"Hey Eva, are you a lesbian?"
It's Scott* again. We're sitting in homeroom, waiting for the teacher to return, and he's asked me the question a billion times.
"Sure Scott!" I yell, letting my sarcastic side do the talking. "That's why I have a GIANT CRUSH ON ROY MUSTANG FROM FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST YOU IDIOT!" My outburst is met by blank stares, with the exception of my friends Jake*, Cameron* Alana*, and Justin*, who laugh and applaud: they all know of my obsession with Roy, and tease me constantly for it.
Scott doesn't get it.
"So you are gay?" he asks, causing me to practically jump through the ceiling as I leap to my feet to retort.
"NO! I'M NOT! YOU'VE ASKED ME A GAZILLION TIMES, AND THE ANSWER'S NOT GOING TO CHANGE!!!!!!!"
Now everyone's staring.
"You always wear boys clothes though! Why don't you wear some pink?"
"Cuz you're wearing it all!" I growl. It's true: he's wearing a pink t-shirt. My friends laugh, and the conversation ends, but it leaves me confused and hurt.
Why, based solely on my clothing, do people assume I must be homosexual. Why is pink associated with femininity, and why is it so wrong to like people of the same gender anyway?
Society has given us stereotypes of how we're supposed to look, think and feel, but what never seems clear is, well, exactly what is "Society"?
It's easy for murderers to say, "It wasn't my fault, I'm the product of society," but what is society?
Society is us.
We, not some unspecified Other, decided that girls should wear pink, like shopping, and be good at cooking, whereas our male counterparts should wear blue (black, camouflage, etc), like football, and fight wars.
Everywhere, people fight to conform to "societies" norms.
But these norms change all the time!
Before World War II, pink was considered a boy colour, because it was brighter, and therefore stronger, while females were supposed to look delicate and pretty in blue.
Now days, if you're not skinny, you are likely to be jeered at for your size and weight, but in the 1800's, the ideal was to look plump and well fed.
If you go to the beach, you'll see tons of men, women, and even children, flopped out in the sun, intent upon nothing but burning their skin a darker shade, yet looking back a few hundred years, one would find a tan to be a sign of poverty, with all the upperclass doing their best to stay pale.
All these examples prove that our ideals are nothing but constantly changing fads.
This is both disturbing and hopeful.
We have created a world that shuns anyone out of the "ordinary", and idolizes only one type of beauty. We have made a place where who you love can be considered sinful.
But it doesn't have to be that way!
Throughout history, we've proven that a cultural shift isn't only possible, but probable. We don't have to be discriminatory; we can choose to accept everyone.
So don't make excuses about why you won't talk to the transgendered boy in the school cafeteria, or refuse to befriend a lesbian in your workplace. Stop believing that a girl wearing baggy camoflauge pants and a Led Zeppelin t-shirt cannot be straight.
We need to see past our narrowminded beliefs and respect everyone, no matter how they dress, who they love, what their skin colour is, or how much money they earn per hour. It's time to prove that we can do better then our ancestors. It's time to take responsibility for society.