Homophobia and Racism

I was accused of being gay back in high school. It could have been because the accusers wanted to feel powerful, have some kind of mental control over me, or simply because they thought I “looked” gay. Some people even thought that my last name was a big flashing yield sign pointing to my (apparent) gayness. However, if I were gay, I would have known it, but probably wouldn’t have said anything back in high school because then I would have been outcast and treated like shit by just about EVERYBODY. (I imagine that some women would either take pity on me, be my friend because “having a gay male friend is cool”, or simply accept me for who I was.) But living in a small town like Mackenzie, you might get the idea that there’s a certain way that people have to “be”, lest you be bombarded by jock-bully types and the clueless, clichéd “like, ohmygod” schoolgirls who hang out in groups and wear lots of lipstick, tank tops, and tight pants. The fact remains that I wasn’t gay then, and I’m not now. You can point out all the little “facts” and “telltale signs” that you want, but I’m no homosexual. Sorry! So the next time you read an article on the Internet or in a magazine entitled, “How to tell if he’s GAY!” you should stop and wonder exactly what you’re doing with your life.

I have nothing against gay people, though. There was a guy in my high school who was gay and I did not care. It did not change the way I saw him or what I thought about him. He was a really good actor, great at improv, and very intelligent. But, apparently, other people were threatened by his gayness. Is being gay a virus? Does it spread the way people become zombies in zombie movies? There were (perhaps still are) some people out there who sincerely believed that being gay was spread either by physical contact with a gay person or simply being in close proximity of a gay person. Then again, fear and hysteria like that was common back in the ‘80s when we didn’t know a lot about AIDS and how it was spread. We’re all much smarter and more tolerant now…or so we should be.

So if you’re gay and you know it, there’s no need to hide that fact, because you’d be miserable living in denial (at least, that’s what I’ve heard from others). But I think there are women out there who pretend to be lesbians because they think it will make them look cool, receive more attention, or increase their sex appeal. Women who go around blatantly advertising that they’re into other women or that they like women are either trying to draw attention to themselves or they are declaring what side of the fence they are on from the outset. Talking about how one likes being gay (in an open and honest way) and advertising that they’re gay (for attention) have two different entirely different purposes: to inform, or to provoke. I don’t think one should say they’re a lesbian just because they want attention and want others to think they’re cool. That’s just silly.

If a gay person hits on me, I don’t get offended, fly into a rage and yell at them or tell them, “I’m not a faggot.” I merely thank them for the offer and tell them I’m not interested (the same way one would deal with a telemarketer). Wouldn’t that inflate one’s ego (even slightly) to know that both members of the opposite sex find you attractive? To this day, I don’t recall ever being hit on by a guy (at least, not in a serious way). But if I am, I’m not going to punch the man out; there are better ways to deal with uncomfortable situations like that instead of resorting to childish, over-emotional outbursts.

I can’t understand why racism still exists today. It’s 2005! Look how far the human race has come with technology, ideas and inventions. Hundreds of years ago it was considered acceptable to not like people of a different colour because, in those days, many humans were somewhat primitive and hadn’t seen as much of the world as can be accessed today. Nowadays, we realize that there are many different kinds of people, cultures, sexual orientations, religions/beliefs, and ideas in the world – and there’s nothing wrong with accepting (or at least being tolerable of) those things. That’s just the way people are: they’re different than you, and there’s no use in getting angry because someone thinks or looks different than you. Why should we all look the same anyway? What’s wrong with diversity? Do racists hold Penguins to be the supreme animal in the kingdom because of their lack of physical differences?

Racists are said to be, for the most part, people who hate people of a different skin colour. I don’t just mean white people who hate black people, but the reverse as well (although, I DO think that black people have the right to hold a grudge more than whites because white people DID round up a bunch of black people and bring them to North America to be their SLAVES hundreds of years ago). Yes, I can understand why there are black people out there who might hate white people for that exact reason. But why do whites hate blacks? WE (white people) brought them over here, WE oppressed them, WE forced them to do hard labor for no money in return, and WE lynched and killed them (although, there have been some cases of blacks lynching whites, and even whites lynching whites and blacks lynching blacks). There have been some who have said that since a lot of white people live here, the black people should leave North America and go back to Africa. Why? WE brought them here! We took this land by force from the natives (most of whom we tried to eradicate, some of whom we made our slaves) who were indigenous to this land we now reside on. So, in the argument over what race of people should leave North America, WE, the white people should go back to Europe from whence we came…if we’re going to use our brains in an argument like that.

White people have attacked just about every other culture on this planet. And some of the white people out there today are scared that we’re the minority on this continent. Hey, if a black guy starts yelling at me and hating me because I’m white, I’m going to take it, because I don’t think that many white people back in the 1700’s and 1800’s did. They DESERVE, at least on some basic level, to talk down to us every once in awhile (I don’t know how taking shit from a black guy is going to make anything right, or even, but I do believe that white people can dish it out more than they can take it, and perhaps we do indeed deserve to take it).

But I still don’t understand racism. So what if someone’s black? Does that mean they’re evil? I’ve been beaten up and attacked by more white people than black people in my life! So, if anything, I should be opposed to WHITE people! When I lived in Mackenzie, there was a sizable East Indian population. True, I had been picked on by a few of them, but again, I was picked on by FAR more white people. I didn’t grow to hate any of the East Indians in my town even though some of them were funnier, had more personality, were bigger and stronger, were more attractive, were smarter…you catch my drift?

To racist and homophobics: You don’t like the fact that some people are different than you, then those are your own personal problems, NOT theirs, so keep them to yourselves. Why can’t you accept the fact that someone is different? What gives you the right to torment a certain group or race of people simply because you don’t like them or don’t agree with them? If you’re going to fight everyone that’s different than you, then you’re in for a hell of a war. There are MILLIONS of people out there who are black, brown, or gay. Some are a combination! You simply can’t change the way that people think no matter how much you brutalize them. If they’re living their gay life, how does that affect you? Leave them alone! How do the existence of gay people threaten the sanctity of marriage, anyway? How does a restaurant populated by black employees in a white neighborhood suddenly make that neighborhood a bad place to be? Stereotypes sometimes reinforce themselves, but for the most part, a lot of the age-old beliefs that were passed down from generation to generation must meet their end. Saying that the entire world should unite and live in peace and harmony is VERY wishful thinking, but let’s get over the small humps in the road NOW that we should have left in the dust long ago, and focus on more important, and modern, issues.

  1. #1 by Georgette on June 20, 2005 - 5:12 pm

    I agree with everything that you said. I was never in your position, but people do put a lot of emphasis on "gayness", when they should put more into the betterment of the world.

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