What’s Not Funny — at all!

On Friday night, my partner and I attended a dinner that was part of our state’s HOG (Harley Owner’s Group) Rally, which is being held not far from where we live. As part of the dinner, a local comedy troupe performed. The six members of the group who were there are undergraduate students at my alma mater, the University of Maryland.

Most of the comedy routines were rather lame, but the performers were trying. I’m not quite sure they knew what would be funny to a bunch of middle-aged bikers. However, about 15 minutes into their series of routines, a black male who was part of the group was introduced to give a stand-up routine. What spilled out of his mouth was astonishing. He made many disparaging remarks about gay people — over and over again. Not just one “joke,” but a continuing series of bigoted, intolerant, and completely ignorant statements.

“I don’t mind gay men as long as they are masculine and watch football. What I hate are the prissy guys, as all of them are.”

This is what was ringing in my partner and my ears when we got up and walked out.

I am a white gay male. I would have been lynched if I got up and gave a stand-up routine with jokes about black people.

This kid should be ashamed. He should not get away with this ignorant behavior.

I have to give most of the adults in the audience credit — they weren’t laughing.

Believe me, I am following up. However, the follow-up may not be what you might expect. I am reaching out to ask to sit down with this kid, and educate him about who a gay man is. I will let him know how hurtful, insensitive, and totally absurd his statements were — along with a healthy dose of incredulity that his behavior put the words “black bigot” together in my mind for the first time. I hope I can help him understand that what he was saying was totally wrong and should never, ever, be repeated again.

What would you do? If you had a chance to sit down with this kid, what would you say? Comments are welcome! Either click on the comment section of this blog, or if you just want to tell me what’s on your mind, write to me privately.