I really dont want to get into a long rant or use up too much head space with this….but I kinda want to get it out there.
Recently a friend in the US displayed a few artifacts from his professional career, and told some stories about being fired from positions because he is gay, and refused to lie about it.
I’ve got some of those stories. And it is never always so obvious or cut and dried. At least as far as anything that could be “proven”. And Kansas being a “right to work” state (Meaning “Right to get fired for any damned reason, or no reason at all” state)
Some of these jobs were really no loss: Dishwashing jobs at minimum wage or flipping burgers or sandwiches, whether at corporate fast food places or mom n pop places arnt really career-paths I ever sought after.
But I would hear the scuttlebutt, and the gossip, and usually ignored it. And then the “Pranks” from other emplyees usually involving letting me know that Im a “Fag” by writing it in mustard on something.
And it wasn’t always an out right “You’re fired” or dismissal slip. You walk in one day and all of your shifts have been cut. All of your hours have been cut down to nothing. This is the typical chickenshit cowardly way that you get fired: And when you ask a manager or the boss what the deal is, you never get a straight answer. But they find some passive/aggressive way to let you know that its because you are Gay.
I would usually just walk out, not wanting to give them the satisfaction of a big confrontation. And thats something that tears you up: The “need” or want to confront them, even fight them and punch their lights out, verses the desire to not let it lower you down. To not let it bother you. Especially when you KNOW thats exactly what THEY want it to do: To dehumanize you and bother you.
If you fight back, then it somehow just “proves” whatever negative beliefs they ever had about you or Gays. And no matter what the outcome is, you never win because the chickenshits will call the police and collaborate on whatever luie they need to make it all YOUR fault. And there IS no legal recourse in Kansas even if you could prove your case.
Look to the Gay community for help? HAHAHAHAHA What “Gay community”? There is none. There is what is laughingly refered to as the “Gay Mafia”, but they are a bunch of self-serving but largely impotent status seeking social climbers wo routinely sell out everyone else for some sort of social and political real estate….that they then refuse to benefit anyone else with.
I could go on for hours about THAT issue……
Ive gotten dishdog jobs at “Family restraunts” owned by a local “Family”. And after a week or so Someone figures out Im Gay, although I dont really hide it. And next thing I know Im getting a phone call, or pulled aside during a shift and the owner is giving me this cryptic speech about “This is a FAMILY place and we see all of our employees as our big FAMILY, and we’re sorry, but we just cant have someone who is….uh, hem, haw, hmmm…”Not family friendly” here around OUR family, so you will just have to go.” Yup, that “Family values” thing. Im sure if one of their actual children where Gay, theyd get the same treatment.
BUT, in my chosen career path: Music production/live sound etc “Sound guy” the homophobia takes a decidedly weirder twist. And it can come out and hamstring you in many sneaky passive aggressive shitty ways.
Ive compared notes with the very FEW other Gay soundguys I have known and I almost feel lucky.
I really dont want to get into a whining fest of self-pity and bitching here and now.
But I have lost out some good job and work opportunities because Im Gay. Some i COULD have hidden it I suppose, but I didnt.
And its not like I jump in a tour bus unzip my pants and go bouncing around screaming “IM A BIG GAY COCKSUCKER!! SMELL MY DICK IM GAY!”.
The bands and companies Ive stayed with the longest have been ones where it just was not an issue, ever.
But in the rocknroll world, there are STILL a lot of real douchebags. And they are the types of homophobic idiots who cant just sit back and hate some Gay people, they have to DO something about it. And its always some under-handed chickenshit kind of crap, like telling lies about you, making sure that EVERYONE knows you are Gay, especially those who ALSO have a problem with Gay people. They make phone calls and “inform” other bands and production companies that you are in fact a HUGE FAGGOT and of course “If you are guilty of ONE ‘sexual crime’ then you MUST be guilty of ALL of them.’
And theres plenty of those kinds of dickweasels in the music industry. It can be a really dog eat dog competitive industry.
One band I worked for, about a week into a tour the tour manager pulled me aside and let me know that he had received a phone call from someone “Informing” him of what a huge Gay freak I am, and how I was some liability to the band and they would get a bad name for having me in their crew, and a bunch of other crap.
The Tour Manager didnt give a shit that I was Gay, neither did anyone in the band, they were all perplexed about how and why someone would bother doing the research to get the phone numbers to call and talk this shit.
Their only concern was if they were going to have to deal with some idiot calling repeatedly and what sort of bullshit this person might create.
They didnt fire me or anything. But it was still embarrassing to even be associated in anything like that. The tour manager recognized it for what it was.
Ive got a good idea of who made that phone call. Ive never confronted them on it (Partly because Im not 100% sure, and partly because I just havnt seen them) but from what I hear, they are living a pretty miserable life.
On the local level, theres been an asshole or two that have run through the music scene talking shit on me every chance they have got. And it was recently brought to my attention that a local production/PA company has passed around word that THEY wont hire me because I am a “Liberal faggot queer”.
Well OK then. Im not really in a hurry to work for people like that whether they are “getting the gigs” or not.
But the homophobia isnt nearly as obvious and out there as Phelps signs.
But what else should I really expect from Topeka?