Friday, February 20, 2009

Hate and Ugliness is All I See

Yesterday I was accosted on the street simply because I am gay. I was walking home with one of my gay friends after class. We weren't doing anything "gay." We were just walking. I guess something in my inflection or expressions as I talked, or maybe the way that I walked prompted two teenage kids to shout, "Hey, I think they're Homos. Their Faggots! Look at them they totally want to hold hands."

They taunted us with insults all the way to my apartment complex down the street.

For some reason this really bothered me. I mean more so than other things do. I can handle the prop 8 sign in the window across from my room. I can handle facebook friends joining prop 8 groups and even saying stupid things about gay marriage. I can handle anonymous emails blasting me for a newspaper article. But this- this felt hostile. This made me feel vulnerable. How did they know? What betrayed me?

I know that teenagers are prone to stupidity and are likely to say things that shouldn't be taken seriously, but this wasn't the product of ignorance. They were trained to hate. Their parents, their society, their legislators teach them to disapprove of gays and be vocal about it. When I see what Senator Buttars says, how can I be surprised at what these two kids say (not that these kids would even know who Buttars is).

The whole experience has just made me know that I have to get out of Utah. It's beyond saving. I am not safe here, and I am safe elsewhere. For God's sake, even North Dakota will allow it's gay citizens the right to keep their jobs and homes.


El Genio said...

There's always California :)

Although they did just raise our taxes :/

Ezra said...

I would have turned around and said "how'd you like to get your ass kicked by a faggot?"


Sorry you had that experience. Come to California, I'd be happy to have you as a neighbor.

Alan said...

You tell 'em, Ezra. I would have joined you in half a second. Whup those candy-ass punks and let 'em know just who did it.

Sorry, Dan, just couldn't hold that in. I totally agree with you. Come to CA, WE would love to have you as a neighbor. I know others who are already considering it, for exactly the same reason. If what you saw is typical, then God help Utah because nobody else can.

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

This state is shameful. It makes me ashamed that I even live here.

Scot said...

I'm sorry that happened, and I know how it can hurt.

The first time such began happening to me I ended up choking a kid, and right in the U's Student Union; it still makes me smile :-). Ever since, though, I've decided to just walk away. I think keeping calm and not letting it get to the point where you're hurt or you're hurting another is the best path... You never know how things can escalate with anger on either side. However, I can tell you which is the more enjoyable in retrospect and it's not the pacifist's path :-).

Beck said...

Not too long ago, I had crossed the street in Brigham City with my wife and she forgot something in the car, so I crossed back to the car in the crosswalk to get it and as I did so, there were some older teenage guys in a big jacked-up truck honking at me and yelling at me calling me a "queer" and a "homo" and to get off their street and out of their town.

All I was doing was walking across the street - alone - and my wife was on the other side of the street! What did I do to cause this? I wasn't doing anything to provoke them.

I am very sorry for your incident and the feelings they have stirred. Yes, there's always California (or North Dakota), but for me right now there is only Utah and trying not to be provoked.


This used to happen to me ALL THE TIME. I always felt the same way.. "what gave me away? I'm not wearing a pink prada jumpsuit here!" But since I moved to new york I NEVER get catcalled anymore, unless its in Chelsea by someone who is definitely gay as well. Don't worry, it will get better when you get out of the bubble.