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View Full Version : Did anyone here grow up with homophobia? And how'd you get past it?



The Hodag
04-14-2008, 11:55 AM
Spinning out of the gay marriage thread, I'm interested to see if anyone will talk honestly about being raised in a homophobic environment, or just gravitating to that stance at one point...and how they got past it.

At the very least, I think a lot of us grew up hearing and maybe telling gay jokes and thinking nothing of it. I remember a kid we used to make fun of in junior high that everyone called "Poof", though I had no idea then that it was a derogatory Brit term for homosexuals - I thought we were just ostracizing the weird kid because he was weird. Just a case of me, the nerdy kid, trying to find someone lower on the social totem pole.

Gunter
04-14-2008, 11:56 AM
I grew up in a heavily racist and homohobic household.

When I was old enough to form my own opinions I did.

Gregory
04-14-2008, 11:57 AM
Unlike my bigoted family members, I talked to strangers and read books. And when I was old enough, I moved.

modungo
04-14-2008, 11:59 AM
Husker Du. Finding out my favorite band was 2/3 gay made me realize I must be cool with gays.

thatguyfromsyracuse
04-14-2008, 12:01 PM
I think everybody, for the most part, was like that when they were younger. I know I was, but as I got older and I met people who were gay, it just sort of went away. It's sort of a non-issue for me if somebody is gay or not.

The Hodag
04-14-2008, 12:02 PM
I grew up in a heavily racist and homohobic household.

When I was old enough to form my own opinions I did.

I guess what I'm curious about is...can you pinpoint more precisely why you drifted away from the racism and homophobia? Did you do a lot of reading? Have more open-minded friends who helped you change course? I think sometimes folks just see how hateful the rhetoric is behind racism and homophobia and just recognize an inherent wrongness to it.

The Hodag
04-14-2008, 12:03 PM
Husker Du. Finding out my favorite band was 2/3 gay made me realize I must be cool with gays.

If only all the folks stomping along to Queen's "We Will Rock You" at sporting events could make this leap...

:lol:

Fourthman
04-14-2008, 12:03 PM
I idolized Eddie Murphy and definitely talked the talk in High School. I remember third year in college telling a gay joke (it's not a derogatory joke, it's one where the punchline is that a father who's sorta proud that he's found out his son had sex for the first time, is told "Next time I'm going to use vaseline - because that really hurt!") and one of the people I was telling was gay, and I realized it just before I said the punchline, and I wanted to make clear to the guy that I wasn't trying to belittle gays, but the awkward moment happened where my friend saw my stutter, and the joke died. That's what got me past it - not the embarrassment of the joke bombing, but the awkwardness of not being able to explain what kind of person I am because of the thing I was saying.

TIP
04-14-2008, 12:04 PM
If only all the folks stomping along to Queen's "We Will Rock You" at sporting events could make this leap...

:lol:

Or Judas Priest...

schizorabbit
04-14-2008, 12:04 PM
I was raised a hardcore Christian, going to church Sundays AND Wednesdays, going to Christian private school. I was even one of those door-to-door knockers (not Jehovah's Witness or Moreman but just as proactive), and in fact, was even a chaplain of one of the private schools. It wasn't an all out hatred thing that I was conditioned with (not like those "Gods Hates Fags" signs you see at some gatherings) ...it was more "See Sodom and Gommorah? That kind of lifestyle will bring fire and brimstone onto your heads." Combine that with the common use of "fag" and "homo" as derogatory labels, homophobia was something not only acceptable to me, but "obvious." Later, of course, when I started to question my deeply rooted beliefs and went agnostic (taking comparative religion classes in undergrad and so on), I also started hanging out with openly gay people. Some of my gay friends in college, for example, are some of the funniest people I have ever met. I don't remember a pivotal change moment. Just remember getting used to their frank comments, sense of humor, and just accepting them as cool people.

Gunter
04-14-2008, 12:05 PM
I guess what I'm curious about is...can you pinpoint more precisely why you drifted away from the racism and homophobia? Did you do a lot of reading? Have more open-minded friends who helped you change course? I think sometimes folks just see how hateful the rhetoric is behind racism and homophobia and just recognize an inherent wrongness to it.


As I went out into the world and away from my small area and met a larger, more diverse group of people I found that many of the ideas I was raised with were just wrong.

And the more time I spent with people that were supposed to be different from me I discovered that they weren't really that different.

schizorabbit
04-14-2008, 12:07 PM
Husker Du. Finding out my favorite band was 2/3 gay made me realize I must be cool with gays.

Dude, I hung out with Husker Du once back in the day. Was part of MOVE, an Emory University organization that did stuff like organize concerts and whatnot. I remember the drummer's parents--an old, sweet couple--coming to watch him play, I remember his buttcrack showing. I remember we had stolen a keg and brought it back to our dorm, and the band hanging out with us before the show, just a small get-together, and then during the concert, stagediving...good times.

Jerome Gibbons
04-14-2008, 12:09 PM
Well, I come from a very homophobic, sexist, misogynist country, and I still live there. So yeah.

What helped get over that was, oddly, the internet. I started posting on internet message boards at the beginning of the decade, and that kinda opened to new people, new ideas, etc. Hence why I try not to be as homophobic and sexist as I was before.

Ethan Van Sciver
04-14-2008, 12:12 PM
Most of these people got past it by blowing guys.

Gunter
04-14-2008, 12:13 PM
Most of these people got past it by blowing guys.

:rofl:

The Hodag
04-14-2008, 12:13 PM
And the more time I spent with people that were supposed to be different from me I discovered that they weren't really that different.

It's funny, that could almost sound trite, but it's true of course. It almost reminds me of Claremont's speechifying in all those great 70s/80s X-Men books, and looking back, even though they might seem trite now, they really had an effect on me when I was a kid. I read "God Loves, Man Kills," and I took it to heart.

Interestingly, both the X-Men and comics in general were introduced to me by my next door neighbor who became my best friend as a kid. He was Chinese, and it was the neighborhood white kids who were assholes to him sometimes, even going so far as to try to beat him up once. I can see why he gravitated to the X-Men. I'm glad he got me to, too.

schizorabbit
04-14-2008, 12:14 PM
Most of these people got past it by blowing guys.

:lol:

thatguyfromsyracuse
04-14-2008, 12:15 PM
Most of these people got past it by blowing guys.

:rofl:

Andrew j
04-14-2008, 12:21 PM
The schools I went to were pretty homophobic but not my home. But both my parents were raised in San Fran so it makes sense.

modungo
04-14-2008, 12:27 PM
Dude, I hung out with Husker Du once back in the day. Was part of MOVE, an Emory University organization that did stuff like organize concerts and whatnot. I remember the drummer's parents--an old, sweet couple--coming to watch him play, I remember his buttcrack showing. I remember we had stolen a keg and brought it back to our dorm, and the band hanging out with us before the show, just a small get-together, and then during the concert, stagediving...good times.

Man, i am so envious of 20 years ago you it's crazy.

schizorabbit
04-14-2008, 12:31 PM
Man, i am so envious of 20 years ago you it's crazy.

Yeah, good times, great guys, and an awesome show...although drunk young me broke a girl's nose when I stagedove. Future girlfriend saw it, and thought, "What a fucking asshole!!!!" Good times, good times. Didn't know they were gay, though. Neat.