Thursday, June 26, 2014

Redefining Homophobia

After years talking about redefining marriage, I failed to note that we're also redefining homophobia.

That is what throws me off the most, that people think I'm hateful in the defense of marriage. I come from a pretty liberal background, and I see a lot of homophobia despite having gay marriage here in Massachusetts for over a decade.

What I notice the most is the casual use of homophobic slurs in young adults, while not directed towards homosexuals these words have no purpose in everyday 'put downs'. As I walk the street of Lowell, nothing is thought of another teenager who sees someone and calls them 'homo' across the street. It is common when a teenager is angry at a social worker to use the term 'f*gg*t' I thought these words would diminish, why aren't they? It isn't just homophobic slurs, but every possible profane word against minorities and women are just so casually used.

The article below is originally from 1992, and republish in 2000. I realize at the pace of society, this document seems out of date. It is telling how homophobia has been redefined. If you read many of the points, it mirrors Catholic Church teaching that we should not over-sexualize a person or see a person merely for their orientation. I don't agree with every point in the link, but there is a lot to note here. Also it makes reference while there should be some legal acknowledgment of same-sex relationships it is quite clear it isn't the same as marriage. There are a diverse number of types of relationships, not all sexual in nature that could benefit from a legal recognition.

HOW HOMOPHOBIA HURTS US ALL
Is one cause of premature sexual involvement, which increases the chances of teen pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted infections. Young people, of all sexual identities, are often pressured to become heterosexually active to prove to themselves and others that they are "normal." 
This is the biggest reason why I'm oppose individuals coming out as anything early as teenagers. Sometimes girls may not like 'girl colors'. They may not like makeup or doing their hair. I was/am still on of these girls!  I wear mostly gray, brown, and black. I purchased a yellow and gray shirt, and my children couldn't get over that I was wearing color!

Just imagine the middle school health teacher guessing who is gay and who isn't. Sometimes I hear social workers speak about adolescents, stating that they may be gay based on their presentation of clothes/likes.  Not sure how to respond, I think they want to be ready/prepared if a teen wants to express it. Generally speaking, there was a situation in which teenager was assumed to be gay by his older/younger siblings and tease him as a 'homo', because he liked to read and was quiet.... Being gay, is sort of 'acting white' in particular cultural groups.

Stop it with the gaydar and speculation of one's orientation leads to gossip. If someone has someone special in their life they will tell you, you don't have to ask if they are seeing anyone. Don't set people up or feel sorry for single people. People know what they like and don't like in a person.
Prevents some LGBT people from developing an authentic self identity and adds to the pressure to marry, which in turn places undue stress and often times trauma on themselves as well as their heterosexual spouses, and their children.
Guess what twenty years later.... we can pressure you to marry now.

Otherwise I'm totally blindsided, how someone like myself who isn't homophobic is now condemned by society as falsely being one. The past few years have been surreal, and only will become more confusing.

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