Even though it’s 2013 and we should be past this already, it’s hard out there for a same-sex couple. Even in Canada. Recently, a lesbian couple was kicked out of a Quebec restaurant.
Why don’t you try to guess the reason. Was it for:
A) Throwing their Birkenstocks at innocent customers?
B) Refusing to take their 12 cats outside?
C) Showing affection in a socially appropriate way?
If you guessed A or B, then you are adorable — and also wrong. A lesbian couple was in fact thrown out of a restaurant by the manager after one woman hugged and kissed the other on the cheek.
Quel scandale! Everyone knows that if you’re going to go on a date you need a chaperone, and, if there is dancing, you gotta leave room for the Holy Ghost.
I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. I understand why — in twenty-freaking-thirteen — some people might still be shocked at the site of an out and open same-sex couple. A same-sex couple’s ability to be honest about their relationship is a very new development. If you are only accustomed to seeing couples of different sexes, the deviation from the norm can be jarring.
That is, however, no excuse. I find that, as homophobia becomes less and less tolerated, the holdouts will try to prove their acceptance of the LGBT community by saying that they don’t have a problem with gay people, but golly, do they have to throw it in everyone’s faces?
The short answer is yes. Yes they do, at least if they want to. Because what some people call throwing sexuality in everyone’s faces is more than likely just normal, innocuous PDA. Simple hand-holding, a peck on the cheek, just normal stuff that hetero couples do every day of their lives. You see, when you’re surrounded by one thing all the time you don’t necessarily notice it. It’s only when confronted with something else that you realize what was there all along.
I often think of culture as like air. We move through it, just living our lives and not even noticing this thing that is so crucial to our very survival. If suddenly something else is pumped in, we notice. It’s not as though there was nothing there to begin with; we were just so used to it that it became white noise.
As society changes, what we encounter in our daily lives and what we come to expect can become a bit shaken up. This is good, though. Not just for people who have become more accepted. This is an opportunity to really examine our prejudices. For example, if you’re OK with a different-sex couple holding hands, is there any reason to be against same-sex couples exercising the same privilege? If so, why? This is the process of growing as a person.
In the restaurant’s defense, the owner has taken full responsibility for the manager’s extremely bad decision. However, the manager and his homophobia are still employed at the restaurant. You can sign the petition to have the manager removed for treating this lesbian couple so poorly.
Change isn’t always easy, but with work we can make the world a little more fair for everyone.
Photo Credit: Sarah Salix via Flickr