I'm back at square one again. If you're a long-time follower of the Blog, then you'll remember me struggling with coming out at my job. (You can catch up here.) Well, I ended up not doing anything and kinda letting the situation disappear. I never really came out but I always avoided any kind of conversation about sex and/or girls. I tried to leave subtle hints like leaving my internet browser on my computer with the Blog open or shopping for a "Legalize Gay" shirt while at my desk but nothing that directly said "Oh hey, btw, I'm gay."
I left my job at the end of the summer not worrying about it, thinking that I would never see those people again except for maybe passing each other on the quad. Obviously, I was wrong.
I was invited to come back and work again this summer. I didn't have any other summer plans so I figured it would be a good way to make some money for the school year. Little did I know that two of my fellow coworkers from last summer also decided to come back and work again.
Ok. Cool. That's awesome. They already know the ropes so things will go a lot smoother this summer. The whole I-never-actually-came-out thing didn't cross my mind... until a few days ago.
As we were starting our day at work, we found one of the yearbooks from last year and began to flip through it. My other coworkers had not seen it yet. We browsed through, commenting on how we thought it was funny/awkward to have pictures of tailgate in the yearbook. Then, we got to this beautiful photo of a certain three rooms in Kilgo that were flying rainbow flags outside their windows. One of my coworkers stopped on that page. I stood there bracing myself for what he was about to say.
"I didn't know what those flags meant until last year. I just knew that a lot of people liked flying rainbow flags", he said. Ok, not bad. I can deal with that. If people aren't exposed to certain cultures, they wouldn't understand the different symbols of that culture. He just needed to be educated. So, now he knows. Good. Next page!
"I have a friend that loves to tear them down hahaha!"
I don't know how to explain how I felt after he said that. It was a mixture of rage/ disgust/ anger/ fury/ thirst for blood and sadness/ pity/ hurt/ pain/ disappointment. I wanted to tear him limb from limb like in Mortal Kombat and at the same time, just hang my head and walk away. This was the same coworker from the other post that invited me to his fraternity party by telling me there would be plenty of girls.
He confirmed my worst fears about him. As much as I tried to not impose the "douchey frat boy" stereotype on him, he just kept insisting that I treat him like one of those frat guys that make all of us look bad (Yes, even as a fraternity member, I recognize that some members of the Greek community are complete and total... bad, awful, not nice people).
I was able to compose myself to squeeze out a nonchalant "Why would your friend do that? Does he have something against gay people?" I was on the verge of saying more but I knew that if I did, I would end up probably with my hands around his neck. He said that he didn't think his friend was homophobic, he just thought it would be fun. "I think it's kinda funny actually." Now, that actually pissed me off even more. At least if he was homophobic, there would be some hope of educating him. But you can't cure stupidity and ignorance. Luckily, before I could unleash my fury upon him, my boss walked in and put us to work.
I fumed about that for days and I'm still fuming actually. That event showed me two things: 1) He didn't get the sexuality hints I was trying to drop and 2) As much as I hate to admit it, sometimes, stereotypes are spot on. He's the perfect example of the negative connotation of "frat star." (Sidenote: I think "frat star" can also have a positive meaning. I'll explain that later though. Stay tuned!).
I just don't know how to handle this situation. I know that I should say something to him about how I didn't appreciate what he said and that I find it really offensive for someone to do something like that. However, I now find him so repugnant that I don't want to talk to him anymore than absolutely necessary. And I know that's not a good way to feel about anyone, especially a coworker, but I just don't want to put up with people that I despise. I've got better things to do with my life. I know, I know. That's a horrible attitude but I just get so frustrated with intolerance of any kind that my temper would be more of a detriment than an asset to the cause.
So, my question is once again, what in the world do I do?