Somehow related to this previous question
, although not quite.
So imagine this colleague from work which became somewhat a friend. We show respect for each other at work and he often solicits my attention as a good listener to talk about his issues. We also routinely have outings outside work with other friends in a very relaxed way.
Then a while ago we had dinner with a group of friends and we were talking about learning foreign languages. I was mentioning my interest for Chinese and how it is difficult to find decent courses in Amsterdam (where I live). Around the conversation, said colleague proposes jokingly that I should get me a Chinese girlfriend if I want to make the learning easier – the joke being the idea of founding a relationship solely on my interest for a language.
Awkwardness ensues: everyone around the table – 5 people, including mr insensitive – is aware of my preference for men; the guy clearly either did not realize his blunder or made it purposefully. So I look at him with some incredulous look on my face (the "we both know you just said something quite stupid, now is the moment to correct yourself" look), two seconds pass and he says nothing, so I just closed off the topic half-jokingly, half-sarcastically with "well, I'm not sure a girlfriend is what I need". The other people said nothing.
Since then nothing of the kind happened again, just because the occasion never came up. However I am still hurt by the occurrence. I am hurt because I believe one's sexuality is one of the key aspects of one's identity, and so in my opinion this blunder highlighted that the person does not respect this part of who I am. Also, I am hurt that nobody else in this group – where two people are quite dear to me – supported me in that awkward moment. It feels like a betrayal.
This lack of respect is incompatible with my notion of friendship, but what should I say about it? It is especially troubling because this is a person who would be likely very hurt if I were to dismiss his sexual identity by suggesting he finds himself a man to support him in something he finds difficult. What is going here, and what can I (should I) do about it?