Fake Homophobia vs Real Homophobia – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Fake Homophobia vs Real Homophobia


Firstly, from the outset – let me state that I am an openly active gay man.

There has been an almost absurd amount of gay marriage coverage over the past month. I suppose in truth, Rory O’Neill’s (Panti) RTE appearance brought the gay marriage debate and more importantly homophobia to the fore and thus a public conversation has commenced.

There have been many views, opinions and quips thrown around the place from the LGBT community and conservative pundits. Initially, I thought things would be at least somewhat civilised and we could discuss the pros and cons without having serious consequences for both sides. Alas, I feel the pitfall of such arguments mean that we skip over the true meaning of both gay marriage and homophobia.

For me, gay marriage is off the agenda. I think that the sanctity of marriage should remain between a man and woman. Instantly so many people reading this are calling me a self-hating gay… what a disgusting term. How dare anyone cast aspirations of my character without sitting down and having a chat over a pot of camel mile tea. I am a very confident and happy 43 year old man. My “coming out” as such, was done quite innocuously at the tender age of 17, when one day sitting down to Sunday lunch, I just blabbed out mid-conversation to my parents and younger sister “sure I’m gay” and quite seamlessly moved on. It was almost a by-the-way sort of thing. (keep in mind, this was 1988) My mother stopped, had a tear in her eye and got up and hugged and kissed me. My father continued eating and when he had finished his dinner, brought me into the front room and said “ah you sure son?” I said yes, and he also hugged me and said he’d loved me. Nothing much was ever made of it in my household.

Now I know full well so that many people have different experiences and can be left shook as a result, but the backing of my family couldn’t stop an onslaught from the outside world. I’ll park the gay marriage debate there for a moment; I want to move to the homophobia, lack of or real homophobia us gay people experience.

You know, you could say about this article “sure he’s just one gay guy” – can you please remember that Panti is just one gay guy, also.

I have been living as a gay man for over 25 years. I’ve had boyfriends and long term relationships. I have experienced what people perceive as homophobia and what is real homophobia.

The term instead literally broken down is homosexual phobia, a fear of homosexuals. That fear turns into anger and aggression and thus produces real homophobia.

In my opinion, what Panti and so many other gay people consider to be homophobia, I don’t. I have been that soldier who has been called “fag”, “pillow biter”, “shirt lifter”, “queer” and every other conceivable derogatory name that a gay person can be called. I’ve been spat at, threatened, mistakenly eyed up the wrong fella and was viciously told in no certain terms not to do it again. Are they homophobic, is this homophobia – my answer is No, they’re a$$holes with an opinion, an opinion I don’t share, an opinion I don’t like, but it’s a false example of real homophobia.

Consider this scenario, a group of lads on a night out, see me and decide to throw a few punches my way just for fun. A gang in Russia specifically setting out to “hunt” down “faggots” and “queers” so that they can film them admitting that they’re gay, maybe rape them, definitely pour urine over them and beat them up. Are they homophobic, is this real homophobia – my answer is a resounding yes. These people purposely set out to physically harm me because I’m gay. They have an inherent hatred of me that builds up to such an aggression that they feel they must physically hurt me. This aggression is so incredulous; one wonders whether they truly have gay tendencies themselves and actually fighting their own homosexual orientation.

The difference is palpable. I frankly consider my first example of fake homophobia to be just a horrible person. I’ve an equal amount of straight friends; they experience just as bad if not worse abuse from strangers all the time. It could be that they have a strange occupation, a different haircut of “look”, they get somewhat harassed by rowdy strangers in pubs but just ignore it-denouncing the person as simply what they are-an a$$hole. Think about this, if a 6ft 3″ gym-going gay guy starts really slagging and harassing a 5ft 6″ straight thin guy for being “skinny” and the straight guy calls him on it and the gay guy threatens him – is this hetrophobia? I think not, the gay guy is just an a$$hole. You see, it’s not just a black and white situation.

The physical threat or abuse of a gay person because of their sexual orientation is absolute full-on real homophobia. The name calling of gay people because of their sexual orientation is an everyday view that anyone gay or straight can get from someone who is ignorant, stupid and quite frankly just plain rude.

But the most important part of this article is that I feel everyone and every side of both debates are entitled to hold an opinion without being judged and name-called. I actually take more offence at my fellow members of the LGBT community calling me a self-hating gay. I am a gay man who happens to have opinions that you may or may not agree with. That’s life, get used to it! The world would be a very boring place is we all thought the same, for God’s sake – be decent enough to respect my opinion.

D. Halpin

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