Office Jane, Semantics Policewoman, Issues A Stern Warning

I was waiting for my daughter. A potty break. The line was long and I was good. So, I waited outside.

And I saw a man, about 40 years old,  wearing a t-shirt similar to this one:

I have two young sons. And I watch a lot of crime television. I was a bit creeped out by this statement.

But this seemed like a very nice man. Standing with his party. A group of  mostly men, a couple of women. Talking. Laughing.

I thought, surely there is more to this shirt. Something I’m missing. As casually as I could, I circled the group, hoping to catch a glimpse of the back of his shirt. Something to clue me in on the joke. Nothing. Nada.

And then I remembered. It’s Gay Days here at Walt Disney World. He’s gay. (Lightbulb blinking, ding-ding-ding ringing through my brain) I’m feeling a bit stupid now.

But then, in the next moment, I’m not feeling so stupid. He’s 40 years old. What he means to say, at least I hope he means to say: “Likes Men.” Because he’s a man. Not a boy. And liking boys when you’re a man is creepy.

I don’t mind being at Disney World during Gay Days. The hoopla that has surrounded this non-Disney sponsored event is just short of ridiculous. (But more on that later.) I don’t mind some of the in-your-face public displays – as long as they’re tasteful and no more obnoxious that what the heterosexual crowd can legally dish out.

And when my boys are adults? I hope they are so comfortable with who they are that they feel comfortable displaying their preferences, their legal-consenting-adult preferences, on a t-shirt.

But wearing a t-shirt that says “Likes Boys” where you’re a grown man? Creepy.

But then, I’m the mother of two young boys. Maybe I’m taking this a step too far.

And maybe I watch too many crime shows.


Filed under Observations

13 responses to “Office Jane, Semantics Policewoman, Issues A Stern Warning

  1. I don’t really think that’s a shirt for Disney–lots of little boys at Disney, you know. So I think maybe it’s just the context? Because that shirt is a lot creepier at Disney, I think.

  2. I agree that the shirt should have read “Likes Men” for a person of that age. The shirt was originally seen on “Glee” where it was appropriate on a teenage boy. So the shirt the man was wearing was obviously a copy. But I don’t really think that it’s appropriate apparel for Disney.

    Yes, “Likes Boys” is creepy when expressed by a grown man. As moms or the population in general, would we have an issue with a grown woman wearing a t-shirt that says “Likes Girls”? Probably not because the majority of sexual predators are men. As parents, we are highly aware of that.

  3. totally creepy! Doesn’t matter where a man is; he is a man and “liking boys” is worse than weird.

  4. And maybe your protective radar antennae was justifiably in hypermode. Yes, definitely creepy when worn by a 40-year-old man. I don’t care what his lifestyle is, it’s incredulous he would wear that and risk being viewed as a predator.

  5. Yeah, creepy. At the very least – bad taste. And as the mother of boys, I’d react just as you did.

  6. Erica beat me to it…it’s obviously a replica of the Glee shirt worn by a boy who likes boys. And the man you saw should have been more careful with his choice because it is, as you say, way creepy to call male partners “boys.” I have a powerful reaction when grownups call women “girls,” too, because it’s imprecise, it’s infantilizing, and it’s demeaning. In this case, though, it’s creepy. And that’s irritating because when adults say something about a grown “girl” I know they just don’t respect her, but when an adult says “boys” I worry about child predation. Ick. I hope hope hope he likes “men.”

  7. I’m with Wolf. Creepy indeed. Grown men shouldn’t be wearing that shirt. And why is there a need to express sexuality on a t-shirt while you are visiting Disney World ?

  8. Nope, definitely creepy for a 40 year old man. Ew.

  9. Not” Disney Wear” in my opinion. Consider if he added a Mickey Mouse hat–double creepy.
    We have a fabulous gay pride parade in Chicago–and it’s so much fun–this t-shirt would work in this venue.

  10. Probably seemed funny at the time someone gave it to him but then, at Disney, terribly out of context and around children, it becomes really wrong.

  11. Unabridged Girl

    I think that’s creepy, too. I would think it should say “likes men” as well.

  12. Queenie

    The t-shirt is ridiculous and should probably only be worn at a seedy party. Not by a man, not at Disney and not without an explanation on the back which helps people who are slow on the uptake. If a forty year old man was wearing a t-shirt that said ‘I Like Girls’, i would equally be creeped-out. To me, it reads “I like little boys”, not acceptable.

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