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Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Life in Charts: Figure #4

Homophobia

Forgive today's post. It's as ranty as I've come in a long time and was written after 3 am. It still has some important things to consider.

I recently had the experience of working with someone who considers himself SSA (a term I contend with, but I respect self-definition). He’s a very nice guy, showing concern for others, taking on responsibilities where he could, helping those who needed some guidance.

Unaware that I and one other member of the group consider ourselves gay, he exaggerated gestures and made some offensive remarks along the lines of “that’s so gay,” encouraging similar behavior in some of the younger members of the group. I don’t bring this up as some sort of rant or point fingers, but to admit that homophobia was an issue for me as well. Although I never said anything quite so offensive, I probably ended up hurting people indirectly (a post on that is coming up).

What I’d like to say with all of this is pretty simple. The biggest of hypocrites might be the Christians who worship a loving God that apparently hates his gay creations, but are we any better off for hating them? Especially when they might be hating themselves (see Fig. #4).

Homophobic Gays

My reaction to my SSA friend was a firm “That’s not very funny.” The real concern lay in the hurt he might be experiencing which manifested itself in this humor he perceived as seemingly benign. This form of humor doesn't really hurt me so much as make me concerned for the future.

Showing love and compassion to those who tear us down isn’t a new concept (a certain Savior figure comes to mind…), but lets face it. We, as a gay community, are a pretty reactionary bunch and the temptation is to make people uncomfortable to show just how comfortable we are with our situations.

I suppose I could have specifically stated what he’d done wrong or voice that I was offended to the entire group. It seemed more appropriate, however, to voice my disapproval and remain the liberal, positive guy that everybody likes to be around.

It didn’t happen again, so I think the subtle message was well-received.

4 comments:

C.J. said...

Sometimes I think we, as adults, really haven't grown beyond our grade school selves. Those who feel bad about themselves/are unsure of their place in the world act aggressively toward others; "well at least I'm not as bad off as him". I was the victim of a hate crime when I was in junior high, and it ultimately turned out that the aggressor was, himself, getting the snot kicked out of him by a gang of skinheads. Bizarrely, his parents were doing nothing about the situation.

green and purple said...

Sorry to be dense, but what is SSA? You did the right thing to speak up and express your feelings.

I meant to comment on your last post also. I keep hoping that you'll write that one of these situations worked out well. I guess that I need to be patient for the better posts.

A Gay Mormon Boy said...

@C.J.: I'm sorry to hear about the trauma. It's unfortunate that we learn violence and ignorance so easily. It's kind of simple. What hurts us, we learn to use against others.

@green and purple: SSA stands for Same Sex Attraction (also referred to as SGA-- Same Gender Attraction). Within this culture it is often used to distinguish between those who act on homosexual feelings and those who do not.

Also, there's some positive to the series coming up. I've been a little under the weather hence the staggered series-posting.

David Baker-@DB389 said...

My policy for avoiding hate is this: How can I be intolerant of other's opinions when I stand before them asking for their tolerance?

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