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Homophobic Comments - Shocked

Jambalaya

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My friend just told me about some out-and-out homophobic comments she just heard, and I'm shocked. A friend of her husband was talking about his apartment building. He's on the board, all involved in the running of it and the politics. Anyway, he apparently started by saying that some of the people in the building seem normal but are weird when you get to know them. He says one guy sounds paranoid. Then he says that all the weird people are gay and that the only problems with any people in the building are all "gay drama"!!! So basically, he blames any problems in the building on the gay residents. Jeeeeez.

Well, maybe some of the people are weird and maybe some of them are dramatic. I wouldn't know. But these are personality traits, not traits linked to sexuality! I know reams and reams of weird, dramatic straight people!

I mean, seriously. Come on. I can't believe he said those things - and then, apparently, no one corrected him and at least one other person agreed with him! Him and his wife have a three-month-old baby and he apparently started saying how wonderful women were to give birth and how much he respects women who give birth, in front of my friend who chose not to have children and is clearly past child-bearing age. She felt it was a little creepy, putting women on the childbirth pedestal, but perhaps after the homophobic comments she was just seeing him negatively altogether after he made negative remarks about gay people.

I'm not sure what I'm most amazed by - the content of the homophobic comments, or the fact he felt free to make them out loud. Even if I had such thoughts - which I certainly don't - I can't imagine feeling free to voice them.

Scratch the surface, and it's all still there - homophobia, sexism, racism. We as a society have done a good job of discouraging such speech, but insights into people's mind such as the one this guy gave show that we've a long way to go.

My friend said it was kind of insidious, the way he talked for a while about some weird people in the building, and everyone was nodding along because we've all had weird neighbors, and all of a sudden it turns out that all the weird people are gay. She said it took her awhile to realize that he'd just blamed all the people problems in the building on the few gay residents, and he'd also basically said that everyone else in the building was fine except them. Maybe you'd call it casual homophobia, like the phrase "casual sexism."

Has anyone else noticed subtle or not so subtle anti-gay comments like this? They are so not OK. :nono:
 

Jambalaya

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ETA: Friend said she just sat there because it was so unexpected, and also she didn't realize how bad the guy's comments were until later, but that next time she'd speak up. I think you can do it without starting a huge fight. I might have said something like, "Oh, you don't have to be gay to be weird or dramatic, you know." I am going to be much more on the lookout for comments like this guy made, and make sure to speak up.
 

tuffyluvr

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I totally understand your friend's position. I have been in the position where someone is wildly inappropriate and it's so shocking that it has rendered me speechless. It's infuriating afterwards because you replay the scenario in your head over and over and think about what you wish you had said. I wonder if there's a name for the phenomenon?

And regarding homophobic comments, unfortunately I have a Facebook "friend" (an acquaintance from high school) who has posted a number of terribly offensive rants. He is ignorant, racist, misogynistic, and stupid yet opinionated. He is too stupid to reason with, so I just blocked him.
 

Jambalaya

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Thanks, tuffy. You know, you go around thinking that you live in a largely progressive world and reflecting on how far we've come, and then someone gives you a glimpse into their mind and it's like, Oh, not so much! It's depressing.

I have no idea at all what some people's problem is with gay people, anyway. They are hurting no one, just living their lives and minding their own business. And how would anti-gay people like to be told they can't love their partner and they can't marry them and they can't be who they are without fear of assault and they can't even hug and kiss and hold hands with their partner in public? You can bet that if a straight homophobic person suddenly lived in a world where that was their reality, they'd be squealing like a stuck pig. Someone being gay doesn't affect them. It has no effect on their lives whatsoever if someone is gay. What is their problem? Maybe they are just bullies who think that gay people are easy targets, and they just want people to bully.
 

Gypsy

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It's always the "other."

I would have stood up and told the guy that the only drama I saw was coming from HIM and his narrow bigoted mind.
 

jordyonbass

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Ugh I don't understand that. But there's some people who are just so socially inept that they have no concept of a brain/mouth filter.

