I have mentioned on my page several times that I am in fact Jewish. I’ve also pointed out that, understandably, by appearance or last name, I do not fit the stereotype of a Jew. However, it isn’t something that I hide, and over the last two years, I’ve been very public with it, in that I wear a Yarmulke when in public, even when I’m at work.
In light of openly being a member of the Jewish community, a group of individuals, who can find themselves on the end of hateful prejudices, I have never had someone say anything anti-Semitic to my face. Interestingly, I have had someone say something directly prejudice and hateful towards me. However, it was for being something I am not.
About, seven or eight years ago, on Christmas Eve I went to the mall with a co-worker and good friend so he could finish up some holiday shopping. While scrambling to find some gifts at the absolute last minute, my friend decided to look at the watch counter at a large scale department store. There happened to be a gentleman and what I assume was his teenage son inspecting the watches as well. Typical with any casual shoppers, at one point my friend and I, and this gentleman and his son, found ourselves all looking at the same merchandise that was contained within one display case. It was at this point we happened to be “too close for comfort” I assume because the gentlemen put his arm around his son’s shoulder gently pulling him in the opposite direction and said, “Watch out son, these guys might be faggots.”
Which brings me to the topic today, why is it that homosexuality can bring up so many emotions of fear or anxiety in people, and why do so people seem to be so comfortable being prejudiced against it? I’ve mentioned before, that running my Facebook page has always been an incredible sociological experiment for me. I can look and see what post I’ve published that causes people to “unlike” my page. Therefore, I can gauge what topics make the most people uncomfortable. To date, the two subjects that send people running for the hills the quickest is anything to do with support for gay rights or the mere mention of Black Lives Matter.
Personally, I find this fascinating. In effect, it suggests that one can like my page based on something else I’ve said, however, the moment I mention homosexuality or Black Lives Matter, suddenly one can become completely shut off and run away. I don’t understand that at all. In effect, often the people that flee as if I’ve just released some toxic gas in a preverbal Facebook room, are the same one’s I’ve seen ridiculing others for needing a “safe space” or for being “snowflakes.” You’re telling me that one could have a dissenting opinion on either of those topics and be incapable of expressing that opinion in an articulate manner? Instead, people decide the only course of action is to run for the social media safe spaces?
I honestly am not saying that condescendingly, I genuinely just don’t get it. In just examining one of those two topics, how could homosexuality be that offensive to people? How could the sex lives, or who someone is attracted to honestly be that important to someone, that they would feel comfortable saying what that gentleman said to my friend and I, many Christmas Eves ago?
Virtually, all other biases people have, I understand why they exist. All prejudices typically relate to individuals own fears, and their method of mitigating those concerns or personal stressors as being caused by others unlike themselves. Fear of crime or losing some financial or professional benefit is often the causation for the fear that inspires racist beliefs against African Americans. Hell, White America has been blaming their problems and selling fear against dark skinned people for the better part of the last 154 years. So I get the instilled systematic ignorance that causes people to be racist. However, what the hell causes this significant fear and inspires hatred towards the gay community?
The first issue that causes me a lapse in discernment is that the last time I was all that concerned with who other people were romantically involved with was years ago when I was single. However, that concern was purely selfish, and it was rooted in whether or not someone was romantically involved with me. Not to mention, I wasn’t concerned with the romantic involvement of every single woman in the entire world.
So I have to point out the irony that if someone is truly that consumed by the romantic lives of the entire collective gay community. That probably makes you gayer than 99.9% of the homosexual community.
Undoubtedly, this post will send many followers to my page to the exit. Just know, I accepted that fact, long before I even typed this. My goal has never been to win support by not speaking the truth or by putting a single person down. Please understand, I don’t want anyone to leave. However, if you cannot even successfully express your opinion in open format, it must mean two things. One, you inherently know that you have no justification for your prejudice and therefore it is easier to stay imprisoned in your own mind. Two, you simply are comfortable with your prejudices and have no desire to expand your mind potentially.
Now, to briefly touch on two of the excuses I have heard most frequently.
“I don’t have a problem with gay people, I just don’t like having their lifestyle thrown up in my face all the time.”
How the heck are you going through your life? I have to ask this because I work with gay officers, and I’ve got gay friends. However, in my thirty-five years of life, I have never felt like I’ve had anyone around me force anything that had to do with their sexual identity on me. Seriously, it is such a non-issue to me that I don’t have “gay friends” I simply have “friends” the same way regardless of their sexual preference. I’ve never been invited back to join some gay sex orgy. I’ve never in my life seen two gay men or gay women, making out in public, just the same as I cannot recall ever seeing a straight couple making out in public. If by chance, I happen to see a gay couple holding hands in public, you know how much thought I put into it? The same amount as if I saw any other man and woman holding hands. Essentially, it isn’t even something that captures my attention. So again, I have to wonder, how the hell is someone going through life that they are encountering situations that make them feel inundated with others homosexual lifestyle?
2. Rooted in religious faith or that homosexuality erodes family values.
• Ok, look one’s religious belief is their own and whatever you want to believe is fine. However, if you are a practitioner of Judaism or Christianity I have to point out hating or being judgemental towards gay people requires you to ignore a whole lot more sections in the Bible than any of the lines that have been translated into English to be against homosexuality.
• If this same argument is used against the government’s legalization of gay marriage, one must accept that it is not the government’s job to instill family values. That is the task of YOU, within in your family. The government’s role is to provide fair and equal protection for its citizens. That’s what the United States was founded on, and it represents the idea that the government should strive to provide impartial justice to all of those within its borders. Personal opinions and the law must function mutually exclusive of each other.
Now, in case anyone was wondering, what exactly made the gentlemen derogatorily accuse my friend and I of being gay? Well, like UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, or Bigfoot it is a bit of a mystery. However, the best we could ever gather was we were to be two men out together, and I happened to be well dressed. On that particular day, I had a formal event to go to and so I was wearing a dress shirt, tie, and sweater vest.
In conclusion, I’ll leave you with that to ponder on. The stereotype that I evidently fit into for being a gay man was I that I was well dressed. Honestly, that epitomizes the entire prejudice or disdain towards the gay community. If you are heterosexual, be heterosexual and if you are a homosexual be homosexual. However, no matter what the reason one tells themselves it's ok to be biased towards the gay community. It is just as silly as hating someone because they're dressed well. And if it’s envy because you think the gay community are better dressers than you; well, stop being a bigot and go out and make friends with a gay person. Maybe they’ll help you out with your wardrobe. Or maybe they are just as bad at picking out an outfit as you are. However, at a minimum, you at least made a new friend, and you can never have too many of those.