Monday, 27 April 2015

Help! My Boss is a Massive Homophobe!

Okay, so I do try not to talk about work on here too much. It's not really all that interesting and, although I've been fairly free and easy with talking about my previous few jobs every now and again (ask me in real life and I'll tell you), there's a certain taboo about being open with your occupation when you write an anonymous blog which has at several points mentioned your penis.

Or maybe there is. I don't know. I've never really broached the subject.

Needless to say, my work situation is just as slapdash and chaotic as it always has been, a fact slightly complicated by my being in a position of some authority, although it's not exactly specified as to what I'm meant to be doing some of the time; I'm currently working in a position where there's very little contact with the client base although that's the entire point of the job. Bits of it happen in an office where there's only one other member of staff.

He is my de facto boss by virtue of the fact that he's the one who gives me the cash at the end of the day. He clearly knows nothing about the industry, but he seems okay.

Until this morning.

He is a fundamentalist; I have no problem with this as long as he's not trying to shove his beliefs down any throats (read: mine). Upon finding out that I am a Christian a week or so ago he detained me after work to draw me a diagram of all the main prophets up to and including Muhammad (pbuh) and how God gave them all the messages via the Angel Gabriel and therefore absolutely every word in the Qur'an (and the Bible and the Torah) is true - this is a doctrine to which I don't adhere, which is clear from the fact that I have had sex before marriage, enjoyed pornography, allowed women into a place of worship without wearing a hat, and refrained from burning my mother to death because she's planted two different crops in the same field.

He did seem to agree with me when I suggested that his religion and mine are very similar, which suprised me, but then became very dismissive when I mentioned Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism, calling them false religions.

Hooray tolerance.

Anyway, this morning he turned up fifteen minutes late and I was beginning to seriously doubt if he would ever manifest; he did, and I went to work for a bit, returning to his office in the break room to find him staring at a picture of the wedding photo of Kieron Richardson from Hollyoaks.

"Heh! Look at this, ILB, look!"
"Yes. It's very sweet."
"Bastards!"
"...what?"
"What are they DOING?"

"They're... well, they're getting married."
"But it's wrong!"
"...wrong?"
"Yes! There are all these beautiful women around them and they're marrying each other! It's awful!"

I blinked.

"I don't think so."
"This is terrible."
"I don't think so. I've always been a proponent of gay marriage," I explained.
"You have?"
"Really?"

"Yes."
"You?"
"Yes."

"But it's in the Holy Scriptures..."
"No it isn't. There's one passage in Leviticus which, according to interpretation, could be said to prohibit gay sex, but there's very little supporting evidence to back up this claim, and besides, very few believers I know apply the laws in the Old Testament to their daily lives. I've read interpretations by gay Biblical scholars which suggest that, given the context of the passage, it could be referring to the practice of worshipping other gods instead; also, I don't remember Moses or Jesus saying anything about gay marriage in their teachings, although feel free to correct me about Muhamm..."

I then noticed that he clearly wasn't listening. He'd probably turned off the first time I said the word "gay". I used this opportunity to turn the conversation to the job I was meant to be doing and defused the situation by opening GMail.

My boss then started to talk about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as outlined in Qur’an 7:81-82, although several modern-day scholars argue for a different interpretation of the narrative focusing not on the alleged homosexuality existing within the city but on the infidelity of the tribe and their rejection of the prophethood of Lut. There's a similar story in the Book of Genesis, and I read that recently, so I'm well aware of this.

I was hard-pressed not to just get up and walk out.

I've had my issues with this before, although I feel more justified in complaining when it's my church that's being homophobic; I've certainly had no problem with reconciling "non-traditional sexuality" and Christianity. However, since my boss is a Muslim, this is a difficult situation. If he broaches the subject again (and I suspect he might), I ought to stand up to him, as I find his comments outdated and offensive, plus potentially damaging and destructive. I've read about people acting like this, but to actually be on the receiving end in real life put me completely on the wrong foot and made me genuinely upset.

As you can imagine.

I'd love to be able to come back with something reasonable to say if this happens again without insulting his religion (or mine, or anyone else's...!), but I've very little idea how if he's going to just ignore me when I start talking!

 So what do I do?

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