Sunday, June 29, 2008

Not Allowed to Stand Up

From time to time, I like to take a break from the normal Hollywood Nobody blog. I promise I will try to not do this frequently; however, there is an issue that I want to share with you all. Perhaps, after reading, you would be so kind as to provide feedback on this entry.

Last night at work was pretty uneventful until the end of the night. Two young men approached the bar, thinking that they owned the world. You know the typical straight guy, talking to loud and with an air that everyone should not only pay attention, but also be interested in what he was saying. I saw through his bullshit right away.

After bellying-up to the bar he ordered for him and his friend two Kamikaze shots because apparently he really could not handle being a "real man" and having a "real man" shot. Anyway after they finished their shots, paid out and got ready to leave, two of their friends arrived. Upon the friends arrival the two men said to me, "Oh don't worry about serving these two; they're gay, literally." The two men said it in a mocking tone, so I am sure that they were just fucking around with their friends, but it really disturbed me that someone would say "Gay" and mean it in a derogative mannar right in front of me.

After both groups had returned to their table to enjoy the rest of their evening I pulled aside a manager and asked her if I could refuse to serve them if they approached the bar again. She told me that I could not. I also asked her if I would be able to say anything to them; such as,

"The last time you guys were up here you made a comment that I should not serve your friends because they were gay. I feel that you should really watch what you say because you never know who is listening. Someone here could have a gay family member or be gay themselves; that comment might have offended them."

I was also told I could not say that either and that if I did say something to the men that I could be pulled from the bar.

The two men did not return to the bar, which I am slightly thankful for, because it would have been incredibly difficult for me to keep my mouth shut. I really didn't understand why this manager would pull me from the bar because I was sticking up for myself. And also why she said the reasoning is the same as having females behind the bar. They need to be able to put up with a little bit of sexual harassment from guests, because guests will likely say something to them. Why should ANY female put up with ANY form of sexual harassment? Why should I have to put up with any kind of derogatory remarks based on sexuality, even if they are not aimed directly at me.

In the last few months my Brothers and Sisters have been fighting a civil rights movement for marriage equality. We have made huge strides here in California on that issue, but we must also remember that in California, a 15 year old boy was killed at school for asking his classmate to be his Valentine. We are far away from true equality. After the incident Ellen had a small segment of her popular television show where she addressed the news story. Since she said it best, I will let her say it again.

Later in the evening I asked another manager if he would have told me the same thing. He said he would have and that I did the right thing asking a manager before making a remark. I then placed him in a hypothetical situation asking,

"What if someone would have said in front of her so, but talking about someone else 'typical Asian C*NT don't serve her cause she has to make it back to the rice patties?' Would she have to do the same thing, or would she kick him out?"

He said she would also have to not say anything as well. I found it hard to believe that this female manager actually would proceed working and not say anything to this guest. I then decided to ask this male manage what he would do as an African American if we changed the word "Gay" to the N-Word? He surprised me by saying he would ignore it, he would give the person a one-time pass.

I for one am disgusted. I am done giving people one-time passes. Who keeps track of these one-time passes, because I am sure someone else who is LGBT has heard the same men make a similar comment and they also gave them a one-time pass. How many one-time passes does each person get? If we are constantly giving people one-time passes it's no wonder people think that it is still OK to use hurtful words, that do not only bring down the person they are talking about, but that persons entire social identity as well.

Please leave me your thoughts and comments on this situation. Have I over-reacted?

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