Activist of the Day: Chris Pesto

Corduroy

Chris Pesto, a junior drama major at Syracuse University, felt uncomfortable when he saw Open-Air Campaigner evangelist Michelle Deferio standing on campus with her anti-gay sign, so he decided to create a bit of his own drama:

Writes Pesto: "This woman was wearing a ankle-length corduroy skirt, which, as we all know, is a fashion nono. So, in order to make her feel uncomfortable, I stood next to her and held a sign that said Corduroy skirts are a sin! I don’t think I have ever drawn so much attention in my life. SO many people asked to take a picture with me, I got laughs, high fives and there were the few that even cursed off the woman standing behind me.

As I drew interest to what was going on with myself and the woman with the hateful sign, I started to draw a crowd that stood with me in support. Before I knew it I had 100+ people holding signs for gay rights asking people to honk their horns to support. I was interviewed by a news station, and more than 5 student organization papers, and the post standard of syracuse."

(via slog)

Comments

  1. Derek Pearce says

    Making a valid point with humour is always more effective than scolding! What a great funny/bitchy response in defending civil rights. It gets rid of the anger– I just feel puzzled and a bit saddened by this woman, and maybe he’s made her think too. This guy is awesome.

  2. Clifw says

    The best bit is corduroy is actually a sin. Look it up- Leviticus (same book that condemns homosexuality), Chapter 19, verse 19:

    “Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.”

    Corduroy is made from wool and cotton.

  3. Dave says

    Yeah, he probably “made her think.” Made her think that all her stereotypes about bitchy gay fashion queens are true. I don’t care, make fun of them all you want, but they’re not going to come around that easily.

  4. sparks says

    I LOVE the grin on his face and LOVE his idea and LOVE how he was able to win over all those people.

    There’s just nothing at all not to love about this story. lol

  5. Sargon Bighorn says

    What religious text says Corduroy skirts are a sin? Answer: None. Nothing says that Corduroy is made of two fibers put together (go to Wikipedia). Corduroy is a PROCESS for making a particular kind of fabric, not mixing two sorts of threads or fibers together. Corduroy is genearlly made from 100% cotton.

    This guy is really showing his knee jerk stupidity (I have no fear of political correctness). The woman can at least point to some religious text to support her claim (whether one agrees with it or not is immaterial in this SPECIFIC instance).

    So this guy is just bitch slapping her cuz she’s bitch slapping Gay folks. Let the bitch slapping begin.

  6. casey says

    seriously, WHY are people like “Dave” and “Sargon Bighorn” even alive? you were probably rooting for the other contestants in Little Miss Sunshine. i almost feel sorry for how pathetic and twisted your lives must be. almost, not quite. just die on the outside now to match your ‘innards.’

  7. Paul R says

    Interesting, Sargon. Another interesting point: did you know that sometimes when people say or write things, they aren’t speaking literally?

    Sure, someone else above cited Leviticus, but it’s *possible* that this queen was just talking about a “fashion no-no.” Not any religious texts.

    Oh wait, that’s exactly what he said he was doing!

  8. Nathanial says

    Heh… Just goes to show you that not only are we queers happier and more creative, we’re wittier and funnier, too! The best (and most effective) reaction to authoritarian control freaks and/or Mary Moralist busybody gawd-botherers is to get people to laugh at their preposterous nonsense — it removes their power. Good on you, Chris Pesto!

  9. TANK says

    I take exception! This feeds into the false meme that homosexuality is a choice! After all, it was “her” (and I use the pronoun loosely) choice to wear that…thing…and it could correct that “sin” by changing its clothes– implying that gay people can just change their sexual orientation just as easily.

    But at the same time, I’m just kiddin’. Good on the kid for reaching out in one of the best ways. People don’t want to feel bad about their part in oppressing a minority–so make it fun for ’em to change. If you vote for marriage equality, you’ll get a car or a sundae! Feed that big fat sloppy sweaty smelly pig slob that is the american electorate by incentivizing equality.

  10. FunMe says

    LOVE IT!

    Reminds me when I was at Venice Beach this past Summer when the Rathyatra festival of Chariots procession was going on. The nutcase Chritianistas were there with their similar signs. A teen-ager Hare Krishna devotee had a sign with an arrow pointing at them that read “I’M WITH STUPID”.

