To That Asshole Guy and His Friends Walking Downtown Today.
All I want to know is what makes you think it is okay to refer to another human being as “it?” And what makes you think it is okay to laugh while you friend dehumanizes another human being?
As I was walking from one job to another today I had the misfortune of overhearing part of someone else’s conversation. Usually walking downtown I have my headphones in and I tune out everyone around me so I can have some “me” time. Today, however, I overheard some people laughing. One of them sounded like a child, which is what initially pulled my attention. I then realized it was a woman and continued on my way, but I over heard what was going on. The guy in the group goes, “it’s amazing the things you see in Downtown Denver,” and everyone laughs some more. At this point all I’m thinking is, “oh new people who find Denver to be a fascinating city, cool.” But then the guy goes, “like the other day I was walking down Colfax and I saw something interesting. ‘It’ was my height, wearing a dress and had long blonde hair..” And then he and his friends started laughing again. This was the point that I was opening the door to the restaurant I work in.
I thought about snapping at the guy. About the best way to approach a stranger that is having the audacity to call someone else “it.” But I was already to work and they were continuing down the street, and within the moments it took me to try to make a decision the guy and his friends where too far away for me to say anything without looking like a crazy person chasing them down the street.
The thing is, I was wrong in not speaking up the moment I realized he was talking about another person and not some random piece of public art that we have all around Denver. I was wrong to not tell him how he was hurting people that weren’t even there, and how he was insulting some of my dearest friends, whether they are trans* or if they are drag performers. I didn’t see the woman he was talking about, and I didn’t need to. This woman, whoever she is, deserved better than what I gave her today by not calling this guy out.
I feel super guilty about not calling this kind of behavior out for the despicable display of human activity it really was. I will do my best not do fail in this way again. You were a grown ass adult guy who has only become a bigger bully than I presume you were when you were a child. And your friends are just older versions of bully supporters.