so yeah, last week i reached a breaking point with school, which unhappily coincided with having two puppies demanding attention and 4 am pee-trips to the great outdoors.
not enough sleep + 10 weeks of constant homophobic submersion = one fucking mad fg
the coursework itself is still great: i’m not racing ahead anymore but still keeping pace, and mostly enjoying the assignments. on a personal level, i also enjoy most of my classmates: i crack jokes, they laugh, i am redeemed for years of social exclusion in elementary school, we all win.
HOWEVER. every single fucking day, these classmates have declared things they hate to be “gay”, and insulted one another with “fag” or “homo” or even “fudgepacker”. WTF, PEOPLE???
i was going to write here all about my amazing success with calling classmates on their bullshit, but i couldn’t keep up. after the initial good interactions (of which i am happy to report there were several), i started getting a helluva lot of the following responses:
“i didn’t know you were gay.”
“it’s just that i always hear that sort of talk around me.”
“some of my best friends are gay and they don’t mind when i say that.”
“i didn’t know you’d hear me.”
double-yew tee eff. yeah, i realize that you’re uncomfortable cuz i’ve just pointed out that you’re behaving like a bigot, but please don’t try to foist responsibility for that bullshit onto somebody else.
like i said, i couldn’t keep up, and it was very very very wearing. especially since no one else ever says anything: they will chat with me during breaks, they will ask for my help on assignments, they will share jokes with me, but not a single one will tell another student to lay off the anti-gay comments.
so last thursday i talked to one of the supervisors, and basically had a mini-meltdown in her office. her focus was on making sure that i’d be able to succeed in the program, and so she offered to arrange a study space for me in the library: thanks, but no thanks. i *like* being in the classroom, i just don’t like being subjected to hate speech. besides, i told her, that wouldn’t change anything: these people need to know that queers are EVERYWHERE (whether you recognize us or not!) and they be told that it is unacceptable to talk the way they do, and they need to hear it from someone with authority.
on friday i was absent, because i was en route to the mainland, to rock out at the photovoltaics course.
the supervisor said that she’d talk to the whole program at morning roll-call that day, and make it clear that using homophobic language is grounds for dismissal.
not sure how it went, but today was a good day at school: people didn’t treat me any different, and i also didn’t hear any of the usual ear-pollution. if this keeps up, if these people learn that homophobia is unacceptable AND that queers are everyday classmates/coworkers/neighbours/etc. WHO WILL NOT SIMPLY SHUT UP AND DISAPPEAR, well then… i think we might just stand a fighting chance.