I fight because I don’t understand homophobia and LGBT intolerance.

Why do I fight?
I fight because I don’t understand. I don’t understand true
homophobia and LGBT intolerance.
My understanding of prejudice (especially that towards the
LGBT community) was undoubtedly shaped by my upbringing and
hometown, so that feels like a good place to begin. I was
raised in what amounted to a single parent household, with one
of my parents dying when I was a young child. I think this
event probably shapes my views on tolerance and empathy more
than any other. Since I was a young boy I have understood how
fragile relationships are, and how when you lose someone what
you grieve is the loss of the possibilities you had with that
person, what you could have done, should have done and never
will do. After understanding this, I have never been able to
deny anyone a risk they want to take in a relationship. People
have taken advantage of this and people will continue to do
so, but I have no intention of changing this moral
affectation. It’s always been easier to assume people are
naturally good (and to have a few prove me wrong) than to
assume the opposite and live rigidly and without risk. As best
as I can tell, this is the most likely emotional root of my
lack of understanding toward intolerance. This feeling,
unfortunately, was not helped by my surroundings. I grew up in
a small farm town that mixed suburbs with deeply prideful
rednecks. I call them rednecks with a certain amount of
fondness, having been friends, teammates and classmates of
theirs as long as I can remember. As long as I can remember,
though, the redneck contingent in my town has been very openly
intolerant, especially of homosexuals. The intolerance felt in
a town that small and close-knit isn’t one where homosexuals
are railroaded out of town or attacked and beaten for their
being different. The intolerance is understood. No one talks
about who is or who is not gay, no one yells fag or attacks
someone person or property, and no one does anything to change
themselves or to educate the next generation. The intolerance
comes more passively, in the form of homophobic jokes and
children who aren’t athletic stars or classically masculine
shunned from activities and groups, mainly by parents who fear
their children will become “infected”. The unspoken goal seems
to be to create so much cognitive unrest in the mind of the
LGBT child or teen that they change themselves (I don’t have
to tell anyone reading this how well that works) or to leave
outright. I watched gay classmates leave my high school and
eventually my town from a lack of security and peace within
themselves.
I don’t understand LGBTQIA intolerance. To be completely
honest, I have had no contact or experience with any
transsexual or intersexual people, so I can’t comment on their
struggle from my point of view. However, one of my nearest and
dearest friends is bisexual. We met in high school and were
fast friends. We wrestled together, and the natural closeness
of such a sport fostered a good friendship. I forget when and
where he first came out to me as bisexual, but by senior year
I knew and he knew I knew. And it didn’t matter. I didn’t
care. Him being bisexual never changed my opinion of him,
never even threatened to. I did not care because it did not
define him.
That to me is the sticking point. I do not care what sexual
orientation someone is, certainly not enough to demonize them
for this. As a naturally curious person, this lack of
understanding has led me to try to put logic to the reasons
behind hatred. So far, no reason has been very good in my
opinion. But as I learned more about the struggle felt by
countless in what I had been raised to believe as the land of
the free and home of the brave, I could do nothing else but
act and begin advocating for equality. For all my searching, I
still know little more than I did when I began. Why people
feel the personal need to intervene in a person’s sexual life
is beyond what I understand. What drives a person to feel a
responsibility to cure homosexuality? For the majority, they
cite religious reasons, mainly Christianity. These are the
same people who tend to pick and choose which bible verses to
uphold. The same people who don’t follow many of the other
outdated, illogical rules offered in scripture (mainly
Leviticus).
For all the truly religiously devout, I have included a quick
cheat sheet, all rules mentioned with the abomination of all
men who lie with other men (and through evolution of ideology
the abomination of the LGBT community).
•       Always treat your body like a temple (sorry, alcohol
and drugs)
•       Ladies should always have their heads covered
•       A marriage is only valid in the eyes of the Lord if
the woman is a virgin; if she isn’t she should be executed
•       Commit adultery? Get stoned to death
•       Divorce is prohibited in all forms
•       Never, ever, ever
o       Wear round haircuts
o       Wear clothes of mixed fabric
o       Get a tattoo
o       Work on the Sabbath
o       Eat pork or shellfish
o       Get  a fortune told
o       Play with a dead pig skin (sorry, football)
Unless you have always and will always uphold these and dozens
more rules for morality, you should reconsider your religious-
based hatred. But people have for centuries picked and chose
which verses to live their life by. People who use the bible
for LGBTQIA intolerance are people who are looking for a
reason to feel the way they do. Feeling uncomfortable or
spiteful towards a group is awful. To use religion to
cultivate hate in others is unspeakable.
As I mentioned, I wrestled for years. Wrestling is a sport
that suffers from bland homophobia. It’s hard to bring someone
to a wrestling meet without an awkward silence when “two guys
start rolling around and grabbing each other and stuff”. It’s
a sport where the dedicated and disciplined excel, and the
athletes train year round for too little recognition. The
drilling, sparring, running, lifting, dieting, focus and
concentration is unbelievable at the highest levels. And yet,
the casual observer still feels uncomfortable watching an
amateur match. For people who love this sport and wish to help
it flourish, it’s a responsibility to fight the stereotype
that wrestling matches are nothing more than opportunities to
grope and fondle men in singlets. We can do this through
education of what wrestling is and who wrestlers are, as well
as with fighting homophobia at all levels. Until this is
addressed, the world’s oldest combat sport will never grow to
what it should be.
I have yet to find someone who can tell me the legal argument
against same-sex marriage. I don’t get why two law-abiding,
tax-paying, committed people are unable to join together in
lawful civil union. When did hatred become judicial? Those who
argue for a legal federal injunction against same-sex marriage
are no different than the bigots who used the bible to argue
for slavery, or against mixed-race marriage. The rest of the
civilized world has long understood what we fail to even
comprehend; homosexuality is not a choice, but a base genetic
difference. Equality for all is inevitable, as is everything
that is right on such a fundamental level. The only thing we
fight is time and ignorance. It’s a fight we need to win soon,
while we can still be proud to win it.

Advertisements

One response to “I fight because I don’t understand homophobia and LGBT intolerance.

  1. I don’t either, man… though I suspect a lot of it boils down to fear of some sort or another.
    Keep fighting the good fight and showing everyone that there’s nothing to fear about equality.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s