As the title suggests, I’ve had the issue of homophobia on my mind lately. I think this whole Chic-fil-A ordeal has brought discrimination and homophobia against gays and lesbians to the forefront of my mind.
As many of you who read my blog probably know, I am a woman in a long term relationship with another woman. I used to identify with the term “lesbian” but have been tending to lean away from that label the last few years. Now I prefer to think of myself as “gay” or “queer”. But how and why I identify the way I do is for a whole nother conversation!
As someone who has been exclusively with women these last eight years (I really had to do some hard thinking on that one!), and who has no real genuine desire to be with a man again, I take strong offense to people judging me for my choice in who to love.
I have never been a subject of overt homophobia – well, with the one exception of when I had someone scream “fucking dyke!” at me once when I was holding my girlfriend’s hand, but that’s another story. However, I have on a regular basis experienced covert homophobia.
Like the fact that my partner and I cannot legally marry.
Like the fact that I cannot get health insurance through my partner’s plan; if I were her male spouse, I would be able to.
Like the fact that my friend had to move to Canada to be with her partner, who was deported simply because they were a lesbian couple and not protected under the law like straight married couples are.
Like the fact that everyone who meets my partner and I for the first time assumes we are sisters*. Um… No. We are lovers.
Hmm let’s see…
Like the fact that in many instances, when my partner and I kiss or hold hands in public, people stare uncomfortably.
Like the time when my ex-partner and I were apartment hunting, and were discriminated against since we were a lesbian couple. I had called the management of a particular apartment complex one morning and they had cheerfully told me that they had several nice units available and to come in for an appointment. That afternoon I had my partner with me, and we didn’t try to hide the fact that we were a couple. They shuffled us out the door hastily saying, “sorry but all our apartments were suddenly rented.” Yeeah.
And finally? The fact that people are lining up around the block at every Chic-fil-A in our city, showing an outpouring of support for the company’s owners’ stance against gay marriage**. And I’ve heard it’s not just in my city – its in cities all over the country. I’ve also been reading the articles pertaining to this issue, and the comments that people write.
For those who are interested, here are just some of the thoughts that people have shared on online newspaper articles that are covering this controversial issue. As you can see, homophobia is far from over in this country.
“Gay folks need a hero in their lives. Someone whose footsteps they can follow.
I know, how about that gay Rutgers student!!!“***
“Gays and their advocates are mean, cruel and the most intolerant people in America!”
“News flash…. most people don’t like gays!”
“Gays are pissed because Chick-fil-A refused to drill holes in their bathroom walls!”
“I don’t believe in pedophiles either, would it be wrong for me as a business owner to say that? There are a fair number of people in the world who would like to have it legal to have sex with a five year old. I applaud chick fila’ for standing up for what they believe in. Yet they are still respectful of every human being. To “discriminate” from right and wrong is a good thing don’t you think?”
It’s sad really. That people have so much ignorance and hostility toward people just for being different, and for wanting to love someone of the same gender. For wishing people like me dead.
I wonder… Why is being gay so threatening to some? To the point where they want all gay people to kill themselves. Any input on this idea would be greatly appreciate. I truly just don’t understand…
–A heavy-hearted Brandic
*The exception to this, of course, is when we are at lesbian bars, gay pride events, or Indigo Girls concerts.
** My own view on the issue: I don’t agree with the rhetoric of hate that has arisen on either side. It is wrong to verbally attack employees of the company and accuse them of being hateful towards gays (what have the employees done wrong??), which is something seems to be happening all over the country. As far as my patronage is concerned, since the company has expressed openly their stance on the marriage issue – which is basically one of wanting to deny same-sex couples the right to marry, I for one, will not be supporting that restaurant in any way, shape or form.
*** For those who aren’t familiar, there was a student at Rutgers University who took his own life after his roommate secretly videotaped him having sex with another man and broadcast it publicly online.
The quotes I used are from the following articles: