The Internet has been ablaze ever since an inmate featured on A&E TV’s ‘Beyond Scared Straight,” uttered her now trademark line “I was waiting for you at the Doe,” during a visit with a gay teen who was in trouble for fighting at school. “Beyond Scared Straight,” places at-risk teens in a program to steer them away from a life of crime. On the show, real convicts confront juvenile offenders with the horrors of life behind bars. Miss Foxy talked to the teen, who was angry that a girl accused him of “having” all of the boys in the school, which led to a fight.
After the episode, the memes, videos, and constant re-quoting of Miss Foxy’s legendary line were everywhere. While entertaining, it would appear that many who took in the line “I was waiting for you at the doe,” missed the good work that Miss Foxy was attempting to do. Instead of walking through the “doe”, the mediasphere is standing on the threshold, quite unable to grasp Miss Foxy’s broader message of love and self-acceptance.
While the phrase may seem as if Foxy was “waiting at the doe” to unleash harm on the teen, that would be furthest thing from the truth. Instead, Miss Foxy was “waiting at the doe” with welcoming arms and words of advice for a gay African American teen who has lashed out due to bullying caused by knowledge of his sexual preferences. Miss Foxy was there to provide encouragement to an at-risk youth, who needed guidance and understanding. Aside from her now iconic phrase Miss Foxi also stated:
“I’m gonna talk to you. She [the young lady spreading rumors] was probably jealous of you. And I guarantee you are going to go through that the rest of your life. As long as you are gay you are gay, you are going to have haters…
There is nothing wrong with being gay and don’t let anybody tell you that it is. You can be anything that you want to be, just have your own because we are in a cruel world. I don’t think anyone wants to walk out there and say I’m gay with a sign on them, but it’s not what you do, its how you do it.”
Miss Foxi’s words were meant to soothe and strengthen a broken teen who will have to always battle the stigmas associated with being African American and gay.
Miss Foxi set out to break through to the teen and give him a boost of confidence. Instead of fighting all his life, as he will always be gay, Miss Foxi advised him to love himself and win over those who begrudged him of his truth by living well.
Miss Foxi’s stance and words are reminiscent of the powerful scene of The Color Purple where Sofia begs Celie not to trade places with what she herself has been through. The dominant culture’s appropriation of a phrase, at the expense of the context in which it was used, in order to possibly poke fun at Ms. Foxy, while erasing this young man’s plight, speaks volumes about how far we have to go as a society in supporting our LGBT teens and community.
Ms. Foxy should be lauded not only for “I was waiting for you at the doe,” but also for the rest of her words and her attempt to help push a young boy through the “doe” of life.