I AIN'T EQUAL EITHER
The other day I needed to drop off a package. There's this small pack-n-ship store near my parents house that has existed since we moved in back in 1995. There's hardly ever anyone at the counter when you walk in and usually you'll have to wait. It makes me feel as though I've traveled outside of Lakewood and into some small suburban town where Ol' Jan just might be over talking to Bill at the convenience store and I ought to walk on over there and ask her to take my package for me.
When I walked in there was an old white gentlemen standing at the counter with glasses larger than my fist and his ears seemed to be nearly twice that size. He was talking to this overweight older black woman about who knows what, but they looked like old friends. I was handing the man my package when the lady asked to see my arm. I have tattoos covering the bottom half of both and I'm quite used to people just grabbing instead of asking and therefore I appreciated her approach.
I handed over my arm to display the tattoo she wanted to see: Banksy's 'two policemen kissing' with the words 'NO FREEDOM UNTIL WE ARE EQUAL' along with it. She read the words and held my hand up to her mouth and kissed it. "God Bless!" she said and continued to hold my hand in hers. She starred a little longer and said, "Wait, that has got to be a woman and a man right?" I politely corrected her and informed her that she was looking at two men kissing. "And police officers too?" I assured her, "Yes ma'am". She paused and seemed to think about it for a minute and then finally said, "Oh so this is some kinda gay thing. Well, I ain't equal either. I ain't equal either!" I laughed, nodded, and left.
It's amazing the biases we all hold. Whether or not we come from what appears to be the top or the bottom, we all see people differently, we all draw the line somewhere. Calling attention to our own biases and prejudices can only help us expand our ability to let them go. I was shocked at how someone who is often and predominately discriminated against looked at gays with some objection. It taught me that everyone has growing to do.
What are your biases? How can you grow from them?