Homosexuality doesn’t destroy families, homophobia does.
People rest comfortably in the sentiment that they don’t ‘hate’ gay people. They simply feel that gay relationships are unnatural and that the people in them are confused. They don’t wish harm on gay people, just wish they’d stop being so burdensome on the psyche with their…presence.
“I don’t agree with your lifestyle, but that’s just my opinion,” they say, citing the usual suspects as reasons — religion, biology, zoology, and the always high-minded “eww” factor of gay sex.
But you know what? I call bullshit.
Homophobia is a choice. And all the justifications for why you “disagree with that lifestyle” are rooted in an inability to imagine life outside of your own box. It would be different if homosexuality was linked to some degradation in society, much like violence and ignorance are. But it isn’t. It would be different if you had to be gay. But you don’t.
Gay people haven’t perverted marriage. Same-sex parents aren’t raising damaged children. On the contrary, people have been experts at ruining their own lives, and those around them, for centuries without help from the gays.
If you’re curious about what homophobia (and sexism) looks like, check this: Dr. Umar Johnson, “Educator, Psychologist, Political Scientist and Pan-Africanist,” according to his website, recently argued that overbearing Black single mothers are responsible for the existence of gay Black men. This is so dangerous.
And yet, so easily disproven. For example, I submit the [Magic] Johnson family. How does this happen, Dr. Johnson?
Couldn’t be because people are, I don’t know…different? That even a father could be different from his son? The psychologist, scientist, and educator didn’t find this explanation in any of his
life studies? Homophobia makes you blind to evidence that’s right before you.
Don’t let people with credentials consign your ignorance.
As National Coming Out Day approaches, I urge families to be better than their biases. Be better than your fears of the unknown. Be better than your disappointment about your expectations. I understand that you may never understand how a person could be into someone of the same gender. But consider this: It’s not about you.
I don’t understand how people can listen to Bob Dylan or consider Wiz Khalifa attractive, but that’s not my bag. I don’t have to understand it to respect it. To regard it. Homophobia is the opposite — because you don’t understand, you disrespect and disregard. There’s nothing noble about that, even if, in your rationalizing, you believe you’re doing the Lord’s work. One person’s salvation doesn’t depend on another’s, does it? I only went to Vacation Bible School for the snacks and the $20 my parents gave me, so I could be wrong.
Even if I am though, how do you know that my spiritual convictions aren’t just as strong as yours? Don’t assume faith has to look the same; don’t assume family has to look the same. Don’t assume life has to look the same. It does not.
Remember that few rational people would risk family shame, abandonment, and judgment by coming out if it wasn’t something they felt compelled to do.
If you find out this weekend that a loved one is gay, don’t let homophobia destroy your relationship. Be better than your fear of what you don’t know. Be better than your disappointment about your expectations.
Nobody’s going to talk to you about sex on the same day they come out. But if you find that that’s all you’re thinking about, then you’re dropping the ball. Snap out of it and get back to the person who just bore their soul to you. It’s about more than sex to them.