Following a recent trip to the states my eyes were opened to the small minded and dangerous world that we are living in. I was lucky enough to have never been involved in any serious or threatening ‘open’ homophobia until I was in a small bar along the west coast of America. Myself and my friends were having a great time, a few drinks, a bit of live music and chatting with the locals. All was going well until someone else mentioned to one of the guys that I was gay and that he should give up trying to hit on me as I would not be interested. Challenge accepted.
Now, for anyone who knows me, I am well capable of dealing with unwanted advances (not that they are very common) but what unfolded could only be described as homophobia. Two of the guys spent the next half an hour or more telling me how they believed that I was not gay, that they could show me what a ‘real man’ is like. Obviously lesbians are lesbians because they have had crap sex with ‘fake men’ *Sigh*… Anyway, they continued to graphically describe the many sexual positions that they would flip me into to ‘fix me’. Followed by a number of gay jokes at which they laughed at a lot and I did not. Scary.
The whole thing was a shock to me… I was shocked that two people right in front of me did actually think like this. They were close to my age. I could not believe that they fully believed what they were saying to me. There was absolutely no doubt in their minds that I had made bad choices, that I was not actually gay and that they could change me. Outrageous!
Soon enough we left the bar and I explained to my mate that it is not the best thing to Out people in a place where we may not be accepted. This place was definitely different. Point made. It was a real eye opener to me, a scary realisation that these people were the people voting for Trump. These are the people that are involved in taking the world forward (or backwards?). We are living in difficult times… times of change and maybe not for the better. Don’t get me wrong, great strides forward have been made recently but there is still a general narrow-minded homophobia and an ignorance surrounding us.
No wonder young LGBTQ people are afraid to Come Out. The fear and uncertainty involved in Coming Out is just too much for some. We all in the LGBTQ community have a duty to keep supporting everyone and anyone we can. Do what you can to educate those around you, offer advice and support where you can and most of all to be yourself. Standing up to a homophobe is nearly always necessary (except if you are in danger). I told the guys that I was gay and nothing that they could do to me would change that. I also said to them that they shouldn’t speak to women like that in general and then we left. I felt a little violated but at the same time a little satisfied that I had stood up to them in some way. Small steps.
The Outing XX