I have several friends who are “not homophobic”, they just don’t understand why gay marriage is such a big issue. I mean, most married people don’t even want to be married, am I right? (No, I’m not right.) But I’m not gonna talk about gay marriage. I’m going to talk about what these aforementioned people often say about gay people themselves, which is typically, “I don’t mind gay guys, but not when that’s ALL they are.”
Now, let’s break that down. What does that even mean? (To be honest, it means absolutely nothing, but we’re going to talk about what they think it means.) They’re referring to gay men specifically whose personalities are “gay”. The men to whom they are referring are typically your well-dressed, more effeminate men who enjoy discussing gay rights and bitching about whatever state has just banned gay marriage (which it is perfectly legitimate to bitch about, by the way). So the people who dislike certain gay men for having “gay” personalities wish that these men wouldn’t dress so well, or at least not openly talk about going shopping, and they wish that these men would stop discussing how they are still alienated from their government and society in the twenty-first century.
So, in their minds, gay people can be gay, that’s fine, but men CANNOT act like women. Now, this is strange on multiple levels. I barely even know how to begin addressing In terms of the effeminacy, I think ultimately we’re going to arrive at the conclusion that people are afraid of disregarding gender stereotypes. If there’s all this gray area, how am I supposed to justify making my wife vacuum and do the laundry!? If we let men go shopping, how am I supposed to claim that I know nothing about technology and get all the guys in my class to do my work for me!? (Yes, that last one is a stereotype of women that I personally have had to deal with a lot.) Ultimately, we need to accept this gray area because there is no such thing as a black and white world. Everything’s jumbled together, and we need to just take people on an individual basis, okay? In terms of the vying for their right to be treated equally, I think most of the hate comes from your white, Protestant, heterosexual males who have never faced legitimate discrimination in their lives, who have never been the minority, and who have exactly zero empathy. (There are more of these than I personally would like to believe, but luckily they’re dying out.) Now, there’s a distinction between straight white men who DO and DO NOT possess basic empathy. I am a straight, white woman, but you bet when my gay friends (plural, because the singular “gay friend” is also a stereotype) tell me about how hard it was to come out to their parents, about how they’ve been relentlessly stereotyped and bullied by people of all ages, how they’ve felt alienated from their family, their community, their country, I cry. Every time. Hard. Because I know how it feels to think that you’re alone in the world. I know how it feels to not be accepted by a group, even if I can never know exactly what it’s like to be a gay man. I guess basic imagination goes along with this one, too, because there are some people who just legitimately can’t imagine what it would be like to be gay, and even more people who won’t try. And I find that disgusting. They’ve been drilling the “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” thing into our heads since we were in kindergarten, and yet there are still people who have no idea what that means.
In short, if you not okay with a certain type of person being gay but accept the rest of them, you are still homophobic.
If you still deny being homophobic even though you’re against gay marriage, find yourself disturbed by gay people and their relationships with each other, if you are incapable of treating gay people like PEOPLE, don’t worry. Seriously, don’t worry about it. You are fine. And the rest of us are, too, because you and your kind will die out eventually.