I overheard a discussion about 'the gay guy'.
The gay guy.
There is a man, probably a multifaceted personality. Maybe he is a good neighbor, a valued friend. A beloved brother. A devoted son. Maybe he helps little old ladies across the street. Goes to church. Runs errands for the elderly. Is kind to animals. I mean, there is a million things that can probably be said about this guy, but all of that was dismissed. He was summed up in one adjective: gay, and it was uttered like an epithet.
Now this is what teenagers do to one another. They call each other names: Slut. Whore. Gay. They diminish each other, gossip about one another. High school is a place where people are bullied with words. If they are lucky, that is all that they are bullied with.
I am 54 years old, and my high school days are behind me,but I've held enough low paying service jobs to understand that the mean does not stop, that middle aged women can be just as malicious as any high school girl. Their goals are the same. They want to be at the top of the pecking order. They want to wield the power, whether we are talking about a social clique or the local Kwik Fill.
So, yes, I understand it. But then I went to college, and I thought that with education, I would be entering a new world where people made sense, and where I understood the rules.
It is more disappointing than I can say to find that I've walked through that door and the view is, so far, not all that different.