Saturday, June 14, 2008

FLASHBACK


In light of a fresh onslaught of gay bashing reported in the media, I bring you the following:

I was having a lovely evening, having dinner with two of my favourite people – a gay couple I love and respect.

We used my car to get to and from the restaurant and I dropped them off on the street opposite their apartment which happened to be plonk in the middle of Church Street – aka ‘Gaytown,' Toronto

As they were crossing the street in front of my car, another car passed with four yahoos hanging from the windows.

“Faggots!” they screamed at my friends.
“Bum-fuckers!” they yelled.

The rest was unprintable.

My friends neither acknowledged them or even let on they had heard but carried on walking, holding hands, heading into their building.

I called them from my cell phone, I was so upset I was crying. These are good people, kind, caring, volunteering, tax-paying citizens. They’d take my previous dog on vacation with them when I went on my annual trip to Ireland. They’d bring photo albums back of her adventures while in the Maritimes. And she always arrived home with a new dog collar, usually loud pink, usually rhinestoned.

“My god!” I said to them, “Are you guys OK? Did you hear that? I’d like to kill those bastards!”

“Oh, relax,” said Jim, “It’s alright. It happens all the time. You get used to it.”

And what Jim said is what resonates with pain for me all these years later.

Added later:
sorry for the mixup on the comments section and thanks to everyone for reading and commenting!

16 comments:

  1. i hate when people yell these things. my best friend is gay, and for a long time he felt he had to remain closeted--not out of shame, but out of fear.

    he is fine now. openly gay, happy. but i will never forget the stories he used to tell....

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  2. Sickening, WWW.

    A lot of gay-bashing comes from religious nuts who ought to know better. They need to give a little more attention to the teachings of Christ.

    It's doubly unfair, too, because most gay men (those I've met, anyway) are such loveable people, fun to be around, and "wouldn't hurt a fly".

    One day maybe we'll learn to stop putting labels on people and see each other simply as humans.

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  3. I think I would have been the same - more upset than them because I wasn't used to such threatening behaviour. But even though they say they're used to it, it must grate on them constantly that there are so many people out there who just can't accept a bit of harmless difference.

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  4. Unfortunately, we live in a world wherein imbecilic people are allowed to open up their bigoted mouths and spew hatred unpunished. I experienced discrimination as a child and it changed me forever. It made a great impact on me and I believe it also does when you are a grown up. I think some people ought to spontaneously selfcombust when they hatefully abuse other people.

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  5. That's terrible -- the fact that he said "You get used to it". No one should have to get "used to" that kind of abuse or accept it as a daily or regular occurrence.

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  6. Nick:
    I really believe that there is NO difference, how come we can't love whom we choose to love? I hate labels. I would love if the world didn't have to label incessantly.
    XO
    WWW

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  7. Laurie:
    sorry, it seems like I'm all out of order here ;^)
    The stories are awful but my friends refuse to focus on the negative as it drives so many to suicide.
    XO
    WWW

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  8. T:
    Yes, the labelling of everyone gets us (i.e. the world) into a lot of trouble.
    Only by getting to know each other as human beings sharing our small little world will we be able to see there are no differences.
    XO
    WWW

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  9. G:
    I've heard the same thing from the homeless and from black people. They tune out to the abuse heaped upon them or the patronizing attitudes experienced by aboriginal (first nation) peoples.
    It seems like no one takes the time to get to know each other.
    XO
    WWW

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  10. I have gay friends who have told me the same thing after i have been outraged by yobbos of like kind. Relax Beau, you'll only get you BP going high. It's so utterly frustrating watching friends one respects are cares for to get savaged by morons such as those. Makes on want to give up on the human race at times. SO WWW i empathise entirely.I suppose the lesson one has to take away from encounters like those is:
    illegittimi non carborundum: don't let the bastards grind you down.

    Bea in Seattle

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  11. Nora:
    I too was targeted as a child and it never leaves, does it. I think that is why I'm so sensitive to the abuse heaped on others.
    Looking back on that incident I wish I'd taken the plate number of the car and called the police. I was too stunned and pained at the time.
    XO
    WWW

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  12. Beau:
    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
    As long as keep yelling about it!
    XO
    WWW

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  13. WWW: Agree--the day I stop yelling at the yobs is the day I die. Which I surely hope won't happen for some time yet. :-)

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  14. My first boyfriend (at school) found out he was gay in his early 20's.

    I cannot imagine what it must be like to be gay in Northern Ireland where even heterosexuality seems risque and 'kneecapping' used to be the nationally recognised form of affection.

    Seriously though, I can imagine it has been no joke for him, and he is immensely dignified in the face of all that must have happened to him.

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  15. Laura-eate: There's a pretty big gay community in NI now but still also a lot of prejudice, largely because of the even bigger God-gazing community. There are reports every few weeks of gays being attacked and the authorities and police take little notice. But there was a huge furore over MLA Iris Robinson's anti-gay comments, which suggests pro-gay attitudes are spreading a little.

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  16. Anon:
    Let's never stop yelling!
    --------------------------------
    Laura:
    Co-incidence: a boyfriend of mine, who had left the priesthood, struggled with his orientation and finally had to leave Ireland. He felt safer in Singapore (!!) where no one speculated. He is dead now. AIDS complications.
    -------------------------------
    Nick:
    So much horror and hate is committed in the name of the Invisible Cosmic Housekeeper and his Dudely Helpful Bible Interpreters. One of my children who is gay and lives in Ireland has had no trouble with gay-bashing there, interestingly enough.
    ---------------------------------
    XO
    WWW

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