About three blocks south of the Double Trouble bar is Cupcakes, but an extra three blocks will get you to Starbucks. On this Sunday evening Dan and I walked past Cupcakes to Starbucks, where I bought a a caffe misto, and then back. The sign above Cupcakes is pink and illustrated with a single pink frosted cupcake. Inside the walls are pink and you have your choice of chocolate cake or yellow cake cupcakes. If you buy a dozen, the owner will wrap them up for you in a lovely pink box, but buy one singly and you'll only receive a pink napkin. No drinks are served at Cupcakes whatsoever; it's all cupcakes all the time.

Yet, there is a perfect sidewalk patio at Cupcakes, weather permitting. Somehow, on this November night, the weather is permitting and we take a table outside.

Mmmmkkaayyy, so spill about this little trisk you had last week,” Dan starts.

I peel the wrapper off my chocolate cupcake exposing its moist cake and say, “Oh, I don't know cupcake, it's the oldest story in the book. Boy meets boy, boy introduces boy to second boy, and boy ends up on bear-skinned rug in some strange bedroom.”

"I think...” I start to say as a car screeches by at top speed and from it someone yells, “GOD HATES FAGS!”

"...I think they were talking to you, fag,” I say.

"God himself told me sometime ago he hates you…fag!” Dan responds drinking out of a Starbucks cup that I do not recall him purchasing.

"Are you drinking a bubble gum martini from the Double Trouble?” I ask sharply.

"Yeah.” Dan responds and then adds, “Listen, you think I could respectably sit at Cupcakes drinking out of that ridiculous styrofoam cup that drag queen slash bartender poured my martini into?”

"So the whole purpose of going to Starbucks was to upgrade the status of your cup?”

"I figured you’d want coffee, too,” Dan says, his voice fading.

I sit back into my roomy chair. A few moments of silence pass and then I ask, “What exactly possesses someone to say such nonsense, anyway?”

"They're just kids,” Dan apologizes.

"Yeah, but is that an excuse or a symptom?” I question. Then continue without giving Dan an opportunity to respond, “I mean society gives them the permission. These kids are simply repeating what our righteous leaders are saying and saying ever more freely.”

"You have dirty politicians using homophobic speech just to win elections, and religious organizations whose sole purpose is to ensure our continued repression. Did you know that Ohio had a gubernatorial candidate who compared gays to animals? Did you know that Mitt Romney, the governor of Massachusetts, is forcing the legislature to place a referendum on gay marriage for the simple benefit of positioning himself for a presidential bid in 2008?”

"What’cha going to do?” Dan says with an expression on his face that lets me know he wants me to stop.

"We could prosecute these people. You know you can be held responsible for inciting a riot. Gunshots, words, it doesn’t matter. Yet, no one takes notice of the injury caused to gay or transgender people due to this kind of provocation. People who spew hate do not have to actually push a young person off a bridge or bash a gay person, they realize they only need to create the atmosphere that in the end pushes that young person to suicide and provides the motive for the gay basher. What is it the Republicans have been saying for the past six years, ‘Elections have consequences?’ -- HATE SPEECH HAS CONSEQUENCES, TOO!”

"You know last week I was feeling this onslaught of negativity and what did I do? I went to a gay bar, where I hung out with gay friends and ended up having gay sex. There is nothing right about that response. If my personal life included regular homophobic pain, I would probably end up doing just that more often with the result being alcoholism or, god forbid, acquiring AIDS. We have become so desensitized to gay hate that it only filters in subconsciously and manifests itself in all manner of self-destructive behaviors.”

"The only way to help ourselves is to fight the hate,” and then, choking a bit, “We need to hold those people who are injuring us responsible.”

"I see,” Dan says, unaffected.

"Just eat your gin soaked cupcake, why don’t you,” I say, shaking my head.