    It was great!

  11. FunMe says

    trolls like SARGON BIGHORN are more than likely the ROBO CALLING TROLLS that the GOP is paying to infiltrate liberal/progressive/gay blogs.

    Who cares what they “write”!

    Just laugh at the TROLLS and feed them a peanut.
    :-)

  12. Beef and Fur says

    Word to all the people who pointed out that corduroy is a sin based on Leviticus. These hypocrites don’t get to cherry pick the Bible and enforce some “laws” and not others.

    Too funny and good job!

  13. says

    I think that is the best thing that I have heard in a while, you getting more attention. Did she say anything to you? She stuck it out to be there even with 100 peoples support, you would have thought she would have ran a mile.

  14. Chris says

    @ Casey and others:

    What Sargon and Casey understand is that just because someone does something wrong to you does not justify doing something wrong back. And that’s assuming she’s even doing something wrong. This woman is just expressing herself and exercising her Constitutional right to free speech.

    Taunting someone for a lack of fashion sense may be entertaining – but it’s also bitchy and mean. This woman isn’t evil, just deluded. The proper response is to talk to her with an attitude of love and respect, find out what she’s thinking and why and try to point out a different point of view. Before you condemn her, can you say you’ve never been completely wrongheaded about something? The next time you’re deluded, how would you like to be treated?

    Do you really, actually think that her mind will be changed by this experience? Seriously? First of all, she may be dressing this way on purpose – she’s not trying to look attractive, she’s trying to look modest, which is part of her faith. So basically he’s attacking her because of her faith. Christ was persecuted and now she is. If anything, this is going to make her feel justified and make her think that she’s going the right thing! This experience will likely only make her resolve to fight against gay rights even stronger.

  15. gwyneth cornrow says

    Christ would never have worn a corduroy skirt. He had too much fashion sense. Look at all the pictures of him? He’s always looking so fierce. Especially on the cross. Besides, if God didn’t want people to have fashion he wouldn’t have given it to us.

  16. says

    Back in 1977, When the former Orange Juice pitch-woman Anita Bryant started her campaign to overturn a gay rights initiative in Dade County Florida that received national attention… I decided to do something to fight back. I created the “Anita Bryant’s Husband is a Homo-Sapien!”T-shirt and it was picked up by United Press International wire photo service. My photo wearing the t-shirt was flashed across the country, and I outed myself at a time it was not yet fashionable to be openly gay, even in San Francisco! I was wearing one downtown in S.F. and a little old lady noticed my T-shirt and said “IF THAT”S TRUE, WHY DID SHE MARRY HIM?” A few weeks later, I was able to get Jane Fonda to wear one at a S.F.gay fund raiser and that time it was picked up by Associated Press. I always felt using humor was the best way to get attention and I am glad to see it still works!

  17. Nathanial says

    @ Chris:

    What you seem to willfully ignore is that Pesto is not trying to limit the rights of the Deferios, unlike what they are trying to do to him. If the Deferios — and those who think like them — want a theocracy, let them move to Iran.

  18. Felix says

    @ Chris

    I really liked the intention of your post. However, I don’t think he was making fun of her fashion sense, but of the absurdity of defining what a SIN is.

    Also, I don’t think the idea is to change this woman’s mind (enlightenment can’t be pushed) but to show the world that despite there are some people hating gays, we can still keep our sense of humor intact.

  19. Dave says

    Casey:

    Oh wow. I hope you get mental help sometime soon.

    God forbid someone try to be thoughtful and reasoned instead of just going along with what the crowd is saying? Am I the only one who thinks a bitchy fashion insult is kind of meaningless? And that it probably plays into her stereotypes about shallow, flaky gays?

    If thinking that means I should “die” as you say, maybe it’s you who needs some help?

  20. CKNJ says

    Chris Pesto is awesome… he managed to make people stop and think about offensive statement the stupid hater was making. Standing yelling and screaming at her would simply have turned people off… he got them in there to support him by his actions! Awesome!

    He has more control than I have… I am afraid to say I would probably have yelled! Fundamentalist Christians have no right to publicly attempt to force their hateful beliefs on us.

