Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Cincinnati Incident

Something happened to me in Cincinnati on May 7th while I was running the Flying Pig Marathon. I have not discussed this with anyone. I tried to brush it aside as a silly incident, but I've found myself pondering about it the past two weeks.

I was running the marathon by myself, around mile 15 or so, at a decent pace. A fresh-legged relay runner caught up to me and started a conversation. Middle-of-the-pack runners are friendly and usually welcome small talks, or any distractions, during the 26.2 mile course. So I exchanged pleasantries with this runner, who was running a relay with members of his church. The conversation stopped for a little while we climbed a small hill. Once we reached the top of the hill, here was the conversation:

Church-going runner: "How do you fit four fags on a bar stool?"
Anh: "Excuse me?"
Church-going runner: "Faggots are gays ... queers ... sinners... How do you fit four FAGGOTS on a bar stool? "
Anh: "I heard you the first time... I'm gay."

With that, I kicked it up a knot and sprinted. I never looked back. I actually finished with a personal marathon record.

While everyone in my life knows that I'm gay, I don't make it a regular practice to come out to strangers. I'm still a little shaken thinking about the incident. Is it socially acceptable to tell gay jokes the way people tell fat jokes or blonde jokes? If I laugh at blonde jokes, am I a hypocrite if I get upset at gay jokes?


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