Tuesday, July 24, 2007

pride & prejudice, sans jane austen, pt 2

so i'll continue the saga...

after telling the uk court story, i ask bob if he can see the correllation between the two situations. he responds that the poor foster girl is a victim, and that the judge was wrong, but that the reason he was wrong is merely because she's a child. to him, the two dads that had begun our discussion are adults, and therefore cannot be victims. they have the ability to choose their license plate, and to him, shouldn't, because they're asking for trouble.

yep, those women and gays, they're just asking for it, by doing crazy things like buying vanity plates and wearing frilly underwear. they're just tempting those innocent hate-mongers to do something horrid to them. how dare they?!?

from there, the discussion quickly spiralled drainwards. i ask him how he can say that gays are asking for trouble by being themselves? he responds with a comment to which i must first add a little backstory.

a few years ago, joe & dan, aforementioned couple, came out to a party with a group of girls in our neighborhood. said party was fairly lame, so we all decided to trek the two blocks back to my apartment to hang out on our own. while walking back, an SUV stopped in the middle of the street and two large men jumped out, yelled they were 'looking for' joe & dan, and proceeded to assault them, unprovoked, on the sidewalk. it was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life, and i can't even begin to understand how much more difficult it was for them. neither of them had ever even been in a fight before, let alone the victims of violent gay bashing. discrimination prevailed every step they took, from the attitude of the police, who insisted joe & dan must've done something to provoke the attack, to the hours in the er, where we were shoved into a private holding room (we were told the blood was scaring the other people in the waiting area), to the fact that my witness statement was the only one counted as testimony, and later the reduction of sentencing to probation by the judge due to an incompetent public defender. never mind the fact that dan's mother is a lawyer and refused to help, and my (former) girlfriend's father asked us what they were doing to incite an attack ('were they holding hands?' he asked before proceeding to tell us to let that be a lesson to us to be careful and discreet in public.) not that it matters, but they weren't even walking next to one another. their only 'crime' was being gay on the sidewalk at 1 or so in the morning.

so this event is obviously one which had a great impact on my life, as well as mary's, as she was one of the people out with the crowd that evening, and has been friends with the two of them even longer than me. bob, having only known us for a short time, dares to respond to my statement about gays asking for trouble by saying

well, look what happened to . they got attacked for nothing. it just proves my point that gays need to watch out.
this was too much for me. i really felt he overstepped boundaries. i mean, how dare he blame two innocent people for getting beaten by some homophobic neanderthals? joe's nose was broken, and dan just missed going blind from a hit and cut right above his eye! and the whole time, mary just sat there, completely refusing to stick up for people she calls her best friends, all in the name of a steady piece of ass. i hit my limit. i excused myself, apologized for not being able to discuss it anymore, and walked out of the restaurant.
i haven't talked to bob since, and when i called mary a week later, she dared to tell me i should apologize to him because i left the restaurant! i told her i left because i was so hurt, and i didn't want them to see me cry. (which i did.) then i added that i couldn't believe she didn't at least stand up for joe & dan, because what bob was saying was wrong, and his thinking was total watercooler discrimination & homophobia. to which she promptly hung up on me.

you don't have to be throwing bricks through windows and beating random strangers to have prejudice. you don't have to be screaming nigger, faggot, slut, or kike to be discriminatory or putting others down for being who they are. hatred is not always obvious, in fact, it's usually just the opposite. it's ingrained in the straight, white, classist patriarchy of our society, and it's up to us to fish it out, identify, and eradicate it. is requires us each to look in the mirror and find that ugliness that may be glossed over and buried under layers of polite, politically correct ideals. it isn't nice, pretty, or simple. i'm losing close friends over this, but honestly, it's making me reevaluate my friendships in general. i'm not happy about it, but...

i just can't 'sit nice and be quiet' anymore.

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