Tag Archives: homo

You’re a Homophobe, Dude.

Check yourself.

Check yourself.

Last week, I ignored the comments made by San Francisco 49er, Chris Culliver, about how gays were unwelcome on his team, and unwelcome in his team’s locker room. I ignored them because, well, you just can’t fight every battle.  But then, a Facebook status popped up in my news feed, declaring that those who didn’t ignore Culliver’s comments were just sensitive to folks’ discomfort with homosexuality. There was a chorus of agreement with points like, “yeeees … enough with the political correctness,” and “I don’t hate gays…I just wish they’d go back into hiding….”

Right. Because that’s all we’re doing when we oppose discrimination, being politically correct. Moreover, prefacing statements with “I don’t hate gays…” and then going on to say some hateful shit is really a waste of energy.  Just say you do hate gays.  That way, you can at least be consistent in your logic.   You don’t have to reconcile how it is that one could not hate an individual, but merely wish that he or she remained in the margins of life -unprotected and invalidated, and unseen.  It wasn’t Chris Culliver’s brazen display of ignorance and immaturity that bothered me, it was the people who agreed, and tried to defend him that wouldn’t allow me to remain idle. Here’s what Culliver said:

“I don’t do the gay guys, man. I don’t do that …. Ain’t got no gay people on the team. They gotta get up outta here if they do. Can’t be with that sweet stuff.” Asked to reiterate his thoughts during the interview, Culliver dug deeper, stating that he wouldn’t welcome a gay teammate, no matter how talented. “Nah. Can’t be … in the locker room, nah,” he said. “You’ve gotta come out 10 years later after that.”

The reason what you’ve just read is stupid (which is an academic term, in my opinion) is because it’s based on an irrational fear – the urban legend of the gay man hemming up some unsuspecting hetero, and forcing him into submission. This is irrational because it’s heterosexual men who are responsible for most sexual advances – wanted and unwanted. Allow me to add some perspective by pointing out that I have several gay male friends, and only one of them has ever hit on a straight man. On the contrary, almost all of them have been propositioned at least once by a so-called straight man…

See, homophobia isn’t the fear of gay men and women, per se. In my view, it is a fear of how homosexuality challenges our traditional norms and conceptions of masculinity and femininity. I love the hypocrisy, for instance, when guys balk at the assertion that “all men” are the same of anything, but trot out their “man laws” in the very next breath — ascribing for all men an arbitrary litmus test of masculinity.

The problem with Chris Culliver’s comments, and homophobia in general, I guess, is that they assume so much that has no basis in fact. Culliver’s first assumption is that he’s never had a gay teammate before (folks, gay men play football too) and that he’s never been in close proximity (in a non-sexual way) with a gay man.  Secondly, he assumes that because a gay man is attracted to men, then he’s attracted to all men and is therefore a threat to heterosexual men.  By the same logic then, heterosexual men are a threat to all women. If you find this analogy acceptable, then it’s not gay men who should bear the brunt of your ire. It’s men. Generally speaking.  I maintain that this homophobia folks display so proudly says more about the wearer than the intended target.  Pardon me, but your ignorance is showing.

Additionally, I’m told I can’t be mad at a man for stating what he believes. It’s “his opinion,” they tell me.  Say what now!? I can’t judge an individual based on what he thinks and says? Only when you’ve allowed your biases to corrupt your good sense is this a viable argument. Cats gotta be responsible, at the very least, for what they say.   I agree that everyone is entitled to think and say what she or he feels.  However, once it’s out, the peanut gallery gets to respond. There’s that proverb that goes:  it is better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt. In other words, I can think the world is flat all day long if I want to. It’s not though, no matter how assured I am in my opinion.

The reality is, friends, that gay people are gonna be gay whether you like it, believe in it, support it, or are comfortable with it. Like it or not, we live among you.  We are your neighbors, your teachers, your doctors, your trash people, your hair stylists, your choir directors, your classmates, your brothers, cousins, sisters, moms, dads, and daughters.  In a secular society like the one in which we live, there is no rationalization for homophobia.  Gay people want the same things heterosexual people want – peace, security, happiness, love, opportunity, and respect.  Thus, in this society wherein homos and homophobes seek to find common ground, I submit most sincerely to the latter:  check yourself.  It’s not us, it’s you. Grow up.

P.S. I won’t say Culliver’s poor performance in the biggest game of his life is karma being that bitch again. But prolly.

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Coming Out: A Year Later

Folks came outta the woodwork with support. It meant the world to me. Thank you.

One year ago today I chose to endure whatever uncertainty lay ahead — whatever comforts I might lose, and the relationships that might be forever bruised so that I could live an authentic life.

My heart beat so fast, and determined as I was to say what I needed to say, the words felt stuck at every turn — in my chest, in my throat, on the tip of my tongue.  But I needed to say them.  I couldn’t go another second  in that closet.

And inauthenticity is that.  closet.  It’s stifling.  You can’t spread your wings in there.  You can’t blossom.

Telling my mom that I was “for all intents and purposes, gay” was the hardest conversation I’d ever had with anyone.  It was awkward.  And when she hung up on me, I knew that our relationship would never be the same.

But coming out to my parents was a necessary risk.  I’d grown exhausted with hiding parts of my life — significant parts and significant people, and the significant experiences we’d shared.  I’d built relationships that I was grateful for, and proud of.  But for years, I sacrificed celebrating the full joy of those relationships, fearful that my folks would find out.

The catalyst for my coming out day was a question about why I didn’t own any dresses or skirts.  My mom was aggressive in her incredulity about what, then, did I wear to work?  What did I wear on special occasions?  ”I don’t wear dresses,” I said.  In that moment, that statement affirmed for me and about me so much more than a sartorial choice.  I wasn’t the woman my mom had expected me to be, and the time had come for me to say that.  Coming out was about telling the truth — my truth.  For me, “I don’t wear dresses” also meant, “Mama, I like girls.”  I was breaking the ice.

My double life jig was up.  My parents needed to know the truth and I needed to live in the light, like, all the time.  I needed to not need to change my phone’s wallpaper every time I went home.  I needed to not need to explain why I was at Her house again, or why She was always with me.  I needed to not have to worry about whether a picture I posted, or something I said seemed suspect.

Every time I switched pronouns or pretended lovers were only friends for the sake of maintaining comfortable conversations, I devalued the sincerity of my emotions.  I reinforced the notion that there was something about my feelings that was shameful, that what I’d shared with the women I’d dated was less special because we were two girls.  Hiding was a personal conflict I could no longer ignore.  Love feels too good to not share and show off a little.  But how real could it be if I wouldn’t risk a little consternation to tell the world, “Nah, that’s my lady.  She’s much, much more than just my friend.”

I determined in a moment that I couldn’t concern myself with what “they” might think.  It was a gut check;  I wasn’t fit to live the life I’d envisioned for myself if I punked out when the road got rough.  Greatness requires the guts to withstand trial long enough to reap the triumph.  If I wasn’t willing to stand up for who I am, and protect who I love, then I didn’t deserve to be great.

I still struggle with anger and resentment at my parents’ reactions.  Although my dad handled things better than my mom,  his worldview and mine clash too, sometimes.  So, to say it’s been “difficult” this last year would be a gross understatement, as all of my strength has been tested.  And while the best lesson my mama ever taught me had to be learned at her expense, I am grateful I got it.  I know without question that there is nothing “wrong” with me, or the way I think, or the way I feel.

I’m glad I came out.  In fact, if I had to do it all over again knowing how difficult it would be and how much pain it would cause, I’d make the same choice I did last year.  I am stronger emotionally and spiritually because of that choice.  I am free because of it.