Op Ed

Can Someone Explain Homophobia to Me?

Honestly, I don’t get it. I really would like to know why. Why do people spend so much time, energy, anger, words, ink, hatred, server space, picket-sign paint, and God knows what else on hating gay people? Why do they care? Why don’t they worry about the things that are actually hurting individuals and our society, like murder, abuse, sexual assault, discrimination, war, corruption, hate crimes (wait”¦whoops), starvation, or illness?

I have plenty of gay friends. I’m not mentioning this so I can then toss around the f-word freely (I can’t even bring myself to type it). I’m bringing it up because I’ve watched several people that I care very much about come out of the closet. For some, it was and still is a struggle. For others, it was more like a sigh of relief, a weight lifted, a void finally filled. I thank God (the God that I believe in, the God who doesn’t like hatred) that the internet was in its infancy, and YouTube was not around when we were younger. I don’t know if they all would have turned out OK. So, why is this happening?

Do not tell me it is for religious reasons, because my Catholic-raised ass will tell you that it is complete bull. That the carefully plucked passages from the Bible that could possibly be construed as “evidence” that “God hates f-words” are so few and so vaguely worded, and some are even in the Old Testament! (Christians, while they may read and appreciate the Old Testament, believe that it was negated by the coming of Jesus Christ, and that is why the New Testament was written for them. Christians do not follow the rules in the Old Testament, which is why, for example, Christians don’t keep Kosher.) You can be a Christian without being anti-gay.

Do not tell me it is about politics. I was so proud that my extremely conservative parents were OK with me inviting gay couples to my wedding, and it didn’t require much discussion. It occurred to me then that homophobia has nothing to do with politics. My parents are conservative Republicans who attend events and make campaign donations and sometimes express to me conservative beliefs that I find impossible to understand. But they never once told me that being gay was wrong. They are not homophobes. They don’t hate anyone, and they don’t hurt anyone. You can be a conservative Republican without being anti-gay.

Why have we had to lose so many beautiful people in this world, either because of actual murder, or due to the institutionalized homophobia that plagues this country? Where do homophobes come from? Who teaches them these horrible things? In what world, and to what God, would the things they say or do not be far worse (in their eyes) than being gay?

I probably sound like a pissed-off crazy person. That’s because I am. I am so angry and disgusted with the people in the country I call home who think that ANY of this bigotry is OK. It sickens me to think that people I love could be hurt by their reckless hate. Screw you, homophobes, and your hateful, shriveled-up little hearts. Stop spending so much time and open your eyes to the beauty that’s around you, before you kill all of it with your vile words and deeds.

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