was just sharing this with some friends and realised am so angry I want to share it further still :
Last night I rescued a young girl from Bogata (after nasty aggressive man spat in her face saying “I hope you get AIDS”). I arrived at the bus stop (opposite Old Compton Street) to see this man leaning over and haranguing the girl, everyone else standing there doing nothing and looking away. Mostly he was screaming in his drunken/drugged stupor “I f***ing hate gays, don’t you call me a gay, I hate f***ing gays, f***ing evil gays, my girlfriend would claw your eyes out if she heard you say that, etc etc.) Needless to say, she hadn’t said anything of the sort, being from Bogota and here to learn English and being tiny and inoffensive anyway. I did what I always do (on the rare occasions I’ve been around it) with street violence and stood close. To witness. I truly believe that if we don’t turn away people will – usually – become aware that what they’re doing is bad/scary/awful and at least back down for a moment. He moved away, then came back and spat in her face, which is when I told her to come with me and walked her away to another bus stop. I didn’t need to fight the insane man or stop him being an offensive bastard, but I am still shocked that about ten other people at the bus stop – many of whom had been there when I arrived – did nothing. The girl said to me later “I’ve been here for 18 months and that’s the first time anything like that’s happened to me.” I’ve been here 23 years and it’s never happened (directly) to me. But once in 18 months is not good enough.
And here’s one of the reasons I think those other people at the bus stop did nothing – the mad/bad man was screaming about ‘gays’. I am so sick of casual homophobia and the assumption that it’s ok. Replace that bloke’s ‘gays’ for any term of racist abuse and I have a feeling some of those other people might just have stepped up too.
Now, how long until there’s an out man (sadly no point asking about an out woman, that’ll take way way longer, if ever) in the White House?