When I was growing up as a gay boy in Youngstown, Ohio, my mother always said, “Son, you must operate in this world intentionally, you must treat others with respect, and you must keep your hands to yourself.” As a child, all I wanted to do was play with my Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots and Easy-Bake Oven. Yes, my Easy-Bake Oven. Like many children, I sometimes ignored my mother, so statements like this went into one ear and out the other. But now, as I reflect on my childhood and place those moments into my daily existence, I realize that “keep your hands to yourself” taught me to respect myself, taught me to respect women, and taught me that we all have the right to our own body.
Last Thursday night, as I was coming home from work, I noticed a fellow gay man whom I have seen around Washington, D.C., at various nightclubs and bars. As we both entered onto the metro, we sat in seats relatively close to a young woman. The woman, who appeared tired, smiled at both of us and put headphones in her ears. In D.C., this is usually a subtle way to ask someone to allow you to reach your destination in peace without being disturbed. Since I understood this unwritten transit rule, I respected it and pulled out an article to read. Unfortunately, my fellow gay man took this as an invitation to engage in a one-way conversation.
Read the full article at The Huffington Post.