This article was written by Kerry, one of our valued contributing writers at The Other Team.
As human beings, we tend to have this annoying “need for the approval/acceptance of others,” but what happens when the ones we look to for approval won’t even attempt to get to know us, but instead judge us on how we dress, what we look like, or who we love?
I think you know where I’m going with this; how do we get others to listen, especially when they’ve very obviously made up their mind?
Well, there are several ways I’ve found that might help you out if you ever find yourself in a situation when you’re confronted with someone who may be just ignorant on the subject, or who really is against your orientation (regardless of the fact that it is, indeed, YOURS and none of their business).
We’ve all probably encountered at least one of these people; you know, the ones who just can’t wrap their brains around how two *gasp* GIRLS can happily coexist in a romantic relationship together. Some of the most ridiculous questions/comments on the subject are below, and yes I’ve actually either been told/asked these, or have heard someone say these things.
So, if you would, take a deep breath and try not to get too flustered: after all, the stupidity of others is truly their own, but the ignorance- well, maybe we can help that by actually providing a positive example and educating those people we all know who insist on having a complete lack of understanding about homosexuality.
Here are some tips on how to deal with homophobic people:
“You just haven’t met the right guy yet!”
Well, I know for me personally- I HAVE met the right guy for me, she just happens to be a girl.
I’ve actually heard this one quite a bit and every time I have to tell myself not to spit fire, and instead stay calm, because I have nothing at all to be defensive about- I KNOW they’re wrong.
While laughing in someone’s face in person may be considered very rude (haha), there is something funny about someone being so sold on heterosexuality, and someone who thinks that ONLY straight couples exist, or only straight couples truly love each other, or only straight couples can be successful.
Of course, we are living testaments to the contrary, but I doubt anyone who is against bisexuality/lesbianism would be on The Other Team, eh? The longer you remain in a relationship, the more it proves these people wrong. Stay strong and be content with the woman in your life, or the woman you’ll soon find!
“You’re just confused.” or for bisexuals “Just pick a side!”
I used to be confused, but then I came out of the closet. Being attracted to someone of the same sex, though the feelings attached can be confusing, is pretty straightforward (no pun intended). You know what and who you like, and should be content in that. Ultimately, you know that it’s not confusion and you’re not greedy for being attracted to both sides; take comfort in the knowledge and enlightenment you have, and try to impart that on others.
“You’ll grow out of this “gay” thing when you get older.”
Oh! Kind of like how I’ll wake up one day and just LOVE doing the dishes- yeah, that very same day actually.
No, actually, I don’t think anyone can grow out of being gay; actually, many people discover that they are attracted to the same sex later in life. Maybe these people were never open to the idea before, or maybe they KNEW but didn’t want to act on their attraction because of what others would think. Regardless, just as how your basic personality remains intact, no matter what changes you go through, so does your sexuality.
“You’re just doing this for attention.” or “Are you just wanting to be different?”
*Sarcasm* – I guess somewhere in life I just decided that I’d rather be different, even though it would attract lots of hatred, ignorant questions, stares and condemnation. Yeah, I definitely decided that it would be SO much easier to “be/do” someone just because I love to be a human dart board because of who I’m attracted to or love. /Sarcasm
Alright, well, obviously we acknowledge the fact that being gay and being “different” or “wanting attention” are completely separate matters. I know we all know this, but being gay is NOT “just a phase,” nor is it something we just do for attention. I would imagine that being gay for attention would be more short-lived and less convicted than being in a long-term relationship, being engaged to someone of the same sex, or relentlessly showing attraction for the same sex. Seriously? If someone is trying this hard to just get attention, then that’s ridiculous and they just need to get a hobby.
“When did you decide you were gay?”
Well, I guess while I was a fetus, I had a lot of spare time on my hands and it just seemed like a good idea to be gay-since a fetus knows what lesbianism or bisexuality is, you know. Sometimes the only way to answer a silly question is with a silly answer. Being gay is not a CHOICE. Why would anyone subject themselves to stupid questions such as this one? Yeah, they wouldn’t.
“Being gay is a sin!”
Well, IF that’s how you interpret my honest love, then I’d say that condemning people to hell is probably a sin too. Now, this topic is touchy- people get crazy sometimes when it comes to religion. It can be hard not to insult someone so wrong, but if you prefer to go the “proof” way, I’d recommend looking up alternate readings of the bible and showing these to them.
On the other hand, some people will believe that homosexuality is a sin, no matter what proof is shown to the contrary. When it comes down to it, who cares what these people think? I think love of any kind is beautiful- assuming that it’s between two consenting, willing, and able people. Plus, what could be more beautiful than two women together? I mean, it’s basic science that women are WAY more beautiful and infinitely more interesting (read:confusing) than men. ;)
“Seriously? No, you’re not really gay.”
Oh, but I am! I suppose I always have been, but once there was a dark, dark time before I questioned what exactly I was attracted to- and discovered that most of the qualities I wanted were feminine qualities. Usually this is said right before they say something like “You just haven’t found the right guy yet.”
“You’re just being rebellious.”
No, actually I’m just trying to live my life, but people (like this person) keep getting in my way, as well as in my business and on my nerves. This statement is very similar to the “just a phase” idea.
One of the best pieces of sage wisdom I can offer to you is to keep your cool- I know it’s ridiculously difficult sometimes, but exploding into a huge mushroom cloud of insults, expletives, and defensiveness will do nothing but further the negative stereotypes they already believe. I know it’s cliché, but acting positively will at least make it harder for them to feel negatively about you; who knows? You may have the chance to really change someone’s heart on the subject of lesbianism/bisexuality.
But, as we all know, there are some who are SO convicted in their beliefs that they’ll just never understand. Imagine if someone worked really hard to make you homophobic: your whole belief system would be challenged, and then ultimately you’d have a choice to make. I’m not at all condoning homophobia, because that would be totally contrary to what I believe. However, I’m simply saying that when it comes down to it- it’s just one person’s opinion.
If you’re happy with your relationships and orientation, then that’s all that matters! Basically, if someone really loves you and cares about you (like a family member or good friend you come out to), then ultimately I’d like to believe that love prevails. Until then, please just keep your head up, your feet on the ground, and your heart in the right place. After all, you’re AWESOME, who could go on without you in their life? J
Suggestions? Thoughts? Comments?
If you seen any issues that belong in this article, think of a new way to respond, or just want to share your experience, please do! I love reading your comments and talking to you all.
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This article was written by Kerry, one of our valued contributing writers at The Other Team. Don’t forget to leave a comment for her below!