Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Friend of a Gay

I don't know what the deal is, friends, but I seem to find myself suddenly a receptacle for anti-gay sentiments from a couple of the patients here at the dental office.

Yesterday, one of our elderly ladies took a moment while her driver was outside to inform me that he is "A Gay", but that he's doing a good job anyway.

What a friend of a Gay to say? "Well, ma'am, they are still nice people, even if they are a little different from us."

"Are you one?" She asked me.

"No, ma'am, I have a husband."

"Well, that doesn't necessarily mean much." Indeed. Well. I politely explained that I love my husband very much, but that I have been asked if I was "one" before.

It was all a bit overwhelming, but she is 89, and she was complimenting her driver, albeit back-handedly. I let it pass. No use instructing an 89 year old in political correctness, especially since she was doing her best to be discreet.

When she was finished with her appointment, a bit early, she came out into the waiting area to find that her driver was still out running an errand because we had told him she'd be done a little later. She expressed her concern that he might have gone out and run off with someone and forgotten about her, you know, since he's a gay.

"I'm sure he's coming back for you, ma'am." Talk about paranoid. I did want to inform her that he is not a gay; he is gay. And his shoes were fabulous.

That brings us to today.

Today, a particularly swishy patient who claims to be straight (though I have never believed him), wanted to talk to me about the "boy toys" in West Hollywood, asked me if I've been to the Gay Pride Parade, and then used a rather offensive nickname, which I will not repeat here on this blog, in reference to the Catholic priests and their alleged misconduct. I am not for said misconduct, but I do take issue with his lumping the humpings of pedophilic priests in with the behavior of the general gay population. This man did make sure to check that I wasn't Catholic before telling the story, of course, but he did not check to see if I was a friend of the gay community, which he knows I am. (He didn't use the "f" name, for those who are wondering, but a much more juvenile two word name starting with two Rs)

What's a receptionist to do? I think he thought I would think it was clever or funny, because I know he knows I'm in theater and therefor friendly with homosexuals. I just didn't think it was funny. Perhaps because he was not referring to his good friends the "R.R."s but the dirty child molester R.R.s.

I didn't know what to say. I kept trying to get him to schedule his appointment and leave. To no avail. He thought we were having a good time.

What is going on, people?! I don't want to hear this stuff!!! A dental office is not the place to correct the prejudices of our clients. It is my job to make them want to come back, not to make them feel like the jackasses they are.

I'm exhausted. To all the Gays I've loved before, I'm sorry there are people like that out there. They suck!


amandarama said...

I feel you, I really do.

Anonymous said... When that woman said "a gay" that so reminded me of that old Margaret Cho standup routine (where her grandmother uses the same terminology). When Margaret said it, it was funny.

I guess a lot of people don't think twice about who they may be speaking to (or possibly offending!) before they open their mouths. Sad.

ellipsisknits said...

With little old ladies, I just put on a tolerant face and let it pass. You're not going to make any headway, and they've earned some leeway over those years. Besides, it's probably far from the most outrageous opinion she has that nobody really pays attention to.

The rest, man, it's rough.

The worst I've seen was a girl in high school who had a mentally handicapped brother, and thus made it her personal cause to get everyone to stop using the word 'retarded' to describe things they didn't like. While that's a decent enough cause in an of itself, (can you guess where this is going?) her personal preference for a replacement word was 'gay'.


The thing is she wasn't nearly as stupid or mean-spirited as this makes her sound, it was just like some crazy blind spot in her mind's eye. We harped on her for two years and she just couldn't get through her head how it could be offensive.

I guess the gist of this rambling is: I feel your pain.