I received my first "in person" dose of intolerance and homophobia today while shopping. I was at a store talking to the employee about something simple when I mentioned my "partner."
Me: "Yeah my partner has...."
Employee: "Oh really?"
Me: "Yeah she said...."
Employee: (Eyes widen then narrow at me) "Your partner is a woman?"
Me: (Confused) "Yes."
Employee: "I'll gotta go." (She turns and walks away. Walks to another employee and whispers something to her and points at me.)
They share a look the the first employee walks out of sight to gods only knows where. I continued my shopping by myself still confused and not finding everything that I wanted. Going up the cash register with my purchase the first employee is still no where in sight. The second one slowly makes her way behind the register. Not saying a word to me she starts ringing up my items. I'm still confused and irritated by this point. This is a store that I have been to a few times and they have a point reward system for purchases. I tell her that I don't have my card with me but that I do have one somewhere and ask if she can look it up.
She sighs, rolls her eyes at me and says "I guess so."
I asked "Can you look it up by my phone number?"
Her reply "Whatever."
This pisses me off. I have NO idea what the hell I did to make these people act like this toward me. Anyone that knows me can tell you that I speak my mind no matter the situation so I ask "Is there a problem that I'm not aware of?"
Her response was a grunt. A Grunt. A fraking GRUNT!!
I ask, "Did I do something that I'm not aware of?" (I'm thinking I asked too many questions about what I was looking for or they were just irritated that they showed me several different of the items I was looking for before I found what I wanted.)
She sneered at me "We don't like your kind."
I stare at her for about thirty seconds trying to figure out what 'my kind' is. I'm standing at a makeup counter so it can't be that I'm a woman. I'm in a store that I usually see mostly women in. And she IS a women. I have no idea what the hell she is talking about so I ask, "My kind? What kind am I?"
She glances around the store before whispering, "lesbians."
NOW my brain to mouth filter (and apparently my volume control) is completely gone. "Lesbians? You don't like lesbians?"
I now have the attention of anyone within hearing distance. "So your co-worker refused to help me find what I needed and walked away and you are being an ass because you think I'm a lesbian and you 'don't like my kind'?"
She just glared at me. Not wanting to get arrested I decided it was time I leave before I slap the dumb bitch up side the head and go find her co-worker to do the same.
I left my entire purchase which added up to be around $50 on the counter and walked away. As I was leaving the store I noticed six other women put their purchased down in front of her and follow me out.
One woman caught up to me outside the store and told me she was very sorry that I had to go through that and that I was a very brave person for sticking up for myself. The others passed by and smiled at me.
I honestly wanted to cry. I know that there are people out there who are intolerant and homophobic but I never thought in a million years I would have to deal with two of them at the same time being that rude to me.
The reason I thought I would never be on the receiving end of homophobia us because I am NOT a lesbian. I have been married to a man for almost eleven years. The "partner" I was speaking of was my work partner. I DO however completely support equality no matter your sexual orientation. Love is love no matter who it is you love. I explained to the woman that followed me out that I was not gay and that I was married. She asked why I let the woman at the counter believe I was. I told her that it didn't matter if I denied it or not. If I denied it then I would just be playing into her childish homophobic ways. That she wouldn't care what I said, once she thought it nothing I was going to say was going to change her mind. She informed me she would never shop at that store again. My goal wasn't to make people not shop there but I thanked her anyway and went on with my shopping. To say the least I will NEVER set foot in that store again. Unless it's to go speak to the manager about their employees. Which probably won't make a difference anyway. Actually I'm such a bitch maybe I'll go in there and look around the next time I'm there just to irritate the shit out of the little bitch. Can you get arrested for walking around a store and not buying anything if you mind your own business?
I still don't understand how people can be and act the way they do. We're all people. We're all human beings. I know that I've lived a somewhat sheltered life growing up and living where I do but this is ridiculous. I'm not saying any of this to make myself look good because I stood up for something. And I know I'm not the only one that has ever had to deal with people like this. I know many people have had a lot worse experiences than what I did today. I just wanted to say no one should have to be treated this way. If anyone is ever treated this way please know that not everyone thinks the way these two women do. There are a lot of people out there that support you. Stand up for yourself and keep you head held high.