Cynical and Southern: As a gay guy I should stereotype less

Share on Nextdoor

They ordered exactly what I predicted they’d order with thick Southern accents. Fried food. Internally, I grimaced.

They ended up eating a lot less food than I predicted. Not once during their meal were they rude. They stacked their dishes on the table before they left. They were the best tip of the day.

And I, my friends, am a big fucking asshole.

I realized I was an asshole the moment I saw how big their tip was. Every judgmental prediction I made about them flashed through my head.

Months later, I saw them again at one of my tables. They specifically asked for me to wait on them. They revealed to me that they were having a really rough week the first time I served them and that I brightened their day. They never forgot me.

I never forgot them, but it was for a much different reason.

As a gay man wishing for equality and acceptance, I hope to never be judged and stereotyped the way I did the couple with the Southern accents.

Don’t we all deserve the opportunity to show our inner selves without pre-judement, whether you fall in love with people of the same sex, or speak with a Georgia accent?

One may argue that stereotypes exist for a reason. I’d like to argue even louder that for every person I’ve met who fits a stereotype, there’s a person who doesn’t.

I have my lovely customers from Georgia to prove it.

I saw them from many feet away. They were overweight. One of them was missing teeth. Their clothing was WalMart chic. In the moments between sighting and approaching, it’s amazing the number of thoughts that can go through your head.

“Looking at these fucking people!... Oh, this is going to be a fun table to wait on... Hope their tip is bigger than the number of teeth in their mouth!”

I approached the table with apprehension. Before I even greeted them I decided that they were probably going to realize I was gay, they were going to hate me for it, they were going to complain about their food, want a discount, and ruin the rest of my life.

Scroll to read more News Feature articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.