Thursday, June 20, 2024

We Can Disagree Without Hatred.

January 15, 2020 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( I was in the library recently minding my business getting some work done. A lady sat at the table and struck up a conversation. She seemed like a nice person, but I only had a limited amount of time to get my work done. After a bit of pleasant silence, she told me her name and began to shoot her shot. Originally, I thought she was just being friendly until she expressed personal interest thinking we could get to know each other. I thanked her for her compliment and declined her advance. Again, there was silence, she broke it to ask if I was heterosexual…I told her yes. From the moment I answered her she began to try and explain to me why I needed to give her a chance, and why I needed to be open minded. This was a kind of energy I didn’t need. I wouldn’t tolerate this manner of badgering me if she was a man, so I was not going to tolerate it from her. I simply told her that’s not my preference, and the conversation was making me uncomfortable.

Though I should not have, I moved to another table to try and re-focus so I could work.  That plan didn’t work she followed me making a scene accusing me of hating lesbians. It was the most surreal thing because I never said anything about hate…I simply stated I was uninterested in getting to know her personally. We have to be honest about respect and hatred. We can disagree…or express preference without hate.

We were both asked to leave the library. I did so peacefully while acknowledging this is the issue some straight people have regarding what is acceptable. Everyone has the right to love their way without judgement and hatred. Everyone includes people that are straight. If the lady in the library had of been a man, they would have asked him to leave and it would have been acknowledged that I was being harassed, but this was not the case. Having equality means we should be able to say no without harassment. I should not suffer harassment at the hands of a woman because she feels I need to be open minded. Flip that situation…if she had been approached by a man, asked if she was a lesbian, then told she needs to be open minded we’d all be talking about how wrong he was for pushing his preference on her. He would have been seen as disrespectful, and possibly toxic.  That is how I saw this woman.

Yes, there are some straight people that need to understand everyone doesn’t want them and there is more than one way to love and live. With that being said, if you aren’t straight please know that someone doesn’t have to live your lifestyle to be accepting of you. Just as you demand to be treated with respect you should give the same to others. It can be offensive for me to ask you your preference (regardless of why) and then disrespect who you are.

We must give the equality we seek and respect everyone’s right to love freely. We can lose allies when we force who we are onto someone else. I haven’t been back to the library honestly because I don’t want to cross her path. It’s a shame we make people to feel this way. Infringing on another’s right to love will never secure your rights.

Staff Writer; Chelle’ St James

May also connect with this sister via Twitter; ChelleStJames.

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