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I think I'm being reasonable... - Kurt's Life (or lack thereof) [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Kurt Onstad

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I think I'm being reasonable... [Jan. 27th, 2002|02:09 pm]
Kurt Onstad
Mind you, I'm a little tired from staying up late with people playing video games then cards, so maybe I'm a little over-sensitive right now...

But, anyways, where I work, it's a definite Boys Club. There is currently one female employee working in our project, and she's not here today. So, often, the conversations turn into typical locker-room types, with insults flying back and forth, and sexist and raunchy remarks flowing like wine. And what is the typical insult of one straight male to another? Of course, it's "You're gay."

I'm not gay myself, but I've had gay friends for as long as I've been familiar with the concept. My freshman year of high school, I was pretty much the only straight guy in the gay clique (which did nothing good for my reputation). And, even though I am straight, I've been the victim of homophobic attacks (fortunately, only graffiti on my locker and car, nothing physical). So, gay being equated as an insult is more offensive to me than the average guy.

Today, the comments were flying back and forth even more than usual, from my point of view. There are two guys who, when they get together, are just non-stop with the insults and rude comments. A few times before, I've told people, "Guys, it's old. Please stop and move on." I did that again today, and nothing changed. Finally, I said "Look, it's not funny, I find it offensive. If you want me to take it higher, I can. But, I don't want to, so please stop."

Dead silence. For about five minutes. (That's probably a record for the daytime shift.) I'm probably now hated by a few people in the project, and they probably assume I'm gay, but I don't care. Sometimes, you just have to say "Stop."

Anyone have any other idea how I should have handled it? Was I being unreasonable? I'm always interested in other points of view.

Kurt
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Comments:
From: (Anonymous)
2002-01-29 02:18 pm (UTC)
No, you were certainly not being unreasonable! What you did is something more people ought to do in these kinds of situations speak up! Good for you!! Really, how many times does a person who knows that jokes/comments based on sexual orientation/ethnicity or other ways we find to judge others to be ignorant and hateful have to sit silently by or laugh along uncomfortably so not to look uncool and make waves?
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[User Picture]From: scorpy01
2002-01-31 02:13 am (UTC)
Maybe you could say something like, "They say that men who talk like that are unsure of their masculinity. Thank God I'm not!"

A true story: My oldest son always had low self esteem and would rarely speak out about things he knew were wrong. He would just follow so he would be liked.

After football practice one afternoon, a few of the "star" players were making comments about "fags" and "lesbos." My son, in a courageous moment, said, "Someone I love very much is gay so would you guys just shut the fuck up?"

My youngest sister is a lesbian. She taught my boys to play basketball, throw a football, ride skateboards. She's always been very good to my boys.

I was so proud of my son. And you know what? No one ever ostracized him for that. They just stopped that talk in front of him.
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