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Open Collection of Student Writing (OCSW)

Why Some Discriminate: A Flash Memoir

Why do so many discriminate? They seem so often to take fears and hatred out on others. There was a time where I first hand learned why. There was a time in my life where I felt a small a part of treatment some members of the gay community have felt. I am not gay, but one thing I am is different. I am unmasculine, which made me a good target for an old ex girlfriend’s hyper-masculine father, who used me as a target. I was a target for him to feel better about himself, which often happen to members of the gay community.

I had just graduated high school and found myself. I started college and my first job, but what made me feel alive was that I found my first relationship. We met on a blind date. We didn’t hit it off well at first, but after hanging, I found something I had never felt before. The exhilaration of being in love was the best feeling. Unfortunately, this was not ok for her parents.

They were extremely conservative Mormons. For them, seventeen was young to be one that wasn’t a “returned missionary”. Negativity started to come from her father. Her mother liked me, especially since their daughter was happier when I was around. Not wanting to go against the patriarch of the family, however, she went along with her husband. He started bragging about how tough he was and would always be in our face about how single dating was not okay.

One night the first of many eruptions began. He was fed up with me being at his house, and he wanted more control. His first rule hit: we were only allowed to be together on Saturdays. It got worse. We spent Saturdays together, being with her was worth whatever treatment her father dealt. Soon we could not be alone, only seeing each other on double dates with other Mormons. Soon, we could not paired off on double dates. It peaked when they forced her to be put on birth control. They claimed it was to “regulate her periods” but it was clear there were other motives. He wanted to avoid the embarrassment of a pregnant young daughter. Though we weren’t having sex, he clearly didn’t believe so. Her father hated me, but no matter what rule or remark he said to me, I followed my heart. I always came back.

Towards me, her father was exhibiting what Freud called Reaction and Projection.

Reaction being an action one makes in which they become overzealous in beliefs to compensate insecurities (her father acting more “alpha male”). Projection is when one takes their insecurities out on a more willing subject, one who expresses those insecurities (me). I know this, because one day I asked her why her father hated me. She said he was like that because he was addicted to pornography, prohibited in Mormonism. She also said that in high school he was an alcoholic and sexually active, even getting a girl pregnant when he returned from his mission. It all clicked: I learned why so many seek to put others down. They are the ones who are afraid.

Works cited:

“Introduction to Sigmund Freud, Module on Repression.” Introduction to Sigmund Freud, Module on Repression. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2017.

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