Saturday, February 7, 2009

not really random: thought on prejudice

I wonder how it is that people can be so hateful about people who are gay. Still; in 2009. How do they think it is okay to talk so openly about their own prejudice as if there is no one else in the room fully of young men and a few middle aged staff as if no one in the room is actually gay/homosexual/lesbian/queer or questioning? With the number of humans in this one space, statistics say there will be a minimum of two and mostly likely, four to six of us who fit into the category these people are wrinkling their noses and shoulders at.

And I wonder, again, why I keep silent.

Or I don't wonder. I'm there as a professional and a professional who is supposed to be neutral on pretty much any matter that arises. I have a code of ethics I must follow -- oh, excuse me, now it's called the code of professional conduct -- which says that I am not supposed to have an opinion nor give advice nor counsel on any matter within my work settings.

So I hide behind the professional curtain. I am so 'out' in the rest of my life. In my teaching. In writing classes and workshops. Online. Pretty much anywhere. Even in this particular work setting, there is one female staff person who I've only seen three times out of the many I've been there, who I told; her daughter is a lesbian and was going through a break-up and so we ended up talking while my client was napping. But she talks is whispers and her initial mention of it was a little derogatory but I told her anyway.

Sometimes, like that setting, I am surprised at the level of hate. Shocked. I forget that these otherwise nice and responsible and generally respectable people can have such disgust over how people different than themselves love.

And I believe that nothing I say would change their minds. So I keep my face in the book I'm reading or my eyes on the stupid movie they're watching and I say nothing. I don't respond. I don't laugh. I give them the silent treatment, although I know they don't notice.