Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A couple days ago I was on the bus on my way to my parents'. A couple seats over was a girl, maybe 20, in baggy, punky clothing, short, multi-coloured hair and a definite "No dick" demeanor. We both got off at Confusion Corner at which point I started hearing some odd rumblings. Some slightly disheveled man of eastern European tongue started yelling at her, nearly intelligibly expect for the spewing forth of the word 'lesbo' as though it was the very composite of fire and brimstone. It all happened very quickly and within seconds, she was back on the same bus, my guess being to escape this harassment. For the next five minutes, until my bus came, the man paced back and forth, smoking and yelling in broken English about the vile nature of this young woman. There was nothing that I could make out in his words that were appallingly objectionable, but the hatred in his voice was clear. And I sat there, doing nothing, watching others around me offer each other uncomfortable smiles, but no one saying anything. No one approached him with meaningful dialogue, verbal threats or physical beatings, all three of which he probably could have used. As I drove away on my bus, I was filled with shame, having not said anything to him. I ran my lines in my head for the next ten minutes, painstakingly detailing the firm but non-antagonizing language I would use to make sure he knew that it was inappropriate and that this kind of blind hatred is not welcome and I would vindicate this girl as I hope someone would do for me. It was a cowardly moment and I'll own that. I don't know a whole lot of people that honestly would have done differently, but that doesn't condone it. I suppose the point of this is that if you love me and you see this happening to someone that could be me, say something, please.

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