One rainbow. One face. And one rude remark. That was all it took to open my eyes to a small piece of the hate we have in this world.
Ugh. Let me tell you how it all started – I drew a rainbow on my face. No, not for my pleasure, but for a project that I was doing about Gay Rights, and Same-sex marriage.
It was simply a rainbow, on the left side of my face, to show the gay symbol.
It was perfectly harmless.
People stared, and it wasn’t a big deal. It was a one time thing. Some asked me about it, I simply told them, “I am making a video about same-sex marriage, and gay rights.”
Mind you, I go to a school of liberals, hippies, and just happy people – I fit in. They don’t care about sexuality, race, size, or just about anything for that matter. Students aren’t outcast if they are gay. If anything, they are given an odd amount of respect.
Sounds nice, huh? But then you have rude people, such as my bus driver. My BUS driver. All he needs to do is drive the bus.
Yes, he has a right to speak his mind. He does. But an insult, to a student? Really? This is what happened…
I stepped onto the bus and the bus driver looked at me funny to begin with, but everyone did, I had a rainbow on my face. He shook his head, and I dismissed that.
I sat down in my usual seat, the very first seat, closest to the door. With a friend of mine, Melissa. We were talking about my project, and what I planned to do with it. I was telling her all about my partner, Cosmo, and our plans.
When I heard my bus driver ask, “Why do you have a rainbow on your face?” This little man, of about 5’4″, looked down at me in disgust.
I wasn’t going to be towered over, mentally.
“It’s for a school project, Sir. It’s about same-sex marriage, and gay rights.” I replied to the man, with a strong voice, no way was this little guy going to scare me.
He stared at me for a little while after that, and suddenly smiled to himself. I thought he finally got the concept, that I was doing it for a project.
He replied, “they have the right to die, what else?”
I was raised to respect adults. But when they say things like that, about death for homosexuals, how can you be respectful? I managed, of course. I looked at him for a minute, while he laughed at himself and looked at all of the people around me to see if they got his “funny joke.”
They didn’t. It wasn’t funny.
He meant it, he doesn’t think they’re “morally” right. After staring at him for a good minute, I looked down at my lap, and that was it. End of discussion.
He sat down, still chuckling, started the bus, and we moved. It was completely silent in the first three rows; they all knew I was gay.
I just sat there, and sat there. In silence.
After a while, Melissa leaned over and whispered, “You alright, honey?”
I looked at her and smiled. There wasn’t anything I could do to cure ignorance in the world. Obviously he didn’t know, because if he did – he wouldn’t have said it. I mean, I hope he wouldn’t have.
After I went through my thoughts, sorted them out, I heard Melissa say, “You’re strong, you know that? Way stronger than me. I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I would have hit him.”
I just looked at her, and smiled. “There’s nothing I can do about stupidity.” There honestly is nothing I can do.
I was raised to be completely respectful to adults, but I didn’t want to have to see that man every morning. Melissa and I came up with a solution: that I was going to tell my principal about it, and she was going to decide what we were going to do.
When I got into the office, I told the principal everything that happened, and the next day the bus driver was no longer our bus driver.
We had a new one. That was the outcome of standing up for yourself.