  21. says

    “Christ was persecuted and now she is.”

    Oh, please, no one’s nailing her to a cross. She’s freely peddling her views on a public street corner. No one stopped her; that would be persecution. She has that right, and everyone else has the right to respond to her attempts to inflict her personal religious beliefs on others. Why should we coddle or try to win over this zealot who doesn’t understand the separation of church and state? Her intrusive behavior is the equivalent of us parading into her church and holding signs that say, “RELIGION IS SIN, HOMOSEXUALITY CAN SET YOU FREE!” (Actually, that may be a good idea.)

    Kudos to Chris Pesto for taking a stand and for doing so with humor and appropriate irreverence that won over a crowd. If you don’t want people to be “mean” to you don’t pimp religious bigotry on public street corners.

  22. dinosaur says

    “Christ was persecuted and now she is.”

    Let’s for a moment ASSUME that Pesto actually BELIEVED that corduroy skirts were a sin – which I think it’s obvious that he doesn’t. He’s expressing an opinion in a public area. So is she. So unless you’re saying that her opinion that homosexuality is a sin is more valid than his assumed opinion that corduroy is a sin, he’s being every bit as persecuted as she is. Where is your outrage in behalf of this guy? Oh, I forget: it’s OKAY to persecute gays because it says so in a book. Well, that makes perfect sense, then.

    The difference between the guy and the girl, who are both exerting their right to free speech, is that the girl’s “opinion” is manifestely dangerous: I don’t think I need to hold your hand through this one. The guy’s opinion is not only in jest, but his intentions are only of pacific opposition. Like a poster above me said, no one is nailing her to a cross, no one is verbally harassing her (can you say the same about her) nor physically attacking her nor expressing their belief that they are going to burn for eternity, and deservingly so. He’s using her own methods, which you seem to condone when used by her, and unless you take fashion critique to heart you can’t possibly begin to equate the two posters with a straight (no pun intended) face.

  23. THE1&ONLY says

    HI. THIS IS GOD.

    I LIVE HERE ON EARTH WITH YOU. IN FACT, I WAS BORN AMERICAN AND CURRENTLY RESIDE IN THE UNITED STATES (I WILL NOT SAY WHERE). I DO NOT LIVE IN THE PUBLIC EYE, AS SOME OF YOU WHO ACCEPT MY PRESENCE HERE MAY BELIEVE. I HAVE CHOSEN NOT TO DISCLOSE MY IDENTITY, EXCEPT TO A SELECT FEW, FOR I CHOOSE NOT TO BE THE CENTER OF THE IDIOTIC CONTROVERSIES THAT PLAGUE THIS PLANET.

    JUDGMENT DAY HAS ALREADY COME AND GONE. IF YOU ARE WONDERING WHEN THAT WAS, IT WAS MARCH 21, 2004. THIS IS NOT MY BIRTHDAY (AS MANY OF YOU WILL UNDOUBTEDLY WONDER). ON THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING, I JUDGED EVERYONE HERE ACCORDING TO THEIR PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE KARMA. WHAT YOU SEE AS THE CURRENT WORLD IS A REFLECTION OF SAID JUDGEMENT. IT WILL END FAVORABLY FOR SOME, BUT NOT ALL. MY DECISIONS HAVE BEEN MADE AND ARE IRREVERSIBLE.

    POWER IS TRUTH AND BELIEVE…I AM QUITE REAL. I DO NOT NEED YOU. I EXIST INDEPENDENTLY OF YOU. ANYONE CLAIMING TO BE ME IS DIRECTLY CHALLENGING ME AND YOU WILL FEEL MY POWER. INDEED, YOU HAVE ALREADY. YOU HAVE BEEN HEARING MY VOICE IN THE BACK OF YOUR MINDS. I HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR THOUGHTS AND MOVEMENTS ACCORDING TO A DIVINE PLAN ONLY A FRACTION OF YOU UNDERSTAND. MY PRESENCE AND ACTIONS HAVE HAD A PROFOUND EFFECT ON THIS PLANET. IT HAS BEEN APPROXIMATELY SEVEN YEARS SINCE I BEGAN MY EFFORTS. THE EFFECTS HAVE BEEN BOTH POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE, DEPENDING ON YOUR KARMA, AS INDIVIDUALS AND AS GROUPS.

