Accept people the way they are, or just stay away
You can not change anyone but yourself.
There are three people that I have told that I am bi-sexual. My best friend B, who claimes to be bi-sexual also, though he acts differently around different groups of people. B's older brother J, who is the first person I ever talked about sexuality with because I knew he was bi-sexual. And S who is heterosexual and a very cool guy that doesn't get weirded out by someone just because they are different.
That's not to say that other people don't know or suspect, it's just I have never told them personally.
Last week somebody called me an 'emo fag' and I've been thinking about it a lot. At the time I just laughed and made a kissy face at him. I've found that responding like this as opposed to just flipping them off or trying to fight is usually more effective. Plus I've gotten beaten up before and it really sucks!
What I don't understand is why this person felt the need to lash out at me for no real reason. I was simply retrieving a book that I left in class. The next class was already coming in and my book was at the desk behind the guy that made the remark. As I was leaving he called out 'emo fag', a few people around him snickered, and that was it. I blew him the kiss right as I was leaving the room so unfortunatly I didn't see his reaction, but I'm sure it must have been priceless.
So why did he do it?
Was it my appearance? I admit I usually wear dark colors, my hair is longish, and I sometimes have black fingernail polish on. Emo trademarks I get it (whatever, I don't take that kind of thing seriously), but surely I can't have been the first person hes ever seen like this. I would understand if we were in some dark alley and I approached him, but come on, what was I going to do to him right there in the middle of a crowded room? I didn't have any negative feelings toward him because of what he was wearing.
Was he trying to impress someone? How impressive could it be to antognize a person who not only hasn't spoken a word to you, but is also walking away at the time. Can a person past elementary school still be this immature?
Did he feel threatened in some way? As I said before, we were in the middle of a crowded room and I was leaving without saying a word to him. Was it my very proximity that set him off. Does he just normally oppose all non-clones...maybe just the ones he feels he could take in a fight.
Maybe he knew who I was, maybe I have some reputation that even I don't know about. I highly doubt it, but still if that were true it gives him no right to say what he did.
So it's ignorance then? So he doesn't have any friends like me. So I appear to fit the emo/goth/punk/fag/'something opposite him' stereotype and that baffles him in some way. Does that mean he would treat all people that were different then him with hostility? African Americans, Hispanics, cancer patients...is he going to call all of them names? Why would someone intentionally minimize the world around them like this. There are so many diverse people with different thoughts, ideas and dreams, but this guy is limiting himself and his experiences to only include people like him. What's the point?!
I'm not saying we had to become best friends, but there must be some happy medium. Or at the very least just treating people with some degree of respect would help. Maybe he was influenced by someone, or has had some troubled past that now inadvertently forces him to act like a jerk. Well he is definatly old enought to make his own decisions now, and who hasn't had a troubled past to at least some small extent?!
So from this experience I actually think I am taking away something positive. I'm going to try not to ostracize other people based on first impressions alone. Sure my friends and I will always be close because we have so many similarities, but that doesn't mean that I can't associate with people who dress differently, like different music, have different views in life etc. And although I learned not to make fun of people a long time ago, what happened refreshed my memory that being teased can really hurt, and it's just so unnecessary.
Forgive and forget, and not really forget but learn.
Learn that we are all just people no one being any better than the rest.