Have you ever been so caught off guard that you are left speechless, even though you have so many words that want to just come tumbling out of your mouth? Have you ever felt yourself catch those words before they could escape, only to regret it for days afterwards, even though you know that had they made the dramatic exit it would not have been eloquent or even necessarily understandable but instead messy and emotional and laced with disdain? Have you ever stewed over what you would have said if you knew you would have been intelligent and eloquent?
Yes. Yes. Yes.
I’ll be really honest- these things do not normally happen to me. For the people who know me, I mean who really know me- my people- they know that when I want to say something, I say it. Sometimes what I have to say comes out in a very blunt manner, sometimes it comes out it in a straight up harsh manner, but I like to think that most of the time it comes out as truth with a healthy dose of compassion- and when it doesn’t please know that I am doing my best for it to be that…
Recently I had an experience where I wanted SO badly to say something and yet I couldn’t. I guess couldn’t is not really true because I could have, technically speaking anyway. I am perfectly capable of forming intelligent thought and then speaking that thought so that others can hear and ideally understand me. However, this really is a technicality. I cannot possibly be the only person who has ever been in a situation where they wanted to say something to someone and just simply could not do it. It’s possible what they wanted to say was really positive, for example that they like someone or that they got a new amazing job, but the pressure they put on themselves to say the news becomes too much and so they just stay quite. Sadly what I needed to say was not along those lines.
What I needed to say was…
“You are an asshole. Actually you are a sexist, homophobic asshole. Are you aware of that? Do you realize that saying, ‘I think you left your vagina on the floor?’ is not actually insulting to the man you said it to but it is sexist because it implies that the female sex is less powerful or tough than that of a male sex AND therefore is also insulting to the implied gender role of females? Do you realize that sexist comments like that, even when they are said as a ‘joke’ are not okay? Do you realize that every time a ‘joke’ like that is made it reenforces those gendered stereotypes that keep people in these boxes that no one belongs in? Do you realize that those ‘jokes’ are not jokes at all and that they are rude, disrespectful comments? Do you realize that words have power and that you saying words like that are really hurtful and triggering? Do you realize that using the word fag or faggot in any context is NOT OKAY?! Do you realize that no matter how cool you think you are or how tough or how much of a man’s man you are when you use derogatory language you actually become the smallest version of yourself? Do you realize that making fun of someone by calling them a lesbian is way more insulting to the group of people who identify as lesbians? AND do you realize that even though the person you are trying to insult may not actually be a lesbian it’s VERY likely that they have wonderful people in their life that are? Do you realize that people can identify however they choose to and that they deserve to be treated with the same respect that you would treat your cis gendered, heterosexual, male friend? And if you think for a second that you can say whatever you want to say because there are no lesbians, gays, transgender, people around you are mistaken. You are mistaken for so many reasons. Being a decent human being does not mean that you are one way in front of people and then you are different when they are not paying attention. Being a decent human being means treating people with kindness and respect all the time. OH and let’s also make sure that you understand that just because you have been drinking does not in any way shape or form excuse you for your words or your behaviour. You need to check yourself and how you treat people because one day you may look around and realize there aren’t too many people left. Goodnight.”
Drop the mic.
Seriously I should have said all of that and more. Something that I will never understand is how people can be so inconsiderate, rude, condescending and mean to each other. I am aware that in the little tirade I just went on I called the person a sexist homophobic asshole, and that is not very nice and I am prepared to own that and say that in this moment it needed to be said.
I have discovered that my people, the people that I very purposely choose to have in my life are the most amazing people I know. They are respectful, loving, open, accepting, intelligent and kind. These are my people. Even when we drink we are aware of our language and our actions. Even when we debate and get into heated discussions we do so with respect for one another and our opinions. I love my people and I am so extremely grateful for my people. Thank you to my people. You know exactly who you are. You know you are my people if you just read this and said, “who the heck would say those things about anyone or to anyone?”
Sending so much love to the world. We can all use a little more of it in our lives.