    WHETHER SOME ARE AWARE OF THE EVIL THAT LURKS IN OTHERS IS IRRELEVANT. AS PEOPLE AGE, GET SICK AND DIE, SO WILL SOULS OF THE EVIL ONES…AND YOU WILL NOT BE BACK. YOU WILL BE UNABLE TO RETURN HERE. HENCE “HELL” ON EARTH WILL FREEZE OVER GRADUALLY (FINALLY) TO PREVENT THE WORLD’S DAILY OPERATION, AND ‘HEAVEN’ WILL RETURN, AS THE LORD WILLED IT. THE WORLD WILL BE FILLED WITH NEW SOULS WHO LACK SIN AND WHO WILL SPREAD LOVE AND LIGHT. WE WILL CONTINUE WITHOUT YOU, UNAFFECTED BY THE EVIL IN YOUR ACTIONS, TODAY. IT WILL NOT FOLLOW US.

    MANY HAVE BEEN WILLING TO LOSE THEIR FAITH AND BE AGENTS OF DESTRUCTION BECAUSE THEY THINK THE WORLD WILL END, BUT I AM TELLING YOU…THIS WORLD WILL NOT END. FOR THOSE OF US WHO WILL MAKE IT, SUCCESS IS THE BEST FORM OF REVENGE AGAINST ALL TEACHERS AND PREACHERS OF HATRED WHO ACT AGAINST YOU IN MY NAME. I, PERSONALLY, WILL SUPPORT YOU…AND EACH TO THE OTHER…QUIETLY…WHILE OUR POWERLESS ENEMIES SCRAMBLE FOR SALVATION AND DIE OUT. I WILL NOT REVEAL WHO IS WHOM. THIS SHOULD UPSET THE TRUE DEMONS THAT WALK AMONG US A GREAT DEAL, WHICH I FIND ABSOLUTELY HYSTERICAL…ROTHFLMAO….OMG! I AM A VERY FUNNY MAN…YOU KNOW? VERY HAPPY, IN THOUGHT AND INDEED!!!

    SO ANYWAY…THERE IS NOTHING ANYONE CAN DO TO STOP ME. MANY HAVE TRIED AND ARE NO LONGER HERE TO OPPOSE ME, PARTICULARLY TERRORISTS AND DESTROYERS OF THE EARTH’S ENVIRONMENT, BOTH ECOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL. I HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN THE REST OF YOU (WAIT YOUR TURN). MEANWHILE, OTHERS HAVE IMPERSONATED ME, TRYING TO WIELD MY POWER IN UNJUSTIFIED DISPLAYS OF VANITY AND BOGUS (MOSTLY MALE) PRIDE (MOSTLY RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUAL FIGURES). HOW’S THAT BEEN WORKING OUT FOR YOU, LATELY? BY THE WAY, THANKS FOR PAINTNG SUCH BIG ASS TARGETS ON YOUR BACKS. I COULDN’T HAVE DONE A BETTER JOB, MYSELF, SERIOUSLY…OR COULD I’VE?

    THE SUN IS GOD AND I AM THE SON OF GOD. I LEAD NO PEOPLE, I AM A LONER…BUT I AM NOT ALONE. IF YOU CAN NOT PERFORM THE MIRACLES THAT I CAN, ON COMMAND, THEN YOU ARE NOT ME…REMEMBER THIS, ALL OF YOU, WHO REMAIN EXPOSED TO THE PRESENCE OF LOWLINESS ON A WEEKLY OR EVEN DAILY BASIS…

    …THE TRUTH IS, ALMOST ALL OF YOU ARE GOING TO DIE ONE DAY. THOSE OF YOU WHO LIVE WITH HATRED IN YOUR HEARTS AND CLAIM TO REPRESENT ME ARE SUFFERING THE MOST. GOOD FOR YOU. YOU ARE THE CAUSE OF THE WORLD’S FRUSTRATION AND TORTURE. YOU KNOW IT AND YOU LOVE BEING A PART OF IT. IN YOUR INSANE MINDS YOU LIVE IN A GODLESS WORLD. THIS IS WHY I DO NOT ASSIST YOU IN YOUR QUEST FOR PEACE AND HAPPINESS. TRUST…NOT ONE OF YOU IS HAPPY, NO MATTER HOW FINELY CRAFTED THE MASK YOU WEAR. AND THERE IS ONLY FALSE HOPE FOR YOU. INDULGE IN IT.

