Well, after three house moves in 2 years because of landlords selling houses or needing to move back in – I’m about to have to move again. CW: details of a homophobic conversation.
The last time I was glad to see the end of a hostile and violent street. Instead of targeting the housing commission tenant and demanding they be evicted, I petitioned for them to get more support and things got better. A whole lot better. Then the landlord needed to sell because of COVID.
And I moved into a small studio near a construction site. And it was fine and then it’s rapidly become having to deal with sexism or homophobia on repeat just as I try to walk my dog in a lockdown.
Too many examples to go through, always when minding my own business and not up for shouted shit or an unwanted conversation. But I wanted to share with you my thoughts on what I wish I had said to one of these blokes. He had to approach and talk to me find out whether I had a husband (I wear a very prominent rainbow mask). Blue text is what was actually said (I kid you not, this is what he said), red text is what I wish I had said:
Creep pointing at Pepper the wonder dog: Easier than a husband
Me: Oh he’s around here somewhere…pointing at mound of garden bed behind him.
Me: more likely a wife for me.
He laughs uncomfortably like those people unskilled at irony do.
Him: my daughter is one of “those”…
Me: members of the leather clad clandestine lesbian cult that you will never get to sleep with?
He laughs uncomfortably like those people skilled a homophobia do.
Him seriously: no really, she comes to me and says, Dad I gotta tell you something, I have a girlfriend. And I told her it was fine as long as she treats her right.
Me: yes, cause clearly she needs your permission. It’s a proper cult you know.
He laughs uncomfortably like those people unskilled at consent do.
Him: what do you do?
Me: Doing a PhD in politics of laughter.
Him: well comedy’s dead you know. Because we can’t laugh at the blacks and homosexuals.
Me: Oh, no there is some much better stuff around now. Oh no? What? If you tell bad lesbian jokes that might encourage more of us to dump your asses for a woman who can find our clitoris.
He laughs uncomfortably like those people unskilled at not being a bigot do.
Him: but their breakup was kinda bitchy and really nasty, is that normal for lesbians?
Me: No, any breakup can be nasty “as opposed to men murdering one of us a week, no. But they may be planning a break up ritual in their BDSM clubhouse, where they extract men’s semen with large bore hypodermic needles and transfer it to vibrating turkey basters to impregnate each other. And the saddest thing about this is the poor bloke is blindfolded throughout and never allowed to be watch or be included.”
He laughs uncomfortably like those people unskilled at respecting lesbians (unless porn stars) do.
Me: *silence because I have to live here and he works here and I don’t want another encounter like this ever and a pained look on my face that clearly makes him uncomfortable* yes, well I find the best source of information is not whacking off to lesbian porn because your wife is more interested in picking fights in a Kmart Facebook group over the best deep slot toaster rather than be around you.
Him: seriously though, it’s really hard knowing what to say for men these days. Everyone takes offence.
Me: *stone cold silence, edging away to the street*
Him: right, I have to get back to work *he turns and goes back down the street away from me and I couldn’t be more relieved*
Seriously I didn’t think it was still possible to meet someone with nearly every piece of homophobic bigotry possible – in one conversation, but clearly I was wrong.
SHOUT OUT to the awesome people on this construction site who will read this and laugh! I am so glad for you and I’ve welcomed you giving Pepper a pat and me telling you a joke. I got to know you because I was sick of the above and it’s good to know you are there!