Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Homophobia Is Not Cool

Along with Racism, there are so many other issues that needs to be addressed. Among of many issues is Homophobia. The definition of this term is: 

    noun /ˌhōməˈfōbēə/

Homophobia is a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and in some cases transgender and intersex people. Definitions refer variably to antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, irrational fear, hatred, fear, discomfort or violence towards gay, lesbian, bisexual, intersex, transexual or transgender people.
-Merriman-Webster Dictionary

Have you ever made a gay joke? Giggled with your friends as you walk toward a man that seemingly to be "acting" gay? Made an insulting joke? Went so extreme as to inflict violence on a person who was not straight? Sneered at men kissing? Preached in name of your god to put down a gay person? Said 'That's so gay" to refer sense of fashion, an event, behavior, or a celebrity? Tossed words like dyke, gay, butch, faggot, fairy, fruit, shemale, he-she, homo, and many more to someone even though that person may or may not be gay? 

Our society has put GLBT community into a category as equivalent as having a leprosy, second-class citizens merely because they do not fit the perfect little square of "normal". Many straight people are not exposed enough to GLBT community. They carry on their parents' prejudices without being aware of it. In our movies, we see actors causally tossing the phrase, that's so gay, and poke fun at gays. It is all fine unless if you are gay then it's not fine anymore.

The double standards in our society is maddening. To see two grown men kissing is a turn-off, but allowing two women kissing is acceptable. Well, as long as they are are attractive women, then sure, but don't show  unattractive women doing this though. Treat your neighbor in the way that you want to be treated, but it is okay to  treat the person with contempt when you learn your neighbor is gay. You immediately let go your friend because she is a lesbian, but you are nice to her because you don't say anything mean about her sexuality. It is okay to sell a house to two grown men that are roommates, but if they are openly gay, then don't even offer the house to them. You laugh with your child while watching Bernie and Ernie, but roll your eyes when you are told that they are gay partners to promote education about GLBT community. You invite your family member, who happens to be a lesbian, but you keep her at bay at the reunion by avoiding her. 

The worst part of all this is that once you are outed to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered/intersex then you are bombarded with the ugly sores that is so carefully hidden and overlooked by straight people. You realize that you don't have privileges that straight people so enjoy. You can't even hold hands with your boyfriend/girlfriend in public without earning disapproving stares from other people. You have to be conscious of how you dress and talk. Or you'll have to deal with discrimination. Forget talking about your dating life or even sex life. If you are a man playing on a sports team then you really have to work hard to not oust yourself too much because the idea of you possibly checking out other man in the locker room is unbearable. Same for  women who are bisexuals or lesbians. You have to endure hearing homophobic attitudes from your straight co-workers, or even straight friends. You might not be fully accepted by your family. 

On top of this all little subtle messages that are given; you suddenly see that you can't even marry the person you love, and you can kiss your dream of ever having a wedding good-bye. Even if you live with your partner for many years; you can't really sign on your insurance form and let them know if you die then you want your long-term boyfriend/girlfriend to get benefits. Or can't even really share your insurance policy with him/her. To rub your nose in the dirt; if your loved one is laying either dying or extremely hurt/ill on the hospital bed, then you are told that you can't stay in the room with your boyfriend/girlfriend because you are not recognized as a significant other, but rather as a friend. Sometimes you even hear stories about how some people received terrible beatings, hateful messages, and even got killed for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. Or you find yourself in that terrible position.  

Is this something we want to continue pass through our future generations? To teach hate, intolerance, and rejection especially if you use your religion as an excuse to practice this? Here's the little secret....there are people, who are involved with their churches and practices their religions, who DOES NOT use religion as a reason to hate and practice oppression. Matter of fact, they spread love and tolerance. They even apologized for church's hateful messages about GLBT community. Don't believe me? Here's the article: A Different Kind of Christian Demonstration. And here's a picture of a straight Christian man, who is secure enough with his sexuality and sexuality of the person who is gay, hugging a man who is gay. Yes, there are some Christians out there who love and support GLBT community, and they are true example of what their god's love is about. So don't use your religion as a cover to continue passing on contempt and hatred to our future generations.

I have been accused of being excessively open-minded. A fag-hag for having gay friends. I can't be straight if I am so supportive of GLBT community. Some people have gone so far enough to surmise that I have to be a lesbian because some of my close friends happen to be bisexuals or lesbians. Some of my straight friends, whom I have ended my friendships with, does not like my participation with Gay Pride festivals, and pride marches. Some people raises their eyebrow when I said that I would not care less if my child ends up being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered. I have been labeled as a raring liberal hippie for wanting to teach and expose my future children to GLBT community.  

All of this makes me sad.

This makes me sad that our society is so afraid of those who are different, and those who are straight and supportive of equality for GLBT. It makes me sad that, even in this day and age, we still have to fight narrow-minded attitudes of many people, and fight to upgrade our definition for marriage. But what makes me really sad is that our society treats GLBT as if they are not human beings. 

I remember so many instances when I sat down with my friends, who have been openly gay, lesbian or bisexual, with tears running down their faces because they have struggled so much to be gay in the straight world.  The pain I saw in their eyes hurt me. The hatred from people who were "anti-gay" I saw hurt me. The process of dehumanizing through stereotyping and use of derogatory terms stripped people of their rights that they deserved to have. 

When did it ever become okay to hate?