Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Person is a Person No Matter How Gay

True story
Within the context of psychology, a phobia is a type of anxiety disorder where a person fears—often this fear is characterized as irrational—an object or situation. Many people have phobias but it’s a working fear. I fear spiders but I can surely squish one if I need to. I also fear small spaces but can buck up and ignore my phobia.

It’s believed phobias arise from an event in a person’s life. I used to hide in a closet during frightening times in my life, and then I developed a fear of small spaces. Makes sense, right? Spiders...well who doesn’t fear those creepy things? I’ve been bitten by spiders and make it a point to fear anything with fangs and poison. I allow the harmless ones to live...unless I see those fangs. Fangs hurt!

So what about an irrational fear of a gay person? Say what? That just doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. This phobia is one taught to a person—by a parent or the media, or maybe just too many negative influences around. Violence as a way to act out homophobic urges is also taught.

I was raised a fairly sheltered life. I can honestly say I didn’t know what lesbian or gay truly meant until after high school. (In my defense sex was new in my little world too. Boy, have I come a long way.) I knew gay guys in high school and knew they loved (or liked for a weekend...whatev) other guys, but I had no idea it was such a “problem” in our society, because I saw no problem if two men loved each other. I hadn’t been taught to believe their way of loving “is wrong.”

Now my parents are amazing people, but they didn’t raise me by telling me LGBT was okay either. It was pretty much ignored, but that gave me the option of forming my own unbiased opinion about gays. And that opinion based on my teenage knowledge of the world was gays are no different from me. My opinion hasn’t changed. They’re people. People like me. What is the big deal?

It hurts my head to attempt to understand homophobia. One of my best friends—one I couldn’t live without—is gay and I can’t imagine anyone hating him. To know someone out there hates him based on a silly fact that he’s attracted to the same gender is just astonishing. This type of hate is right up there with skin color or gender discrimination—it isn’t okay, it lacks any sense, and it is taught. Society as a whole needs to press harder to get their communities to see LGBT individuals or families as no different from the Christian, Jewish, Mormon, black, white, Asian, purple, or turquoise family down the street. We’re all human.

Life is hard on our LGBT community, and it’s harder for the kids.  Growing up is already difficult. It’s almost impossible to understand homophobia when you’re trying to understand yourself too. Below are some resources to help the youth through the hardest time of their lives made all the more difficult by being a minority that is attacked daily. It has gotten better over the years, and I hope in my life time I will see day where “gay” isn’t separating factor or something that people think they need to hide.

Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is determined to end suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources including our nationwide, 24/7 crisis intervention lifeline, digital community and advocacy/educational programs that create a safe, supportive and positive environment for everyone.
Support line: 866-488-7386

It Gets Better Project
The It Gets Better Project was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years. The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone — and it WILL get better.

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I’m giving away Water Waltz in ebook format. I built a world free of homophobe in Water Waltz—in fact, every fantasy creature is both gay and straight and no one gives a fuck. Just leave a comment about homophobia—your opinion or maybe an experience—and be entered in the random drawing. Leave your email so I can contact you if you’re the winner when the hop ends.

Also visit the participating blog master list (http://hopagainsthomophobia.blogspot.com/) and join in on the other conversations about homophobia and maybe find more contests.

And maybe while you’re clicking links, click this one here http://shop.hrc.org/ and buy something to make a donation toward the fight of LGBT equal rights! One day, love will conquer hate.

22 comments:

  1. I agree, one day love will conquer hate. I have several gay friends and can't imagine anyone hating them. But we live in the deep south where ignorance reigns. And I always say, ignorance breeds fear and fear breeds hate. But love does conquer hate.

    morris.crissy@gmail.com

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    1. That's a good saying. It's very true too. Especially the last part :)

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  2. I talk about the Trevor Project in my class and try to teach the kids to accepting and loving with all.
    Yvette
    yratpatrol@aol.com

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    1. That is wonderful! If only more did what you do. Thank you.

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  3. Hi Hayley
    I love your book Undercover Sins and have re-read it numerous times since buying it. Since then I've also become a m/m author and therefore I am also taking part in this hop. One of my closest friends is gay and an absolute blessing to our lives. Thanks for taking a stand.
    vonalogan@gmail.com

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  4. I'm so happy you loved Undercover Sins. :) Thank you for telling me.
    Congrats on becoming an author. I'm going to check out your blog on this hop as well.

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  5. Haley,
    I love that so many fellow authors are standing up against Homo/Transphobia. I think this is definitely a step in the right direction.

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  6. Thank you for participating and showing your support.

    andreagrendahl AT gmail DOt com

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  7. Thank you Hayley for writing this post. I have an idiotphobia and a bigotphobia, I'm glad to see so many other people share this phobia with me. Perhaps one day we'll see an end to the homophobia/transphobia issue.

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    1. "idiotphobia and bigotphobia" That's rather amazing lol. thank you for that!

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    2. LOL. You're welcome. I love those words.

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  8. Thank you for being a part of this hop!

    raynman1979 at yahoo dot com

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  9. I have never been able to figure out homophobia either. It makes no sense. I grew up in a small town and was very in my own head so I never really gave it any thought until I did a paper on gay marriage in high school and asked my mother for help. It was when she started telling me reasons against it that I realized that things weren't right. When I wrote my paper I turned all of her reasons against it into reasons for it. My mother is no longer with us but because of these comments my sister will never know if my mother would have accepted her or not.

    layladawna AT hotmail DOT com

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  10. Maybe one day we will see the end to all kinds of peoplephobias.

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  11. I agree that it is not a phobia at all. I also have a fear of spiders - which stems from someone putting some down the back of my shirt when I was in school - I can't even get close enough to squish the things.

    Homophobia is a whole different kettle of fish and I think that is why a lot of people don't even like to refer to it as a phobia.

    lmbrownauthor at gmail dot com

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  12. I imagine there are some people who do have a genuine phobia... there are stranger phobias out there. But I agree that for the most part, it isn't really a phobia in the true sense of the word. I have arachnophobia, and just seeing a spider makes my heart flutter, my stomach clench and my breath hitch. Instant fear. Hate can be driven by fear, but I think in most cases nowadays it's simply a taught response... or an ignorant one.

    ashley.vanburen[at]gmail[dot]com

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  13. Oh I agree with ~Ley especially the spider phobia I can't even look at a picture of one. Hate is a choice it's not a phobia and it seems to be a bandwagon so many are willing to jump on without thinking about what they are doing. I hope Karma comes around and bites them all on the arse hard.

    To Me love is love no matter what package it comes in.

    normanielsen@bigpond.com

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  14. Interesting post. Thanks for participating in the HOP.

    gisu29(at)gmail(dot)com

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  15. I have faith that things will change with our children. One day homophobia will be a thing of the past.

    Peggy1984@live.com

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  16. Soon the hundredth monkey effect with occur and then a landside of change will happen. I'll be happy for that day :)

    Thanks for participating in this hop. I'm enjoying all the great blog posts.

    penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

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  17. People should love who they want to love, I hope that soon there won't be any more discrimination

    red_tigergirl2(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  18. Thank you for all the comments everyone. The hop was for a great cause and I hope it talked some sense into someone out there. And it will be out in the internet for years to come for anyone to stumble across so it'll do good for a long time.

    I used a random number generator to pick the winner. I'll be emailing them shortly. :) Thanks again for the participation!

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