Some people might not be aware that I am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. Yup, I’m a legit Domer, Class of 2000. Take it as you will. My years enrolled as a student might not have been the most memorable time of my life, but it was still a formative time for me. I got to meet new people, and learn new things about old friends. One of these new things was homosexuality.

Let me clarify. A fellow dorm resident, let’s call him “Dormie” out of respect for his privacy, was one of the several people I would say “W’sup” to, as I would wander around the dorm building, or the campus in general. I did have a reputation of being a bit crazy, scary even. There was that time I was drunk on vodka and running around the dorms waving my Chinese butterfly knives to show to other people. I probably scared the shit out of people at that time, though I was totally oblivious to their fears since I was pretty hammered, but I digress.

Every now and then, I’d pay Dormie a visit, act like a damn fool, and otherwise inspire a more jovial mood. Dormie was always polite to me, so I might have not always taken the hint that he wanted to be left alone. However, whenever he was more direct, I did comply with his wishes, and then tell him I’d see him later. Now, I always thought Dormie had a much better chance of scoring with the ladies than I ever could, which isn’t saying much, I know, but I let him know that, hoping to compliment his ego and build up a rapport with him.

Now there was one incident when I was especially acting like a damn fool. I paid Dormie a visit, making stupid-ass comments as usual. I noticed some photos of half-naked men cut out of magazines and pinned on the wall and the dresser. They were not big photos, so they were easy to overlook. I paid little mind to them, since I had similarly gay-looking stuff in my own room and in my personal space in the art studio. I used such things as models or references in some of my art projects; I just assumed Dormie was doing the same. Still, I probably made myself too comfortable and too familiar with his room. I made a comment to the effect of, “Dude, why do have all these picture of guys here? All the girls are going to think you’re gay or something, heheheh…”

It took me a few seconds to make this following revelation. Dormie was gay. In my defense, my gay-dar has always been horribly unreliable.

I tried to assure Dormie that I was cool with the gayness, and, at his request, promised to keep his sexual orientation to myself. I have kept that promise to this day, though, I suspect that common acquaintances of both Dormie and myself probably already guessed what I had just found out. Still, I have some concerns if my behavior, hell, my mere presence might have made Dormie uncomfortable in anyway. Given my reputation of acting crazy and knowing Kung Fu, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dormie just wanted me to go away.

I don’t know if Dormie would ever read this, but, Dormie, if you are reading this, I trust everything is going well with you, and hopefully you are in a place where you feel comfortable being openly gay. And if I ever made you feel uncomfortable in any way, whether it was my habit of stopping by and bothering you on a semi-weekly basis to not realizing that I might have been insensitive in my careless words, then I apologize to you and want to let you know that I never intended to make things weird or awkward or anything less than welcoming from me.

I am reminded about this incident because my old alma mater, University of Notre Dame, was recently in the news. Specifically, the news reported on several graduates who walked out of the commencement ceremony when the commencement speaker, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, began his address. I remember when I graduated from the University of Notre Dame, and our class’s commencement speaker was Kofi Annan, then the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who pretty much a big deal at the time. Unfortunately, I don’t know what he said on that day, because I actually fell asleep during the commencement and missed all the boring stuff that people said. So I don’t blame anyone for walking out on the rationale that the whole thing might be a bit boring.

However, the stated message of this year’s walkout was to protest Pence’s LGBT policies and his present involvement with the current administration. Despite being a Catholic institution, Notre Dame has a sizable student population that support civil rights for their fellow LGBT students, and for all people world wide. This was true when I was a student, and it’s evident that it’s true today.

By now, there will have been people making comments, some cheering the young people for taking a stance, others deriding them as spoiled-ass libtard snowflakes whose un-American actions are the reasons for division today. To the former, I concur. To the latter, fuck off.

I think I should be little more specific.

To those who are calling those students “snowflakes running to their safe spaces,” I’d say fuck off. There’s nothing wrong with being a snowflake. In fact, everyone is damn snowflake, regardless if they acknowledge it or not. As for safe spaces, it seems that the ones who bitch about safe spaces are the ones who ironically feel the most threatened. These students didn’t feel threatened. They broke from tradition in order to make a statement.

To those who call the walkout “Un-American,” you need to study your damn U.S. History. The history of America has all been based on protests and complaining. The Declaration of Independence is a list of grievances, IE. complaints, from the colonies to the British Empire. It is literally a document of each and every thing the Founding Fathers were bitching about. The Boston Tea Party was a protest against taxes on tea. Sure, they tried to frame Native Americans for it (yeah, bad move proto-America), it was nonetheless temper tantrum about the goddamn mutha’ %$#@! tea! But those complaints are not without merit. When Americans bitch and moan, we usually complain and protest for the rights of our fellow citizens. Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. are 20th century examples of protesters, people who complained about the injustice experienced by real American citizens, but they “complained” peacefully. Now I doubt any of these kids will be as prominent as Rosa Parks, but they still embodied the spirit of Rosa Parks (ironically, by not taking a seat).

To those who accuse the students walking out of “not listening,” I’d say listen to what their protest is. Mike Pence already made his stances known, both during the 2016 presidential campaign and during his term of office as governor of Indiana. I’m sure if the students were indeed not listening to Pence before, then they wouldn’t have a reason to walk out now. But they were listening. They didn’t like what he was saying, and in the good old fashioned American way, they protested.

And to those who accuse the protesting students of being intolerant of other opinions, then I stand to be accused as well. Because I share their intolerance of the opinion that LGBT people should have lesser civil rights than the rest of the population. I share their intolerance of homophobia and bigotry. But unlike those students, I’m already past the point of silent protest. If people want to talk smack, if people want to voice their support for homophobia and bigotry, then those jackasses should expect to get shouted down. Because unlike most “bleeding heart liberal SJW faggots,” I’m not a nice person. I have much less tolerance than I did when I graduated back in 2000. If these damn don’t like gays, then they need to just stay away; they will not get infected with the gayness, and they will avoid much unnecessary trouble. But if one of these jackasses messes with our LGBT neighbors, then that fool is messing with friends, family, people that I actually give a damn about. And Teo don’t play that. I no longer have much patience for people who can’t get over their homophobia, so rather than trying to “educate” them, I would probably just stick a foot up their asses.

Sure, it’s easy to label the students and attack them for whatever silly reason imaginable. But it’s much more difficult to attack their message, because their message is intolerance for the bigotry that Mike Pence has supported in his political policies. So, yeah, everyone have the right to disagree with everything and anything they want. But don’t make this about the students. Make it about the message. Rosa Parks didn’t get kicked off the bus because she was being a bitch about not giving up her seat. She got kicked off because those jackasses would rather deal with her personally than deal with the message that she had as much right to that bus seat as anyone else.