Some people say mean things, and when they get chastised for it, will say it is a joke. But it is what they mean.
The question you should be asking is – do they mean this because:
- They are ignorant
- They thought they were fitting in
- They have a phobic response to something
- They are just not a nice person
Another question that is good to ask is – what are you going to do about it? Some good options are:
- Challenge it
- Educate and advocate
- Help them recognise it is irrational
- Avoid them if they won’t or can’t learn
Your choice may depend on your energy levels and safety.