I’m so damn angry at the world right now, I can’t even articulate properly, but let me try:
A few hours ago, some girls from my class and I met up to discuss our group project. Since we met around dinner time (it is late evening now where I am and I just came back) and we all were pretty hungry after that meeting, we went to a little café near our school, where they also sell good dinner menus.
Once we got our tray with food, we went to look for a place to sit. Funnily enough, we walked right into a group of boys from our school – a few of them I didn’t know, a few others from our class. Their table was full, people squashed together and trays all but standing on top of each other, but they still insisted that we four girl sit with them. They said there were going to drink something in a bar after that, and we could sit with them until then, even accompany them later.
I don’t feel really comfortable with too much closeness and body contact when I don’t know the people at least a bit, feel almost claustrophobic in such a mass of bodies. Looking around, I noticed that the table right behind them was empty, apart from one boy. I know him from sight, he’s in our parallel class.
I pointed over and said “Eh, I will sit with him, there is plenty of space.”
Suddenly, the whole table turned silent, and the boys looked at each other, than at me. The other three girls looked uncomfortable.
I thought I had done something wrong, so I said, “It’s not like that I don’t want to sit with you guys, but we’re already out of space here, so…”
Another round of weird glances, and then one of the boys spoke up, “You don’t want to sit with him.”
Actually, that was exactly what I wanted and I had said so just now, but still I asked, “Why?”
Another pause, glances, shuffling, then the same boy again, “He’s gay.”
I waited, already feeling myself gnash my teeth and gripping my tray tighter, but I waited a long moment, before I asked, “And?”
One of the girls elbowed me in the rips and hissed, “Stop it!” but I smiled sweetly.
“And?” Now another one piped up, one of those guys who already had tried to bully me, once, “He’s gay!”
This time, the words were said so loud that I could see the boy at the other table wince out of the corner of my eyes.
And that’s when I turned around, walked over to him and said, gently, “Is this place still free?”
He all but stopped moving, looking up very slowly from his plate. I could see that he hadn’t eaten yet – just pushed his food around, smashing it together. Part of me wondered how long he already had had to listen to those idiots.
He looked at me, wide-eyed, and said very slowly, “You can’t… sit here.”
“Why?” I asked for the second time since entering that café.
“They will bully you, too.”
It took everything I had to keep smiling at him, even for a little bit, and not just turn around and fling my tray at those assholes behind me. “But you’re okay with me sitting here?”
He hesitated, but finally, nodded jerkily and smiled back, a little bit.
I sat with him until we had finished eating and said goodbye to go home. The boys and the girls left the café pretty soon after I had sat down, without checking if I wanted to accompany them.
Don’t get me wrong, guys. I’m not brave. I’m pretty easily scared, to be honest. And if those guys should decide to turn up their bullying a notch, I will probably, too, be tired and sad and break and cry a few times (only when they can’t see it of course).
But I just can’t keep silent in moments like this. And everything they can do to me to hurt me is so damn worth it, if I just can assure that boy – his name is Christoph, by the way – that I’m okay with him being gay. That I won’t just sit at another table or laugh at him or something shitty like that.
If I can just show him that he is okay just the way he is, than that’s worth everything they can throw at me.
Fucking bring it.
(And when the hell did the word gay even become an insult? It is not, damn it.)
(I take it all back, I know now why I get bullied so easily. It’s basically my own fault, but I have found that I do not care.)