But I am anything but satisfied with the exchange. With the fact that something like that can happen. With the fact that I was too much the wimp to say that it was offensive to me too. What if I had been more quick-witted? What would I say? "There should be more of it"... "they can serve drinks as well as anyone"... "you sure are of Indian background".
I erred on the side of caution and just as well - one must be careful with strangers in bars. But it irks me that these attitudes exist and that I have to be exposed to it. The woman staffing the bar chose to look a particular way that is associated in our society with queer identity. Is she then inviting or giving license for the passing of comments on how she is different from her customers? Am I politically correct or was that stranger just bloody offensive?
I fared better a while back with a case of racism. Admittedly I had a friend with me and we felt safe then to discuss with a man the fact that we were very much relaxed with the fact that there were barely any 'Aussies' in our train. My comment that I was accustomed to it because of the school I went to seemed to placate him somewhat. We made the conversation into one of comparing notes on life experiences. After he left a young migrant woman thanked us for expressing our opinion - something she would have been too scared to do.
That is the quandary. Often the things that matter - the issues for which a opinion needs expressing - are also things that may risk provoking adverse responses. Does one take a stand or does one play it safe? Prejudice needs to be challenged but that involves exiting ones comfort zone. Can I become less of a pansy? Maybe that can be a New Year's resolution...