In today’s Perspective produced as part of Youth Takeover week at KQED, Olive Savoie stands up to confront a bigoted phrase uttered by her peers.
“That's so gay,” joked the boys at the bus stop. It was raining buckets, and, umbrella-less, our hair was matted to our faces. Freezing water dripped from atop my head down my cheeks, but no rain could compete with my blood's temperature, which ran cold.
“Oh sorry,” he stammered trying to redeem himself. “I didn't realize you were here.”
I ducked my head down and tucked my short, stubborn hair behind my ear, a defense mechanism I use to hide. “The boy sees me as gay. That is all. Nothing more. In his mind, I am just gay. Never mind that I am an empathetic human, regardless of my sexuality,” I thought.
The downpour intensified, as my anger did. “What do you mean by that?” I snap at the boy. “And why would you say it, regardless of if you're standing next to a gay person or not?”