The title of this post, “gays shouldn’t wear loggers,” is what someone actually said to me yesterday. I was shocked, and almost … almost … did not reply, but somehow, some way, I came up with a great comeback that left the neanderthal who said that speechless.
Story context: I was driving my mother-in-law and my fiance back to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where my MIL lives. The MIL stayed with us for Christmas.
Snow had fallen in Pennsylvania the day before, so I decided to wear my Chippewa ‘Super Loggers’ which are waterproof, insulated, and have big lug soles for traction. I thought as soon as we arrived at MIL’s house, I would have to shovel snow from where we park the car, as well as her walk to her front door. These boots are great for “snow duty.” I wore regular blue jeans over the boots and my winter parka.
We stopped along the way for lunch. I parked at a restaurant, and walked over to the side of the car where MIL was seated, opened the door, and helped her out. I held on to her as we walked into the restaurant. The parking lot and sidewalk were icy and snow-covered. My fiance was following closely behind, holding his mother’s other hand.
We entered the restaurant and looked at the menu board. My fiance and MIL told me what they wanted and then went to find a table while I got into line to place our order. While waiting in line, a burly guy got in line behind me. Mind you, I was just standing there in my jeans and boots, minding my own business when this guy blurts out, “gays shouldn’t wear loggers.” I did not know who he was talking to, as I was not looking at him when he made the remark.
I gave him a double-take. Lots of things went through my head about what to do. I didn’t want to create a scene, and this guy was taller, heavier, and more muscular than me. I decided to ignore him, but then he turned to a couple of his buddies in line behind him, and said in an even louder voice, “GAYS SHOULDN’T WEAR LOGGERS!” — then looked back at me with a sneer on his face, as if he were egging me on.
Then it came to me what to say. Deadpan, I looked him in the eye and said, “so is that why you’re wearing sneakers?”
About a second later, the order-taker was ready for my order, and I told her what we wanted. After paying, she said that they would bring it to our table and to have a seat.
It was then that I dared look at this cretin once more, and he literally was staring at me with his mouth agape. He didn’t say anything else, nor did his friends, or did I. Case closed — no more discussion, no fight, nuthin’.
I wonder what signals I was giving off that I was gay, or if that really matters. Perhaps he noticed two guys from out of state traveling with an old lady. My fiance and I do not look like we could be brothers yet we both spoke with very familiar comfort, so this guy may have made an accurate guess at our relationship.
I have nothing else to “give away” that I’m gay — no HRC equal sign bumper sticker or rainbow flag decal in the window of the car, and I didn’t even flail my hands with limp wrists. My voice isn’t … well, let’s suffice it to say that I do not outwardly display stereotypical characteristics of gay men, nor advertise the same on any of the vehicles that I drive.
Back to the point — logger boots are worn by any man who chooses the right boots for the right application. Neanderthals excluded.
Good news is that the guy who tried to pick a fight with me sat with his friends on the opposite side of the restaurant, and we went our separate ways when we were done. I didn’t tell my fiance about this situation until much later at his Mom’s house.
Life is short: wear boots and forget about those who demonstrate homophobia or hatred.