You certainly found yourself an inflammatory bigot to publish and I have to say I am incensed. Although I do not expect you to publish an article from a 23-year-old gay street kid with no formal education in writing, I figured I would give it a shot. I would appreciate the opportunity to voice my opinion to Otis Page’s commentary (“Confession of a homophobe, Feb. 25).
I wear a coat of many colors but my mama didn’t make it for me. It is a patchwork that tells the story of my life, each piece representing something important I wish to remember. Stitched to my left pocket is a piece of white cloth with two red rings joined by an equal sign, symbolizing marriage equality.
As I tear the filter off the Marlboro Light in my hand (close encounters with toxic sludge leave me wanting something a little stronger) I see there are people who claim to understand their First Amendment rights. I can’t help but disagree as I think of a quote I heard in high school: “Your right to swing your fist stops where my face begins.”
I feel as if I’ve just been punched in the face.
There is an evident trend of acceptance for a small group of people —homosexuals—who want nothing more than equality. There is also a group opposed to this, who seeks to undermine their efforts. Throughout the history of this country, many groups have struggled for the same thing. Women, the native inhabitants of this continent, those taken from their homelands in bondage to serve as slaves, and many others as well: all attacked while struggling to overcome the same ignorance, fear, and intolerance from a group that singled them out because of a chromosome or a pigment, for being different. They fought an uphill battle to stand as equals when their only crime was being born.
There are countries today where groups of people are persecuted for their choice to worship a specific deity. Most Americans abhor the oppressors, shaking their fingers and giving stern looks. And yet, many of those same Americans denounce homosexuals living on the same soil, screaming, “It’s your choice. Shame on you!” A choice? Please ask the confused teenagers all over the world who feel utterly alone, as they repeat the mantra: Why am I like this? Ask them if it is a choice.
There are those who claim to want to protect the future of our nation: the youth. Yet the suicide rate among homosexual teens is higher than that of their socially and morally acceptable counterparts. Why?
It couldn’t be because of the rampant homophobic vitriol spewed by the hate-mongers convincing them they are disgusting, evil, abominations unfit to live and destined to burn, could it?
Above all else, they are concerned about the children. The majority that supported Proposition 8 demonstrated their benevolence toward the youngsters of town by passing out bright yellow balloons emblazoned with bright blue words of hate as they walked around dressed up as princesses and pirates to stuff their plastic pumpkins full of candy on Halloween. Downright dirty tricks, fear tactics, and overt lies were the weapons of those who opposed equality. And now there are those who have the nerve to label our struggle as The Homosexual Agenda and accuse us of using propaganda to further our cause.
There was work being done. Work to dispel untruths and provide information to a majority that simply did not understand. People who didn’t realize their friends, neighbors, co-workers, and relatives who are homosexual want nothing more than to be accepted for who they are and considered as equal in the eyes of the law without having to worry about being harassed, assaulted, or killed. How a quest for acceptance could be demonized to the point of being considered a campaign to defile the minds of children, corrupt the morals of teenagers, and destroy the institution of marriage is simply beyond my ability to comprehend.
To make blanket statements about all gay men, stereotyping them as half-naked, sex-crazed, exhibitionists is not only unfair, it is wrong. I know many homosexual men who are in long-term, monogamous relationships. Some are even happily one piece of a non-traditional family puzzle. This isn’t causing opposite-sex couples to end their marriages in divorce (although everyone loves a scapegoat) or society to come crumbling down around conservative ears--not any more than wet T-shirt contests and other examples of heterosexual debauchery, at least.
Gay pride events are exactly what the name states: being proud to be yourself no matter whether as a gay man, lesbian woman, bisexual person, transgendered individual, or straight ally (yes, it is possible to accept others, even though they are different, without becoming tainted.) It is a celebration of life and love, not some recruitment zone to ensnare sons and shave daughters’ hair.
The question Page raised “what excuse would a heterosexual have in not indulging in same-sex sexual excursions,” if being homosexual became socially acceptable, is a fine display of melodramatics. Bravo. Heterosexuality is the socially acceptable norm, as no one denies. Homosexuals are presented with an overwhelming surge of pressure on a daily basis to conform to society and be “normal” by its standards. If such pressure were really a threat than the whole homosexual epidemic would have been nullified as homosexuals succumbed and began practicing traditional, socially acceptable, opposite-sex practices.
There are those who will try to use the term “homophobe” ironically and act as though they are being unjustly labeled. They will say that future charges of homophobia will not end and they are correct.
The reason is simple: Homophobia will not end. They should not cry out for sympathy. They are not being called faggots and queers because of something they cannot control. They are being called homophobes: They earn their title and they should wear it with pride.