In one of my first posts, I talked about what led me to start this blog in the first place. Well, it happened again yesterday. Only this time it wasn’t a guy doing it. Not sure if that made things worse? Fuck knows. What I do know is that the more it happens, the more it wears me down – especially as my life is unravelling right now. When I ranted about it on social media, I had a lot of supportive comments – some of which were serious whilst others were just funny. As much as these comments calmed me down or helped me to move on, I couldn’t really. There was something else.
It was at work again and although it wasn’t as obvious as the fuck nugget who blatantly took a photo of me, it still annoyed the hell out of me because I’m there to help people and to give them the best I can. They’re there to talk about a tattoo until they see me. Then the game changes. I’m used to stares when walking down the street or when out shopping. Don’t get me wrong, they too wear me down but they don’t last very long – once I’ve walked by that’s the end of that. Till I encounter the next person, where the cycle repeats itself. Today was slightly different in that she was sat in front of me. There was nowhere for her to go and nowhere for me to go. It wasn’t a momentary thing. As I was talking to her, I could tell she wasn’t listening. She wasn’t even making eye contact for some of it. Instead she was looking me up and down. Curious. She clearly had a look of “what the fuck are you meant to be?” in her eyes. As I carried on talking and asking her about what she wanted from her design, I could tell she wasn’t paying much attention. The fact that when I gave her a choice of a few styles, she just said “yes”. When I went out of my way to make eye contact, she just did that thing dogs do: turn their head away but keeping the eyes fixed. Yeh, well done genius, it’s fucking obvious you’re still looking – I can fucking see your eyes!!
When everything was agreed and she had been booked in, she left. I didn’t feel it at the time but as the day went on, it did get to me. Sure, I have to be nice and be civil to all those around me but I’m allowed to feel something too. And she made me feel like a freak. Come to think of it, everybody that stares at me makes me feel like a fucking freak. Not even stares. The sniggers, the mutters, pointing, the looks of absolute disgust, the not-so-subtle nudges to their friends…all of it. As if I’m not already self-conscious, close to some kind of a breakdown and mentally exhausted from having to deal with this, I have to deal with disrespectful twats who just can’t accept others for who they are. Instead, they need to judge. They need to criticise or mock another life simply because it’s different to what they know. Thing is, they never stop to consider that the problem is their small mind. Their lack of exposure to the real world and their lack of education over the equality of others. After all, it’s not even their planet. They have the same rights as everybody else on this planet. What they don’t have is the right to take away somebody else’s rights or to judge another life based on their own choices. The really disappointing thing is that this will never change. They will never know they have to change because they don’t see themselves being part of the problem.
Of the comments I got last night, a few stuck out. They were the ones that went along the lines of “don’t ever change who you are for people like that” and “always be yourself”. My wife said told me the same too. She even said I was a good person and that I shouldn’t let people like the customer get me down. If only they all knew eh?! For a start, I *do* wish I could change the person I am. I’d be somebody else. Anybody but me. Somebody that knows who they are and isn’t caught up in such a fucking mess. Male or female, I don’t care. Just somebody who isn’t torn up trying to decide or feeling like they’re stuck in the wrong body. As for being myself…well, who am I? I honestly don’t know. How can I be something I’m not sure of? If I did know, how can I be myself if it meant hurting others? I really don’t mean to sound ungrateful right now. I don’t mean to. I know those comments were meant in a positive way, and that the people saying them really do care – they just have no clue what’s really going on. I keep reminding myself of that but the comments still hurt like hell. See what I mean about being so torn? I can’t even take a compliment or supportive reassurance from people. I can imagine it’s a similar kind of frustration to when someone has amnesia and is struggling to remember who they are but they just can’t. The answers are there but they can’t find them. The frustration just builds and builds. In my case, I’m not trying to remember who I am, I’m trying to figure out who I am. It’s life-changing stuff and I have to absolutely sure because there’s no going back at all. That’s why I’ve always had the utmost respect for people who identify as being gay and come out to everyone around them. It takes real strength to do that. But as much as we acknowledge somebody as being gay, something nobody ever acknowledges is the personal struggle they went through to reach that point in their lives. The constant conflict, the debate, the guilt, the need for answers…all of it. The next time you see or meet somebody that’s gay, just take that moment to imagine what they had to go through. I’m hoping you’ll have an even greater respect for them. The same goes for anybody that’s had to struggle to get to where they are, whether it’s sexuality or disability. We should never ever forget their fight.
Even today, after a night of thinking and trying to distract myself, I’m still undecided how to take certain comments. Seriously, would they still say the same thing if they knew the truth? Would they still support me? I really need to be careful right now. I’m coming apart at the seams and dangerously close to snapping, doing something stupid or even worse: telling somebody about me.
Featured image: via Reddit