Forums > Social Chat > Handling homophobia in society

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Mand
Mand

Keeper of the Spitfire
Location: Calgary Canada
Member Since: 24th Oct 2003
Total posts: 2317
Posted:This isnt another thread about the rights and wrongs of homophobia. Somehow I dont think the mods would be too happy with me for that. wink

This is a thread about how to face societys perception with regards to homosexuals.
I guess Im looking for people advise on how to handle things, and to hear the experiences of others.

Last night just wont leave me alone.
Spitfire and I went to ikea, to get stuff for our room. We were having fun, wandering through and deciding everything we wanted in our house when we get our own place. It really brought home the fact that Kim and I will eventually have our own place to live together. That reminded me how happy I am, and how lucky I am, and we were both walking along with big smiles on our faces. biggrin
We werent obviously being a couple- we werent holding hands, didnt have our arms round each other, or anything like that. We dont particularly do that in public- not in Texas anyway!
So we were walking along, and had a group of black women and kids behind us. We barely noticed them until we heard the comment
You come here, and you run into all the goddam lesbians!

Kim stopped.
I stopped, turned around, and glared straight at the woman behind me who had made the comment.
She stuck her head down, and they walked off.

I have a very fiery temper. I can control it quite well, but it was hard not to say some derogatory comment to this woman, especially as the abuse was coming from someone in another minority group.
Now, its quite easy to recognize the fact that Kim and I are lesbians. We do look like the stereotypes, and both have short spiky hair. So we understand that this isnt going to be a one off incident.

So does anyone have any advice on how to handle situations like this?
I dont want to just pretend I havent heard them, as this kind of gives off the image that its ok to give homosexual people this kind of abuse. But on the other hand, I dont want to get into a full blown argument (or worse) over it.
Im just confused as to what to do. confused frown


Lets steal a spaceship and head for the sun, and shoot the stars with a lemonade ray gun.

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Xopher (aka Mr. Clean)
enthusiast
Location: Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
Member Since: 8th Jun 2004
Total posts: 456
Posted:Pride parades are once a year. This is every day.

"If you didn't like something the first time, the cud won't be any good either." --Elsie the Cow, Ruminations

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Exactly. Patrick and I held hands in public (to my intial discomfort). I think I'm going to continue to do that with future boyfriends.

"Ya wanna try to pick a fight with two very athletic men in a public place?" devil


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Rouge Dragon
Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction
Member Since: 21st Jul 2003
Total posts: 13215
Posted:someone correct me if im wrong, but there was a 'family' exibition on in australia a few weeks ago and it was dealing with various family issues, including different types of families.
some people tried to have a booth for homosexual couples raising kids but they were told that all the spaces were taken up...well, dum dum dum....there were of course spaces left over, went there?
so, during all the formal opening thingos, the the govenor general was at, one of the gay couples who were trying to get the booth, went up to the front of the crowd and kissed. apparently there was all this outcry, but i heard the govenor general took it quite well. and i think the latter is a move in the right direction (albeit a very small one, but one at the same time)

this all happened while the "gay school" issue was still around slightly (someone has probably already mentioned it, but on the kid's show "play school" there had a girl with her "two mothers" and there was a HUGE outcry!)


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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Xopher (aka Mr. Clean)
enthusiast
Location: Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
Member Since: 8th Jun 2004
Total posts: 456
Posted:There have been large flash-crowd kiss-ins at various places in New York. Usually when some particular issue was at stake, or when the place in question (a restaurant, say) had been discriminatory or abusive to gay patrons.

"If you didn't like something the first time, the cud won't be any good either." --Elsie the Cow, Ruminations

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SpitFire
Mand's Girl....and The Not So Shy One
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2002
Total posts: 2723
Posted:I really just don't get why we, gay people, are such a threat to society??

I cannot comprehend the fear factor folks have regarding us. Is it just fear of the unknown or fear of those that are different?

I really don't get it.


Solitude sometimes speaks to you, and you should listen.

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Xopher (aka Mr. Clean)
enthusiast
Location: Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
Member Since: 8th Jun 2004
Total posts: 456
Posted:Well, if it IS fear of the unknown, then being as out as possible is a good step, isn't it? If two men walk down the street, you have no idea they're a couple. If they hold hands, you do. And then you think about gay people just that much differently.

That said, I'm not sure I'd have the guts. I'm kind of on the small side, if that's any excuse.


"If you didn't like something the first time, the cud won't be any good either." --Elsie the Cow, Ruminations

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Mand
Mand

Keeper of the Spitfire
Location: Calgary Canada
Member Since: 24th Oct 2003
Total posts: 2317
Posted:I think it's a number of different factors as to why people often 'fear' us.

