Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Homophobia


Homophobia
10 October 2012

I am astonished that homophobia still abounds to this day.  Have we not moved on yet?  Apparently not – prejudices will probably always be rife.  And it’s so much “fun” to pick on the little guy.  You know, minorities.  Gays, lesbians, and for a while in SA at least, black, coloureds, Indians and basically everyone that did not fit the ‘perfect’ white mould – not that they were the little guys by any stretch of the imagination – actually the majority.  And we all know how well that turned out right?

Someone else’s sexual orientation is none of my business, just as mine is none of theirs.  But while we’re at it, I like men – well actually only one in particular, my husband, Grant.  Sexual orientation is personal, private and a preference.  And has little to do with me.  Whatever floats your boat, is my motto.  Who made anybody judge and jury over someone else’s life?  In fact being judgemental is tedious, pious and boring.  And yes, I’m being judgemental in saying that, I know.  Sorry!

My kids bandy the words “gay” and “lesbian” about and know what it means.  Couched in “it’s when a man and a man love each other” or vice versa for ladies.  So, it’s not the conventional everyday thing.  Big deal.  The TV has played a huge role in “educating” children today.  More often than not, gays are portrayed as raving queens, when we all know realistically, that this is not true.  Gays do not automatically love Barbara Streisand do they?  Or have a love for fabrics, flamboyant colours, walk with their hands pulled up to their chests, flapping about, air-kiss, or act overly dramatic and effeminate.  Truth be told, I know a few heterosexual men who fit this description marvellously.  Gay men in particular are seen as being promiscuous, which is actually a laughing matter entirely.  Why, there are many “happily” married and heterosexual single men out there, far more open to indulging in extra-marital activities and promiscuity.

Yet, adults are most guilty of carrying over their own gay/lesbian/racist hang-up to their kids.  Teaching them to hate.  Nasty, if you ask me.  And particularly shallow as well.  Perpetuating the cycle.  Why don’t they judge people on more stringent grounds?  Like having beards?  Or blonde hair?  Or wearing black shoes?  Or driving white cars?  Or having glasses?  Ridiculous, I tell you.  And utterly preposterous!

Luke often comes home with a racist joke he was told at school.  The irony of the fact is that the kid telling the racist jokes, poking fun at blacks, is one of his best buddies – a black guy.  A kid with loads of spunk and a wicked sense of humour.  So how does one argue with that?  He’s able to look at it from the inside and still have a laugh – even at his own expense and that of “his people”.

I don’t know all that many gay people – just a few.  Far off second cousins and the like – not in my intimate family circle.  A very good friend’s brother is gay, and he is an absolutely amazing person.  I can’t imagine anyone having the guts to take him on about his lifestyle choices.  He certainly wouldn’t take it lying down.

I have taught my kids that people are people.  Irrespective of their colour, culture, ethnicity, the language they speak, the jobs they do, the cars they drive, the different food they eat, the way they look, the things they do.  People are people.  I abhor racism.  Just as much as I abhor people looking down on others because of their sexual orientation.  It is small minded and surely comes from a place of inner insecurity, ignorance and feelings of superiority.  For some, an awesome way to build themselves up, is to break others down.  As far as my kids go – not on my watch.  I’m hoping the lessons sink in.

Now, that does not mean that I don’t appreciate a good joke, because I truly do.  And if Luke’s buddy can laugh, surely I can too.  After all it is that very humour that pokes fun at people’s viewpoints and highlights the disparity between us.  Which ironically, unites us in the end.
 
 

3 comments:

  1. Great writing as always. Such an interesting blog. Mine needs a spanking. :-P

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  2. Nicely said Helen. Thank you. x

    ReplyDelete