Dear Ignoramus,

Hello, I hope you are doing well. I’m writing you not only to check up on you, but also to explain something to you that I don’t think you fully understand. I overheard you talking to your friend the other night at that party we were at. You might not even remember, because I know that everyone was drinking by that point and you may have been quite drunk. However, I remember what you said and it isn’t something so easily forgotten by me — nor will it be forgotten by him.

I just want to bring this back into your memory because it’s important for you to recognize that the guy you called a faggot is subject to judgment in almost every area of his life because he is gay, and the last place he needs to receive such ignorance would be from somebody like you — with your heterosexual ideals and your majority standing.

Maybe you misspoke, maybe I misheard, but the next time you are at a party I hope you’ll realize that regardless of how you feel about the situation, your ignorance is best left unsaid. Openly airing your discomfort with the situation isn’t going to change it, regardless of how much you’d like it to. Being gay is still going to be acceptable in society, with or without your support. Belittling others because of their homosexuality isn’t going to change anything, and any discomfort you feel about the situation lies in your own insecurity or naïveté.

The thing about you is that you know nothing about what that kid has to face in his everyday life. If his parents had found out he was gay, maybe he would have ended up on the streets. Had his roommate found out he was gay, maybe he’d be bullied. Had his boss found out he was gay, maybe he’d be fired. Though being gay is gaining acceptance in the public eye, people like you still have prejudices against it and grow up to be the parents who kick him out, the roommate who beat him up, the boss who fires him. You, however, don’t live in any kind of fear. Your life has been shrouded in the blissfulness of being ignorant.

I’m sorry if any of this seems scathing, but I felt it my place to say something because I didn’t stand up for him and he isn’t one to confront people, no matter how much they may have wronged him. That’s one of the hardest parts to recognize — it isn’t that he can’t confront people, it’s that he’s met your ignorance one too many times and the fight has deflated inside of him like a week-old birthday party balloon. I’m not being accusatory, and I hope you don’t find this offensive. I just thought it best that it be put on your radar before any further damage was done.

In the novel “1984,” George Orwell writes, “A lunatic is just a minority of one.” You may wonder what that has to do with you, or why I would tell you such a silly little quote. I will explain it to you, in simple terms that you might be able to understand regardless of your veil of ignorance.

Being gay isn’t wrong. Regardless of how against basic civil rights you are, one day homosexuality won’t be a thing gawked at on the street, or made fun of drunkenly. Faggot won’t be said by anyone as ignorant as you to anyone as innocent as him. His rights as the minority won’t be denied to him by your ignorance as a majority.

One day, when you are old and haggard, lulling yourself to sleep with the back and forth of your rocking chair, drooling on your shirt and existing in a shroud of your own slow, human decay, you will be the last one living that carried such an ignorant hatred in your heart for something you never really had the brain power to understand. One day you will be the minority, and you’ll look like a raving lunatic — still trying to stop a train that will not cease to move forward towards equality. I hope you keep your shred of brainpower until that very moment when you look around and feel completely alone, and then you may speak about how it feels to be the minority.

Until that day, keep your drunken ignorance to yourself.

Paige Pfleger can be reached at pspfleg@umich.edu.

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