The other day I posted a video on my friend’s Facebook page in an effort to give her a laugh. The video was titled “Shit Straight Girls Say to Lesbians”, and it was simply intended to throw her a smile in the middle of a stressful day. Sadly, the video was ill-received by one of her friends and a small battle ensued. Her friend told me to “fuck off”, called me a “bitch” and then told me to “get that chip off my shoulder”. Needless to say, I was a bit shocked at her response. Her basic contention is that “everyone jokes about everyone and everyone needs to lighten up and quit being so…unwilling to give anyone the benefit of the doubt.” I do not agree.
In this day and age, the joking and mockery that occurs between different social groups is a huge problem. People try to excuse hurtful and ugly speech by saying ‘it was a joke’, but that doesn’t make the speech any less hateful. I understand that being a lesbian is not something all people will accept about me, but the truth is I don’t need anyone’s blessing to live my life the way I choose; open and honest. The fact that my life is used as fodder for other people’s laughter is not something I appreciate or excuse, and I don’t give people the benefit of the doubt when they don’t even know me.
The video I posted from YouTube did make me laugh, because I have heard those statements from straight girls for years. The friend I shared the video with is also a lesbian and I knew she could relate to the clear and present idiocy of the post, thereby evoking a laugh. Everyday gays and lesbians are confronted with the same kind of behavior seen on the video, and while it does make me laugh, it doesn’t change the fact that I still cringe after years of hearing comments about how I should try penis and dress more like a girl.
The girl’s comment about “everyone makes fun of everyone” reminds me of what my mother used to say to me when I would use that excuse as a child; just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean you have to do it too. Here is a news flash for those of you who think “everyone is doing it”; everyone is NOT making fun of everyone. Most people are just trying to live their lives the best they can, despite the daily onslaught of criticism and negativity they receive from others. Do everyone a favor and think before you speak; take a minute and put yourself in place of the group you are commenting about and then decide if you still want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt; I doubt you will.