How random is this subject now? Well I would say as random as hearing someone suddenly say “I’m not a homophobe but…” and other similar statements that put some of us on high alert. It’s as random as witnessing first hand homophobia in the places you least expect or from people you used to have high esteem for. So, how random is this subject really?
I happen to have a lot of opinions on people’s ways of expressing themselves. More precisely, and in this specific context: how people express their homophobia.
Obviously, talking from my personal perspective, chances are that I might not be 100% accurate. For example: I’ve witnessed mostly acts of discrimination and homophobia against male couples. Also, I’m not talking on behalf of the LGBT+ community. This article’s angle is centered on my hetero-being confronting other hetero-beings that have some edgy opinions about the LGBT+ community.
Homophobia is a phenomenon that is extremely flexible: there are multiple ways that some people choose to communicate their disregard and sometimes even “disgust” towards homosexuals. Whether this is done by keeping it low and just adding some stupid comments here and there, or by even getting excessively violent when the subject is brought up: it’s just very uncomfortable to witness.
It can happen at a random party where someone says “I don’t have anything against gays but I hate faggots”, or simply an ignorant comment from your uncle at a family dinner… It’s basically everywhere and everyone seems to have desperately something to say about how homosexuals should lead their lives.
I witnessed homophobia mainly through my close friendship with a gay couple who was constantly confronted by persistent looks while randomly walking on the street. As a girl, often targeted by society’s ideals and restrictions, their experience was relatable to me to some extent.
Sidenote: This might explain the stereotypical “girls and gays get along”. Maybe it’s simply because we have the same enemy.
The thing about homophobia is that it finds its way to sneak in anywhere, like a toxic, undetectable gas. The number of times people use “gay” as an insult, shows us how little these people care about this matter. These are only words and yet it’s so hard for some people to get them out of their vocabulary. It doesn’t really matter if you’re the tolerant person you wish others to see you as, using these offensive terms is an act of stubbornness. Why insist on constantly using words that clearly hurt and oppress almost every fifth person on this earth?
There’s no use in censoring yourself if in your mind these homophobic roots keep on living. By the way, censoring yourself would technically mean you still have this impulse. Logically speaking, if one would be conscious of the impact that these insults have on other people, one would stop it.
But that’s the thing: most straight people do not understand or are simply not aware of the reality of a gay or lesbian person. Did we ever, as heterosexuals have to be worried about coming out? No, we were doing what everyone considered as being “normal”: dating the opposite sex. We were taught that we are the norm and homosexuals are defying natural laws. (Funny to see how some dare to talk in behalf of mother-nature while contributing to its destruction, but that’s for another time). We very often hear straight people talk about gay-sex as being “unnatural” but then these proud heterosexuals are the ones consuming misogynistic mainstream porn. But watching girls and women being treated like their duty is to provide the man with sex, that’s not at all outrageous.
Questioning whether one’s sexual life is acceptable or not, is such a petty way to attack someone. However, some straight people are so convinced of their glorified “normality”, that they feel extra comfortable in expressing their so-called “concerns” and “opinions” on homosexuality.
There are no magic tricks to fix your homophobic vision, if at any point of reading this you felt personally attacked. But there are some other simple things that you can start with, for instance: just knock that offensive vocabulary off and start educating yourself. If you’re that into having a conversation about that subject with the only person you know that has a gay/lesbian friend at a random party, why don’t you inform yourself before?
I lost count of the times I was caught up in a conversation with straight guys and girls about homosexuals. It’s incredibly awkward. My friendships with gays does not mean I’m their spokesperson. I’m not the mediator between the gay and the hetero world. And more importantly, I’m not a human helpline where you can get all of your questions cleared up. Maybe it’s because I’m not into their dating and sexual lives as much as some seem to be. Also, I’m not into crippling attempts to prove one’s acceptance of the LGBT+ community with cringy phrases like: “I don’t have a gay friend, but I know someone that has a cousin that…” or stereotypes such as “Gays are so friendly and cute”. Sometimes it even goes further and deeper like “It would be hard for me to accept if my son turns out to be gay”. I mean, the kid is not even there yet and you’re already having a hard time? How about contributing to making this less of a hostile environment for the LGBT+ community, so your son will have nothing to fear.
Or is there something else that’s bothering you in the scenario of having a homosexual son? Do you think he’s going to suffer of a lack of masculinity for being gay? Will he be less of a son to you if he’s gay? Because that, my friend is not only homophobia, that’s misogyny too. Just look who we found again huh? Misogyny is invited to every party!
Your son will not be less of a man for being gay. Don’t worry about his footballs skills, he’s gay not born with two left legs.
Discrimination is so 2000 and late. When will we finally live in a society where straight boys can show affection to each other without the classical “no homo”?
Homophobia is so… ugh. And so are the people behind it. And that’s also my opinion on homophobes: UGH.