“Some gay dude”

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Two days ago I decided to play laptop hooky, so I drove down to Dana Point and paid $15 for an hour on a kayak. It is, easily, the world’s best deal for anything, anywhere.

Anyhow, after 60 minutes I returned to the dock, where a guy in his late teens/early 20s worked. We chatted a bit. He’s a college student, used to run track. I asked how often people lose their cell phones while leaving a kayak or paddle board, and he smiled and laughed.

“All the time,” he said. “Just yesterday there was this guy, some gay dude, and he was, like, crying. And I just …”

His remaining words turned blurry. His co-worked, standing feet away, actually said, “Don’t you think that’s profiling?” to which the guy said, “Nah. He was clearly gay.”

By now I was exiting the dock, measuring my options …

A. I could say nothing and just move on.

B. I could say, “That’s not really an appropriate thing to say.”

C. I could say, “Soooo … I’m gay. You have a problem with that?”

D. I could mention something to the manager inside.

I was leaning hard toward C. I’m not actually gay, but I do like the merging of pointedness and humiliation. Then I thought B was the best.

Ultimately, I went with E—the unlisted-above decision to mention something to the young woman behind the desk, who wasn’t management, just a co-worker. I said, “Look, I don’t want to get the guy in trouble, but you may wanna mention when he comes in that’s it not really cool to …”

She nodded and thanked me.

Did I do the right thing? Probably not. It was sorta wimpy, but I also didn’t want to go out of my way to embarrass the guy in front of his colleague and/or customers. I suppose I could have let it go—but, well, I didn’t feel great about that, either.


2 thoughts on ““Some gay dude””

  1. You did the wrong thing. Happened to me once. I saw a friend one day and stopped to say hello. He introduced me to his co-worker who used the N word 30 seconds later. I looked him in the eye and told him my brother was married to a Black woman (not true). He just walked away, but it made me feel good.

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