Taking it too far

Today as I was walking to work, I was congratulating myself on the fact I thought I looked really good. I was confident that I would have a great day at work and a great Saturday night to follow.

Then, I was abruptly taken aback as some man looked me up and down, then proceeded to give me a dirty look.

You have to understand that my outfit wasn’t exactly what you would see on any other male headed to work, I was wearing an infinity scarf, skinny slacks, and high top Toms. What I believe caused this man to give me such a look was the fact that I came across clearly as a homosexual, or at least a highly metrosexual guy.

Regardless of if this was the reason for his rude glare, it gave me something to think about. Why do people hate or dislike those that are different than themselves?

I know we’re all told as little kids, “Awh, don’t worry _____! He’s just making fun of you because he’s jealous!” but I don’t think this is the case.

I think people naturally shy away from things that are different than them because they are afraid. Society has placed a stigma on things that aren’t part of a majority, and as such, people are terrified of being cast into that judged group. It’s almost as if they believe life goes along with ‘guilty by association.’

Why is this even a problem to begin with? Stereotypes.

Stereotypes are an issue because we allow them to be. We play into our own stereotypes, therefore reinforcing them, therefore creating the source of our own pain caused by those who shun us.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for being yourself and “doing you” and being cool with the way you are, but this is a serious issue.

Multiple times I have heard someone say “I was just doing that to mess with them,” referring to being obnoxiously “ghetto,” “flaming,” etc.

No. No, no, no, no, no. We can’t do this if we want to get any respect. We, as people who strive to be ourselves, who strive to be different and confident in who we are, cannot do this. We cannot play into what people expect, and what people believe we are.

We need to find strength in being ourselves, and that’s it.