Friday evening I had to pick Beloved up (his car is dead, again. I honestly have no idea what he does to his car – beats the engine with hammers I think) where he had decamped to a pub (Beloved doesn’t do waiting – which inevitably means if he’s ever waiting for you he will go do something or go to a pub and then you end up waiting for him). If there’s one thing I dislike more than straight pubs, it’s being in a straight pub when I’m driving so can’t drink. And if there’s one thing I hate more than that it’s being in a crowded straight pub when I’m driving so can’t drink.
So I was sat there, drinking something caffeinated and dropping not-so-subtle hints that Beloved and his friend J need to finish their drinks so we can leave when one of the loud and not entirely sober group of older men next to us makes a comment about a paedophile who has been in the news lately – his comment including several anti-gay slurs, accompanied with general nodding. The group of not-entirely-sober younger men not far away agreed rather loudly and made many disparaging comments – about gay men not paedophiles (thank you homophobic media for constantly conflating the two).
Then group number three made jokes and more jokes and jokes tinged with violence and then…. Jokes which weren’t even jokes at all but were rather menacing.
It’s at this point Beloved and I decide we did not want to be there. It was also at this point that J decided she wanted to speak up.
There followed a brief whispered argument in which we said if we wanted to commit suicide we’d make the choice ourselves, thanks; and we didn’t appreciate her nominating us for Gay Martyr to Hate Crime #7889675764746 and #7889675764747. Counter of needing to speak, to reject this crap while we pointed out we also would like to remain in once piece and I already have enough scars and a trick knee, I don’t really need to add to the collection – and if a pub full of violent homophobes realised we were gay, we were the ones spending the nights in the hospital. And we left, refusing to argue any more, leaving her the choice of speaking up without us in the room, following us, or arguing with our rapidly retreating backs. She followed.