For some religious people, they've always been told that 'God says it's wrong'. So they believe it.
Older generations have been brought up in an age where it was most definitely considered wrong (and in some people's opinions, punishable for by death).

I think these thoughts are going to stick around for a while yet, no matter how hard we try.
But, for the rest of society, I think if we make ourselves more visible, people are going to get used to seeing gay couples together. Hopefully then it'll cease to be so much of a big issue.
Obviously common sense has got to be used with this though- for example, walking through a small redneck town in Texas, with our arms round each other might not be such a smart plan... wink

(I don't think this all made as much sense as I wanted it to- I'm finding it hard to make my brain work today.)


Lets steal a spaceship and head for the sun, and shoot the stars with a lemonade ray gun.

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Rouge Dragon
Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction
Member Since: 21st Jul 2003
Total posts: 13215
Posted:Written by: Xopher

If two men walk down the street, you have no idea they're a couple. If they hold hands, you do.



someone correct me if im wrong, but apparently, in asia and some parts of africa as well, i think; its common for men to walk around holding hands. they dont hold hands with members of the opposite sex, but two men holding hands is really normal and if you hold hands with a foreigner (still male of course!) you look really cool.

just interesting how cultures can very so much from something being incredibly taboo, so something being social norm.


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:The other thing is that I can usually tell when two men walking down the street are a couple, hand-holding or no.

-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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meep
....
Location: Midlands - nr cov
Member Since: 23rd Jul 2004
Total posts: 344
Posted:Written by: Rouge Dragon


someone correct me if im wrong, but apparently, in asia and some parts of africa as well, i think; its common for men to walk around holding hands. they dont hold hands with members of the opposite sex, but two men holding hands is really normal and if you hold hands with a foreigner (still male of course!) you look really cool.



True.. My lecturer once told us that when he was 18 he took a year out to go to (i believe) Afganistan, and the common thing was to hold hands, and the men kissed hello and goodbye on the lips.

It was something of a culture shock for him wink


"But what would you do with a brain if you had one?"

Dorothy Gale

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Xopher (aka Mr. Clean)
enthusiast
Location: Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
Member Since: 8th Jun 2004
Total posts: 456
Posted:Well, yes, Lightning, but straight people are born without gaydar. They can learn it, but they usually lose their homophobia in the process, which is the endcase of what we're trying to do here.

The impact of seeing two men (in North America, Europe, or Oz) walking down the street holding hands, as opposed to not, is chiefly among those who assume everyone is heterosexual unless their faces are gotten in. This is a way of getting in their faces without giving offense to ANY halfway reasonable person.


"If you didn't like something the first time, the cud won't be any good either." --Elsie the Cow, Ruminations

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SpitFire
Mand's Girl....and The Not So Shy One
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2002
Total posts: 2723
Posted:Xopher's got a point. Gaydar isn't something everyone's born with. ubblol

Those who are absolutely homophobic put blinders on when it comes to gay folks, aside from those who fit stereo types.


Solitude sometimes speaks to you, and you should listen.

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Mand
Mand

Keeper of the Spitfire
Location: Calgary Canada
Member Since: 24th Oct 2003
Total posts: 2317
Posted:Written by: SpitFire

Those who are absolutely homophobic put blinders on when it comes to gay folks, aside from those who fit stereo types.


What, you mean like us, hun? ubblol

Kim and I drove from Houston to Austin this weekend, for a show. Every time we stopped at a garage on the way up there, we were given 'that look' by people.
It was kinda funny but highly annoying at the same time.
I found it very refreshing when we got to Austin and were back amongst the people who really don't care if you're straight or gay.


Lets steal a spaceship and head for the sun, and shoot the stars with a lemonade ray gun.

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Xopher (aka Mr. Clean)
enthusiast
Location: Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
Member Since: 8th Jun 2004
Total posts: 456
Posted:Yes, when we debate about mass comings-out for political purposes, we have to remember that there are those of us for whom hiding is not especially an option -- at least without doing serious violence to their minds and personalities.

That's why we should do it. Because if these homophobes see all us big-heavy-black-quote-mark NORMAL big-heavy-black-quote-mark types doing it, they'll be less inclined to give "that look" - or worse, to folks like Mand and SpitFire.

I don't let anyone get away with assuming I'm straight, in general. Don't have anybody to hold hands WITH at the moment, and not sure I'd have the guts, as I've said. That doesn't mean I don't know what the right thing to do would be, if I had just a bit more courage (and a BF).


"If you didn't like something the first time, the cud won't be any good either." --Elsie the Cow, Ruminations

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SpitFire
Mand's Girl....and The Not So Shy One
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2002
Total posts: 2723
Posted:The message in it's purest form: We're here to stay, and we're not so different from you. Get used to it, and get over yourselves.

wink


Solitude sometimes speaks to you, and you should listen.