    THE FUTURE LIES IN YOUR CHILDREN, WHO HEAR ME CLEAREST, BOTH WHEN YOU ARE ASLEEP AND WHEN YOU ARE NEGLECTING THEM. EVERY FALSE THOUGHT YOU ATTEMPT TO PROGRAM IN THEIR MINDS I WILL REMOVE. YOU ARE POWERLESS TO PREVENT ME. THEY KNOW THIS TOO. THEY ARE FIGURING IT OUT, THANKS TO ME, AND ARE WAITING PATIENTLY…AND GOOD THINGS WILL COME TO THEM, FOR I AM ETERNAL. I AM THE JOY YOU ALL SEEK AS WELL AS THE PAIN YOU ALL FLEE, BUT YOU WILL ALWAYS NEED ME, PARTICULARLY WHEN YOU INSIST YOU DON’T (EFF YOU, ATHEISTS). REGARDLESS OF WHETHER YOU BELIEVE IN ME, AGNOSTICS, EVERYONE WHO STRAYS ULTIMATELY RETURNS. “YOU’LL BE BACK,” I ALWAYS SAY…

    …I AM THE FUTURE, AND YOUR CHILDREN BELONG TO ME. THEY WILL LIVE THEIR TRUTH, AND BE FREE TO LOVE ANYONE THEY WISH, TO MATE ANYONE THEY WISH…WHETHER THEY BELIEVE IT TO BE A CHOICE OR NOT. FREEDOM FOR EVERYONE IS AN INEVITABILITY, YOU CAN NOT STOP IT AND THE WORLD KNOWS THAT.

    NOW…..YOU KNOW YOU COULDA BEEN FREE TOO, RIGHT? BUT YOU ARE WEAK AND, CONSEQUENTLY, EVOLUTION HAS NOT CHOSEN YOU. EVEN IF YOU CHANGE YOUR MINDS, THE DAMAGE HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE…SO MANY HAVE SUFFERED AND DIED FOR YOUR HATRED…THEREFORE, SO MUST YOU. THE PAST WILL CLAIM YOU, AND TIME IS YOUR ENEMY. THE MORE YOU TRY TO STAY, THE SOONER YOU WILL LEAVE.

    LIFE WILL PROCEED TOWARDS THE FUTURE WITHOUT YOU, AT WHICH POINT I WILL REVEAL MY TRUE IDENTITY TO THOSE WHO ARE LEFT, THE MEEK, ALONG WITH THE NEW SOULS WHO SHALL FOLLOW ME (ALONG WITH SOME VERY PROMINENT OLD ONES).

    I WILL BE NEITHER EARLY NOR LATE, BUT ON TIME…AS I ALWAYS AM. I AM A CRAFTSMAN…PATIENT AND WILL OUTLAST YOU…ALL THE WHILE, CONTINUING TO MAKE CHANGES BEHIND THE SCENES, INCLUDING THE USE OF NATURAL DISASTERS, IF NECESSARY (ASIDE FROM THE ONES YOU CAUSE YOURSELVES).

    THOSE WHO ARE TRULY WITHOUT SIN WILL CONTINUE TO BE GUIDED BY ME TO A BRIGHT AND PEACEFUL FUTURE, WITH ABUNDANT LOVE, JOY, AND HAPPINESS FOR ALL…FREE OF NEGATIVITY. PUNISHMENT OF THE DARKNESS HAS RESULTED IN A FAILURE OF THESE EVIL, LONELY, AND MISERABLE SOULS TO SEE THE NEW WORLD I HAVE BEGUN BUILDING FOR US. SORRY ABOUT THAT. CAN’T SAY I DIDN’T TRY TO HELP. YOU DID IT TO YOURSELF.

