I met my first truly and vocally homophobic person today. Maybe I’ve been living in a rosy world or maybe I’ve just been lucky, but this woman was a revelation to me that people like this really do exist.
It probably didn’t help that she had a highly religious background, fundamentalist Christian mother and — apparently — a bible in her bag that stated that homosexuality was a sin.
The world she lives in must be very different to mine.
She began a short burst of homophobia by mentioning a poster she’d seen which said ‘AIDS kills Koori’s’, then went on about how AIDS was a gay man’s disease. I pointed out that AIDS kills everyone, and that it was something that wasn’t just about gays. This was where the holy book was mentioned and I went totally blank.
Like I say, I’ve never encountered this kind of irrational behaviour before. I didn’t want to engage with it, didn’t want to provoke an argument and certainly didn’t have the headspace to even go where she was — it was just such an astonishing thing to believe. I wanted to say that I had good friends who are gay, that gay people are good and decent human beings, but under the circumstances it wasn’t the place or time — and would have gone exactly nowhere. Fair to say though, metaphorically, my jaw was on the floor.
Pick the battles you can win.
I’m left perplexed however, that someone can hold such a view. Perhaps I’m just too — dammit — nice?
Opinions to the contrary can be left below…