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:See, NOBODY can tell I'm gay. I don't walk the walk, talk the talk, dress the dress...

Well, I had to be taught how to dress the dress. So I wear a rainbow necklace. It's subtle, but anyone who is Queer or an Ally will see it instantly.

And I had to be dragged (kicking and screaming...by my ears) to the mall and put in tighter-fitting clothes that didn't make me look so...straight. ubblol

Thanks to that, I am now sitting here in a perfectly-fitting muscle shirt and tight jeans. And it's a monday night and I'm at my co-op making cookies. I now can dress gay. ubblol

Hey, ya gotta let the bois know that you're Family somehow, otherwise nobody ever hits on you!


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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meep
....
Location: Midlands - nr cov
Member Since: 23rd Jul 2004
Total posts: 344
Posted:Written by: It's...LIGHTNING!

Thanks to that, I am now sitting here in a perfectly-fitting muscle shirt and tight jeans. And it's a monday night and I'm at my co-op making cookies. I now can dress gay. ubblol



ubblol It sounds it!

I look gay when i get my hair spiky (it's going back that way soon), but not otherwise. I can never stay in the closet for long; i unintentionally out myself a lot, also on purpose. it annoys me when ppl assume I'm straight

Like the new name Mike smile

Lynne


"But what would you do with a brain if you had one?"

Dorothy Gale

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Xopher (aka Mr. Clean)
enthusiast
Location: Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
Member Since: 8th Jun 2004
Total posts: 456
Posted:Hmm, maybe that's why no one ever hits on me...nah.

Anyway, I prefer to do the hitting-on, to be frank. (Not that I am Frank, I'm Christopher, but you know what I mean.) If they think I'm straight and then I hit on them, some bois find this exciting. I hope.

<sigh>


"If you didn't like something the first time, the cud won't be any good either." --Elsie the Cow, Ruminations

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SpitFire
Mand's Girl....and The Not So Shy One
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2002
Total posts: 2723
Posted:Hmmm......I think there's no way someone would assume I was straight with my short, spikey hair....though I could be wrong. I fit the dyke stereotype.

I've been called Baby Dyke, whatever that is...

I'm just me. biggrin


Solitude sometimes speaks to you, and you should listen.

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Mand
Mand

Keeper of the Spitfire
Location: Calgary Canada
Member Since: 24th Oct 2003
Total posts: 2317
Posted:Kim and I (and a couple of others) did a fire performance at her cousin's wedding on Friday night.
As much as I was nervous, it wasn't half as scary as meeting all her relatives afterwards. eek
Everyone was lovely, and people who Kim hadn't yet come out to accepted us as a couple pretty quickly. It was amusing watching some people's first reaction though! ubblol


Lets steal a spaceship and head for the sun, and shoot the stars with a lemonade ray gun.

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weeleigh
weeleigh

look a rainbow!
Location: Waterford, CT
Member Since: 14th Dec 2002
Total posts: 237
Posted:Yeah, I always get a kick out of walking through the mall with my girlfriend when we're holding hands. The funniest thing is to just walk around and make eye contact with everyone that you walk past, cause they inevitably look at our hands, and then right at us. It just cracks me up some of the looks they have when you meet their eyes.

Also good is when I'm wearing this shirt I made that says "Jesus is my homeboy, too". Just adds that little touch to it. ubblol


"Happiness is like peeing your pants, everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth."

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Mand
Mand

Keeper of the Spitfire
Location: Calgary Canada
Member Since: 24th Oct 2003
Total posts: 2317
Posted:I do think it kinda sucks that we have to be subjected to those looks though.

It has been a bit of a culture shock to me. For almost 5 years, I've was working for the same outdoor activity company. Because we were in the middle of nowhere, and because of the long hours we worked, we all lived on site. Everyone was incredibly open minded when it came to things like people's sexuality, so it was never a big deal.

Then, just over a month ago, I moved to Texas to live with Kim. Boy were people's reactions to a lesbian different!
Stopping at gas stations when we're driving places can sometimes be amusing, but at the same time quite disturbing and scary. Imagine if you forgot to put trousers and underwear on, and walked in there... that's the kind of look we get!


Lets steal a spaceship and head for the sun, and shoot the stars with a lemonade ray gun.

Delete

weeleigh
weeleigh

look a rainbow!
Location: Waterford, CT
Member Since: 14th Dec 2002
Total posts: 237
Posted:Oh, no, I completely agree. But there's at least something to meeting their looks straight on (no pun intended) and letting them know that you're not ashamed of who you are.

"Happiness is like peeing your pants, everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth."

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:See, I'm shy. I can't hit on people.

