The second week at my new job, I had to travel down to Atlanta Georgia in August for a week of “onboarding” training. I spent the week down there in a large city that was perhaps the most anti-LGBTA that I have ever seen.
I have never really traveled much outside the Pacific NW, and I never traveled as a man in a gay marriage. My trip to Atlanta was eye-opening. Not only with the anti-LGBTA, but with the misogyny that was everywhere. I will talk a lot about it here on this website.
I figured today I would talk about one of the many things that creeped me out about Atlanta. I would like to first tell everyone that yes I know there are accepting parts in Atlanta of LGBT, there are unaccepting parts here in Seattle. However, I was not impressed with what I saw (and combined with the red state ideas that a lot of people have down there) it really was a turn off.
I was walking around the Perimeter Mall in Atlanta and saw a shirt kiosk on the bottom level. I saw the “I’m Her’s, He’s Mine” shirt and thought maybe they had one that said something like “I’m His, He’s mine” type of thing. It was a momentary lapse in judgment when I blurted it out to the shop owner.
The owner stared at me for thirty seconds, it was like time slowed to nothing. He started having small shakes and his face just went red. He stammered for a few more seconds then screamed at me something along the lines of “That is blasphemy!”. His voice echoed down the mall, people just turned and stared. He was still visibly shaking but he must have realized the commotion because his voice immediately went down to a low tone.
I was a little stunned, but by this time I realized I wasn’t in Seattle area. Don’t get me wrong, people say this shit in Seattle, but quietly and not in such a public display usually. I had backed up a little, when he muttered something about going to hell and his glare kept up.
I pulled out my camera and took a picture of the shirts, I almost took a picture of him, but when I turned and looked at him I stopped. I don’t know why, but his pudgy little red face was all of a sudden the funniest thing I had seen in years. I laughed so hard I almost ended up puking. He looked surprised and even a bit embarrassed.
I ended up walking away laughing, with the guy looking perplexed. I admit, part of me walked away because there were some other glares and I wasn’t sure if I was going to get my butt kicked. However, the stupidity and ignorance was so large that I couldn’t stop laughing until the hotel van picked me up.
Don’t worry, there are a lot more incidents to talk about (and I go back for two weeks in mid-October and we can see how it goes there).