Calling on John Wayne to confront a bigot

the-guardianMolly Priddy, a reporter for the Flathead Beacon who did an internship at the Billings Gazette when I still worked there, recently summoned her inner cowboy to stand up to a homophobic man at a Whitefish restaurant.

Writing in The Guardian, Priddy tells of how she and her wife, out to dinner with two other women who had just gotten engaged, overheard the anti-gay mutterings of the man at the next table. At first she wasn’t sure how to respond.

But within seconds, I settled on the answer I already knew I would, the one I’d learned from my Montana upbringing: I was going to stand up to this guy.

Framed in the blush of my face, my eyes caught his.

“Is there a problem?” I asked, hoping he didn’t hear the slight tremor in my voice.

This was my renegade cowboy moment, the one I’d been preparing for my whole life watching men like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood chew on cigarillos, sneer at obstacles, and then grunt one-liners about them as they rode away, alone and victorious.

I won’t steal any more of her thunder. Just go ahead and read the whole thing yourself.

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