In 1997 when that special episode of the Ellen Show was airing across the country, the local affiliate invited me and a small group of lesbians to watch the show alongside a group of far right homophobes.
In particular I remember a pastor and his wife. I remember them well for two reasons 1) because he referenced his wife in every single sentence just to be sure no one mistook either of them for gay and 2) because of what happened right after the show ended.
So there we all were on opposite sides of a big conference room table. Our side was laughing way to hard at everything and they looked like a lemon had been sewn into their twisted mouths.
During commercial breaks the news reporter would ask our reaction to the show.
They would say it was eroding the very foundation of society and we said it was very, very funny.
So afterward, the pastor's wife came up to me still scowling and took issue with me and everything I stand for. I told her the show was over and I'm talking to other people and I don't have any interest in listening to any more of her bile.
With that I turned my back and returned to my conversation. I could feel her bewildered rage percolating as she remained there behind me. Then she started poking me with her bony finger and said "You're going to listen to me."
I turned slowly and gave her a look that communicated that putting her hands on me was... unwise.
She stopped and I turned back to my conversation again but I could still feel her behind me fuming.
About a minute goes by and she's still behind me quietly blazing with rage. And finally she just erupts and screams at the top of her lungs:
"You are just as hateful as we are!!!"
It was surreal and oddly funny. But mostly I remember thinking: How arrogant that you think I have to listen to your poison whenever you feel like dumping it on me.
Begone, you have no power here.