Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Losing My Religion on the Sidewalk Yesterday
Warning: This particular posts has a couple of cuss words, but only for context.
Last night I experienced something I haven’t since I moved to Southern California, especially in the liberal bubble that is my neighborhood, Belmont Shore. I experienced vehement anti-gay behavior and it was somewhat shocking.
I needed to go to the bank and find something to eat for dinner so I set out for a nice walk down 2nd Street, which is the primary destination for everything you could possibly want from food, clothes and libations to jewelry, gifts and caffeinated beverages. I adore my neighborhood and as usual it was just starting to get busy as it does around 5:30 pm; still early enough to snag a table for dinner without reservations.
As I just returned from a week-long business trip and I hadn’t gotten my clothes from the dry cleaners, I was wearing one of the more sedate ensembles in my wardrobe – light blue Polo, navy chinos and, because I like a dash of style, two-toned navy wingtips with coordinated belt. This is my version of blending in with the regular people.
I was headed toward the bank when I found myself behind a tall gentleman walking his dog; a terrier of some sort. He abruptly stopped in front of Saint & Second, one of the restaurants with outdoor seating. When he stopped suddenly, I attempted to step around him when his dog darted away from him and circled behind me, effectively wrapping the leash around my legs, causing me to trip and almost fall. After I righted myself, I was still wrapped in the leash and I said, “Excuse me.” He ignored me.
I then attempted to step over the leash on his left but was unable. I backed out of the way and attempted to go around him on his right, saying “Excuse me” once again. When he again ignored me, I stepped beside him and saw he was petting someone else’s dog. I said, “Can you please watch your dog. He almost tripped me.”
He replied, “Yeah right.”
When I attempted to explain what happened, he suddenly straightened up, looked at me for the first time and said, “Fuck You Faggot!”
My initial thought was, “This is the least gay outfit in my closet.” I didn’t say anything out loud as I was too shocked. He then proceeded to repeat this phrase and also included instructions on activities he felt I should engage in that Bill Clinton doesn’t count as sex. And he repeated “Fuck You Faggot!” at least five or six more times. My hands became clenched fists and I wanted to hit him but I didn’t want to go to jail or lose my job so I held back. I would like to tell you I took the high road and simply walked away but I am embarrassed to say I replied, “Fuck you, asshole. If you say faggot one more time I’m calling the police!”
I realize he did not see Jesus living in me in that moment, but what can I say? I was angry.
He walked away repeating the FUs, but removing ‘faggot’ and repeated it until he was far enough away where I no longer heard him. I was so angry I didn’t really know what to do. Thank goodness I have the little internal voice, which I assume in Jesus or my mother, who keeps me from fighting, but I understand now how easy it is to want to hit someone, and I have never picked a fight in my 46 years on this Earth.
Fight or flight is the animal reaction to a stressful situation but since I had neither fought nor flown, the natural adrenaline kept coursing through me for at least the next 20 minutes or so, keeping my heart rate elevated and driving me to buy and eat a gigantic Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup cookie.
I was troubled by the situation the rest of the night and even this morning. I felt so helpless. I couldn’t do anything about the situation. I couldn’t stop him from saying what he said unless I was willing to break the law, which I am not. I do however; have a better understanding of why and how activists are created.
I share this, I suppose, to remind you hate is everywhere, even in liberal, multi-culti Southern California and it seems people are more comfortable than ever spewing their hate since November. It’s a crazy world, y’all. And I guess that’s all I had to say.