Even though it is 2019 and many things have changed in the way society views once-taboo subjects like same-sex love, there is still always a few haters who will try to steal your smile, but Matt Dorio is one gay man who is determined to be the change he desires in this world.
Matt is an accomplished man who has worked hard to achieve his goals in life. Having worked in sports management for prestigious teams such as the NY Red Bulls, the Boston Red Sox, and is now working with the Portland Trail Blazers, the young go-getter boasts one of the biggest smiles in the city, and with good reason.
Portland, Oregon is one of the most diverse cities in the US and welcomes the LBGTQ community with open arms, but there are a few old-fashioned stragglers that just don’t quite understand it and are all-too-willing to voice their opinions in pointed in homophobic hate-speech.
It’s unfortunate, to say the least, that in this day and age people are still ignorant enough to judge a person by their sexual preference rather than how they conduct themselves as a human being, but it does happen.
Matt had an experience like this recently and posted the exchange that happened in early January of this year on his Facebook page.
“I was just standing in the cashier line at the grocery store. I wore my Portland Trail Blazers Pride Sweatshirt today to work. It’s one of my favorite articles of clothing. An older gentleman, standing right behind me, decided to say, “why are you wearing that rainbow shirt? Are you some sort of fa****?'”
Unbelievable. What gall, to address someone that way without even knowing them at all! While most people would just get angry at this point and repay the insult with a verbal jab of some kind, Matt decided to take an entirely different approach; unabashed honesty.
Instead of berating the man for his rude demeanor, or going on a long tangent about how he was a homophobe, Matt simply answered his question with a calm and sincere attitude.
“I said, ‘well sir, I am a gay man yes. And I wear this to show people that I am not only proud of myself and my community, but also the organization I work for who supports Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.'”
Already at this point in the conversation, Matt has proven himself to have a much more grounded understanding of how people should treat each other with respect first and foremost, even if the person you’re speaking to clearly disagrees.
While his response should have been enough to end the conversation, it only seemed to upset the old man in line even more.
Instead of letting the subject rest, the old man continued to badger kind-hearted Matt.
“He then proceeded to say, ‘have fun in hell homo, hope you’re proud of the choice you decided to make.’ This man then goes on to mumble homophobic slurs to me, the whole time I’m waiting in line. I ignore him, pay for my food, and start to walk away.”
Walking away from the scene would have been enough, and Matt would still be the bigger man, but there is more to the story than that.
After Matt began to walk away, karma came rushing in like a tornado when Matt heard the old man’s card get declined. He waited, just for it to continue getting declined. After realizing the man wasn’t going to be able to pay for his things, Matt did something incredible; he paid for the man’s items with his own money.
“I then notice his card gets declined. He keeps trying, and trying and he isn’t able to pay for his food. I walk up to the cash register and pay for his 3 items.”
While this could have been the universe taking out its own sweet revenge on the man, Matt didn’t want to leave the store knowing he still had an opportunity to make a difference and change this man’s mind about how people should treat each other.
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Shocked at Matt’s actions, the old man was completely baffled as to why he would do something so nice for him after their unpleasant exchange, and Matt’s beautiful response left the old man that insulted him completely speechless:
“He looks at me and goes, ‘why would you do that?’ I said ‘well sir, unlike my sexuality, which is not a choice…I’m choosing to be a nice person. I hope you find it in your heart to understand your words can be hurtful, but I’m choosing to see you for the person you are, and I wanted to help you.’ He said nothing, and I walked away.”
We all have something very valuable to learn here from Matt.
No matter how discouraged you might get by the antiquated views of society, it’s always better to be kind than it is to be angry. Matt says it best in the conclusion of his post:
“Take the high road people. Be the better person and show people that hate is never the answer. Be brave, stand up and kill them with kindness.”
Portland is lucky to have him. Go Blazers!
Source: Facebook/Matt Dorio