The headline that came across my Facebook news feed read, “Woman Who Donated Hair To Cancer Patients Mistaken For Transgender Man And Harassed In Restroom.” Everyone reading this should be completely offended by this. But this is what our society is becoming… a bunch of judgmental knownothingatalls. You know the kind, just by “looking” at someone, you just know something has to be.
At least back in the racist and bigoted decades (okay, they still exist), a jerk could make their clear assumption (remember, when you “assume”, you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.”) based solely on the color of the skin. But today, with so much attention drawn to religions (i.e. Muslim) and lifestyle preferences, those who choose and are taught to be bigots cannot just make their assumption by just looks, though they do it anyway. And why? Because if they cannot see it, and they just feel it, it has to be true, right?
The story mentioned above should have been a beautiful “give back” story. Someone had thought of someone else going through one of the worst things possible, cancer, and dealing with one of the most difficult side effects, hair loss. So, she had her hair cut off and donated it. Now having tried this myself, when the hair is cut off, the hair needs to be a certain length, pulled into pony tails, and cut. Of course, then the hair that is left has to be touched up. This can leave the hair even shorter than intended. But that is the great thing, for most, hair grows back. Unfortunately for this donor, hers did not grow back fast enough for a bigot who felt the need to harass someone who had just helped someone else deal with a major struggle with cancer.
And I hate reading a story like this. This type of story is becoming all too common, because we simply do not accept, what we do not understand, or even know at all.
This was not the first time I have personally dealt with this behavior. A couple of years ago, I was attending a local establishment with a fellow cancer patient and his family. He was bald from the chemo, and he was denied entry into the restaurant where we had planned to just sit and listen to some live music. And why was he denied? He was bald. He was also wearing a baseball cap, and it was worn the right way – not turned backwards, tilted. His pants were pulled up to his waste, and the rest of his clothes were quite appropriate for a young man in his early 20’s.
But this jerk bouncer, claimed that the hat was inappropriate, in spite of us informing him why my friend was wearing the hat, denied his entry.
This whole thing about “looks” is getting out of control. If we are happy about our appearance, who the hell are you to decide that someone should be confronted just because you do not like that someone looks a little too brown, or hair is too short. Instead of moving forward away from prejudice and bigotry, we are careening in reverse gear because of issues that are not new, just only now coming to discussion. The fact is, these issues have always been there, and have never bothered anyone. But as each generation gets taught intolerance, this behavior is only going to grow, especially when our political leaders encourage the discrimination.
And if you need any bigger example of just how bad this is going to get, Google the story mentioned above. Exactly what did this woman do to be harassed? NOTHING! ABSOLUTELY FREAKING NOTHING!!! And what right was it of this bigot to confront the woman in the first place? SHE HAD NO RIGHT TO DO THAT!!!
It is simple, “you cannot judge a book by its cover.” Most reading this blog, have heard of this expression. But just as “cliff notes” were not enough to pass our tests in school, those passing judgment by the cover of the cliff notes are even worse.