Saturday, April 16, 2005

HOMO!

So I went for a run yesterday around dusk. I live in an OK area. At the local park I meet parents from most walks of life: recovering addicts to electricians to a really wacko Christian to a gross "personal business consultant" to whom I made the mistake of giving my profession. These people are considerate and universally excellent parents who do not tolerate bad kid behavior from their own or other children and who, like their children, play nice.

I run past a variety of houses and condos and apartments. Everything is quite pleasant actually. I run up hills and can see valleys with houses dotting the hill on the other side. There's a lake that I run part way round. Sometimes I take my daughter, on this outing, not.

Most cars fit into Americana out here. Modern SUVs that look like they are part of the military industrial complex roll by. Compact cars slow down and allow me to run past before making turns. I love seeing hybrids flow by.

So I was initially confused when I saw a too-old younger man with his head out of the car as it wizzed by me. In my mind I remember him having short hair, about my age (30s), and in an older model sports car. "HOMO!"

And then they were gone. Two guys, at least. One to drive, one to yell.

I didn't miss a step, but I was shaken. I ran home and felt like I was running away from a fight with every step. I made myself stop at the park where I did a few pullups.

Bastards.

I'm not even gay.

Would they have gotten out of the car? What would I have said? Would I have told them I'm not gay, just running and not fat? Would they have cared? Could they have thrown something at me? Did they have weapons? Tire irons? Brief thoughts of the head traumas I've seen - their head CTs showing more blood than brain - flash through my mind. That would hurt.

As I ran home, where are they now? Or now? Are they beating up someone they've identified as gay?

Gays in this country go through so much shit. More than other minorities I'd say - and especially if they happen to be minorities. They face this kind of shit every day of their lives for no other reason than who they are.

7 Comments:

Blogger marybishop said...

Men more than women. Funny how that works...women don't beat up other women because they think she might be a lesbian, but men (very few I hope) get some boost to their own masculinity by telling fag jokes, hollering HOMO out the car window or bashing in the brains of some poor soul, gay or perceived to be gay.

As long as this prejudice is allowed we are all in danger all of the time.

That's the part they don't get.

6:17 PM  
Blogger laurenbove said...

I was always worried what people were thinking of me...from my clothes, haircut, down to my eyebrows or facial expressions.

My mother (dear woman) told me that if I knew how little others truly thought about me, I'd not worry so much.

It was probably a random act that meant nothing but a couple gafaws for a couple of bored idiots. You did the right thing by ignoring it.

If anything, it was good. You started this thought provoking thread.

9:38 AM  
Anonymous lisa said...

my partner and i have a policy. if ever either one of us is asked whether we are gay, we say "yes," simply because any person so uptight needs to be made to think that they are surrounded. i wish everyone would answer in the affirmative -- i'd like to think it is modeled on the danish response to the nazi order for jews to wear an identifying arm band... and lo -- arm bands were everywhere!

9:09 PM  
Blogger laurenbove said...

that's clever lisa! I'll have to pass that idea on.

6:27 AM  
Blogger Doc NOS said...

I never lie about being gay, but I've thought about it. I'd love to shock people, the way I recall one of my frends doing when he introduced his boyfriend to another guy at a wedding.

I certainly wouldn't have admitted to Billy and his best bud, Buddy (the one with the tire iron), that I once, drunk, kissed a guy - which mortifies the other guy more than me.

When out with another guy-friend in the city, it seems clear that people take us for a couple, although that is not the case.

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aw, poor baby. It's like your a victim of bigotry towards a group your not a member of, but not. Boo hoo!

Maybe the guy was trying to make the point that you run like a girl. People can keep their homosexuality to themselves, but running like a girl is there for all to see. So being you, a girl-like runner, is far greater a victim class than homosexuals.

12:57 AM  
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