It's 2017 And I Can Open The Door For Whomever I Want

It's 2017 And I Can Open The Door For Whomever I Want

I have never been more offended and hurt in my life.
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It is crazy how fast a good day can turn into a terrible day. My little sister and I went to dinner and then made our way to Target to find our mom a birthday gift. While at Target I had texted my best friend and asked him to hang out after I was done shopping. My little sister wanted to tag along too.

After we had finished our shopping, we headed home because my best friend needed to take a nap. After receiving a text that he was awake, I grabbed my Cards Against Humanity game, and my little sister and I headed over to his house. We all gathered around his coffee table and played the game for a couple of hours. After dominating in the game, we had all mentioned that we were hungry. So, we headed to Steak N Shake, since it was the only placed open after midnight.

For once, we had a pleasant server and enjoyed our visit. After eating, we made our way up to pay. My best friend paid for his meal, and he even paid for my shake with a free coupon he had. Then I paid for my bill. We both stood off to the side and waited for my little sister to pay for her's. My best friend was on his phone and I was looking at mine as we both made our way to the car. I had gone out the door first. I stood with the door open waiting for my best friend to exit, and I stood there waiting for my little sister to exit too. As I stood there with the door open, and man in his late thirties, wearing a camo jacket, wasn’t paying any attention and went to come in as I was holding the door open.

He came face-to-face with my best friend. At this point in the story, I should mention that my best friend is a gay male. The man in the camo jacket had told my friend to come back towards him and took a step towards my best friend. At this point, I had taken a step towards the man in the camo. Then the man in the camo looked at me and said, “Are you opening the door for your lady?” My stomach dropped and I went into fighting mode. I looked the man directly in the eyes and said, “It is 2017 and I can open the door for whoever I feel like.” He turned back towards me and said, “A man should open the door for a lady.” The man in the camo jacket went to grab the door from me. I stood there holding the door wide open and did not move. The man in the camo jacket turned to me and said, “You must wear the pants in your family.” He then opened the second set of doors as my little sister left the restaurant and said, “A man should open the door like this.”

This was the first time in my life where I had been brought down a peg. I have never been more offended and hurt in my life. My best friend and I were being harassed while just trying to leave a restaurant. I do not understand why people think it is okay to make judgmental comments about things that do not have anything to do with them. What is the point of opening your mouth?

I do not know what the man in the camo jacket was going to get out of the situation. I do not get why the man in the camo jacket had any right to make the comments he did. I thought by 2017 people would learn how to respect one another. For my 20 years of life, I have always thought that people were beginning to accept all different types of people. I thought that people were beginning to move forward from harassing and judging people. But after this incident, I have begun to lose my faith in people.

Cover Image Credit: Averie Cooks

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Pride? Pride.

Who are we? Why are we proud?

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This past week, I was called a faggot by someone close to me and by note, of all ways. The shock rolled through my body like thunder across barren plains and I was stuck paralyzed in place, frozen, unlike the melting ice caps. My chest suddenly felt tight, my hearing became dim, and my mind went blank except for one all-encompassing and constant word. Finally, after having thawed, my rage bubbled forward like divine retribution and I stood poised and ready to curse the name of the offending person. My tongue lashed the air into a frenzy, and I was angry until I let myself break and weep twice. Later, I began to question not sexualities or words used to express (or disparage) them, but my own embodiment of them.

For members of the queer community, there are several unspoken and vital rules that come into play in many situations, mainly for you to not be assaulted or worse (and it's all too often worse). Make sure your movements are measured and fit within the realm of possible heterosexuality. Keep your music low and let no one hear who you listen to. Avoid every shred of anything stereotypically gay or feminine like the plague. Tell the truth without details when you can and tell half-truths with real details if you must. And above all, learn how to clear your search history. At twenty, I remember my days of teaching my puberty-stricken body the lessons I thought no one else was learning. Over time I learned the more subtle and more important lessons of what exactly gay culture is. Now a man with a head and social media accounts full of gay indicators, I find myself wondering both what it all means and more importantly, does it even matter?

To the question of whether it matters, the answer is naturally yes and no (and no, that's not my answer because I'm a Gemini). The month of June has the pleasure of being the time of year when the LGBT+ community embraces the hateful rhetoric and indulges in one of the deadly sins. Pride. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the figures at the head of the gay liberation movement, fought for something larger than themselves and as with the rest of the LGBT+ community, Pride is more than a parade of muscular white men dancing in their underwear. It's a time of reflection, of mourning, of celebration, of course, and most importantly, of hope. Pride is a time to look back at how far we've come and realize that there is still a far way to go.

This year marks fifty years since the Stonewall Riots and the gay liberation movement launched onto the world stage, thus making the learning and embracing of gay culture that much more important. The waves of queer people that come after the AIDS crisis has been given the task of rebuilding and redefining. The AIDS crisis was more than just that. It was Death itself stalking through the community with the help of Regan doing nothing. It was going out with friends and your circle shrinking faster than you can try or even care to replenish. Where do you go after the apocalypse? The LGBT+ community was a world shut off from access by a touch of death and now on the other side, we must weave in as much life as we can.

But we can't freeze and dwell of this forever. It matters because that's where we came from, but it doesn't matter because that's not where we are anymore. We're in a time of rebirth and spring. The LGBT+ community can forge a new identity where the AIDS crisis is not the defining feature, rather a defining feature to be immortalized, mourned, and moved on from.

And to the question of what does it all mean? Well, it means that I'm gay and that I've learned the central lesson that all queer people should learn in middle school. It's called Pride for a reason. We have to shoulder the weight of it all and still hold our head high and we should. Pride is the LGBT+ community turning lemons into lemon squares and limoncello. The lemon squares are funeral cakes meant to mourn and be a familiar reminder of what passed, but the limoncello is the extravagant and intoxicating celebration of what is to come. This year I choose to combine the two and get drunk off funeral cakes. Something tells me that those who came before would've wanted me to celebrate.

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