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Topic: Geez, today at work...

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Subject: Geez, today at work...
Date Posted: 12/1/2008 3:04 AM ET
Member Since: 12/1/2008
Posts: 17
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I'm a cashier at an electronics store, and this year, Clay Akien's (sp?) album is like, flying off the shelves, and they play his (annoying!) songs all. Day. Anyways, so this lady comes up, drops her stuff on the counter and says quite loudly "God! Clay Akien is so gay! Isn't he so gay?!" And, I mean come on, even if he didnt say anything....we knew. But I was so offended. I mean, she had no idea who I was, I could of been gay, ya know? I think she assumed I didn't "look" it.

I don't know if she said it out of malice, I mean, it really is true. I was just like, "Uh, ya, I guess..." and she just went on about it! I just want to know, how would you handle that at your work place? Was I wise not to react at all? Its not my job to tell her shes wrong

Date Posted: 12/1/2008 11:53 AM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2006
Posts: 2,819
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I find it so strange when people do that.  Especially to talk so boldly (and ignorantly) with strangers, no less!

Date Posted: 12/1/2008 12:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/27/2007
Posts: 426
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I would say "Yes, he's gay and so am I."

Date Posted: 12/1/2008 1:19 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2007
Posts: 2,541
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Last Edited on: 12/1/08 1:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/1/2008 1:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/1/2008
Posts: 17
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Sorry about above post! I was accidently on my moms!

Anyways, if I was gay, I woulda said that. I wanted to stick it to her so baaaaad!

T. -
Date Posted: 12/1/2008 7:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
Posts: 9,989
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I would have said "Oh yes, he's gay AND fabulous!"  LOL  I'm not fond of his music either.  Maybe you can get them to play something else!

Date Posted: 12/1/2008 9:13 PM ET
Member Since: 9/26/2008
Posts: 109
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i'd say..his music sucks.... you almost have to be flamin to enjoy it... but i'm glad to have one more famous face on our side.

Date Posted: 12/2/2008 4:23 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 1/13/14 1:46 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/3/2008 10:08 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2008
Posts: 1,583
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You know, nothing will stop this train of thought in it's tracks like a brick wall.  One does not have to be gay to say what Mel said in an earlier post.  I was listening to the Skepticality podcast, I believe it was Episode 89, it had a speech with Lori Lipman Brown, of the Secular Coalition for America.  She noted that in the 80's when (her words, not mine) gay-bashing started to really soar, she stopped wearing her wedding ring, removed family photos from her desk at work, and started referring to her husband as her "partner".  She got the idea from her mother, who, in the '60s, encountered a woman on the bus who started up a conversation by denigrating black people.  Her mother let this woman blather on for a few minutes, then turned and looked at her and said, "You know what?  My husband is black."  This was not true, but it had the intended effect.  Ms. Brown said the woman just stopped, and you could see her face go from white to bright red. Hopefully she stopped and thought about what she was going to say in future conversations.

I realize that in this day and age, saying "You know what? I'm gay" can be dangerous, but if you take a stand where you can, it will force people to think critically about what they are saying.  Some of them anyway. 

Date Posted: 12/3/2008 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2007
Posts: 1,000
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I agree with Evan, I think it would absolutly be appopriate in a situation like to say that you were gay (or your sister, mother, best friend, etc).  Sometimes the only thing that gets through to people like that is when they actually meet one of us.  Even if it's just a stranger, it has an effect.

 

Date Posted: 12/4/2008 2:48 AM ET
Member Since: 12/1/2008
Posts: 17
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Evan,  I justwouldn't of felt comfortable lying, and I was at work and I did notwant to share an ounce of personal info with this woman. I try to stay professional there, and I don't want to "stick it to" a customer.

But it wasn't out of fear.Anyways! It wouldn't of taught her a lesson!

I didn't even care that she was homophobic really. To ones own. But the fact that she didn't have in regard to the people around her was alarming!

Date Posted: 12/5/2008 1:45 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2008
Posts: 1,583
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Courtney,

I understand what you mean.  You have to do what you are comfortable with in any given situation.

