Here's a fun thing about being a Southern transplant in New York City: people are always surprised when you don't have a Southern accent.
I've lived here for nearly a decade, and people are still concerned about my accent. "But you don't sound like you're from the south," the Yankees will say. And I give my stock response: "I blame too much television."
And we all laugh.
When the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman verdict came down, there were three sets of gay couples and a straight guy sitting in a room in an apartment in Manhattan, NYC. One part of those gay men--me--was drunk on mojitos, and another part of those couples--Greg--was rather stoned. Only one of those couples was Southern. What follows is a very accurate account of the rage....
Let me qualify this.
What follows is an attempt to contain the rage both G and I feel when Northerners think the South is just like the North.
"Oh," half of a gay couple said, glancing at his phone. "George Zimmerman's verdict is in. He's innocent."
"Oh," other half of gay couple echoed, "Nice."
Greg, who was stoned and beer'd, looked at me, shrugged, and then announced, "Fuck, I hope Florida is rioting."
Gay Northern Couple: "It wasn't murder."
Me: "Yes. Of course it was."
And yes. Of course it was. My instincts were to yell at this person, but recently I've been told, by Greg, that I should be more sociable. So, rather than scream, I simply swallowed the bile and smiled.
homophobic attacks in the city, which, while true, made me wonder if the Gay Northern Couple knew about Bull Connor.
Three things went through my head: 1) You, Gay Northern Couple, are a teacher; 2) This is why you shouldn't have a gun--you're a big guy who can overpower a teenager; 3) You are completely an idiot when it comes to Southern politics.
Well, a fourth thing went through my head: I'm a guest, not my birthday, be polite.
[Big breath; rant in progress]
But you know what? It was murder. Fuck being polite. Fuck Florida. Fuck everything.
Trayvon Martin was stalked, and shot dead because he was Black. The idiot Gay Northern Couple maintained that Zimmerman was in the right because Martin did not live in the neighborhood, or something--GNC kept implying that because Martin's father didn't have a home in the neighborhood, Martin should've been respectful of Zimmerman's weak-ass broke-down neighborhood watches.
Fuck you. You, Yankee, don't get what it's like to be a minority in the South. Yeah, you're gay up north, and that shit is bad, but that doesn't hold a candle to the difficulty of being just--JUST--a minority down South. You know how bad it is down south? It's so bad that when you--a WHITE PERSON--come up north, you're introduced as being Southern, and then spending 10 minutes explaining why you don't have a southern accent. Fuck the accent. Jesus. Who the shit cares about accents?
Trayvon Martin was murdered. I cannot believe I spent 30 minutes of my life debating with an absolute moron about why it was murder. But I did. And I spent that entire 30 minutes trying to remind myself that I was a guest in someone else's home, and needed to be polite, and whatever.
Being Southern does not mean Greg nor I are a sideshow act. We don't have to maintain an accent. Assholes are assholes.
Inappropriate sharing, incomprehensible ramblings, uncalled-for hostility: yup, it's a blog.
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