-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Xopher (aka Mr. Clean)
enthusiast
Location: Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
Member Since: 8th Jun 2004
Total posts: 456
Posted:Well then. I'm a hitter-onner, and you're hit-on-ee. This is a no-brainer!

And also, having now seen the shirtless pics you put in the Auction thread, I think the problem would be keeping my hands to myself during the initial conversation...but I have great self-control, don't worry.


"If you didn't like something the first time, the cud won't be any good either." --Elsie the Cow, Ruminations

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Written by: Xopher

And also, having now seen the shirtless pics you put in the Auction thread, I think the problem would be keeping my hands to myself during the initial conversation...



redface redface redface redface redface redface redface


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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SpitFire
Mand's Girl....and The Not So Shy One
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2002
Total posts: 2723
Posted:Written by: weeleigh

Oh, no, I completely agree. But there's at least something to meeting their looks straight on (no pun intended) and letting them know that you're not ashamed of who you are.



Yeah....there were going to be some folks from what could be considered "red neck-ville" at my cousin's wedding. I debated with myself how I was going to handle introductions.

When we got there, I looked at MAnd, and just smiled...and realized that it was *my* family's wedding. The person getting married was My flesh and blood. We were meeting some of her family's friends. If those friends took issue with us, or our sexuality, they'd have to deal with my family, who is INCREDIBLY loving and supportive. My Aunt Penny, the matriarch of that part of my family, would probably throttle anyone who made any snide remarks.

I decided I was not going to flinch from introducing Mand as my girlfriend...WE had NOTHING to be ashamed of. So...I didn't flinch when I introduced her to family friends as my partner or girlfriend. I didn't flinch when I introduced her to my Dad's Brother and sister in law as my girlfriend (I'd not come out to them until that point).

We did get a few double takes, and a couple of people looked a bit uncomfortable, but that's ok. Sometimes, folks need their comfort zones challenged a bit.

I'm very close to getting on my soapbox, but I think I'll avoid that one for now. biggrin I'd only be preachin' to the choir.

Oh...and...I forgot to mention, we spun at the reception, and had funky makeup on...so some of the looks we got could have been because we looked freaky cool. biggrin bounce biggrin


Solitude sometimes speaks to you, and you should listen.

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SpitFire
Mand's Girl....and The Not So Shy One
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2002
Total posts: 2723
Posted:And I just realized that Mand said all of what I just said......yeesh....I need MORE coffeee!!!

Solitude sometimes speaks to you, and you should listen.

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Xopher (aka Mr. Clean)
enthusiast
Location: Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
Member Since: 8th Jun 2004
Total posts: 456
Posted:Written by: It's...Lightning!

redface redface redface redface redface redface redface



Oh yeah, dude! Let's just say (as Teal'c might) that were you to consume savory flatbreads upon my sleeping platform, I would not on that account alone expel you.

Not even close.

(Xopher likes to make cute guys blush. Have you noticed that?)


"If you didn't like something the first time, the cud won't be any good either." --Elsie the Cow, Ruminations

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Staelyn
Member
Location: CT
Member Since: 21st Jul 2004
Total posts: 63
Posted:Mand and SpitFire, you 2 are soooo cute! I get so happy when i see lesbian or gay couples, it shows that love can and will over come anything life puts in front of us. (maybe i am just a little jelous rolleyes )

I realy agree with everyone that the best way to fight ignorance and hatred is with education and love. When i was in high school i befriended a lot of the freshman, they kind of looked up to me as a big sister type figure. I was walking through the hall when i heard one of the freshman comment regarding my roomate "She's a real-live lesbian?!" It showed how little exposure this kid had. but by Nancy (my roomate), some of the younger students, and my self (all gay, lesbian, or bi) reaching out our arms and teaching the kids why saying faggot, etc. is offencive and hurtfull, by the end of the year the same kids who where homophobic and rude, where telling other people not to say those things. It was touching, and inspiring.

On the other hand, there are those situations when i just don't know what to do. I have been realy blessed, and never had to face any dangerous situations b/c of my sexuality, but my roomate Nancy had. Mind you, she is a complete steriotype lesbian. One weekend we went to a punk show in Boston, It was ausome. At the end of the night, however she noticed here rainbow patch was missing from her jean jacket. We figured it just fell off or something. When we went out side this girl came up to us and said "is this yours?" regarding the patch held tightly in her hand. "yes" we said with a smile and a "thank you" she responed with a deadly stare and spit in Nancy's face. All i could do was stand there in shock, i wanted to cry. Nancy however got red hot and went up to the girl and started yelling in her face, thankfully our ride showed up and got us out of there, but it was realy scary.

Moral: be confident, educate others, feel the love, and be careful of the hate


Dance, Dance, Dance!

"Time flys like an arrow, fruit flys like a bananna."

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