Yesterday I was accosted on the street simply because I am gay. I was walking home with one of my gay friends after class. We weren’t doing anything “gay.” We were just walking. I guess something in my inflection or expressions as I talked, or maybe the way that I walked prompted two teenage kids to shout, “Hey, I think they’re Homos. Their Faggots! Look at them they totally want to hold hands.”
They taunted us with insults all the way to my apartment complex down the street.
For some reason this really bothered me. I mean more so than other things do. I can handle the prop 8 sign in the window across from my room. I can handle facebook friends joining prop 8 groups and even saying stupid things about gay marriage. I can handle anonymous emails blasting me for a newspaper article. But this- this felt hostile. This made me feel vulnerable. How did they know? What betrayed me?
I know that teenagers are prone to stupidity and are likely to say things that shouldn’t be taken seriously, but this wasn’t the product of ignorance. They were trained to hate. Their parents, their society, their legislators teach them to disapprove of gays and be vocal about it. When I see what Senator Buttars says, how can I be surprised at what these two kids say (not that these kids would even know who Buttars is).
The whole experience has just made me know that I have to get out of Utah. It’s beyond saving. I am not safe here, and I am safe elsewhere. For God’s sake, even North Dakota will allow it’s gay citizens the right to keep their jobs and homes.