"When you're a child, you look up to an adult as an authoritative figure. That's why it's so barbaric when an adult [says homophobic things]. You're killing people, literally. Or if you don't kill them literally, you just bash the shit out of their soul," he says. "It's hard enough to tell your parents when you know they're very open-minded. I can only fucking imagine how hard it is to tell your parents when you've heard them say horrible things."
When it comes to those adults, Glass has no delusions that he'll pry open a rusted-shut mind. "If someone is incredibly homophobic, I'm probably not going to change their views. But I guess my goal is to take people that are 90 percent open-minded and have them go that extra 10."
As an undeclared gay man, he was privy to the secret conversations of self-identified liberal straight people for years. He's heard them express shock and disgust at stories of gay-bashing and teens driven to suicide. He's also heard them come up with what they believe are logical reasons why gay people shouldn't get married or adopt children. He figures that's the last 10 percent of homophobia their minds are clinging to.
"A lot of people think that last 10 percent isn't homophobic, but I don't know what to call it," he says. "It doesn't make them feel awesome when you're holding back that 10 percent. Doesn't make a kid overhearing you feel awesome. And if your goal is to make a young child feel fucking awesome about who he is, go that last 10 percent. Go for it. Fucking try it."
Todd Glass performs Thu., March 22, 8 p.m.; Fri., March 23, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.; Sat., March 24, 7:30 (sold out) and 10 p.m.; $16-$33; Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St., 215-496-9001, heliumcomedy.com.