This past weekend, while walking on the street, I was called a “fag” from two separate groups of heterosexual men in moving vehicles. At the time I was wearing a purple tank-top from Topman and a pair of black short-shorts from Club Monaco. I looked VERY gay.
Years ago this would have brought me to my knees. In fact, I probably would have chased the car, yelled back at them, took my frustration out on a friend, or my partner, what have you, I would have wanted revenge.
When someone makes you feel unsafe, or uncomfortable, because they have an issue with who you are, how you’re dressed and how you walk, in the middle of a busy street where everyone may stare and laugh at you, well, that’s humiliating.
Nowadays, when this happens, and it rarely does, I raise my middle finger followed by a wave and an almost too-friendly smile. Maybe I should ignore them completely. Like so many, my ego begins to govern my life, I want to “tell them off” to show that I’m not weak. But again, if they think I’m weak because I’m gay, who cares? Chances are slim that my verbal bombs will change their minds anyway.
Last year the Globe published an article I had written about weddings that divided readers. Some thought I was spot on, others criticized me. I was fully aware that it was a controversial piece, and that Bridezilla’s would be angry. I thought I would be okay with the critics, but then, I realized — I WASN’T!
Foolishly I started to reply to the negative comments. I learned with the help of solid mentorship that that’s a “NO-NO.” What a stupid thing for me to have done! Just as I’m entitled to my opinion, they are entitled to theres. Months later, when I came to this revelation I went back and deleted my replies. Granted with egg on my face. A little egg.
Through mistakes I’ve learned that the best way to respond to negative, even hateful comments, is with no response. Just ignore them. Responding to people as deliberately offensive as Ann Coulter is giving them the attention that they crave.
But again, I continue to fail at this. I still react, my ego gets the better of me, like it does so many of us, and all I can see is a red screen of REVENGE! It traces back to reactive psychology, which is never good.
Whether hateful, offensive comments are intentional or not, they are not so much the obstacle I once saw them to be. If I still reacted the same way to being called a fag, as I did when I was 25, then the problem would be me, it would come from within my own house, my own ego. I’m trying now to transcend language like this — rather than being OFFENDED!
Bitch, call me a fag all you want. I am a fag. A proud one!