i don’t ever want to be blasé about it, accept it as “the price of doing business” or be blind to it (because my eyesight is too important to me.)
it’s possible that i’m less tolerant of it now that i’m older or that it’s become much more subtle–which i believe is the result of continued acceptance–(marriage rights? inconceivable, no truly, it is something i didn’t even know i wanted–it’s that inconceivable.) all of this rightness driving the blatant bigots to become even more subversive, ever more present. will they always be a part of our lives? <sigh>
they believe that the world is tilted in their favor, everything slips down to them, still, and i imagine it’s hard to see your world leveling out — righting old wrongs, adjusting its skirts (mixed metaphors my specialty).
it used to be, “hey, faggot!” yelled at you from a passing car, or at a bar on the main drag of catalina island while you and your friends had a beer after a wonderful day exploring the island and before boarding the catalina flyer to go back to the mainland, when a bar patron turns and looks at us, then turns back to the bar and says loud enough for us to hear, “when did you start serving faggots, here?” that was as an adult, before then, when you’re a child, it’s “stop being such a girl,” “robert’s a sissy,” “you’re queer,” so often that you start to believe there might be something wrong with you, when you know there’s not. but if so many people think so…
now, it’s so much more subtle, more insidious, so part of the weft and warp of the cloth of society that you could be forgiven for missing it–life’s dizzying pace both a blessing and a curse (trite phrases also a specialty.) now, it’s the idea of being perceived as gay that’s the worse thing that could happen to any straight man, usually wrapped in a joke among ‘bros’. and if and when you do speak out against it in the public forum they’ve chosen to express their bigotry, their sense of entitlement immediately becomes a shield of “what? it’s not about you all the time, robert,” when, in fact, if their statement demeans you, supports the continued belittlement, degradation, erosion, of who you are, it is about you–and you and you and you, all of us.
and then you might say, “i call it as i see it,” which you may question the rightness of — polite society being what it is these days — you may think to yourself, “should i have just ignored it?” writing it off as their problem, not yours. but if you do that, aren’t you supporting their hate? and how can you do that, if you’re a sentient human being? and so you accept the consequences–their anger at being called out for their homophobia–their righteousness, “i am not!”, “this still isn’t about you,” well then, who the fuck is it about?
it’s all i can do then. call it out, point at it, make a scene about it and walk away from it. i can’t hope it will change anything, but then again, i never thought i would be able to marry my lover and benefit from the laws of the land that most men and women accept as their inherent right.