From 2010 - 2012 I ran a pub in a rural area for it's shareholders and the manager before me was homosexual, something I found out was part of the reason why the job became available for me in the first place. Virtually the whole town boycotted the venue because the person running it was homosexual, something that left me completely gob-smacked. The amount and type of comments I heard from the customers about the last manager left me absolutely disgusted but if I said or did anything about it then I would have found myself in the same position as the previous manager, no business.

Not that I didn't have my own issues there to deal with, there was the racist and xenophobic people who boycotted me as well but that was nothing compared to how much the business died when the previous manager had the venue.
 

Jambalaya

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That is really shocking, Jordy. So sad.
 

kenny

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Things are getting better but there are HUGE regions, even in America, where homophobia is still not only acceptable but mandatory if you don't want to be an outcast.

I'm sure some of them are here on PS, but they remain silent.
Many of us live our real lives in bubbles.
We stay in locations/have jobs/families/friends who understand being gay is as meaningless as having, say, red hair ... not 'normal' (as in well below 50% of the population), but not bad.
This gives many the false impression that there is no bigotry any more.

Not so.

Even today there are countries, Saudi Arabia for example, where you can be executed for having gay sex.
Much of Africa is also far behind the times. :nono:

Why do people find us so threatening?
Does religion explain it all, or is there something else?
 

Jambalaya

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Kenny, I have no idea why people find same-sex partnerships to be so threatening. I have a sneaking suspicion that they actually don't find it threatening, but that they are just bullies and that homophobia is an easy outlet for their horrible personalities.

I agree about the false impression that there is no bigotry anymore. I know this very privileged white man who has lived his whole life in the wealth and class bubble, and he has a lot of difficulty believing that anyone suffers discrimination anymore. He just can't see it, partly because life is so easy for him and partly because he is not the sort of person who would ever discriminate against anyone. He doesn't think there's a gender pay gap, for example. His level of privilege is so great that he really thinks everyone else's lives are sorted out as well, because it's 2015 and because there are laws against discrimination.

I hardly need tell you how naive I think he is.
 
Q

Queenie60

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kenny|1449337820|3957919 said:
Things are getting better but there are HUGE regions, even in America, where homophobia is still not only acceptable but mandatory if you don't want to be an outcast.

I'm sure some of them are here on PS, but they remain silent.
Many of us live our real lives in bubbles.
We stay in locations/have jobs/families/friends who understand being gay is as meaningless as having, say, red hair ... not 'normal' (as in well below 50% of the population), but not bad.
This gives many the false impression that there is no bigotry any more.

Not so.

Even today there are countries, Saudi Arabia for example, where you can be executed for having gay sex.
Much of Africa is also far behind the times. :nono:

Why do people find us so threatening?
Does religion explain it all, or is there something else?

I don't feel it's religion, it's plain ignorance. I am a white, middle aged,conservative, Catholic women and I find gay men to be quite delightful. One of my very best friends is gay and I don't think much of it. However, living in the San Francisco Bay Area - most of us are comfortable with gay men and women. So you're correct when you say that we live in a bubble and have a false impression that there is no bigotry any more. I feel sad to knowing that there are homophobic people all around us. They feel threatened because it's different and they most probably lack the education that would allow their minds to be more opened to ones differences. :confused:
 

OCgirl

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I think (some? most?) people have a tendency to categorize others who are not like them or think like them as "weird" or "not normal."
I am married and childfree by choice and I get rude comments all the time. One of my best friends is gay. I read posts on PS all the time regarding these two topics. And it's true. People seem to think it's okay to make comments about your life like it's any business of theirs. I used to keep my mouth shut to avoid conflicts/confrontations. But one day I came to the realization that SOME people who make comments like these are just saying what others are saying. When you really question them, they are either stunned or it gets them thinking (which is a good thing). I'm not saying everyone can be changed but it needs to start somewhere. To be honest my parents and my husband used to be quite homophobic. After I introduced my best friend to them they saw what a fine man he is. It completely changed the way they look at gay people. I feel like one way to make this better is to speak up. Discriminations are probably never gonna go away, but it's important that we do our part to share our stories to give people a chance to understand.
 

Jambalaya

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It really is amazing how people are not left to live their lives in peace but are the subject of rude comments.

