I am flabbergasted by the amount of ignorance I witness on a routine basis.
I don’t recall how this came up, but I found myself in the midst of a conversation on whether or not people were born gay. Despite my best attempts to make it stop, it kept going. But then one of the participants said that she didn’t know about all gay men, but for some at least, it’s because their mothers smothered them with affection. These mothers, it would seem, showed such love and adoration for their male children that they “may not have ended up gay if their mothers would have just left them alone.” She explained that it was bad enough that they were Mama’s Boys, but the mothers just didn’t stop and that’s how they became gay.
I actually asked her if she could hear how ridiculous she sounded, she assured me she was serious. I explained that this viewpoint was extremely stupid and kind of offensive and I couldn’t believe she said it. She didn’t understand why I thought this. She explained I could think what I wanted (gee, thanks) but that’s just how she feels. I wondered, out loud, if she thought I was going to “turn my son gay” with all the loving on him that I do. She said she didn’t know. I told her to go away. I believe I said, “You need to stop talking right now and leave. Seriously.”
Her: But, no… I’m just saying… It’s just…
Me: No. I’m not kidding. Please go. Now.
I was forced to be in the company of this person. I was there, he showed up to do something.
Him: I heard you’re going to San Diego.
Me: You heard correctly.
Him: You like it there?
Me: Love it! I want to move there.
Him: Really? It’s nice.
Me: Yeah, I really love it there.
Him: But you’d really want to live there?
Me: Definitely! Not you?
Him: Nah, too many Mexicans.
Him: You wouldn’t mind all the Mexicans?
Me: What? Of course not. (I wish I could show you the face I was making. It was a mixture of horror and disbelief).
Him: Oh. (He looked confused)
Me: I have no problem with anyone.
Him: Oh. (There was a definite tone here, mind you.)
Me: We live here. There are all sorts of people here. I’m fine with it. How could you not be fine with it?*
Him: Yeah, I know. But these are Mexicans. And there are a LOT of them.
Me: Are you kidding me?
Me: Are you done yet? (clearly annoyed, gesturing to what he was doing in my vicinity)
Me: OK then. I’m leaving. (And then I did.)
*We live in a diverse area with people from many different backgrounds.
Honestly, what in the world is wrong with people that they think these things, let alone say them out in public?
I can’t believe that people will just come out with this nonsense and not be, in the least bit, ashamed of themselves. They speak this garbage, all proud, head held high, and think that I’m going to agree with them because they clearly think there is nothing wrong with this.
And you know what? Shame on me for not saying more. I expressed my disagreement and displeasure, but I should have told them that it’s unacceptable and that I won’t listen to it.
But I am going on record, here and now, that I will not tolerate it anymore. We simply must stop saying hurtful things about people because of their race or color or sexual orientation or religion. It is not OK. The jokes aren’t funny, the mockery is not cute. Your theories about why people are like they are or how they are because of who they were born to be, all of it, it HAS to stop.
People are people. You can dislike people for many reasons – but for believing differently than you, loving differently than you or looking differently than you? No, these are not good reasons.