A few days ago I was at a bar and ordered a Jack and coke. It was weak. I told the bartender I'd like a bit of whiskey in my whiskey, and he responded with a swift, "Go f*** yourself." He was then corrected by a fellow bartender with, "Help him out or he'll f******* Yelp about it."
I left the bar. The bartender told fellow patrons--a few of which came up to me after my leaving--"If he comes back in here I'll kick his f***** ass."
And that's, "faggot," to clarify. Not "fucking."
I don't have a problem with being called names. I have dealt with that kind of crap my entire life. I am also a man before I am a gay person; I grew up with a little brother and I am used to fighting back, for better or for worse. I've killed animals. I like beer. I love classic rock and have an amazing father who loves me more than anything. This isn't to say I don't freak out over Lady Gaga or that I didn't download Britney's new album three weeks ago or haven't been playing it on repeat for that entire span of time. I wear tight white pants and I love my girlfriends and I don't apologize for it.
What I have a problem with is the assumption that a gay person wouldn't fight back. That a self-conscious "bro" would call me a faggot and expect me sink into the earth like the wilting flower that I am. Gay people are, in large part, not taken very seriously. As you know, we all love to party and dress in drag and only drink vodka cranberry and wear feather boas and work as strippers once our day shifts at Abercrombie have ended.
These assumptions, while based in a reality I am more entertained than ashamed by, lead to people calling us faggots in bars and expecting no consequences.
This particular bar, The Yellow Jacket Social Club, did feel the consequences, however brief. Customer complaints, a much-lowered Yelp score, a few angry facebook comments on their page (including mine). But these complaints were met with even more callous ignorance. "Some gay person got mad and got all his friends to write on Yelp. Typical story," read one review following mine and others. "Embrace who you are. One angry customer doesn't change anything," said another.
If only they understood the underlying attitudes that fueled these bartenders' remarks; centuries of religious confusion and populist, utopian ideologies have ingrained upon them the mark of false superiority, borne of the illusion that there is only one path to greatness. And that path, dear readers, is paved in pearly white stones stained by cheap beer and littered with empty bottles of Levitra and tattered NRA pamphlets.
Hopefully none of the commenters who responded to my review in the cruelest of all tones--condescension--were black, Asian, Native American, hispanic, Jewish, red-headed or female. (Or, as Gaga would say, "Black, white, beige, chola descent, lebanese, and Orient.") That would be an indirect affront to the problems that affect the non-majority members of the United States on a daily basis, a shoot-yourself-in-the-foot situation.
I am a leader in the number one advertising school in the nation, and I'm a decent artist with a helluva decent resume. I've got powerful friends and good taste. I can also outrun you both long and short-distance, and if I try, I can definitely snatch away your girlfriend.
To conclude, I am a white dude. I am as WASP-y as they come. I am, however, attracted to men.
So next time you call me faggot, take it seriously. Bitch.