I have a physician friend, a psychiatrist actually, who’s originally from Lebanon, though he’s been an American citizen for years. He’s fairly dark skinned.

He grew up speaking English, French and Arabic, and speaks each language with ease and native fluency.

Sometimes when we’re out in public together in metro Detroit, we speak French. No reason, we’ll just slip into it if the conversation happens to turn to French music or movies or something.

I’ve often noticed snake eyes when we do this. Once at a cafe, we were verbally assaulted. Somebody yelled at us to speak English.

Wanna know the kicker? I have plenty of French speaking friends. White French speaking friends. When I go out with them and speak French, all we get from the public are smiles and nods.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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