“Homosexuals aren’t people. They’re just like bitches.”
Hannah and I sat across the aisle from him, in those sideways seats that connect the two halves of a light rail car. He was an average-sized guy with a button-up and a sweatshirt, and with bright-striped socks that looked just a little Seattle-ish. He was rapping into his phone, too quiet, for now, for me to hear.
I don’t think this guy is good, but I’m still impressed he’s actually doing his own art. I’m pretty sure it’s his own stuff he’s rapping.
Sent: 11:52 a.m.
Hannah read my text, and we let our conversation fade. I considered asking the guy about his rap. All original? Performing anywhere? Any other local rappers I should check out? But I stayed silent, not wanting to interrupt. I couldn’t yet make out what he was saying, but was I adapting to the guy’s style of clipped vowels and hard bs, his words punctuated by regular crotch-grabs and head-nods. He sounded a little like Eminem, minus talent.
“These days, half the homosexuals don’t even look like homosexuals. I see other guys looking at me. They look at me, and I’ll kill ‘em!”
It was almost funny. The guy lived in one of the most gay-friendly cities in the country. 2.6 percent of all households, 12.9 percent of the population. I looked at him again. He lounged across the seats, straight-faced and angry.
“Homosexuality’s unnatural and wrong. No way around it. I’ll kill you, I see you looking at me.”
I have never, despite repeated negative consequences, learned how to successfully ignore something. People, problems, worries. I fixate. I stew.
I listened to the guy’s rap. And in true Millennial form, too many decades removed from the frontier, I tweeted about it.
“Nobody was born gay—that’s a lie told by the liberals and the Jewish media.” #LightRailRapper
Sent: 12:00 p.m.
“Women are the weaker sex. They serve men in every book of the Bible.” #LightRailRapper
Sent: 12:01 p.m.
“Women were created to serve attractive, intelligent men who make money. Bitch, if you don’t serve me, I’ll kill you.” #LightRailRapper
Sent: 12:03 p.m.
I kept glancing at him. I made grotesque, mocking smiles.
I hope the guy thought I was gay.
“Liberal-ass leftwing Jews with their Hollywood media. When I say homosexuality is wrong, I MEAN it.” #LightRailRapper
Sent: 12:05 p.m.
“She doesn’t have a right to choose—she’s a female. She was made to please you. She can’t say no.” #LightRailRapper
Sent: 12:07 p.m.
The car was mostly empty. A few solo riders in the front half, and a family in the back. No security or ticket-takers.
But Hannah shifted beside me. A nervous girl on her first trip to Seattle, looking forward to Pike Place and the ferry and an astronomy conference at the convention center. Not looking forward to a shouting match in the middle of the light rail, and not looking forward to a fight, especially a fight I had a high chance of losing.
“They don’t know I’m a rapist. I ain’t gonna do it again—I don’t want more jail. But I like thinking about it. What I’d do.” #LightRailRapper
Sent: 12:09 p.m.
If I see this [censored] in person again, I sincerely believe it would be immoral NOT to [censored].
Sent: 12:10 p.m.
The guy left at the International District/Chinatown stop, fifteen minutes after we started listening to him. I sent a few more tweets, none of them appropriate for The Post Calvin. I stewed. Plotted. Thought of people who would help me. But three stops later, out in the damp Seattle cold, walking downhill toward Pike Place Market and the Puget Sound, I made myself talk about ridiculousness and mental disorders and people-watching. Soon, Hannah and I were sampling jalapeño jams and admiring a hand-carved longboard.
“This place just keeps going!” she said. “I didn’t know there were lower levels!”
I led her down another wood-lined hallway toward the collectibles store, where we flipped through Firefly comics and wondered who actually bought cardboard cutouts of Black Window and Batman and the Winchester brothers. We forced ourselves to laugh about the rapper, and I joked about him on Twitter. I tried, only half successfully, not to fixate.
Seattle had the third-highest rate of hate crimes against LGBT people among large U.S. cities in 2012, according to data from the FBI.
Only 2 percent of all rapists ever face time in jail or prison, once underreporting, prosecution, and sentencing have been accounted for.
#LightRailRapper rode the Central Link light rail from the Tukwila International Station to the International District/Chinatown Station on Monday, January 5. He boarded at 11:43 a.m., and he exited at 12:11 p.m.
NPR called Josh “a modern-day Jack Kerouac” after he wrote about his 7,000-mile, no-money hitchhiking journey through the United States. Since hitchhiking, he’s found homes in the Pacific Northwest, the Episcopal Church, and the post calvin. He builds websites as the director of Branded Look LLC. Josh’s writing has appeared in places such as The Emerson Review, Front Porch Review, and Perspectives.