So, I had to stop myself from hitting a guy today.
Before I get into it, a few prefaces. First… this is going to be long, and there is no TL;DR for this one. Second, I don’t advocate physical violence as an answer to anything, but sometimes we as people sort of lose our shit… still doesn’t make it okay.
So, I stopped by one of my favorite comic shops today. I may or may not be doing a signing there soon, and I wanted confirmation. Also, I wanted to pick up Eric M. Esquivel’s new comic. When I got in the shop, there was a loud gentleman complaining to the owner and worker about the latest issue of Batgirl, which features a transgender character. It became clear quickly that he was a regular and knew the owner well, so I didn’t want to be unprofessional and get involved. When I picked up Eric’s comic, which sidebar has a beautiful cover from Nei, this man tapped me with his fingers. He asked me if I was outraged by this. He began to ramble before I even replied: “How am I gonna explain this to my kids? I should protest. You should protest! I know everyone at DC, we’re friends, me and Jim Lee, so no one would take me seriously.” I paused before responding. I asked him how he explained the fact that all of the Batbooks had ripped off faces on their covers for three months. “Isn’t that,” I asked, “something you’d want to keep your kids away from, rather than a realistic depiction of people?” He carried on with his rant about sleeping over Jim Lee’s house and how violence pervades all media so the face was more acceptable that having a transgender character in the supporting cast of the comic.
He then carried on, while I was trying to check out with my purchase, about how he and his son once saw two men holding hands in the city. He said he was horrified that he had to explain this to his son. I told him that, if I had children, I’d find it easier to explain homosexuality than the fact that hateful people like him exist. Before the conversation was done, he cited the Bible, said “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” (really), used the words “nigger” and “dyke,” expressed his desire to do the ‘caveman’ to an actress from some show (hit over the head, drag back to cave, and rape), and said that he’d like to have two slaves. Then, as he attempted to demonstrate what was surely his final point, he draped his arm around me as if we were best buddies. It took everything I had to not destroy the guy. I removed his arm from my shoulder, to which he said, “C’mon, it’s not a gay thing!” I told him that I’d rather a gay person put his or her arm around me than a hateful, loathsome person like him. As I left, I told him that I couldn’t believe people like him still exist, to which he said, “There are millions of us!”
It took every inch of self control I had to not end him for putting his filthy hands on me. And I’m glad I resisted this primal, base urge, because I like to think I’m a man of integrity. If you have opinions different than mine, fine – I don’t care. But if you are actively shoving your hate down my throat and then have the nerve to touch me, I will not be able to hold back next time. Keep your racial slurs, your homophobia, rape obsession, and sexism to yourself. You are fucking scum and while I obviously am a fan of tolerance, I have none for you or your archaic beliefs.
Now. THAT was cathartic. I suppose writing out your frustration is better than physical violence in any and every case. But I have not been that angry in… shit, maybe ever.