I’ve Changed A Little

A few days ago one of my friends James called to say hello.

As our conversation started on it’s roll, turning us mentally into the college students we once were, he uttered “shut-up you pansy fag”. And then there was silence. He started to stutter and then apologize and I could tell he was turning all shades of red.

It was a phrase that we casually threw around, as a playful insult. Only now, the very word makes me cringe.

He kept apologizing, saying he didn’t mean anything by it. He said that he was just teasing.

Lately words like this really cut to the core. And I felt a flush come to my face and I felt my whole body tense and I was also speechless. I kept telling him it was okay, that no harm, no foul. I kept telling him to stop apologizing and that it was nothing. But there was a huge part of me that felt frustrated that the word would be used even as a playful insult. The more he tried to apologize, the closer I was brought to tears.

He continued with his apology…”that’s not such a cool word is it. I don’t think it ever was or ever should be”. He continued by saying that right after he uttered it this time, he realized how derogatory the word actually is, that it was insulting and should never be used.  He apologized again and because of the sincerity in his voice, I no longer felt tense. Something inside him clicked and he understood.

And this is why I cried. I have come only a few steps on this little journey of mine, but many of my friends are making this journey with me. I may have changed a little, but so have they. They changed and became better friends.

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11 Responses to “I’ve Changed A Little”

  1. Daniel Says:

    Change is definitely part of the acceptance and coming out process. Without changing and evolving who you are, you will never been able to grow as a person.

    Your true friends see that you are changing and will change with you. Those who can’t make those changes with you aren’t your true friends.

    While I feel that your friend should have never uttered the phrase, he did apologize. As you mentioned in your post, he evolved within a short period of time and now knows how derogatory that word is.

    Chin up.

  2. Robert Says:

    Beautiful!!!! Sometimes a little [or a lot of] hurt goes a long way. In the end, the lesson is learned. Isn’t it what’s all about?

    Good to read you JM!! As always!

  3. Steven Says:

    I don’t know too many gays or lesbians who only have “little journies”. And I can see many people changing and becoming better friends with you along your journey, while also learning to RESPECT others as well. Thank you for instilling that respect. You never know when we may run into the same people other bloggers have met. And if that ever were to happen, it reassuring that they have already learned their lesson and will respect others. 🙂

  4. urspo Says:

    a good reply now for you is
    “that’s DOCTOR pansy fag to you!”

  5. Jim Says:

    I like urspo’s response, lol.

    Its about intent; he said it out of habit (albeit disrespectful), not hurtful intent.

  6. Lemuel Says:

    I also liked Ur-Spo’s response, but I am actually happy to hear that your friends are taking this journey with you. Not knowing the full extent of your conversation, it may have been appropriate (if it were not said) to have said that “yes, those words hurt, but because you are my friend I forgive you. Please be sensitive to others who may be hurt by such words.”

    I appreciate your friend’s willingness to seek your forgiveness as well as your willingness to give it.

  7. Stephen Says:

    It is a journey for both you and your friends. There will come a time when the comfort level will be there when comments/jokes can be said in jest and not bring forth pain or awkward silence.

  8. Doug Says:

    It’s wonderful that your friends are realizing the truth behind your existence. It’s this kind of thing that will eventually make homophobia almost forgotten. Your friends will spread tolerance to their friends, and on and on.

  9. Steve Rebooted Says:

    Amen Brother! You’ve got it figured out 😆

  10. Steven Says:

    I remember once when a friend used the word ‘normal’ instead of ‘straight’ to describe a relationship between two people, he suddenly caught himself and kept apologizing, I told him no problem, because he could see that the use of the word normal could mean a gay relationship as well and if he could see that, then I was happy.

  11. Missy Says:

    Everytime someone comes out–is true to him or herself as you have been–they bring a whole cadre of people along with them on the journey.

    We all grow and become better people because of it.

    Thanks for sharing.

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