International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
Welcome, today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and to celebrate hundreds of authors, publishers, and individuals have an extraordinary blog hop going on. There are prizes, information, and many personal stories about what homophobia is and what it does. All of this is a concerted effort to bring awareness to the plague of homophobia and hopefully, to one day bring it to an end. You will find links at the bottom of this post to direct you to other posts from blogs around the world. Enjoy, and help us spread the word. Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win an e-book copy of my JUST released new gay romance novel, Cold.
The Hidden Aspect of Homophobia – A Personal Experience
I remember a young man I was dating from a conservative Christian family who lived in a small town in Alabama. Both his mother and sister knew he was gay. They loved him dearly but…
His father was supposedly unknowing, at least in my boyfriend’s mind. But as you can guess, there came a point when his dad unexpectedly informed everyone that he was not as ignorant as the family assumed. Let’s say he was less than cordial about his son, or the young man whom he claimed ‘made his son gay.’ (Not me.)
What my boyfriend carried from his family wounded people. The almost-love he got from his sister and mother and the half-buried hostility which sat between him and his father tainted every relationship he had. Every communication with his friends, with his co-workers, and those moments he spent with me had an underlying subtext of unworthiness, of loss.
I recall we were sitting on the grass in the park at some LGBT event and I sat behind him and put my arms around him. He tensed immediately, his eyes flashing around gauging reactions and voicing more of his concerns about public affection than he could have spoken aloud. He didn’t say anything at that moment, and I can’t say I wasn’t a little hurt, but when I asked him about it later it was his parent’s voice I heard — his father’s anger and his mother who loved him but…
The specific words are unimportant, the internal rationalizing and self-condemnation he carried are. This is what homophobia does; this is how it seeps under the skin and makes a person feel less than, even by those who claim to care. But has no place in a parent-child relationship. And while we often talk about homophobia as something external and from the fringe level of lunacy, there is a part of it which is carried along inside of each of us, even when we are not the original person subjected to it.
For him, his feelings were a shame that fragmented each life experience (no matter how small) into something that was worthy of questioning, worthy of embarrassment and derision. He was loved but… He was gay but… He had a boyfriend but… He loved to cuddle but…
To this day, from that one incident, I still hesitate in showing affection in public. It’s certainly not out of the fear of what will happen if an idiot happens to be loitering around me. It’s the fear of loving someone but…
Leave a comment to *win a copy of COLD (must be 18 to enter)
*Contest ends Monday May 27, 8 AM EST. Winner will be chosen at random and contacted directly (if you leave your email). A separate post will announce the winner.
Blog Hop Links
Main Blog Hop Page: Hop Against Homophobia