30 July 2007

Is it discrimination if you are a caucasian white-collar professional?

Tomorrow I have a meeting with an investigator from the Office of Human Rights of the District of Colombia. I am, I must say, nervous. J. and I have been looking at apartments for awhile now. We thought we had found the prefect one- it was amazing, the price was right. The woman who showed it to us was really nice and ensured us that it wouldn't be a problem renting to us. We were the first people to see it and the first to turn in an application. Then, the long slide backwards.

We didn't hear anything for a week, and then when we started calling, she refused to return our phone calls. When I finally got her on the phone, by dialing from work, a number she wouldn't recognize on her mobile phone, she told me that a bunch of other people had applied, and that she wasn't the only one showing it, and that it would take a week to process the applications. And she was rude. That week turned into two weeks. And then three. And then she complained that we were calling too much, and that we couldn't expect her to process all the applications in only three weeks! And three weeks became five weeks. I knew we were not getting the apartment by this time, but I felt like she should at least tell me that it was rented, that our application was denied. When I finally got this woman on the phone, she began yelling at me again, being very unkind and incredibly defensive, telling me that 'You need to get OVER it! That apartment is GONE! I told you I would call you when I had an answer!". When I asked her why she hadn't called, she informed me that I must be an idiot. I hung up on her. No one yells at me on the phone.

Then, incredibly, this woman called me back. She, who couldn't be bothered to call me back at any other time, called me back to tell me that "NOBODY HANGS UP ON FAYE!". Guess what, Faye. You got hung up on. Deal with it. When she called back a third time, I answered and told her that I didn't wish to speak to her anymore, and she told me I was a stalker that had no self respect. Detente.

So, what to make of this Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde situation? Did Faye change her mind because J. and I wrote "boyfriends" in the relationship box? Or did she just over commit and needed a way to back out of it? Well, I don't know. And I can't know. So after wrestling with this for a week, I called the Office of Human Rights. I explained what had happened to an investigator, feeling guilty the whole time. Was I mad because I wanted that apartment and didn't get it? Yes. Was I mad because I was treated badly? Yes. Did I really get treated differently since I am gay? That's the part that I don't know, and that's the part that makes me nervous.

In a city that is so split between black and white, professional and blue collar, poor and wealthy, tension between the haves and have nots blurs a lot of actions. Did she not like us because we are gay or because we are white? Or did she just not like us, full stop? Did someone else with better credit scores and higher salaries swoop in? I offered to pay the entire years worth of rent in one check- how would someone else have beaten that? The investigator explained that it wasn't my job to know any of these things, that it was the city's job to determine what happened. And that as a citizen, it was my job to just tell my part of the story and move on with things. So I am going to do that. Tell my story and move on.

So why is my stomach so tied in knots thinking about it?


MB said...

FIGHT THE MAN!!! I love it. Good luck, and keep us posted. I can't wait to hear what happens to Faye.

the princess said...

That is a bad woman. Pure evil. DC apartment hunting: You suck! And Faye: You suck!

HRH King Friday XIII said...

You did the RIGHT thing, and might I add courageous.

She may have a history of doing this, and by reporting her she'll be on record. I'll bet this isn't the last time she'll be visited by the city.

She doesn't deserve your money, dude.

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