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Latest posts by Alison Tieman (see all)
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I remember the first time I was ever called a creep!
I was 15 years old and in gym class, where I was widely known as being a “friendly,” geeky nerd who didn’t much like hanging out with the crowd of football-playing boys. I hadn’t yet come out of the closet at that time, so my reasons for that had more to do with fear of embarrassment and being outed, but I still apparently managed to seem benign and harmless enough to have a lot of female friends despite being a huge nerd.
Anyway, that day, a group of four girls, all of whom were friends with each other and at least acquaintances with me, were apparently having self-esteem crises and decided to each come up to me individually and ask if they looked fat (despite the fact that none of them were even remotely so). I didn’t know at the time if they had planned to do so, were hitting on me or what, but here’s what happened:
Girl #1, who I was good friends with, asked, “Hey, JD, do you think I look fat?” to which I responded, “No, of course not.” I didn’t think much of the question and when she walked off happily, I just continued waiting for my turn to play badminton.
Shortly thereafter, Girl #2, who I was also good friends with, asked the same question. I said “no” again, and I remember thinking it was weird that two people asked me the same question so fast.
Then, Girl #3, who I didn’t know as well, came up and asked, and my brain was like, “Okay, something’s going on,” and I started to get annoyed. I said no again, but asked if someone had called a bunch of people fat that day. She looked a bit surprised, said no, and went back to doing whatever the girls in were doing.
Finally, Girl #4, who I hardly new at all, tapped me on the shoulder right after I finished playing my badminton match, and I turned around, mentally noted that she was in the same friend group as the 3 who had asked me the “am I fat” question before and I said, “If you’re going to ask me if you’re fat, the answer is no. You look great.”
To my surprise, she used both hands to shove me hard on the chest and said, “Ugh! You creep!” and left angrily. For the next couple of days, I was a “creepy pervert” who had insulted a girl and was treated like dirt, but it passed relatively quickly because most people didn’t bother to visit the science or computer rooms where I tended to hang out, and thus I assume everyone just forgot. I found out a little later from Girl #1, who I remain friends with to this day, that Girl #4 was indeed going to ask me the same question, and that they had planned it, though I still don’t know why.
In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have assumed she was going to ask if she was fat, but I’m still not sure how I ended up being a creepy pervert for telling someone she didn’t look fat. I guess my “okay, this is bullshit” side overrode my social-norm recognizing side just in time to be shamed and gossiped about for a few days. It was also one of the few times back then, in a backwater, hate-filled school where I thought, “I’m glad I’m gay. It must really suck to be a straight guy.”
Some women have attempted to creep shame me a few times since then, as an adult, but I’m mostly immune to it as I don’t give a rat’s ass whether women find me attractive, approachable or anything else. It has been simultaneously amusing and annoying, though, that, with at least two women, I have gone from being thought of as a creep when they thought I was straight to being thought of as a “shopping buddy” when they heard I was gay. That kind of opportunistic parasite… well, yeah.
The most memorable time I got called creepy was when I was getting my eyelid stitched back together and I kept my other eye open to watch the procedure. The doctor had a fair point, so I closed it. It’s my policy to obey ladies holding sharp pieces of metal that close to my face anyway 🙂 .
Who is doing the “nobody’s fault but mine” riff at the end of that clip?
Dread Zeplin I believe.