Texas.

The movie theater incident is a Broken Window Moment. We will have plenty more of them.

UPDATE: Comments closed because of trolls.