I have had the (dis)pleasure of working with a fair amount of creepy people, over the past few years. There was the one who told people he’d bring his M-16 to work if they pissed him off. There was the one who informed us on his first day that he’d been fired from McDonald’s for sexual harassment because he has a problem with boundaries.
I have been known to describe Jennifer as my “lesbian lover” to unsuspecting strangers. People frequently ask us to explain how our relationship works. Are we married? Are we dating? Are we brother and sister? How is it that we always know where the other is? Why is it that we spend so much time together? One day, I responded to someone by telling them that we’re lesbian lovers. It was my polite way of telling them that not only do I owe them zero explanation, but it is none of their business. I am pretty open at both school and work about being queer, and so this response makes sense…except for Jennifer’s status as a heterosexual male. People get a perplexed look on their faces when I respond to their questions in this way. Laugh uncomfortably. Never ask for an explication of our relationship again.
Well. A relatively-new coworker asked us this same question last night. Jennifer explained that we are long-time friends, and have worked together for quite some time. I added the bit about us being lesbian lovers, for good measure. This coworker’s response was, “If I had a gun, I would kill all the lesbians.”
Jennifer promptly responded with, “Whoa. Not cool, man. That’s not okay.” We don’t currently have a supervisor directly over us at work, so there was no one to reprimand said coworker for the threat. I stewed for fifteen minutes before confronting this coworker and explaining that if he ever makes a statement like that again, not only will I report it to the night shift supervisor, but I will file a complaint with HR because I consider that to be a threat against my own life.
His response? That, in return, I clean up my language because he is not one to stand up for himself.
My beloved missionary brother, Chuck, is a language-sensitive person. If he ever turned off a movie, it was for profanity. Though I don’t agree with his perception of what is “acceptable” and “unacceptable” in terms of language-use, I understand that some people are bothered by what our society has deemed to be profane language.
That having been said, the usage of swears does not EVER warrant death threats.
I never understood how people could not grasp that there is language much more harmful than a handful of four-lettered words. You want to hear profane?
“If I had a gun, I would kill all the lesbians.”
That, my friends, is profane.
That is hate speech.