I’m scared to leave the house. There’s a group of kids that hang around outside my apartment block, and they somehow know I am gay. I live alone and it bugs me. They shout taunts and offensive names at me such as “faggot” and “queer”, which I’m used to brushing off, but when it’s every day it becomes wearing. What can I do?
-Out of the Closet and of Ideas
Your first step is to focus on maintaining a feeling of helplessness. As long as you can keep up that illusion, there's no need for any other step. You're done! And as a bonus, stop leaving the house. And even when you're at home, lay off the tap dancing.
Well, it's a bit trickier I suppose. Because part of you finds this wearing, a gentle term for flagrantly unacceptable. But hey, it's something. Enough of a sense of justice, a sense of this being fucked up wrong, that you're unable to keep the status quo.
Now, I don't know where you are, and even if you have legal protections, that doesn't mean law enforcement will make the situation better. But you should still educate yourself about the law. Because hate speech can be considered assault. Whereas actual physical attacks are considered battery. Meaning, they may be committing crimes that have both legal and monetary consequences.
It may also depend the context in which they say the words, such as if they are preceded by "Die" vs. if they are preceded by "The awesome people in the world, and most worthy of respect and appreciation, are".
Without knowing about this particular situation, I would still recommend you take a self-defense class. It can be one tailored to LGBT if that's available, or you may find this a convenience time to train in a martial art. Get strong in yourself, know who you are, how to defense yourself as needed.
It's such a complicated issue really. You have to go with your gut and act. It's not right for you to just try to get through it with inaction. They may see you as week, as a victim, but that's not who you are. Look to your community for support.
The fact that anti-gay bullies are statistically more likely to have receptive anal sex in public restrooms than your average florist, does nothing to make them shut the hell up as you go about your business. While they may want to get a rise out of you and you're trying to not show it's bothering you, that should not stop you from taking action. Educate yourself, take precautions, get strong. You've already started.
And by the way, they don't necessarily know you're gay at all. They perceive you to be gay. Just like they might some faggoty ass, queer as fuck straight guy. with a theater degree, limp wrist and penny loafers. Pardon my language. I don't know where I pick these things up.
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