The Minstrel

“Close your door, Faggot!”
February 25, 2008, 10:12 am
Filed under: LGBTQ

I traveled “home” last weekend to Knoxville, TN, to visit my Uncle Joe in “Queen Acres,” and something terrible happened. Here’s the story:

I walked out of Joe’s rustic, ivy covered house to my shiny, recently-fixed, silver car, parked on Joe’s residential street, directly in front of the front door. I carried a cup of coffee in my hand. Joe brewed a fresh pot for my trip back to North Carolina, because I had entered into that common afternoon state of mind–the post-lunch lull, better suited for taking naps than driving cars. Of course–clumsy me–I spilled the coffee almost as soon as I sat down in the driver’s seat. “Shit,” I proclaimed, and Joe, who had been waving cheerfully from the front door, came out with paper towels to help clean up my mess.

My door was wide open, protruding slightly into the street. Meanwhile, a beat-up pickup truck revved toward my car from one end of Joe’s neighborhood. The driver, I believe, sped up when he saw my car, with the door protruding into the street. He flew past us, almost hitting us, then slammed on his breaks, coming to a screeching halt. Smells of burned rubber, oil and gasoline filled the air, and the driver opened up the door of his truck and stomped toward us.

“Don’t you know how to close your Goddamn door, Faggot,” he said to me. I answered, “Don’t call people faggots.” He replied, “Close your Goddamn door, Faggot.” Then, speaking to the passenger in his truck, the driver said, “He is a Goddamn faggot. Just look at him.” Then, he started walking toward me and Joe. I said, “If you come one more step, I will call the police.” He replied, “That’s right Faggot. Can’t stand up for yourself. Call the fucking police.” I dialed 911 on my phone, preparing for the worst. I did not press send.

Then, undergoing an interesting change of tone, the boy said to Joe, “Well, I’ll apologize to you; just make sure you close your door next time.” At this point, I was a bit too fired up, and perhaps, said too much; I said, “No, an apology starts with ‘I’m sorry.'”

The boy edged closer, again called me a faggot, and backed away to the truck. He then climbed into the driver’s seat and attempted to start the piece of junk. In vain–it wouldn’t start. Then, he and the passenger pushed the truck down the street until the engine sputtered into action. As they rolled away, I noticed the truck didn’t have a license tag. Of course it didn’t.

I suppose this is just another day in the life of an American gay man. This, however, drives to point home that hate crimes actually happen to people. Even, if I’m not careful, to me.


1 Comment so far
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A recent article in a science magazine talked about recognizing sexual orientation. Here is a summary:
“In just a fraction of a second, people can accurately judge the sexual orientation of other individuals by glancing at their faces, according to new research. The finding builds on the growing theory that the subconscious mind detects and probably guides much more of human behavior than is realized.”

Again, Free Will? I don’t think you have gotten to the QaF episodes about this, I’ll be interested in what you think about it.

Comment by Doug

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