My brother called me a faggot, in the heat of a blistering argument about race. Completely ignoring the satirical subtext in South Park, my brother, inspired by the comedic voice of Cartman from South Park, started referring to people as “stupid jews”.
One thing led to another, and my brother called me a faggot. Further, he insisted that our parents treated me better because I was gay (which I scoff at because my mother tried to send me to gender realignment therapy) and he is sick of having to be careful of what he says. I tried to go outside to calm myself, only to be stopped by my hysterical mom and frighteningly violent brother who ran towards me.
Sitting on our front porch, I hear the whispers inside of my mother trying to calm my brother down. My brother is one year older than me, and I have never felt badly for him than as moments in these. Here I am, trying to collect myself outside, leaving a sticky confrontation maintaining my dignity, and here is my older brother who is unable to stop yelling for thirty minutes after I leave, a campfire that rages on without being stoked.
My mother is not consoling me. I wonder if this is because she knows I can handle myself and the abuse I have just taken, or if she truly believes I should have held my tongue. She desperately wants to be our friend and to keep the peace. I remember she used to always tell me to “let people be.” I don’t believe in that. No zebra is too old to change their stripes. Still I listen outside sitting on an oak bench while my mother consoles the wrong person.
I went inside and straight to bed after everything calmed down. I did not speak to my brother for two weeks.
Although I love him, silence was his punishment. He knew this was his punishment. I have forgiven my brother in the past for his homophobic outbursts of anger. In a different argument, he said he was “afraid to bend over near me”. Another time, he kept calling me a gay faggot. But I forgave him every single time, because I love my brother and you are supposed to love your family.
So, inevitability I forgave him. He said to me, “I didn’t need your forgiveness, you need to stop being so sensitive.”
There was no apology, no sense of remorse, nor any repentance from him whatsoever. I forgave him because I wanted him to think more about his actions, but instead I feel like I have always done in the past, which is giving him another free pass to screw up.
No more. From now on, there are no free passes to screw up. I’m not going to apologize to people for hurting me. You either get better at life, or get out of my mine.