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 12/5/2008 3:18 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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When I was working in a gift shoplong ago,  I once had some woman come in and start ranting about "some nigger girl," this and that.  I said to her "I'd appreciate it it you wouldn't use racial slurs in this store." and had to say it to her 2 or 3 times.  I don't remember exactly what she said, but I finally said to her in a tone with a little more volume,"If you don't stop using that word, you will have to leave the store."  I was co-manager, so I had some authority. I don't think anyone had stood up to this woman before - she sort of looked shocked but she shut up and left.

I think sometimes the best approach is a direct approach.

"He is gay, but I don't see why that's any reason for commentary.", probably would do the trick.

 

Date Posted: 12/5/2008 2:40 PM ET
Member Since: 3/15/2008
Posts: 9
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I work at a small family owned construction company, & most of my co-workers are staunch republicans, who are horrified at the results of the presidntial election.  I have heard more racist jokes at work in the past month that I care to think about. Isn't it funny (and by funny I mean appalling) how people just sort of assume that everyone around them shares their prejudices?  I live in the South, in a "red" state, & the accepted consensus seems to be that anyone who is not white, straight, & full of hate is putting themselves out there & setting themselves up for persecution for "daring" to be different.  Comments?



Last Edited on: 12/5/08 2:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/5/2008 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2006
Posts: 226
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I am reminded of Pres-elect Obama's words at the 2004 DNC -- Yes, we've got some gay friends in the red states.  I would probably go too far, but I'd want to say something like -- "My goodness, it's so true -- if it weren't for our gay and lesbian brother and sisters where would we be in the world?  Thank God for our gay and lesbian friends, family, neighbors, leaders, and, yes, entertainers!"  I'd say it in a super-sweet way, as if I'd misunderstood her malice.  Butter wouldn't melt in my mouth!  :)  LOL

Date Posted: 12/5/2008 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2008
Posts: 1,583
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LOL, Jennie!  That's a great idea. :)

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 12/6/2008 2:47 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Cheryl, what's even more sad is to think about how institutionalized racism is in the South.  States like Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi have a majority black population and yet time and time again, those states go red, despite the fact that black people overwhelmingly vote Dem.  It has to be voter supression (overt or covert), covert disenfranchisement and/or dirty voting practices and most likely a combination of all three - but how the h*ll are you going to prove it when the fox is in charge of the chicken coop?

Jim Crow is alive and well and living in the South.

I just have to laugh any time anyone claims there's little racism in the South.  The only way to get rid of it is to breed it out.

 

 

Date Posted: 12/6/2008 8:44 AM ET
Member Since: 9/26/2008
Posts: 109
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i live in Georgia....a VERY red state. i hear racist and gay jokes all the time. at work the gay jokes have halted, at least in my presence because i am openly out and proud. but the racist jokes continue. doesnt do any good to stand against them when the supervisors are all just as bad. not that i havent tried.  very sad day when the obviously only smart and sane people are the straight white great hopes. after all we dont want this planet overrun with blacks, mexicans, and queers.

Date Posted: 12/8/2008 5:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/15/2008
Posts: 9
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L,

I totally agree with your assessment that racism (& virtually every other form of prejudice) is a cherished institution in the South.  I truly believe that the political powers that be down here below the Mason-Dixon line have,  in more than one way, in more than one instance, pushed, pulled or shoved the outcome of more than one poll result far to the "right" of where it actually was/is. 

As for breeding the racism out, there may be hope for future generations, but I can tell you this; I happen to be white, & when I was in the 10th grade, I invited, with my parent's (read step-father's) consent, my very best friend home for dinner. My family was very nice to her, & everything went smoothly until it was time for her parents to pick her up & take her home. Once she was gone, I was informed that I was grounded, & forbidden to ever invite this girl to our home again. Her "crime"?  She happened to be African-American.

Even today, there are children who are being taught hatred & intolerance at their parent's knees. My son has been on the receiving end of some of the ignorance. I must say he has handled it very gracefully, & with minimal conflict.  He, and other children like him, are my hope for the world. Maybe in his generation our soceity will become a safer place for people to live, regardless of their similarities, or their differences.

Cheryl