Why are you Mets’ fans so gay?
I heard all of these expressions today. All of them.
Three of them were Facebook status updates.
My favorite was the use of the word “maricon.”
Mannie, a server said something in Spanish tonight in the kitchen that ended with the word “maricon.” The person he was joking with said it back. Then Mannie said it again. At which point I told Mannie that it was uncool and that he didn’t get to use the word.
He told me I was being too sensitive.
As in gay?
Or as in sensitive?
The truth of the matter is that I am sensitive.
Probably more than most. I don’t like the word. I never have. Never will. I can’t for the life of me figure out when it’s okay in general conversation for someone to throw the word out. Ever.
Especially at work.
So I told Mannie to cut it out. He told me I was being too sensitive. I took a big breath and said fuck it. I walked into the manager’s office and said, “Okay so I’m about to have the same conversation I have every couple of months. It’s not okay for people in the kitchen to use the word faggot. Or maricon. Or either. If I went in to the kitchen and used the “N” word I’d be fired before I finished the word. I expect the same respect.”
This was followed by an “I’ll talk them.”
So then Pedro (you know Pedro. The same manager who used the word maricon himself in the kitchen.) Went out and made a big deal about pulling people aside and asking them to not do it.
The entire time I’m thinking two things. First it looks like I tattled. And two. He’s missing the fucking point. Don’t tell them to not use the word because I said so. Tell them it won’t be tolerated in the restaurant because it’s inappropriate, derogatory, and has no place in the workplace. It’s not about a one off incident. It’s about the culture that has been allowed to create itself and be tolerated.
It’s this tolerance of the word that allows people to use it in everyday speak. Or in the following examples.
So it’s this acceptance of the word that allows high school students to call the opposing teams faggots. Or Yankees’ fans to sing about faggots at their games.
And you know what. I’m a big boy. I’ve been called worse. If the truth were told I was probably called worse at work tonight. And I will be again. But I’m also not 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20+. I’m not sitting in the stands listening to my classmates say these things. I’m not sitting in the stands being called a faggot.
And if I am? I can take up for myself. There are lots of people out there who can’t or don’t take up for themselves. And really shouldn’t have to. If your classmates began to chant “Powder Blue Niggers” what would be the result. Would the game be stopped? Would students be ejected from the game? Would students be expelled? Probably all three. But in today’s society it’s seems to not be a problem to use the word faggot. No one seems to care. No one seems to notice. Except perhaps the kid in the second row who feels a kick in the stomach every time he hears it.
And this pisses me off.
I’m still thinking about how to deal with this at work. There is part of me that thinks it won’t stop until I really LOSE my shit at work and make the mother of all scenes. Or get someone fired. I don’t want either of these things to happen. But I’m getting tired of it.
TIRED OF IT!