AUTHOR’S NOTE: The following post contains strong language and discusses subjects that are certain to ruffle someone’s feathers the wrong way.
Hey, folks. SinSynn here.
You know how it is with your friends.
You’ve got all those lil’ in-jokes. All those shared experiences that lead to you and yer buddies practically having a secret language that only you understand.
Yeah, you had to be there, amirite?
I know that’s how it is with me and my friends.
One of our favorite activities is to lounge around on the couch (which is totally an activity, by the way), politicking and philosophizing about the deeply important, wold-changing issues of the day.
‘Three choices: Sleep with yer Granma’s corpse, a moose, or-‘
‘Please tell me the third choice is death.’
‘…ok, fine, the third choice is death.’
‘Sigh…I dunno. Is the moose sedated?’
…Such is the depth of our wisdom.
|*Hey, sexy…buy you a drink?’|
And so it was that late one night, as the smoke in the room got so thick anyone hoping to remain conscious would have to crawl if they wished to navigate their way to the bathroom, I found out I’m gay.
I was confronted with the usual conundrum:
‘So, three choices, and yes- the third one is death.’
‘Well thank god for that. Ok, go ahead…’
‘Sleep with Adele, sleep with Brad Pitt, or dea-‘
…everybody in the room kinda paused for a sec. It wasn’t like that moment in the movies where the record scratches, everyone freezes and every head turns towards the unfortunate fool caught in an awkward moment. It was more like a rickety pickup truck filled with cups and cans slowly ground to a halt, as all the other conversations, chatter and chit-chat slowed, and finally stopped altogether.
‘I said Brad Pitt. What?’
…I realize that everyone’s looking at me. Oh, boy. I’ve put my foot in it. Again…
‘Oh, c’mon- this is Brad Pitt we’re talking about here. Y’know, Tyler Durden Brad Pitt. Achilles in Troy Brad Pitt, Mickey in Snatch Brad Pitt…Brad. Friggin.’ Pitt. The guy that broke Jennifer Aniston’s heart and hooked up with Angelina Jolie, fer cryin’ out loud!’
…my friends continue to stare.
‘…you sound like you really like Brad Pitt…’
‘…and you sound a lil’ jealous of Angelina Jolie…’
‘…maybe he just really cares for Jennifer Aniston’s feelings, and this isn’t what it looks like…’
‘…cuz you know what it looks like…’
|*If lovin’ you is wrong, baby…I don’t wanna be right*|
None of the people I hang out with, whether it’s on couches in smoke-filled rooms or across game tables from, are genuinely homophobic, but I have seen my fair share of macho, tough-guy types use words like fag, homo, etc as an insult.
The word ‘gay,’ as used in the classic statement ‘dude, that’s fucking gay’ is tossed out quite frequently in some places. I myself have been guilty of this one for like, ever.
Look, I’ll be honest- THIS is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. I know it’s wrong. I know it’s bad, but…goddammit I laugh every time I see it.
And that’s why they made it.
I can’t say I use words like fag or homo as insults- they’re unimaginative and boring in that regard. I do, however, call things that I think suck ‘gay.’ I don’t mean it in the sense of ‘you, inanimate object, are a thing that likes to engage in sexual acts with members of your own gender,’ cuz that would be like, silly.
No I just mean ‘this thing sucks.’
Nevertheless, when discussing the thing, whatever it is, I might just say ‘that’s turbo gay,’ or something of that nature.
Ok, now- before you go and judge me, I’ll tell you that I’m writing this post because I understand WHY doing that is wrong.
Look, I’ll be the first person to defend freedom of speech, and as a person who tells a lot of dumb jokes I believe that as long as something isn’t outright hateful it has a chance of being funny. I even believe that people with views opposed to mine, hateful though they may be, have a right to those views and should be allowed to live in freedom with them.
|*Even these guys. White outfits and camping don’t really go together, but whatevs…*|
Unfortunately, not everyone in the world ‘gets it.’
That joke, the one that was so funny in the smoke filled room that night, might make it’s way to the ears of someone that IS genuinely homophobic.
Suddenly, being ‘gay’ (as used in the classic statement ‘dude, that’s fucking gay’) isn’t so funny at all. It can be dangerous, truth be told. Sadly, there are bad people in this world. And dumb people. And bad, dumb people.
Jokes are jokes.What ends up happening, however, is that a culture of permissiveness is created, and bad, dumb people will use it to take advantage and do what bad, dumb people inevitably end up doing- ruining everything for everybody.
The United States Military is in a lot of trouble right now, cuz it seems like just about one in six women in service has suffered from some sort of sexual abuse. The number of cases has finally risen to the point where things can no longer be kept quiet.
What starts with jokes can lead to violence when bad, dumb people are involved, and that’s a scary fact. If left unchecked, and in environments where their attitudes and behaviors go unpunished, and are often encouraged, bad, dumb people can and will run rampant.
It would be one thing if one could identify bad, dumb people, but they
tend to look just like everyone else. There’s no way to weed them out
prior to allowing them amongst us.
|*Ah, George…you are missed*|
Standing around outside the gamestore in between rounds of a tournament, goofing around with a bunch of gamers, I’ve heard my fare share of slurs get tossed around, and I’d hardly claim innocence in that department myself.
I’ve never felt that any of it was hateful, or said with any sort of malice. Still, I imagine that from an outside perspective we might actually seem like a bunch of goons, and how would someone walking by not understand that we’re not really bad, dumb people?
If they just caught a random ‘dude, that’s fucking gay’ as they passed, what are they supposed to think?
…Such is the depth of our wisdom…
So one time I’m walking down a dark side street late at night with four of my friends, and I notice a young lady walking up the block towards us, heading back the way we came. Even from a distance, I can notice her hesitation. She looks like she wanted to cross the street…
In my head, I’m like, ‘she looks scared. Why is she scared?’
As she gets closer, she suddenly gets very interested in her phone. She’s holding it inches from her faces as she cuts through the middle of our group. She looks terrified.
Then I realize. She’s young, and she’s pretty.
And she’s tiny. I mean, she’s really tiny. Like a hundred pounds.
My friends and I are all five ten or better. I’m an even six feet myself.
And there’s four of us. It’s dark. The block is long, and empty.
It was kinda strange, thinking about that situation from another perspective- as a guy, I can’t imagine the feeling of helplessness that the young lady must have felt in that moment. Of consigning herself to fate as she walks through our loud, boisterous group.
All she can do is hope we’re not bad, dumb people, right?
So now that the truth is out regarding my feelings for Brad (don’t you judge me), you would think I’d take offense at people using the classic phrase ‘dude, that’s fucking gay’…but I don’t.
I know they’re joking.
I’m not gonna lecture people about ‘political correctness’ on this subject.
I’ll just try to work on my own attitude, try to weed the dumb and stupid out of myself. If ever I get caught in a moment where I wonder if what I’m doing is wrong, I’ll do my best to put myself in the other guy’s shoes and see how it feels.
I have no issues with someone wandering by as I’m standing outside the gamestore and thinking to themselves, ‘sheesh- what a geek!’
I kinda do have issues with someone thinking, ‘sheesh- what a biggot,’ or even ‘sheesh- what a foul mouth.’
Pretty sure you guys won’t judge me, but I can’t say the same about the rest of the world. And I certainly don’t want to encourage some random bad, dumb person (who I didn’t recognize as such), and give the impression that this is the kinda stuffs that’s ‘acceptable behavior’ in our community.
Cuz it’s not, really. Not at all.
Until next time- Exit with catchphrase!