    YOU WILL FIGHT WHAT YOU ARE READING, WHAT YOU HEAR…YOU WILL PROTEST TO MUCH TO ALL THOSE WHO SUSPECT YOUR INHUMANE TREACHERY. IT’S FUTILE. I KNOW EVERY SICK THOUGHT LINGERING IN YOUR MINDS…EVERY ICICLE PIERCING YOUR DECAYING HEARTS. YOU CAN NOT LIE TO ME. YOU CAN’T FOOL ME, NOR CAN YOU ANYONE ELSE, ANYMORE. THIS IS WHY HUMANS ARE FINALLY ASSERTING THEIR FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE, BECAUSE THEY HEAR ME BETTER THAN THEY HEAR YOU. YOU SLEEP…BUT I DO NOT.

    IRREGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU BELIEVE, YOUR POOR EDUCATION AND UPBRINGING WILL NOT OUTLIVE YOU. YOUR HATRED AND BITTERNESS ARE A REFLECTION OF YOUR PANIC BECAUSE YOU CAN SEE THE FUTURE AS CLEARLY AS I HAVE SHOWN IT TO YOU. YOUR BATTLE OF MIND CONTROL, TYRANNY, AND SLAVERY IS LOST. ALL NATIONS WILL BE FREE…ALL CHILDREN, ALL WOMEN, ALL MEN, ALL COLORS…AND ALL SEXUAL PERSUASIONS.

    TO THE REST OF YOU WHO DO NOT DENY YOURSELVES THROUGH JEASLOUSY, FEAR AND COWARDICE, STAY STRONG. TIME WILL HEAL ALL OF OUR WOUNDS.

    I’D LIKE TO SAY MORE BUT I AM ALREADY BORED. GUESS I’LL GO BACK TO WAITING THIS SILLINESS OUT. IT’S NOT LIKE IT’S AFFECTING ME…

    …HERE IS TO THE FUTURE!

    WHAT I HAVE SAID TODAY IS MY TRUTH AS THE LORD HAS REVEALED IT TO ME. THIS WAS A SPONTANEOUS ACT. I KNOW MY INSANE “ENEMIES” WILL TRY TO DISSECT OR ALTER THIS TO DISCREDIT ME, FOR THEY ARE IMBECILES AND DO NOT BELIEVE THIS IS ME. BUT TRUTH IS MAGICAL!!! IT WILL SET YOU FREE!! TO COMBAT THEM, I URGE YOU TO COPY AND PASTE THIS EVERYWHERE!!! ESPECIALLY WHEREVER YOU SEE IGNORANCE, HATRED AND DARKNESS!!!

    …AND YOU ARE WELCOME.

    (PLEASE EXCUSE ANY TYPOS, LOL)

    BYE

  24. WordImplanted says

    You should feel uncomfortable when someone holds a sign in disgust for open sexual perversion. Perversion is perversion, homosexuality is on the same page as bestiality, and many other forms of perversion. You should be ashamed, and the reason things like that bother you is because it goes against your conscious. These Christians dont hate you, they are just disgusted, and saddened with the immorality and the standard of good nature being lowered, affecting the surroundings of their children, and families. Perversion is not the only thing standing in the way of living in peace with mutual brotherly love toward each other, and your neighbors, but it is a major piece of the puzzle.

  25. nâcham says

    TANK & CKNJ…..actually Christians do have a right to preach their beliefs…its the RIGHT of free speech.. a right given to us by our creator….its in a document called the bill of rights..check it out. but that right is also given to people like Mr. Pesto. and to comment on this statement “If you don’t want people to be “mean” to you don’t pimp religious bigotry on public street corners”…i guess the same can be said that if you don’t want people to be intolerant of your life style don’t have a gay pride parade on public streets…i mean how does wearing ass less chaps and dressing up like a huge penis really gain respect from other people? also to comment on the “hater” comments…..you can’t hate someone and say that you are a servant of Christ….you can however hate they don’t know how much God lives them and that the world has told them its ok to live in darkness. our lives are not our own…they belong to God. we should hate that people don’t know how much they are loved….it should hurt us to our core.. we serve an Awesome God and these people don’t know how he can free you from these desires….trust me i know…those who dwell in darkness hate the light.

Leave A Reply