So, as many of you may or may not know, today was the Human Rights Campaign’s national “Wear Purple” day in support of their campaign to end lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender bullying. Well, let me just tell you how today panned out, shall I? Actually, rephrase that, just TONIGHT.
I’m studying abroad currently in England (as I’ve mentioned thousands of time) and in the neighboring town of Banbury was their annual fair, which I heard marks the beginning of the cold weather. Anyway, it’s this large fair throughout the streets of Banbury, very much so a carnival just taking over the main part of town.
Today, around 5 pm, officially marked our university’s travel break. In England, their mid-term holiday is the week of the 21st-30th of October. So naturally, everyone was out on the town tonight. It was fun being with everyone from school & seeing the nightlife of this normally quite, calm town.
About 8:30 rolls around when we decide to stop in at McDonald’s to use the bathrooms (since I was not going in any Port O Johns, which, come to think of it, I didn’t even see). Anyway, as I’m in the bathroom and waiting for an available stall, a little boy around the age of 12 comes in. As soon as the person leaves the stall, he went to go into the stall and then realized that I too was waiting, so he allowed me to go first. I thought, oh okay, this kid is pretty nice.
Yeah, no. I proceed to wash my hands when this kid, walking toward the stall, turns around and asks me, “Are you gay?” Shocked my what he had asked me, I said “What difference does it make?” This conversation went on for a minute or two when finally he says, “Well, I just want to know because you look gay.” Or something to that effect. I said first off, how old are you? To this, he backed up right into the stall, looking afraid of my gay, Jersey-Italian attitude. Then I said, take a picture it lasts longer! And slammed the door. After a few seconds, I am talking to my friends who are waiting in line for the women’s restroom and he comes back out, only to now harass me. “You ARE gay!”. he says. Everyone on the line was shocked and bothered by his ignorance. My friend reassured me that he was young and to not let him get to me, but I just simply couldn’t, and I began to get verbally defensive. Then, he’s walking down the stairs, and yells repetitively, “GO SUCK SOME FUCKING COCK!”.
Everyone on the line was now shocked that this boy was using such vulgarity. I honestly don’t know why this kid got to me the way he did, and that was probably his intention, but I couldn’t get over it and really still can’t. It was the most humiliating thing I’ve experienced. It brought me back to the days where I got picked on in school by children of that age group. I suddenly felt powerless, essentially. It was as though I was twelve again, and I suddenly felt like the underdog.
This is clearly what this day was TRYING to AVOID, but some people are so fucking ignorant that they can’t see a person for who they are without focusing on who they love. If we can learn anything from my experience today, it’s that people unfortunately are ignorant and although certain members in society are accepting, not everyone is. We can’t change the way people think, but we can expose the good and beauty that is homosexuality and try to abolish the negative stigma that is placed within our community. We’re a beautiful people and deserve every right, just like every other human being. After all, we are all human. Let’s start accepting everyone as individuals, and stop focusing on who it is that we love.
Like Demi Lovato said, “we can’t stop the world, but there’s so much more that we could do.” <3