The Man at the Coffee Shop

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.

2 thoughts on “The Man at the Coffee Shop

  1. I really hope things got better after that. I probably could’ve kept reading if you had written more. No one deserves to be treated like that and unfortunately people are. and for no other reason than some people are blind. Not blind in a literal way, but they are blind to the real world and only live in their heads. The conversation between the two of you made me want to jump through the computer and punch him and ask what is wrong with him! 😡

    Liked by 1 person

    • It has gotten a bit better. I originally had written this to post on my Facebook in order to share my story with others and spread awareness that this sort of thing is not okay, but I got scared and decided that my anonymous blog was a much better spot to go to. The comment that he made “have you ever been with a man” made me think that he only views women as things for the pleasures of men, and if I had been with ‘a man’, I clearly hadn’t been with the right man. He’s an old white guy with cancer. I normally call men older than me ‘gentlemen’, but he was not one. I think his issue is that he has never truly been confronted by his behaviour being a straight cis white male. Tons of privilege. Not enough compassion and willingness to admit when he’s wrong.

      Thank you for your own compassion. That makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, like I ate my unicorn slippers after they been sitting by the heater. ^_^

      Like

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