Right after I transitioned, I was living in the suburbs outside Washington, DC. I went down to the National Mall fairly frequently, and one sunny afternoon, I was on my way to some museum or other. Exiting the Metro at the Smithsonian station, I walked along the Mall, and encountered a guy with a sign and a bullhorn–a street preacher.
He saw me, and began immediately bellowing into his bullhorn about the sins of the gay lifestyle and how “transgenders” are going to whatever hell his particular version of god has made up for evil people like me. I walked over to him, calmly jerked the bullhorn out of his hands, and set it on the ground. Then I said, “Sir, is everything you need for living in that book you’ve got in your hand?”
“Everything!” he yelled, almost triumphantly–and totally not seeing where I was going with this.
“And you believe every word of it is the literal truth?” “Absolutely!”
“Great, then show me the scripture, right now, please, which says you’re supposed to be rude to me in public places. Because that’s what you were doing just now.”
He vapor-locked. Because, you see, I know his Bible better than he did, and know full well there’s no such scripture. None. While he was standing there with his mouth flapping soundlessly, a policeman strolled up.
“Problem here?” “No, sir,” I replied with my best you-wonderful-MAN-you smile.
“Whose bullhorn is this?” he asked, probably already knowing the answer.
The preacher unlocks his brain, and said, “It’s mine! I’ve a right to free speech!”
“You do,” the officer not-unkindly said, “but on the National Mall, using one is interpreted as a demonstration. Do you have a permit? The fine for demonstrating without a permit is kinda steep.”
“Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7b) The preacher grabbed his bullhorn off the ground, and ran away like he’d been shot from a cannon. The police officer chose not to pursue him, and asked me if I was okay. I thanked him, and strolled on.