OCgirl, good for you with changing your family's minds about people who are gay!
 

OoohShiny

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If people actually spent all the time they spend being negative about others and judging, on being positive and improving their own lives and the lives of those around them, the world would be a much better place.

Live and let live.
 

Amber St. Clare

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Unfortunately, I have lost a long-time friend regarding gay marriage, of all things.

She was a longtime friend, and lately she has become more and more conservative. It seemed like the more her mother's health declined and the responsibility for her care caused her outlook to turn her to be someone I didn't know. I love her mom deeply, however being with them had become more and more challenging. The last few months were uncomfortable. The last time I saw or heard from her was when we took mom out for lunch. We had had several long discussions about gay marriage and I was gobsmacked when she told me she had been getting together with like minded people who would pray that the Supremes would outlaw gay marriage. That this was the cause of what is wrong with this country. She was quite animated even beating on the steering wheel to make a point. My friend who used to be the sweetest, kindest, most caring giving person I had ever known had turned into a bile spewing bigot.

In the past we had a "agree to disagree" relationship, but she become more and more bitter. I told her that Jesus wanted us to love everyone and she snarled that I didn't know Jesus. I knew then our relationship would not recover from this. I'm really sad about it, and I think the gay marriage thing was a smokescreen or diversion of what is really bothering her. It's scary to think that people can think sway in 2015.

I miss her as she was, but am relieved to have her out of my life as she is now. And I am disgusted now, with all that is going wrong I our country, that people actually think this way.
 

Sky56

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I don't understand it either, except I've noticed that people who often complain about other people, especially large groups of people such as "gays," are quite weird, bitter people.
 

packrat

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I think sometimes people don't understand things, so they're scared. That's not an excuse, that's a reason. And really and truly, we don't expect much from people anymore. I was raised to acknowledge that people are different, and even tho if you want to get technical about it, I was taught that certain things are "wrong" in the eyes of...a "superior being" I'll say, *but* I was also taught that even tho it was wrong, that didn't mean a person was *bad*, if that makes sense. SO. I didn't understand, which did make me fearful in some ways I suppose--buuut I was taught to respect other people and to talk to them, to learn about them. So I did. And that totally changed my mindset completely. Not everyone is taught those things, and like I said we, as a people, don't expect that from others, and we should. There's another "right" we have-we have the "right" to *not* teach our children certain things like ohhh respect, common courtesy, morals, values, decency...

We are our own worst enemy.
 

missy

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The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.
Albert Camus

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
 

ksinger

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kenny|1449337820|3957919 said:
Things are getting better but there are HUGE regions, even in America, where homophobia is still not only acceptable but mandatory if you don't want to be an outcast.

I'm sure some of them are here on PS, but they remain silent.
Many of us live our real lives in bubbles.
We stay in locations/have jobs/families/friends who understand being gay is as meaningless as having, say, red hair ... not 'normal' (as in well below 50% of the population), but not bad.
This gives many the false impression that there is no bigotry any more.

Not so.

Even today there are countries, Saudi Arabia for example, where you can be executed for having gay sex.
Much of Africa is also far behind the times. :nono:

Why do people find us so threatening?
Does religion explain it all, or is there something else?

I just read your post, and this immediately came to mind:

Oh Who Is That Young Sinner

Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrists?
And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists?
And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air?
Oh they're taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.

'Tis a shame to human nature, such a head of hair as his;
In the good old time 'twas hanging for the colour that it is;
Though hanging isn't bad enough and flaying would be fair
For the nameless and abominable colour of his hair.

Oh a deal of pains he's taken and a pretty price he's paid
To hide his poll or dye it of a mentionable shade;
But they've pulled the beggar's hat off for the world to see and stare,
And they're haling him to justice for the colour of his hair.

Now 'tis oakum for his fingers and the treadmill for his feet
And the quarry-gang on Portland in the cold and in the heat,
And between his spells of labour in the time he has to spare
He can curse the God that made him for the colour of his hair.

A.E. Housman
 

kenny

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Thanks Ksinger.
I had not read that.
Very appropriate!
 
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