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Sometimes You Just Have To Embrace The Stereotype That Resembles You

Updated on March 2, 2011


I have always wondered why people are so offended by stereotypes. I for one have always thought a stereotype was a great source of comedy and I can’t think of one time that I didn’t laugh when something stereotypical comes up in my life. I get it if someone is doing it to “put someone down” I guess but really, who would give someone else that kind of power over their emotions? Certainly not I. Sometimes you just have to embrace the stereotype that resembles you – Don’t Get Me Started!

The other day I was in a grocery store and as I only had a few items to pick up (but too many to just carry in my hands) I chose to pick up one of those handheld baskets as I entered the store. After placing a few items into my basket I found myself with the dilemma that several short people find in a grocery store, needing something off of the top shelf. I looked around for someone tall to no avail but being the resourceful shorty I am I simply slipped the basket up on my forearm and grabbed hold of one of the shelves to pull myself up while my other hand reached up to grab the item. (Disclaimer, I know that you’re not supposed to do this but I did it anyway.) After retrieving my item and having my feet back on solid ground I put the item in my basket that was still dangling off of my forearm like Nancy Walker’s purse as Rhoda’s mother. And that’s when it hit me that I felt a little like “Dorothy” from the Wizard of Oz. As I stood in the aisle laughing to myself I couldn’t help but think I was one of the biggest gay stereotypes in stereotypeland. First, for making a Nancy Walker reference and then secondly for feeling like “Dorothy” from The Wizard of Oz for Chrissakes! I mean, does it get any better than that? I don’t think so. And I’m proud to say that the basket stayed right on my forearm as I continued my shopping, walking down the somewhat yellowed linoleum road of each aisle. And I’m proud to say that I did manage to stop myself from saying out loud, “Why I’m not a witch at all. I’m Dorothy Gale, from Kansas."

I think using stereotypes can be very empowering. I’ll never forget when I was overseeing the audio/video as well as lighting design and installation for a new entertainment complex my former company was building. It was my job to deal with all the vendors on a regular basis. At one of the first meetings, something just slipped out in my conversation with the lead designers in the room. They were showing me all the blueprints and assuring me that they could get everything done in a very tight schedule and on budget when I just heard myself saying, “Look, I’m a Jew so what I really want is for it to be under budget as well as have you all still deliver everything you say that you’re going to deliver. It’s like the whole Christmas thing. As a kid you have two weapons against your Christian counterparts, the first is that your parents tell you there is no Santa Claus (but to keep it from the Christian kids so as to not upset them) but the biggie is that we get eight nights of presents and not one morning of them like Christmas. Listen all of you, don’t promise me eight days of Hanukkah and only deliver one day of Christmas!” Throughout the project it became a sort of running gag with all the designers and their teams. As the building progressed I would ask, “How many nights are we up to?” They would answer that we were at least up to two or three nights at the start of the project and by the end when they asked me to sign off on all the work they not only wrote on the final work orders, “Delivered: 8 Nights” but they came with a chocolate box with a Jewish star on it, filled with Hanukkah gelt for me! Now some could be offended by me using my Jewishness that way but we all loved it and it helped get the job done with a smile on our faces.

I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it a thousand more times in my lifetime. I have been in a monogamous gay relationship for twenty-two years, me the short Jewish guy with a spouse that is a six foot black man who was once an altar boy. We ARE the poster children for hate crimes. In fact I’m surprised every morning when I walk out of my house that I DON’T see Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church followers protesting me or the KKK there with a burning cross in the lawn!

Sometimes you just have to take the so-called power that stupid people think they have over you back. Bullies, morons, political and religious zealots they’re all really the same at this core aren’t they? They’re loud and think they’re keeping people down by using stereotypes with a derogatory tone. What they don’t realize is that for the most part it doesn’t work and really just makes those of us who are more evolved than they laugh. Sometimes you just have to embrace the stereotype that resembles you – Don’t Get Me Started!


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    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 6 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thanks EA - You know I want to believe but as long as gays continue to be an easy political pawn for elected officials I'm afraid we're not getting there as fast as we should or to reflect the opinion of the public at large - still I'm hopeful. Thanks again for sharing.

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 6 years ago

      GREAT morning GREAT Scott!

      Saw this article and thought of you!

      Little by little the world is awakening to the knowledge that LOVE comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, packages and arrangements - and it all deserves respect, honor and recognition!

      You and Mr. Six-Foot will be walking down the aisle before you know it! Sterotypes be gone!

      Have a GREAT day GREAT Scott!

      Blessings always, EarthAngel!

    • atlovesbm profile image

      Anna 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      Haha! Great hub!! It made me laugh :) I loved it!

    • Julie2 profile image

      Julie2 6 years ago from New York City

      Congratulations on your 22 years. My mom and stepmom just made their 22 years together this week. I had to give my stepmom a big, " God Bless You!!!" that day for having stayed with my mother and her craziness for so many years. I left after being with her 17 years and I was going nuts, I can only imagine 22, ughhh. I know, I'm so bad right?! LOL

      I'm not to happy about stereo types myself. Being Puerto Rican I have some people thinking that I carry I knife in my purse or they are surprised that I don't sound like Rosie Perez! LOL. Whatever... Anyway, loved your hub hun.

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 6 years ago

      Capri pants!? Are those still around?? Not on my body!

      You too! Have a GREAT one! EarthAngel!

    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 6 years ago from Las Vegas

      Vamp - thanks for making my whole day first thing in the morning!

      EA - I know exactly what type of "blonde" you are, sucker them in and then when they're all complacent and not aware, you attack with your amazing intelligence. Seems to me as if you have the best of both worlds! And I think you're most likely very right about stereotypes in the "wrong" hands...same can be said for Capri pants! :) Have a great day!

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 6 years ago

      Good Morning GREAT Scott!!

      Your humor is always a delight to wake up to! I can just see you skipping through the grocery aisle in your ruby slippers!

      I agree with you about not giving one's power to others! I've been faced with the 'dumb California blonde' stereotype most of my life - from people whose IQ is at least 50 points lower than mine! My high IQ is very real; the blonde part, not so much!

      So I collect dumb blonde jokes and thoroughly enjoy seeing the light bulb moment at a cocktail party when someone realizes I am not one of them!

      Accepting stereotypes would provide great humor in a society that is more enlightened than our own. Alas, in my opinion, the U.S. as a whole is moving backward in tolerance and acceptance - and stereotyping is a socially acceptable way of expressing uninformed derogatory comments that do more harm than good.

      Words have power! That's why we are writers. Guns (okay a bit strong for an analogy) in the hands of intelligent responsible mature enlightened adults is fine. But unfortunately that is not the majority of people.

      Stereotyping has done much more harm over the centuries than good. So while we may use it to laugh at ourselves, giving others the weapon and permission to use it without conscience may not be the highest and best good!

      Where is my box of Clairol??

      Have a GREAT day GREAT Scott!

      Blessings always, the blonder-in-an-hour, EarthAngel!

    • VAMPGYRL420 profile image

      Windy Grace Mason 6 years ago from The Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, U.S.A.

      Beautiful Hubwork, somelikeitscott!!! :) You are an absolutely amazing person and writer.

      Love & Light,

      Windy Grace

    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 6 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thank you RedElf for reading and commenting! Have a great day...I intend to have a gay one! ;)

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 6 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for an awesome start to my day, Scott!