Tag Archives: Homosexuality

Homosexuality doesn’t destroy families, homophobia does.

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?

http://marcgordonshow.com/rich-kids-of-beverly-hills-star-ej-johnson-signs-with-wme-exclusive/

Fabulous son, E.J. Johnson, mama Cookie, daddy Magic. (Just so we’re clear: EJ flames, honey. He’s gay.)

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.


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.


The Hubris of Heterosexuality

We're queer. Get fucking used to it.

It’s amazing what people think they can say to you.

“I mean, I don’t accept your lifestyle, but we can still be cool.”

Whatchu mean you don’t accept my lifestyle, but “we” can still be cool?   Who the fuck do you think you are?

I’ve pretty much had it with benevolent acceptance of willful ignorance.  If cats are on stupid shit, I feel compelled to not only be intolerant of it, but also to call it out when I see it.

As a political scientist, I’ve learned that politics depends on an analysis of relationships — interpersonal ones as well as those between individuals and institutions (government, church, etc.). It’s the interpersonal ones that inform policies and can alter the ways we relate to our institutions. For this reason, I always find it interesting that Presidential candidates seek to pander first to the wholesome folks of middle America, and those good and honorable patriots in the South (whose schools and highways still bear the names of Confederate generals). The rationale is that these people consistently vote, and consistently vote conservatively. But do the politicos ever stop to consider why? In theory, conservatism is a fine ideological perspective, but it thrives on a fear of the unknown.  Ideological conservatism appears incapable of conceiving of an “unfamiliar” that isn’t also automatically construed as “worse and/or less than” that which you know.

I told my mother I was gay almost 7 months ago, and it has gone better than I had hoped in some respects, and worse in others. My father is rational and understands that having a girlfriend instead of a boyfriend doesn’t make me any less extraordinary as a human being, nor any less productive as a citizen of the world. My mother, on the other hand, has declared all out war with my sexuality and with me. Initially, I understood her hurt and her shock. Assumptions are comfortable until the assumption of your greatest fear gets confirmed. It takes people time to grapple with new realities. I get that, and I respect that position.

My tolerance ends at the notion that because I am gay, my lifestyle (I’ve grown to loathe this word) is less serious than the “normal” heterosexual lifestyle. This gay thing must be a phase, or I must hate men because of some awful affront they (yep, all of ’em) perpetrated upon me. Or perhaps I’m confused because I secretly want to be a man.

I call bullshit. Thinking this way is evidence of one’s lack of exposure to diversity, both cultural and intellectual.

It’s one thing to not know the various incarnations of everything in our vast universe. It’s quite another, however, to be so arrogant about shit you don’t fucking know. People have gone out of their way to ensure that gay men and women aren’t allowed to marry or adopt children, or serve openly in the military. This obstruction of equality indicates that the only legitimate kind of love exists between heterosexuals. This is the kind of logic that would support two crack heads getting married on a whim in Vegas, or a woman who meets, courts, and selects a fiancé from a pool of 25 on national television. And speaking of crack heads, I remember when the former mayor of DC, Marion Barry, weighed in on marriage equality. He was against it because…well, it doesn’t even matter why. This cat got caught trying to fuck around on his wife, while snorting a crack rock. But Mayor Barry and his constituents think they should be able to tell me that I can’t marry my girlfriend. “…but we can still be cool.” This is the hubris of heterosexuality, and fuck that.

Despite having had beautiful and fulfilling relationships with the women in my life, my mother is convinced that what I’m missing is a man to make me the “apple of his eye.” There is nothing more infuriating to me than the assertion that I need a man to validate me, my womanhood, or my person-hood.  The idea that a woman hasn’t yet reached her full potential until she’s the apple of some man’s eye … Yeah, fuck that too.

I’ve lost all patience with folks’ “tolerance” of my “lifestyle,” as if how I live is fundamentally different from the way most others live, or as if they’re projecting heterosexual benevolence and doing me a favor. And fuck that. My relationships are an extension of all that I am; they are loving human interactions with wonderful human beings. I don’t care what peoples’ religious, traditional, cultural, and personal dispositions are, or why they are. But I know that being gay has never defined me; being authentic about who I am as an individual, however, has. Thus, the proper respect for me and mine, is absolutely non-negotiable. And if one cannot accept that, then no. We can’t be cool. He or she has more life work to do.

And finally, because I’m gay doesn’t mean I automatically want you, ma’am, to ride this ride.  There are standards, and being a woman is merely the beginning.