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.
Posted by Sooo-this-is-me at 11:37 PM
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You should have told him he was one of the most vocal. If you're going to tell the truth, tell the truth.
That Sixpence is always causing trouble. Lord knows how many friendships he has shattered.
Having said that, you should listen to Debra for two reasons. First, if you don't she might slice you with fans. Second, if you hold on to this it will continue to poison your friendship. Let your friend know that he was one of the vocal ones.
We all like to talk about being bullied but none of us likes admitting that we were the bullies too.
Being a child of the 60s growing up in a large midwestern city, I’m not proud of some of the opinions I held as a youth of the non-white population. Those opinions were really handed down from my parents. As I was later able to form my own opinions I became enlightened. And one of my best friends at that time was Latino.
So how should you handle this situation? I don’t know. I’m one who goes for non-confrontation. Sometimes it’s best to agree to disagree. And what’s to be gained? And what could the consequences be? Tough questions without easy answers.
We all did things as children that we wouldn't do today.
When you know better, you do better.
You could have told him he took part, but you know that was a long time ago and he's no longer that person.
Blame it on hormones and puberty. Then get over it.
Your friend may be ashamed of his past behavior. You will never know what he truly remembers. Most of us regret things we said and did in our early years. It's hard to admit to behavior that is embarrassing and regretful. How would you feel if that gay kid confronted you in present day for not sticking up for him?
What we remember/don't remember vs. what others remember can be quite upsetting.
It is OK to say my memories are what they are.
Debra, I'm trying to get him to recall but even if he can't, the guy is very kind hearted now and is raising his family that way, so it's already a win for me. Also I know he will ask another person who has an excellent memory so that's a better solve.
Lurker, I disagree with Debra and now I know for sure that I'm correct in disagreeing if you are agreeing with her.. lol!
HuntleyBiGuy, I disagree that I'm wrong and moved on already.
Bob, I did tell him that he took part, I just didn't tell him to what degree. I realized last night that he was a year younger than the rest of us, basically a kid. I told him that he learned and did better.
Jimmy, I let it go, I'm actually teasing him at this moment about getting old.
Richard, you have to read my post three times as punishment for not properly reading it the first time. I said that I am ashamed. The difference is that I would own up to it, I wouldn't deny what I did or didn't do. I would love to sit down with that guy. However turns out, he married a woman and they have two kids, so go figure!
Dr Spo, yes thank you, I'm over it now. If he doesn't remember, then he doesn't remember and the main thing is, he is a very vocal supporter of the LGBTQ community so I'm moving on.
Sometimes the perpetrator doesn't remember as much as the perpetratee. Even good stuff. I don't remember most of the good stuff I did for my sisters growing up, but they do. I've also blocked out a lot of bad stuff as a perpetratee. You remember what you remember, don't worry about whether others do. A good person in the now is so much better on the mind and heart than a "bad" person in the past. I think I may start writing Hallmark cards. Hugs, sweet'ums.
Deedles, Hallmark may be going under, now is your chance!!!
Yup I let it go, spilled milk blah blah blah.
Oh, there I am again....
But yeah. Bullying. So pervasive. So useless.
Sixpence, yup you're a pile of trouble!
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