Trigger Warning: Slurs are discussed
I was scrolling through Twitter one day and saw the following caption attached to pictures of a guy who graduated from my college a is now a contestant on The Bachelorette: "dude looks like he would call me a f*g for majoring in theatre and then get busted for getting high in a back room of HSU”.
And I was like, what?
You might be laughing right now, which is probably why they tweeted this. Just to get some easy laughs and likes by making ridiculous assumptions about a guy who looks like a stereotypical jock (muscular, attractive, and has his hat on backwards in what looks like a school ID photo). I was, and still am, far from laughing.
For one, I am very uncomfortable with how the author of the tweet assumes the graduate would call them a slur. They don’t even know him, all they know is his name and how he looks. Most importantly, this word is not theirs to use. The tweeter is not gay and therefore, should not use it at all (I personally don’t feel comfortable with anyone using the f word but I understand that people in the LGBTQIA+ community are trying to take back ownership of the word).
I’m going to go back and touch on the assuming thing because that really bugs me. Not only does the author think the alumni would call them a slur, but they also, for some unknown reason, think that he would smoke weed.This person is assuming and judging how he treats and what he thinks of people different from him, his morals, and what he does in his spare time, purely based on how he looks. Which is, ironically, exactly what they are afraid that the man will do to them.
The twitter user is doing the same thing to the guy that they are scared he will do to them. They are making judgements based on how he looks and what activities he is involved in. And for what? Some laughs and likes? To shame him for things he never said or did? To project their own prejudice against people who work out? There are stigmas about men in theatre, one of them being that they’re all gay, which is false. There are also stigmas about men is sports, such as all athletes hate theatre, and are homophobic, which is false as well. We need to let go of these unhealthy stigmas and assumptions and get to know people before we judge them.
I know that the person with the theatre major has probably had a few bad experiences with people who may look like the alumni, but that is no excuse for saying the awful things they said about him. I know people may think I’m naive for thinking the best in the man but I like assuming the best in people unless they give me a reason not to, and a couple of pictures isn’t a reason.