Mike McDonald (03-03-2011)
OK, here's something that happened to me last month that I've been meaning to post. I'll start out by saying that I am a hetero married feminist who has always found homosexuality to be totally normal and no big whoop. I'm sure I was homosexual in at least one past life b/c it seems so normal to me. Anyway, for the past 6 years I've been working out, thanks to the generosity of my husband, at an expensive personal training weightlifting place. It's owned by a fundamentalist Christian but that's OK b/c I try to respect everyone and I thought the owner and I respected each other as people, even though I am a liberal jesus-loving neo-pagan (I think). Over the years, many different trainers have come and gone. Currently there is Mario, an Italian American who I like and have helped with his sick dogs, Jeff, who I like and who happens to be gay, and some girl who's hardly ever there. Plus Mike the owner. Well I worked out the day after Thanksgiving and had a new trainer. Immediately I got the asshole vibe from him, and my indigo intuition is hardly ever wrong. But so what b/c what the hell he's just training me. I had seen him there recently but never had him for my trainer. For most of the workout Jeff and Mario were working out people and I was with the asshole. There were no other ladies there. Well asshole started calling Jeff "Jeffina" and referring to him as a woman, and saying how they were going to box or fight that night. Mike was in the office doing paperwork oblivious to the whole thing and once in a while Mario joined in calling Jeff Jeffina and asking if the people working out had met their new female trainer. It pissed me off as a liberal feminist and someone with values and integrity. Jeff did not seem offended but well the hell was he to do if he was. Finally I had enough and said something akin to "Don't worry Jeff, I'll protect you" of defend you, or whatever like that. I was trying to respond with gentle assertive humor to diffuse the situation. However asshole said "I think I already made it clear that I'm not above hitting a woman." So in one fell swoop in my perspective he offended Jeff as a homosexual and threatened me as a woman. Well, sadly, I decided not to make a scene. In retrospect I wish I had. I went to my next appt. and called Mike from my car. I left a message with Mario to have Mike call me but he never did. A few days later I called him and told him what happened and he said it was inapropriate and he wouldn't use asshole's services again, he was a friend of Mario's who was helping out and would only have been there three more weeks anyway. I expressed concern that he was opening himself up to a lawsuit for sexual harassment or a hostile work environment, and said I'd expect that kind of shit in the locker room of the Y, not at an expensive place. I said I didn't feel like paying big $$ for that type of environment, or supporting a business that thought employing people like that was OK. PLus, it's billed as a distraction-free work environment. I thought we came to a resoluton. Anyway, 2 workouts later I went in and there was asshole. So Mike and lied to me, then ambushed me by not saying that asshole would be there, and giving me the option of not coming in. I walked out and demanded my money back, which for the rest of my sessions was $448. I notified the local NOW chapter, who notified the gay community. Mike said Jeff said he thought it was a joke, and was not offended. I said Jeff's responsible for his feelings and I'm responsible for mine, and though I think I have a great sense of humor, I don't find jokes about hitting homosexuals or women to be funny. My question is, did I go against some type of unspoken gay etiquette? I wasn't trying to get Jeff in trouble or make him feel awkward or imply he couldn't take care of himself. I advocated for myself as well as him, and told Mike I thought he owed Jeff an apology, b/c even if he was offended he might not say anything for fear of losing his job. Anyway, I'm all pissed off and shit. Sorry so long.
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Plus, my response to the situation on some level, was see this is why I hate republicans and christians, and I don't like feeling like that.
Good on you Roseyaire, the dude you termed asshole, maybe he has gay or bi tendencies or somthing.
I worked on this factory line once about 60 peoples, and there was one young girl, who was working sort of next to me, and all the blokes there, use to pay her out aprently it was common, then I seen them make her cry and they all felt really good about them selves, and she ended up walking out the door, so I gave all the blokes a mouthfull. hehe, sure shut them up. but it was sad that she left. soem peopel just stand by and dont say or do anything.
I have had plenty of gay/bi men transexuals tranvestites try and pick me up in life and its never botherd me once. I have stuck up for them quite a lot in night clubs and bars when I was younger also.
I just wished that woman could have seen you stand up for her. Hopefully she heard about it later. Thanks for your reply, and blessings to you for your social justice work.
I am homosexual, and i like to give input. lol. Anyways... Alot of people believe homosexual people are incapable of defending themselves from the ever growing homophobic bashers out there but in reality they have been growing a tough skin throughout the last couple years. They are more widely excepted and are being seen more. They are coming to terms with it being OK to be gay... so insults and verbal attacks are meaning less and less to that community. I think you did the right thing in complaining about the situation because your entitled to a "Distraction free" enviroment but i believe jeff is probly a grown man and can find his own way out of situations like the one mentioned. L+L
It's good to step in and help out, and you went about it in the right way; but yes, people should be able to, and need to, stick up for themselves!
I just signed up on this website today and after seeing a post about an anti-gay rabbi and thinking that I was in the wrong website, finding this post has made me feel at ease and thank you for it, even though I am 3 years too late in responding.
Yar, thats Brandon, he's excitable and well... a teensy bit different. Probably a genius in an "idiot savant" way. We often see the "idiot portion" still haven't discovered the "savant" part of his beautiful mind, I'm sure its there though.
In my hands I hold a candle whose flame is small to see,
And if I give but one light to you my life is filled for me.
But...In your hands you hold a torch for many eyes to see,
So hold it high that they may light their candlewicks from thee... موم γλυφή !
- By Faye
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I apologize that you had to see that. The community is in the process of flushing out some bad toxins and healing from some old wounds.
Please don't take any of it personally
The Way is always uncontrived. Yet there's nothing it doesn't do. -- Tao te Ching
I don't take it personally, if I do then it shows my skin isn't thick enough. I just use that as a guide as to who to avoid because life is too short to fight with someone over something so trivial. But I appreciate what you said.
To the OP...I am happy to know that there are still people who will get involved. People who will stand up for others no matter what the situation...this isn't a matter of gay or straight...this is about human beings being degraded infront of your face and how you respond.
There is obviously some kind of inner politics going on in that health place you go to and you may not have made a difference right then about that situation. But you stood up and let your voice be heard. People will continue to bully for many many reasons until enough others call them out on it.
Don't compromise yourself. You're all you've got. ~Janis Joplin
I totally agree.
my mother's best friend is gay. (man)
i must say that i've never met such a cheerful and humorous (does this word even exist?! lol) person.
morality and "normality" are subjective in such an uneven world.
um den Wahnsinn zu besiegen, muss man den Weg der Erleuchtung rückwärts gehen