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Will Need More Than Chlorine To Clean The Pool Of Disgusting Attitudes

, , , | Right | November 9, 2020

I work as a lifeguard at an outdoor pool in the summer. We opened only a couple of years ago, and this year, a new director was hired to organize aquatic activities, so there have been some policy changes since previous years.

One slow afternoon when there’s no one in the pool, two women walk in with a small group of children in tow. I’m sitting at the front desk along with one of my coworkers.

Me: “Hello, welcome to [Pool]. Do you guys have a membership?”

Woman #1: “No, actually, we tried to sign up for one but we couldn’t find the form like we did last year. We’ll just pay for drop-in.”

Me: “Okay. And sorry about the confusion for membership; we recently experienced a change in management, so some rules and policies have changed.”

Woman #1: “Oh, okay. That makes sense. Do you still have swimming lessons with [Ex-Coworker] here?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but unfortunately, [Ex-Coworker] no longer works here. But there’s plenty of other staff who teach lessons if you’re looking to sign up.”

Woman #1: “No worries. I was just asking because I heard from a friend that [Ex-Coworker] was gay and I don’t want my kids to be in the pool with someone of that lifestyle.”

My coworker and I are obviously taken aback at this. We live in a very liberal area and almost never deal with people saying such things.

Coworker: *Awkwardly* “Uh, well, I’m sorry you feel that way about our staff. We both personally know [Ex-Coworker] and he is a really great guy.”

Woman #2: “Yeah, it’s just that neither of us wants our kids to be exposed to those kinds of people. It may be a bad influence, not to mention it would probably not be safe for my son to have swim lessons around some gay guy.”

By now, I am boiling with anger at how disrespectful these women are being. Thankfully, the assistant supervisor walks through the door at that moment and seems to sense my discomfort. She steps in and asks what we’re talking about. The second woman explains our conversation.

Assistant Supervisor: *With a forced smile* “Well, I’m sorry to hear that you feel that way. However, many members of our lifeguard and instructor staff are part of the LGBTQ community, so if you feel uncomfortable around people of different sexual orientation, then it may not be advisable to swim here.”

The women seem not to notice the venom in her voice.

Woman #1: “Oh, that’s too bad. Do you mind letting us know when any of those people may be working here so we know when not to come?”

Assistant Supervisor: *Still with a venomous tone* “Of course!”

The women paid for themselves and their kids and walked into the pool area. Unbeknownst to both of them, both my coworker and I are gay, and our assistant supervisor is bi. We all bonded over our hatred of those women from then on, and thankfully, we never saw them again.

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