Riding on a bus full of people, four young boys, teenagers actually, sat next to me in the very last row. One was leaning on his knees as he sat talking to his friends, spitting out sunflower seed shells onto the bus floor as he chewed the salty pulp. Another one sat with his headphones over his ears while he sucked on a soda can. One of the others wouldn’t stop talking in between sipping his SunCapri out of its silver bag through a red straw. The fourth boy sat backwards, facing all of us and he had the cutest smile.
We were riding the 22 Fillmore across town and standing in the back door of the bus, waiting for the next stop to arrive was a man who was no longer a man, a person carrying a purse, someone with longish red hair, someone with feelings.
Two of the boys sitting next to me commented rather loudly about the man with a purse, and continued doing so, trying to get his attention. They called him a fag. They questioned his gender. They commented on his fashion sense.
Then they got an earful from me. Those boys sitting on the bus acted as if no one had ever questioned them before. I didn’t give them a lecture. I didn’t yell at them or cause a scene. I began by telling the boy that was sitting next to me that I didn’t like his hat …
You know, people … sometimes it does take a village.