I am not above engaging in an intense “discussion” with a person, or people, on the internet. Most of the time, I let posts and comments go — no matter how ill-informed or narrow-minded. People are entitled to their opinions and battles should be carefully chosen.
But sometimes, I simply cannot resist jumping into the fray. You can count on counting my two-cents if you insist on saying something blatantly homophobic. I don’t care how much “Christian” good-will you try to disguise it in.
I have no problem with people of the religious persuasion. I am not one of them, but I (generally) respect the beliefs of people who lean in that direction. However, when you take it upon yourself to start judging others—and I’m pretty sure there’s a whole deal in that book about “judging not lest ye be judged” — then you can’t probably count on a comment or two from me.
You may be right-wing, you may be conservative. It’s your choice to worship the cheese-doodle occupying the Oval Office. I expect to see your gun-toting, bible-thumping, flag-waving memes. But when the Doodle-in-Chief does something particularly egregious and you insist on mocking the “Libtards” and how much we must be fuming over the latest, obvious down-punch to the Left, you can expect me to chime in. Gloating is such an ugly, mean-spirited thing to do. I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.
And the term Libtard itself may get a mention or two from me. Not because it’s juvenile and moronic, and not because you’ve bruised my snowflakey little feelings. It’s your insistence on the use of “tard.” Can’t you call us Libturds? It’s also insulting on a sophomoric level but without demeaning an entire group of people.
These are the times when I knowingly lace up the gloves and wade into the comment thread expecting to encounter some strong resistance to my opinions. Which is why I found it surprising that my latest foray into Facebook Fight World started with, what I saw as a rather innocuous comment.
The post in question had something to do with the situation at the border between the U. S. and Mexico. One of the comments, and I’m paraphrasing here, was along the lines of “if they don’t like being kept in cages, they should just stay where they belong.” I replied with what I thought was a generally wholesome and non-inflammatory remark about treating people in our custody with as much dignity and humanity as we’d expect for ourselves.
Well apparently, them’s fightin’ words in some circles.
Now, I’m not saying that I didn’t get a little fiery at times. But, when I’m fighting, I stick to the topic. And, in this case, I was defending my golden rule based opinion on how the immigrants should be treated at the border. The woman with whom I was engaging was not a believer in such tactics. She got mean, she got personal, she hit below the belt. In other words, she was a bully.
I won’t get into the whole debate. And I do admit to occasionally using the term “you people” and calling her a dick when she indicated that perhaps my problem was a lack of such.
But the height, and the end, of the conversation, came when she called me “Gaylord.”
My first thought was, “What are we in? Seventh grade?” If the best shade you can throw comes from the middle-school tree, at least get your terminology right.
Clearly, Gaylord is a derogatory term for gay guys. Girls in middle-school were labeled as Lezzy and… well, pretty much just Lezzy. We weren’t very creative. We had Lezzy, Bitch, and Slut. Those were the Labels of Death that would follow you until you graduated from high school, and you avoided getting stuck with them at all costs.
Aside from the ever-popular Fag and Homo, boys had a much greater range of choices for demeaning their peers. There was, of course, Gaylord, along with Gaywad, Queerbait, and Fairy. Your school may have had other such colorful taunts. These were the ones that echoed down the hallways during my formative years.
Fortunately, just before I was christened Gaylord, Lord of The Gays, a friend had chimed in to defend me. Her intervention served to snap me out of fight-mode and back to reality before I stooped to a level far beneath me. So, I pulled a Michelle Obama, went high when the bully went low, and got out of there.
I’ve never been the been a victim of serious homophobia — no job loss, no abandonment, no scary strangers, no beat downs. If the most I have to deal with is being called “Gaylord” by someone who clearly has issues and is mentally locked in at 13, I count myself lucky.
So, while I was amused by her inept, second-rate bullying tactics, I didn’t take the intention behind the jab lightly. Frankly, I was glad to see her blatant display of homophobia. You never know when it’s lurking, but when it jumps out and bites you on the ass, at least you can deal with it. The thing is that this woman was (emphasis on was) a Facebook friend. And she was a Lurker. Which goes to show that just because Zuckerburg and Co. call people your Friends, you might choose to consider them otherwise.