When I was at a coffee shop I frequent a few weeks ago, a man started chatting with me. My parents’ divorce came up and my dad’s subsequent disowning of me. When the guy asked me why, I told him it was because I am gay and that my dad said a lot of really hurtful things to me, including saying I’m a disgrace.
This man, who barely knew me, said that he would have done the same if any of his kids came out as “fags or dykes or trannies or shit like that”. He said he didn’t have a problem with me or this other woman being dykes. He just went onto a mini rant about it. He then had the audacity to ask if I’d ever been with a man. I told him that my dad was a racist asshole and that didn’t deter him one bit.
It was the first time anyone had ever told me that my dad was in the right for disowning me. I’ve had people tell me I’m going to hell and that I’m “choosing a lifestyle of sin and debauchery”. This was someone endorsing dehumanizing me.
It fucked me up. I ended up calling my therapist for the first time since I’ve started seeing her 3 years ago. I felt ashamed and hurt and inferior. I got into a dark spot for a bit.
My therapist encouraged me to tell the baristas about him because this coffee shop is supposed to be a safe space. I was hesitant because I didn’t want to make a fuss and get anyone in trouble but I did. I said something last week.
I got pulled aside yesterday and told that the man is no longer coming in because I was not the first, nor was I the last person to become upset from something he said or did.
My issue is that if my support system wasn’t as good as it is and if I wasn’t in as good a place as I am, I might not have bounced back from his comments and I wouldn’t be here right now. He said he was just joking around, but his words cut deep.
If I could tell him something now, I’d tell him: Please remember, we’re all human. We all are worthy of love and acceptance. I’m sad you can’t see that. And I forgive you anyway.