In Which There Is A Hate Crime

It was the last week of my junior year in high school, Gentle Reader; I was desperately jealous of my best friend and better-looking rival, Darling. Not only did he always get the cute boys (who I could thereafter never consider for a moment because I “didn’t want his cast-offs”) but he had just been punched in the face for bringing a boy as his date to a dance.

Darling

He was justly proud for standing up for our people, and – oh, I was livid. It’s not as though I wasn’t just as flamboyant, I remember thinking – it just wasn’t fair.

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

We were on the cusp of a golden, magical, summer, I was the most out and proud that I would be for years. Damn it, I wanted to be a victim of violence, to be baptized in blood, to join my fellow queers  in resisting the hatred we were constantly exposed to. I wanted to be the victim of a hate crime, probably because I had a victim mentality and thought suffering=superiority.  I was just seventeen.

Also, seriously, I had a huge inferiority thing about Darling – he came out first, he lost weight first,  he started driving and joined queer youth groups (that I never joined because I didn’t want to “poach on his territory”), he was much less awkward with the flirting and the sexing – I adopted a prim-elderly-aunt persona to distinguish myself*.

WinterSummer

I needn’t have worried that my hate crime would never arrive, though, even if it wasn’t quite as dramatic.

My first car, Prudence, was a 1986 Chevy Blazer that I’d inherited from my folks. The driver’s door wouldn’t open, and the back window had to be open to prevent a dramatic rattling (that we attributed to McCourt O’Leary, the tap-dancing leprechaun). I would always park dear Prue off-campus, below the school. You know, beyond the reach of security.

I’m sure you can see where this is going. The slurs of “FAG!” and “COCKSUCKER!” and all that rubbish painted all over the car weren’t even particularly shocking. The slashing of all four tires was. In fact, it was shocking enough that school officials called my parents before I’d even heard what was going on.

Tire

Click the pic for photo credits

I’m sure you can imagine my incandescent mother bursting like fury into the school – an offended dowager has nothing on her. She stormed into the school offices, demanding justice; the principal sent a tepid announcement over the airwaves:

“Tyler Yoder, please come to the Principal’s office”

So I did.

There was a baffled apology from the school, with vague assurances that they’d beef up security the next year; not much else could be done.

Until the culprits confessed a few weeks later, on the last day of school. I got a poorly spelled letter on juvenile-detention-stationary from a pregnant girl, and her boyfriend.

Teen

It was clearly written because they were made to write it, but it was a start†.

*********

*I still have to shake this persona entirely off, my dears.

†Seriously insincere, you know. Honestly, in the end I felt very sorry for the pair – they clearly didn’t last, and they were not in a very good situation. Still. I didn’t even really know them, so taking out their frustration on me is baffling. Hooray!

About Ty DeLyte

Madame DeLyte has suffered a grave disappointment - YET AGAIN - and still believes that freedom, beauty, and truth are what's valuable, rather than vulgar cash. He'd add love to that list - but, well, what can he say about love?
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13 Responses to In Which There Is A Hate Crime

  1. Jenni says:

    Well – not quite sure if I should congratulate you on being on the receiving end of your first hate crime. It seems a little in bad taste but not acknowledging it after you writing about it also seems to be a little poor in the manners department. Honest Miss Manners did not cover this and I’m pretty sure Hallmark doesn’t have a card suitable either. So social media Siberia for those who are less than au fait with the rules of hate crime etiquette is where I shall end up not doubt. Even though this would be in the belated department, it being a past incident, it does seem noteworthy. Perhaps someone should write a book or at least a set of guidelines for these circumstances.

    • Funny you should mention that, Jenni – as you *may* know, I *just* so happen to be working on such a thing! 😀

      I would honestly say that probably a “Sympathy” card would suffice, if it’s a recent occurrence – but if it’s an old story or a badge of honour? Definitely a “Congratulations.” Cheers!

      • Jenni says:

        Excellent news re the book – always good to have guidelines to swim the murky waters of human interaction. I will keep in mind the Sympathy card for future occurrences and perhaps lobby our government to create a special badge for veterans of hate crimes. It would be VERY interesting to see the response to that being tabled in parliament. lol Jenni

  2. Catie Beatty says:

    I don’t remember any of this and I was such a gossip! Just awful.

    • It was probably about a week before the end of school, and I tried to keep it a little quiet. And hey – insurance covered the tires. And by insurance, I mean my parents. And by my parents, I mean they covered it up front and I had to pay them back. But, you know, I got a letter!

  3. I guess it does show that people who do hate crimes are truly pitiable pathetic things. It doesn’t excuse the behavior, it’s just sad all around.

    • Yeah. I wish I had been at my other house when I’d written the post – I’d found the letter, which is what inspired this, and I wanted to include the text. It was a little ridiculous. No matter, though – I felt that it proved that I had arrived, that I was “officially” a homosexual, now that there was tangible proof of discrimination. Something like that – what can I say? I was very young.

  4. Kasey Griffin says:

    I have to say I didn’t know you in high school except for in passing. You could say my head was stuck in my own peer group. (Something I wish I could go back in time on) but I am with Carrie, how did I not hear about anything? And I can honestly say you two look to be in seperabale best friend, I would have never guessed the rivalry within.

    • Well, we were! The rivalry was all on my part. However, we’ve *stayed* close – or rather, we drifted apart, and are becoming close again. It’s nice. I mean, I’ve known him since we were five; you can’t run out and find a twenty-year-plus friendship over night.

      As a matter of fact, I’m writing this reply in his apartment. 😀

  5. mary says:

    I’d hate to be the principal at that school. Go get em mom!

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