Originally posted to Myspace on May 08, 2008
In the midst of having a beautiful day and just before an incredible sunset, my friend Nick and I witnessed something truly disgusting and disheartening.
It kind of felt like we were in a movie. We'd just finished scarfing down a dozen raw oysters a piece at Cooter Brown's and decided to take our beers to go for a walk on the levee. We walked until we saw a spot that the river hadn't completely flooded. We found a spot where at a electrical power's base and saw that a man was taking photos of a woman standing on one of its legs. We were about 100 feet out or so and saw a group of young black boys watching the photo shoot from the top of the levee. Then some of them ran down for a closer look and I wondered if the woman was topless. As we got closer, we saw her extend her leg and noticed that it was quite muscular. Then we saw that her shoulders were quite broad. And then Nick put together that this woman in a floppy woman's summer hat, heels, and a skirt, was actually a man.
The kids seemed cute and harmless at first. A good 10 or 15 of them between the ages of 11-14 I'm guessing. They all got together and posed for the photographer. It seemed innocent enough as they started yelling things like "You like dudes?" "This for a gay magazine?". But then their mood changed. They started yelling things like "fucking faggot" "Your supposed to like pussy, not dick" "are you a queer? fucking queer" At this point we were standing on the back of the levee, 10 feet away watching it unfold. The photographer helped his subject down and he proudly sashayed away in his white high heels. We said hi to them and exchanged worried glances as I hoped these kids didn't get out of hand.
The two walked up the levee as the kids followed them. One of them picked up 2 large pieces of driftwood and started after them. "You like sticks?" he asked. "I got some fucking sticks for you you fucking queer". The photographer turned and gave them a warning look but continued on. He was no match for that many kids. The one with the sticks looked as if he meant business and I was worried he was going to attack them. Another kid stood over a dead seagull at the bottom of the levee, disinterested in that mode of hate, and called to his friends "Hey! Come spit on this bird!". But they were too busy abusing live people to abuse poor dead animals.
The boy dropped the sticks saying "I should beat that faggots ass." As they started down the other side of the levee, another kid picked up the sticks and hummed them in their direction while another yelled "HIT HIM! HIT HIM!". I don't know if it made contact because I couldn't see. Then they retreated back to where the kid had drug the dead bird up the levee. It was then that they spotted us walking towards the river. "I want that girl in the pink shirt!" one yelled. "Hey you! Hey girl!". Nick turned his head but I told him to just ignore them as I did. After a minute of yelling at us with no reaction, they stopped and went about abusing the bird.
We shook our heads at each other. I said "It isn't like they were born that way. Someone taught them to hate like that." No one is ever born with that much hate. People hate others for their race, their sexual orientation, their religion, because someone taught them to. Whether it was their parents, someone else's parents, their peers (who were taught by someone else) or even someone at their school or church, these kids were taught from the get go to hate. It's sad.
They say tolerance should be taught in schools. While that is partially correct, the word "tolerance" gives the notion that something needs to be tolerated...which is to say that there is something wrong with it and one should just learn to deal with it. What needs to be taught is acceptance. Kids need to learn to ACCEPT other peoples differences and, maybe in time, they can learn to embrace them.
It all reminded me of the many instances where gays have been beaten to death simply for being gay. I don't know what I would have done if that would have happened in front of me.