“He’s so gay” – My idea of homophobia

“He’s so gay. He’s such a faggot.” These words reverberated through my ears, as I sat on the Northern Line tube, from Leicester Sq, towards Edgware. Two teenage boys, around 16/17, were sitting beside me, chatting about girls they liked, and getting “totally smashed, mate.”

Clearly well educated, middle class and probably quite decent in general, it was kind of confusing to hear those kind of words come out of their mouths. Or was it really?

I’m not one who can stand up and be a moral guardian on the subject of whether of not using the terms “gay” and “fag/faggot” as slurs, is homophobic. After all, I am partial to using the terms myself. And as much as I want to say “I’m entitled to say that, seeing as I am a gay fag faggot, I believe it would be hypocritical of me to judge.

And yet, it did affect me. I couldn’t help be a bit disappointed. These young men seemed quite respectful, and did not seem like the kind of boys to judge a person, based on their sexual orientation.

Now, I don’t know whether the boy they were discussing was in fact gay, or not; I only heard the conversation based on what he posts in his snapchat story. But, if he is, well then his friends are hardly inspiring the poor young man, to accept who he is.

This brings me on to my main point. What is homophobia? Is it when a gay person is abused, either physically, mentally or verbally by someone? Is it when someone deriders gay people and everything about them? Or, is it when two teenage boys, call their mate “such a faggot?”

It is hard to know. The term itself, is defined as “someone who is afraid of someone who is attracted to the same sex.” And I highly doubt that these boys are “afraid of gay people.” From my brief encounter of them, they seem like they’d happily accept if their mate was gay.

So, have we become almost too PC about it? Or are we breeding a culture of ignorance, and subconscious hate? I feel guilty sometimes wen I proclaim, “that’s so gay,” as I think to myself, “am I part of the problem?” Should I, as a young gay man, be the one to stand up and say “No, that’s not so gay, because by saying that you are saying that homosexual people are a bad thing.”

Homophobia to me is much deeper than that. It s those who believe we are somehow bringing down the human race. That we are all paedophiles, out to get peoples children, That we somehow poison the earth we stand on. To me, homophobia is pure hate.

A month ago, I was in Sheffield with my boyfriend. We had gone to the local gay bar, and had well a gay olde time. After the club ended, we were making our way home, holding hands as we walked down the street. Before we could even kiss one another, these hoodlums began throwing insults at us. “Faggots! Dirty little queers. Fuck off you little gay boys.” Endless insults.

I was upset. I was angry. I knew damn well, had I been on my own I would’ve gone up and decked one of them (and probably come out worse, as a result). However, my boyfriend stopped me. And thankfully, made me walk away, and calmed me down.

So was that homophobia? Yes, and no. I don’t think they were “scared” of me, or my boyfriend. Or gay people in general. I personally think they just are uneducated, and ignorant.

And to me that’s more the issue. There will always be those bigots who hate everyone in the LGBT community. And personally, I believe they are lost causes really. However, we need a better education system, which teaches, from a young age, that gender, love and identity, are not set in stone. Humans are naturally sexually fluid, and being a “faggot,” isn’t an insult, but something to be proud of.

The boys alighted with me, and headed off to their destination at Edgware. I hope that they don’t think being gay is a bad thing, and personally speaking I do think they are good lads. Maybe I overreacted.After all, they started admiring some girls tits on Instagram shorty after. Lad culture art its finest I suppose.

But maybe, just maybe we, in the LGBT community should use the slurs as badges of honour. And let me start by saying “I’m so gay. I’m such a faggot. And dammit, I’m proud of it.”

Irish x

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2 comments

  1. appletonavenue · January 5, 2015

    I agree, though I don’t think my vote counts since I am not Gay. But the idea of taking the negativity out of such words. Take them, embrace them, steal the words back. Take that power away. The sexuality of American actor John Galecki has been questioned in the media. But he never responds. When interview when asked if such “accusations” that he is gay bothered him he said, (I paraphrase) “Why should it bother me? If someone says/thinks I’m gay, so what? It’s not a bad thing to be.”

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  2. Colm O'Leary · January 11, 2015

    A thought provoking piece, and one that highlights a discussion long overdue, the use and validity of the word “homophobia”. As you say, it is far from an accurate discription. I’ve always assumed it came as a clinical byproduct of the homosexual panic defense in law where a homophobe could kill a gay person and use temporary insanity as a defense for what we would call today a hate crime. ie they went temporarily insane due to their irrational fear of gay people. If you are describing a fear of gay people for the purpose of a medical defense the natural name to arive at would be homophobia. We all know now that such things are complete nonsense. Such actions are more a case of homodeum ( I know, that sounds like camp laxative) than homo phobia.

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