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Old 02-19-2015, 04:26 PM #1
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Unhappy Casual Homophobia

Hello, I am a 24 year old black bisexual male and I need some advice. I've been encountering casual homophobia at work, and among my family. Some people at work whisper about how they believe gays are obviously possessed by demons, and should have "God's wrath" visited upon them. I feel like saying something, but I don't want to out myself. I talked to management about it, but while they tried to be somewhat empathetic it seemed they didn't really understand what I was going through. I tried suggesting they have a meeting with the staff to discuss how people talk about different minorities, but they said that beyond explicit threats they can't "police" what their employees say. Never mind that that is not what I meant at all. It made me feel like I shouldn't have said anything at all.

As far as my family goes, I just don't know what to say. I live in my aunt's house with my cousin and her husband(who is like a big brother to me.) They were the first people I came out to, and they seemed okay with it. But they still say a lot of homophobic jokes and things. Like we'll be watching a show, and if a gay character comes on the screen they're automatically the f****t character. Right with me sitting there too. Not to mention how when I came out to the husband he asked me if I had ever been "****ed or been ****ed by a dude". I didn't think much of it at the time, but I have to wonder if he was sighing with relief when I told him no(I'm still a virgin, in fact.) I also remember him telling me and my cousin about a male co-worker who's pretty sassy and flamboyant. When ever he does something my friend considers "gay" he'll tell him loudly in front of customers tell him to "man up" or "get your hands off your hips, young man". I gave an awkward chuckle while they bust a gut laughing.

Basically, one hand I feel guilty for not standing up for myself. On the other I feel guilty from the internalized homophobia I have from being raised Baptist(I'm an atheist now, not saying you can't be LGBT and Christian btw) for most of my life. I literally know one other person who's like me, but he's moved although we keep in contact semi-regularly. Sorry for the ramble. This turned out a lot longer than I expected. Thank you for taking the time to read this and give me advice.
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Old 02-20-2015, 11:48 AM #2
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Default Re: Casual Homophobia

I've noticed that homophobia is still very common in the workplace, and have faced some of it myself although I'm not gay, just assumed to be so since I'm older and single. I'm not sure I can offer much advice for this other than to believe in yourself not matter what anyone else says.
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:31 PM #3
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Default Re: Casual Homophobia

It's the stuff among my family that I'm really worried about. Really disheartening when it comes from your own people.
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:44 AM #4
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Default Re: Casual Homophobia

That's rather cold-hearted that they make those bigoted comments after you've already come out to them.
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:35 AM #5
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Thing is I don't think they get how hurtful such things can really be. Like one time my cousin-in-law(the husband I mentioned earlier) shared a "straight pride" image on Facebook. He was utterly confused as to why that **** was hella offensive. I should have asked how he would feel if someone shared a "white pride" image.
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Old 02-28-2015, 01:44 AM #6
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Default Re: Casual Homophobia

There's no need to feel guilty over not saying anything, because the truth of the matter is you can't control what their views on homosexuality are. Also, don't beat yourself up over the past. Those are things that happened awhile ago, and you've learned to better yourself from it. Don't let people or things get you down.
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Old 02-28-2015, 04:38 PM #7
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I just feel so lonely, though I just recently learned of some other LGBT people at my workplace so maybe I can start socializing with them. Breaching the subject is another matter though.
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:42 AM #8
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Default Re: Casual Homophobia

I asked my family to please not use words that could hurt my feelings. They have been very good about it. I think I made it their responsibility.
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Old 03-01-2015, 11:37 AM #9
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Default Re: Casual Homophobia

Just try to remember that everyone is going to have their own opinion, and nothing you do or say will change that. (I did like your idea of comparing the 'straight pride' thing to 'white pride' though! Very thought provoking.) The important thing is that you know what is right for you, and that you treat yourself well! I find that, as humans, we tend to be our own biggest critics.

When you hear those hurtful words, try not to let them tear you down. They are more a reflection of character flaws in the person speaking them than any "flaw" in you.

Your family members may be using the hurtful words simply out of force of habit, and not out of any conscious intent to hurt you. For example, I sometimes use the words 'gay' or 'retarted' when what I really mean is 'stupid'. Now that I realize that these words are hurtful to the gay and disabled communities respectively, I try not to use them. But when something is incorporated into your vocabulary from a young age, or when it's just part of the regional vernacular, it can be a tough habit to break.

Maybe just casually say to the family member, "When you use 'gay' to mean stupid, or call someone a 'fagg*t', that is hurtful to me. I don't think you're aware of how often you do it, or how hurtful it can be, so I wanted to bring this to your attention." And then leave it at that. Don't engage in a discussion about it, or feel the need to defend your beliefs. Just flat out tell them how it makes you feel, and let them do with it what they will. Hopefully (if they have any kind of compassion) they'll work to change their ways of speaking.

PS - Kudos on being a virgin. Don't let anyone stigmatize you, or pressure you to do something don't want to or aren't ready for. Sex (hetero or homo) should be a beautiful expression of love between two people who really care for each other. Hold out for the right person who will treat you right! I waited till I was 18, and in retrospect, I maybe should have waited even longer.
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:55 AM #10
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Default Re: Casual Homophobia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaze Ni Nare View Post
Thing is I don't think they get how hurtful such things can really be. Like one time my cousin-in-law(the husband I mentioned earlier) shared a "straight pride" image on Facebook. He was utterly confused as to why that **** was hella offensive. I should have asked how he would feel if someone shared a "white pride" image.
Why can a black man be proud of his race and a white man not?
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