Row 14, Seat E and I’m sitting with my head down in between my legs, because I feel a little sick, and frankly, I’m impatient, and this flight is slow to take off.
I’m looking at the feet of the passengers sitting either side of me. The man on my right. Hairy, bare legs, boney knees. I can see because of his shorts. Ginormous flat flip flops: yellow, navy, blue and white. They’re wide and flat enough to act as life rafts for all of us if we went down during the flight. Shaking his right leg incessantly, maybe due to nerves or eagerness to take off.
The guy to the left of me. Gleaming, short black Doc Martens, pristine white socks, grey ankle length trousers. He crosses his legs; quiet femininely. I automatically assume he is gay. Then the echoes of his earlier uncomfortable giggles, (as pleasant responses to the mr hairy legs story about delayed flights), makes me think of my brother.
And then, a revelation!
Maybe families (genetically speaking in a scientific, evolutionary way) are made up traditionally of the father: man, the mother: woman, brothers, sisters, other male and females- fundamentally other people- as a way to teach us to respect and be kind to all the other people we meet along the way. Afterall, home is the source of all charity and vocation.
My initial thought was to judge these 2 men.
Perhaps due to a few reasons: I’m angry at the world and this is my way of getting my small daily dose of revenge. I genuinely maybe have a dislike for other humans or maybe just because I have picked up a negative, malice streak along the way somewhere.
But then when I saw the guy to my left cross his legs, and I thought of my beautiful brother, I said no.
What if that WAS my brother and the girl sitting in 14E (me) WAS someone else. Or what if that WAS my father sitting to the right. I would want them to be respected. I would want them to be shown kindness.
Maybe that’s why then that people who are gay have to fight to have their rights recognised. Because as humans, as governments, parents, teachers, bosses, siblings, as society, we don’t understand it.
And that of which we don’t understand we don’t accept.