Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I hate it when I'm standing around having a normal conversation and then out of nowhere someone I did not expect to use a homophobic slur lets one loose. I'm standing at the local gym where I volunteer, and a staff member who I usually chat with said (within the context of a conversation about fixing broken exercise machines) "I'm not some homo going around looking for broken equipment" (or something to that effect). I felt numb. I get numb when I hear these things from people that I generally like because I don't expect it. I didn't say anything because I'm just very depressed and I don't have the mental alertness to say what's on my mind.

I feel traumatized and angry. I'm not traumatized by this -one- thing; it has been a gradual chipping away at my self-esteem over the last few years as I've lot my confidence bit by bit. I feel so angry. The only reason I have to go through this s++t is other people's ignorance, and I feel like screaming and yelling at people. It's always up to me, though to be assertive. Funny how that works. It is always up to the minority to be 'respectful' (or at least fake respect) and be assertive and courteous when standing up for themselves against idiotic statements . To yell and scream is to make things worse - to a point. The stonewall riots made a point, didn't they? I wish I could get into a brawl about this, seriously. Or at least scream at someone. Silence is more harmful than it seems, even if it is a good survival strategy in the moment.

Now, I don't want to talk to this person for a while while I calm down, and I feel angry and drained. I look forward to my volunteering and it is usually good for my mental health. I'm not open about my mental health there, so I already have to be on guard for comments about 'you off your meds?" bleahg bleagh bleagh. I do not want to have to listen to gay,fag or homo used as insults.

I want to screaaaaaam

Edited by Lifeintheslowlane
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ugh!

I really get what you mean, man. It's so surprising when some people come out with that of language. I'm struck dumb when I hear anyone say anything like that. Just so unnecessary. You want to forgive them because it's such a generalised thing and any homophobic sentiment isn't usually meant, but still, you know it's still wrong and that it's become generalised isn't a good enough of an excuse. Personally I don't say anything when somebody says something like that, but then I don't tend to hang around with people that would talk so freely without thinking about the consequences.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do understand what you mean.

A coworker likes to feign his idea of a gay man. Stereotypes. It's kind of a shocker, and I don't know how to react. So, I just ignore it. I figured it was a one-time thing, but not so. So I'm suspicious.

It is my understanding that guys who make slurs (I consider the feign a slur) at some level are covering up their homosexual impulses. That's why teenage boys, whose sexual impulses are high, tend to be very homophobic. And that's why homophobia can be so dangerous to gay men.

A straight guy might share a "drop the soap in the communal showers" joke, but they don't make slurs from out of the blue (unless they've been confronted by something uncomfortable). There is a lot of ignorance about homosexuality and homosexual behavior, but I think most people understand that it is not "politically correct" these days to use the "F" word or to make slurs or jokes. With all the scandals about right-wing homophobes being caught with their proverbial pants down, I think many people are getting it--if you hate gays, you're covering it up in yourself.

So, when coworkers don't laugh at the jokes or squirm at slurs, a guy gets it. If he doesn't, a red flag goes up. Why is he making slurs (or jokes)? Well, perhaps turning scorn against gay people is a way of keeping his homosexual impulses at bay.

So, you and I have two choices--ignore them or confront them. In my situation, it is widely known that I'm gay (I live in a country where it is not a big deal). I guess I'm waiting for someone to tell him. He's pretty dense though. My boyfriend drops me off and picks me up everyday. And I always say "we" and "our" (house, dogs, etc.). I also was quiet surprised at my reaction though. I felt angry, although I fought that off. So, for the time being, I think that, understanding that he has this issue, I can just pity him.

In your situation, they guy is using words that cut deeply. Maybe if I were in your situation, I might say, "Look, dude, I don't like slurs of any kind. I don't like people saying the 'N' word or homo or the 'F' word or (give other examples here; I forgot many of them). I respect everyone. They're all human beings and I expect you to respect everyone too."

:shocked:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lek, it was a young woman. (Contrary to reports, it appears the gentler sex is quite capable of being as ignorant as the harsher).

I feel doubly frustrated when it's a woman saying it - there is a disconnect in them that I don't understand that I do understand with men. This isn't the first time I've known a woman who clearly is comfortable with gays and lesbians (there are many at the gym), yet doesn't grasp the hurtful nature of slurs. What is the deal with that? Seriously?

I am tempted to say "that's so woman" to her sometime. See what happens. I'm sick of this crap. I'm sick of otherwise intelligent people not grasping it. I used the 'f' word when I was 16 or 17, and didn't know any openly gay people (this was early 90's). I get where ignorance comes from, as I once was ignorant. Thing is, once I was around gays and lesbians the ignorance went away. This is 2010 and I'm in downtown Toronto. There is no excuse for a 21 year old woman in Toronto working and studying to not have grasped that insults she might have used growing up or even in high school are unacceptable.

I will have to speak with her. I feel angry. I don't have the energy to be outspoken right now, so I wish I didn't have to. I just want to go about my business and focus on me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lek, it was a young woman. (Contrary to reports, it appears the gentler sex is quite capable of being as ignorant as the harsher).

I'd say that the basic idea--being threatened by gay men--still applies. Although in the case of a woman, she may have had a relationship with a gay man and was hurt because of it. Still, no excuse.

Do you mean she's saying, "That's so gay"? If so, I'm sure you know it carries the meaning of "that's so lame." It became a trendy catchphrase . . . but now is passe. Nobody "cool" uses it anymore. Nonetheless, in my opinion, beneath "That's so gay" are stereotypes and deeper still social attitudes that gay men are contemptible.

I know many people disagree, but "just words" doesn't cut it. Words express our attitudes and that of our culture.

Actually, I think I would be stunned if a woman made an anti-gay slur. Women, after all, endure oppression just as do gay people. . .

In any event, I think you have a perfect thing to say to her, "There is no excuse for anyone in Toronto working and studying to not have grasped that insults one might have used growing up or even in high school are unacceptable."

It's good that you just want to take care of yourself right now. I understand how exhausting it can be to feel as if one has to fight one more battle against ignorance and hatred. Somehow the social evolution/enlightenment seems to make ten steps forward and then is pushed back five.

You do have a right to have a workplace that is comfortable for you and free of insults and slurs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just learned to let things like that not get to me. But that's probably because I heard it used so many times in high school and eventually I just stopped 'hearing' it all together.

I'm probably weak for letting people get away with using sexually oriented insults/slurs but I also don't think those type of people are worth the time of day in the end. Better off for me if I know a person is ignorant up front so I can specifically avoid and block them out entirely.

If it's someone you respect (or had respect for), that would be a touchy subject. If they have the same respect for you, they should be receptive to your opinion about not using those types of insults.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ugh...I know what you mean. I had a co-worker tell me I had no right to feel upset over discrimination for being a lesiban. I had no idea how to react. It was just jaw dropping ignorance at it's greatest.

I think I have every right to feel hurt when someone uses a gay slur at me. I really hate the f word so much! It makes my stomach churn with disgust and not with myself. I can't stand the way some people are!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...