April turned out to be a far more eventful month than I’d expected and even now I am still confused as to who’s the fool …
One unsuspecting afternoon while visiting a friend, her step father came home earlier than expected and since we had not spoken up until that point, struck up a conversation. He asked what I was doing with myself and all the usual questions to which I responded in the usual way … school in September/Holland or England/gender, human rights, advocacy. The conversation ended up being a lot longer than I’d anticipated and John Doe a lot more eager to learn and know. We spoke of politics, various administrations, the constitution, norms, homosexual rights, the whole gender myriad and all its complexities. After a while I went outside for a smoke, my usual hemp cocktail and threw the end away just as he walked outside. He was going for a walk and I told him I used to take the same route in training with my football team. This seemed to him quite amusing.
Later on in the evening he returned and I was still there, helping his daughter do a school project or rather doing her school project for her. Doe then proceeded to call a family meeting, complete with mother and little sister. A more accurate description than a family meeting is probably an interrogation and even closer would be an opportunity for intimidation and accusation. He started off by letting me know that he didn’t appreciate the way that I “lounged off” on his sofa and he would appreciate it if I sat in an upright position. He then said that if I came to help Jane Doe with her homework that we should sit on the table and not the sofa. Then he said he knows FOR A FACT (an all of this is in brief summary) that I was smoking marijuana on his compound and I should desist from doing so. This was then followed by the motivating bomb of … “I am under the impression that you are a lesbian and as such I would appreciate if you did not spend time in my house with Jane D. unsupervised.” In an attempt to respond to all of this I was told that I did not have an opportunity to do so because he didn’t ask any questions. That’s right asshole. You didn’t.
Despite my valiant attempt to keep it all together and salvage whatever dignity I had left I broke … into tears no less. I thought to myself WOW this is what a bad coming out experience must feel like, except this dick was not my father and I was not a scared 16 year old. Through the tears I felt empowered and grateful for having gone through the experience myself. Just a few days prior I was telling someone how different it is to sympathize with someone or an experience you have not had yourself versus the real deal. His response was of course, “You don’t have to feel bad.” I laughed while shaking my head, as even with understanding, I was still sorry I’d given him the satisfaction.
As the night wore on I started to reflect on the day’s events and how Jane warned me not to talk too much but I was confident that John D. was indeed responsive and not as closed minded as she’d thought. Had I dug my own hole … set myself up to be made a fool? It also occurred to me in that moment how calculated John D. had been in our earlier conversation, egging me on, asking questions, all a part of collecting ammunition to use on me later. I decided then that I was not a fool and that the only thing I had been manipulated into was being myself.
In the end John D. was the only fool. The fool that discusses where and how guests are required to sit in his house and accuse them of using illegal substances, being their step-daughter’s lover and that homosexuals require supervision.