Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Not-So-Casual Neighborhood Stroll

The weather on this August Sunday was unseasonably pleasant, so C and I decided to go for a stroll in the neighborhood this afternoon. We walked and chatted, held hands occasionally, and hummed the tuned of "I'm Yours" (by Jason Mraz) together.

Our otherwise peaceful stroll was interrupted twice by locals who made a point to jeer at us. At one point a rather scruffy 20-something on a bike passed by us, turned to face us, and yelled "hey, keep that shit behind closed doors, you fucking faggots." Now this isn't the first time we've been jeered at, so I wasn't surprised to receive the judgment of an ignorant passer-by. But I was surprised by the intensity of this guys' remarks. C and I hadn't even been holding hands for awhile. He must have seen one of us reach over to affectionately rub the other's back while we slowly walked along. That's "shit" that "fucking faggots" need to keep behind closed doors?

At another point, a guy in a passing car muttered a few derogatory sentences, most of which were unintelligible. But he definitely said the word "sodom" twice.

Hmm.

I'm still processing the experience. As I mentioned, this is not the first time that C and I have been mocked on the street. It's more like the fourth time.

But it has been quite awhile since the last time something like this happened. And I noticed our responses have changed over time. Today we weren't fazed or shocked. We didn't change anything about what we were doing. We kept walking at the same speed, chatting, holding hands occasionally, and humming together. A part of me is really surprised that we didn't change what we were doing. But I guess we just weren't afraid of this round of ridicule.

6 comments:

Pomoprophet said...

Ugh. That has only happened to me once and it was quite disturbing. Why are people so stupid? I want to just throw something at them when they say something like that.

Which is why whenever I am walking around outside for an extended period with my guy, I carry a knife with me...

TweetyJill said...

Wow Pomo, scary!

Joe, I am sorry that happened to you. I have to keep reminding people that this town is not as "liberal" as some people seem to think it is. It is jerks like these that make me worry about PDA (of whatever form) by same sex couples.

I am however impressed by your response. It is very adult and mature. JusT be careful when you walk around, OK.

Charity said...

sad and depressing....

I visited family in KY this week and was reminded why you and C will have such a hard battle for acceptance. I love you guys and hope that you don't end up in a knife fight. :-(

Newscrazy said...

My former roommate Dave is someone who "passed" very easily. Few people knew he was gay until he wrapped himself in a rainbow flag. Because of this, Dave felt extra comfortable really queening it up from time to time. One day, Dave was taking our fluffy white cat Shimon to Meijer in his white VW Cabriolet convertible. He had a bright pink shirt on, big sunglasses and driving gloves. He stepped out of the car and put the cat (still a tiny fluffy kitten at this point) and put him on a leash. He proceeded to get about 10 feet away from his car when an old muddy explorer slowed down and a grungy looking feller inside leaned out to scream "FAGGOT!" Dave stopped, turned around, walked straight up to the man and said "What was your first clue?"

The guy didn't know how to respond, so he just mumbled something and drove off.

Joe Moderate said...

Wow, no kidding, Newscrazy? That guy had some balls.

Hmm. Perhaps I should invest in similarly-sized cajones and confront the ridiculers next time...

D.J. Free! said...

um, perhaps you shouldn't! i mean, i'm not advocating being a coward (indeed, you guys couldn't be cowards, b/c it takes cajones to walk affectionately in neighborhoods where you know you have a chance of being ridiculed!)

however, confronting people might very well turn ugly. i hear stories of poor, innocent queers getting their asses kicked (or sometimes worse!), and i'd really rather you guys not be part of those statistics!

what i propose instead is that you move closer to DC :) J and i have never had such an incident . . . we're cautious, but rarely do we feel the need for it.