Friday, February 7, 2020
Don't tell me what I experienced!
A high school friend and I had a bit of a disagreement this afternoon and I'm slightly offended. This is all Sixpence's fault, he started the argument. Joking aside, I was reading Sixpence's blog regarding being bullied in high school because he was too fabulous for the stupid people. I wasn't bullied for being gay, I was picked on for small size and not doing that well in sports, which was bad enough, I would certainly never tell anyone that I was gay and have that added in as well.
I was discussing this with my friend and saying how ashamed I am with myself for taking part in name calling of a student that clearly fit the stereotype of a gay person for those times. He had no memory of the incidents. I reminded him that this poor guy's bus came in last every morning and when this poor kid would walk through the school cafeteria to the locker room, the guys would start shouting fag, queer, gay boy and calling his own name in a lispy voice. This happened almost every morning. I feel it's a wonder he didn't attempt suicide.
My friend has no memory of this happening, I thought that odd but then on the other hand I would see it differently than he would since I'm gay and he isn't. He asked me if he ever took part, since he is a really sweet guy now, I didn't want to shock him so I said it was a long time ago. He understood what I was doing but then tried to imply that he always had an open mind, even regarding gay people and that I must be remembering it wrong. What I didn't tell him (and now I know he would never believe me) was that, he was one of the most vocal in our age group. Woke??? Unless woke was spelled h.o.m.o.p.h.o.b.i.c back in the eighties I don't think that term would apply.
When he said that he didn't trust my memory that something like that happened, I reminded him that it was probably nothing to him; however I was sitting there thinking, "holy sheet" I'm never going to let this anti gay mob find out the truth about me! Those incidents were burning themselves into my memory. I don't think a person just makes something like that up in their head! Yes our memories do play tricks on us over time but there is a huge difference between, was it fifteen guys shouting at one poor kid or twenty guys shouting, versus that never happened, we just sat there quietly waiting for the bell to ring.
That really started to rub me the wrong way. I can forgive anything my friends said or did back then, we were kids, it was a different time, even almost a different culture, heck I didn't even know what gay really was. It's water under the bridge, I dealt with it long ago, I didn't hold any grudges. However don't tell me that I didn't experience that, don't tell me that I didn't hear my own friends say really hurtful homophobic things.. because you can't handle the truth that you were not always an open minded guy. You weren't St.Tolerance of Liberal land, just deal with it and move on. I asked him does he not think there was a reason I felt I couldn't tell him until later in life about myself. I can forgive all the past sins regarding homophobia especially with my friends... but I draw the line at whitewashing my experiences as a gay kid just so someone can feel better about themselves, I don't think I can forgive that.