I had long ventured home for the evening, curled up in my bed and was dreaming of 2013. Little did I know that during my slumber the world (my little corner here in Columbus, Ohio at least) had began to show sings of a deep paradigm shift.
Two of my friends had gone off to get a little bite before heading back to the house for the night–the spot was Mikey’s Late Night Slice pizza truck. Who would have known what was going to happen next…
As they stood in line they were holding hands, no they are not boyfriends…just two male friends who happen to be gay. They were holding hands and standing close because it was a cold night; as they stood they were laughing and joking about the events of the evening. Unprovoked, the guy in front of them turned around and told them to cut out the gay shit. While it is seemingly common place for such occurrences to happen to LGBT individuals what was not common was the reaction the guy received from the rest of the people in line. According to my friend “Almost every single person in that line made it known to him it was not ok” to speak like that and the workers at the pizza truck told them man he needed to leave and they would not be accepting his business.
Fast forward to Sunday morning when my friend decides to share his story through his Facebook status…little did any of us know that his tale would go viral and have over 2500 likes and 300 shares by the end of that Sunday. As I write this little piece I see the numbers creeping up on Facebook… I see the stats on Reddit… And I know outlets like Daily Kos are writing stories…
Funny we even went shopping that Sunday and stopped in at a Starbucks only to overhear the baristas talking about the post.
My purpose for sharing this story is not to make some political comment about the change we need, or to trumpet the social paradigm shift that we may see occurring. My purpose for sharing this story is to acknowledge that any kind of bullying and hurtful speech is not ok. We should all feel free to be who we are without fear of persecution–as a society we should take a lesson from the people standing in the pizza line.
After many years of people freely bullying LGBT people in public with little consequence are seeing a changing tide? Is our social paradigm shifting in a way that such hate speech will no longer be tolerated? Kudos to the people in line, kudos to Mikey’s Late Night Slice for having such wonderful employees…but kudos to my friends for just being themselves and having the fortitude to share their story.