When I grew up, there was a lot of prejudice against black people. Even though segregation was over, it was still there. People don't change overnight and they don't change easily. I grew up in white neighborhoods, and didn't see a black person in my school until I was in the fifth grade. Why? I don't know, that's just how it was. What I remember from then is my father telling my mother that her sister, my aunt, could not bring her current boyfriend to our house. Why? Because he was black.
But it does. It concerns everyone. Intolerance of someone is an intolerable situation, and one we can rectify. But you have to want to do it, and you have to be willing to open your mind, and heart - and use your brain.
Homophobia is far too rampant in this country. The far right will tell you homosexuality is a choice, but it isn't. It's how you're born. It's hardwired into you, like eye color, hair color, etc. The bottom line is that you love who you love.
So what are they afraid of? I've noticed that it's more often the men that bear the brunt of the displeasure, although not exclusively. Men seem to have a higher "tolerance" for women who love women. In fact, it often fuels some of their fantasies. But let it be two men and watch the denials start to roll. What are you afraid of? That perhaps you too could love a man? Is that such a bad thing?
The problem has only gotten worse in recent years because these ill-conceived attitudes are being handed down to the children, at a time when more and more young people have found the courage to speak out, to question and accept and deal with their own sexuality. And they are being bullied for it by narrow-minded young bigots who parrot their parents' unadulterated messages of hate. Too many of our children have died, taken their own lives because of the bullying.
It has to stop!
Being homophobic is every bit as wrong as being prejudiced against people of color, or people of a different faith, or people of a different race. You can dislike someone for who they are as an individual, but don't hate because of something like sexual orientation.
There are some people, such as the wrong Reverend Fred Phelps, who preach messages of hatred and carry them to extremes. There are members of Congress who also spew messages of hate. They think they are conveying the word of God - I'd love to be a fly on the wall when they arrive at the Day of Judgement and realize just how wrong they've been. When did they decide that God hated people? What right do they have to spread their lies and prejudices under His name? Somehow, I don't think He'd be amused.
And then there are people like my brother. I worked for him for over thirteen years. I did payroll, bookkeeping, billing, scheduling - everything but income taxes, and I even helped with those. I made it possible for him to spend little time in the office. When he got married (for the third time, I might add) and he and his new bride were on their two week honeymoon, traveling around the eastern seaboard and Canada, I didn't even tell him I got very sick, I still went into the office and took care of business so I wouldn't disturb him. I knew he was born-again Christian, but I didn't let it bother me. We had gay clients, and he acted like he liked them. But the signs were there, which I chose not to see, I guess. Like when I told him on the phone I'd gone to see Brokeback Mountain and he started to lecture. It all came to a head when my first published book, To the Max, was released. Silly me, I was so proud of holding my book in my hands. I took it to the office and showed it to him, held it out to him. I didn't want or expect him to read it, but just to wonder at what I had done, to admire it, and to have nice things to say. He wouldn't even touch it. Like it was the lowest form of human excrement. It wasn't long after that he "laid me off" because of having less work. While it's true we lost our biggest client, that was his fault, not mine, for something he didn't do. I've been unemployed ever since because I'm 55 years old and no one wants to hire me. He tells people I left to "write my novel" - he's a liar, of course. We haven't talked since I left, June 3, 2010. I no longer talk to my mother, as she doesn't see anything wrong with what he did. So be it. That is my personal experience with homophobia.
Although Jack Twist was a fictional character, this was real in the sense that many gay people have been injured and/or killed because of their sexual orientation. When will the insanity end?
My suggestion? First - get rid of DOMA as illegal, immoral, and unconstitutional. Then when you get married in one state, it's valid in all of them, as it should be. There are states where the age of consent for a woman is lower than in other states. So all a guy has to do is sneak his lady love over the border, marry her, and take her back home as his wife - fait accompli. So let it be here. And as for all these elections to allow or not allow gay marriage? I say FUCK THAT. Rights are rights because they're the right thing to do, because people are entitled to them. Not because someone voted them into place.
Do the right thing, and fight homophobia wherever you see it. It's time to stand up and be counted. We're not going to take it any more. Stand up and do what's right. Everyone deserves to be happy, to love whom they wish to love, to marry that person.
Fight Homophobia wherever you find it.
I'm holding a contest for the duration of this blog hop. I'm giving away to three lucky winners anything from my backlist, your choice. All you have to do is comment, and make sure you leave an email address so I can contact you should you win. No email, no win. Simple enough, yes? Don't forget to stop by the other bloggers against Homophobia, they all have something to say.
Now get out there and take a stand!
Until next time, take care!