Am I being humorless or did I have the right to speak up?
May 14, 2011 10:35 AM Subscribe
Had a brief, but harsh exchange of words with someone on an online message board where I stated his response of "No Homo" made me feel uncomfortable. He said I was the most humorless person on the board. Should I learn to accept a joke even if I don't like it?
posted by anonymous to human relations (36 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Disclaimer Context: I'm a 25 year old African-American gay male.
I just went through this stupid situation on an general online message board where I use to post to frequently. One of the threads is dedicated to the gay members of the thread though anyone is welcome to post. To keep the story short, I posted something in a humorous way pointing out that a friend promised to read a review of a Janet Jackson concert I went to which was a very long blog post. I basically said, "I guess he was surprised by it because it was so long?"
Before posting it I thought I should clarify that I meant a blog post and not my penis. I thought nothing of it and decided everyone knew that I was referring, and that as an adult I shouldn't worrying about immature stuff like that. Well unfortunately, someone replied with "No Homo", which I responded that I found that term very homophobic and just not funny. The person decided to post more "No Homo" type posts which led me to say "Fuck You." I was shocked by how I felt goaded in responding like that and said I needed to take a break from posting at the message board as it got tense. Before signing out, some of the gay posters stated that I was humorless, and that it was all in fun at the end of the day. To balance things out, others agreed that what happened was unfortunate and made things uncomfortable in a portion of the message board which was "safe" for us.
I was shocked to think that people actually felt like it was their place to tell me that I needed to get a sense of humor for a joke I didn't find funny. I was doubly shocked that people indirectly thought I had no place in saying something in a message board culture where people are free to state their opinions.
However, it did get me thinking of whether I am a humorless person in both real life and online. Usually, if I don't know a person in real life or not have extensive online communication with someone, I don't joke in an un-PC manner. I always try to be respectful and not talk so lucid if I'm around company I'm not familiar with. If I do get to know a person well then my wall do go down and I speak in a candid manner if the relationship calls for it. However, this approach has backfired on me as some people have accused me of being cold and not easy to get along with.
Even though I don't consider these people "friends" per se, I do enjoy the conversations I've had with them and enjoy the experience of the community as a whole. I don't want to leave but at the same time I don't want to be afraid of stating my opinion if it is against the hive mind.
So am I blowing things out of proportions? Should I stop posting there for awhile? Should I have just not said anything even though terms like "No Homo" do make me uncomfortable? I know that this is just an online situation, but it really had me thinking of how I react (or not react) to uncomfortable situations in the future.