Over the last few years I have dated two closet homosexuals, without realizing it, at first. One of them kept making plans to go to the movies with his friend, instead of me, while the other was awkward in every possible interaction with me. Shaking when he went in for the kiss and then slowly backing away from any physical contact with me at all.
When they stopped dating me I was really upset. I spent weeks trying to figure out what was wrong with me; what I could’ve done differently. It wasn’t me. I started to realize that the signs were all there, and finally received information from other people who confirmed it. I had been used briefly to cover up their closet homosexuality.
The problem with homophobia is not limited to the homosexual people who experience hate speech and violence. Other people get hurt too, like the people being used by homosexuals who are ashamed of their identity. If it wasn’t for the hate in this country and the bias against homosexual people, perhaps people wouldn’t have a need to stay closeted in the first place.
I was used by a few men who were trying to cover it up and I have been the target of several other homosexual men who were in the closet. I wondered why me of all people had been singled out for this purpose. Was it the same reason that a large population of gay men are attracted to women like Cher, Judy Garland, and Dolly Parton? My ego wanted to think so but I settled on something else. I was outwardly very feminine looking. I would wager that a closeted gay male who wanted to cover it up would pick the girliest looking girl to deter outsiders from thinking they were a homosexual.
Homosexuals are not the only people guilty of this behavior. A gay relative of mine recently fell in love and had a relationship with a person of the same sex. Right after they broke up, this lover, who claimed to be gay, suddenly entered into a very serious relationship with a member of the opposite sex. My family member still is crushed.
While a lot of this can be attributed to social intolerance and the nonacceptance of homosexuality, a lot of it can be attributed to plain old selfishness. After being the target of these men, I felt used. I felt as if they hadn’t even considered my feelings because they hadn’t even thought of me as a person, just a pawn to serve in the window dressing of their facade. They were so preoccupied with their own issues, so caught up in their own head, that they never had the time to stop and think about who they might be hurting in the meantime.
Yes, they were selfish bastards, but the homophobia going on in this country certainly didn’t help. I am proud of my friends and family who are brave enough to stand out there as openly gay individuals and be themselves. It is not always safe for them and sometimes dangerous because of bias, hate crimes, and ignorance. We even have people like Michele Bachmann running for President with an open rhetoric that states that there is something wrong with gay people, that it is amoral, and something that it can be corrected through some type of anti-gay Christian sterilization program. Aside from that concept being extremely odd, it is extremely wrong. Many people look up to Michele Bachmann and view her to be a strong and even admirably courageous role model. No doubt many of her fans have been swayed to believe that homosexuality is indeed very wrong. I do not think these people are bad people, just very impressionable.
Think about it. If Michele Bachmann suddenly changed her stance on homosexuality and decided that it was okay and acceptable in her book, though some of her fans might still disagree, I’m pretty sure a higher percentage of them would be open minded and think well, if she says they’re okay then maybe they are okay. People like Michele Bachmann either A) don’t realize the influence they have over others and ignorantly wield their hateful anti-gay ideologies ignorant of the negative impact and trouble it will create or B) do it on purpose knowingly doing harm and creating segregation and hate to fuel their own selfish secret agendas.
Looking at the above portrait of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, the political poster child for homophobia, I have to say she looks like a reasonable woman. She doesn’t seem to have a bad vibe and might actually be a nice lady. There is no doubt in my mind that one day she will realize how prejudice she has been in the same way many racist opponents of the civil rights movement have admitted fault and since apologized. Oh wait, just Googled that- it looks like not many opponents of the civil rights movement ever apologized and even went to the grave thinking they were right.