Nothing in my childhood stands out as being particularly sad. There was enough love to go around at home and I was an average kid in elementary and high school. I never got bullied - not for being smart, or for being small, and definitely not for being gay and this makes me feel doubly guilty that I'm so harsh on other gay people. It makes me sad how I sometimes feel disdain for loud, effeminate gays.
I'm too much of a coward to have ever bullied anyone outright but my straight friends and I frequently badmouthed people we thought were too faggy and that was just as bad. I was in the closet and I thought parading my homophobia would make my straight act more convincing. Now that I'm older it's easy to call my teenager self on being a shithead hater because I know there's absolutely no reason why anybody should be homophobic. There's still a long way for me to go toward becoming the inclusive, anything-goes, open-minded, flower-waving hippie I imagine myself to be.
I still have this almost instinctive distaste for the stereotypical queer that I try my best to repress. A few weeks ago, on my way home from the club, I was called over by a group of boys who wanted me to join them for breakfast. I asked myself why the hell not and went with them. The banter at first was light-hearted but once we got down to our meal it took a turn for the worse. My companions started shrieking in their high-pitched gay voices and generally making a scene and I could feel the disapproval of the other diners. I was a bit embarrassed but that's not yet the bad part.
They started throwing themselves at me - they'd ask me to choose which of them to take home, asking me if I thought one or the other was yummy or not. I thought they were just pulling my leg so I brushed off the flirting and answered in non sequiturs but they were fucking persistent it wasn't funny anymore. At one point, the guy across me was stroking my knees and the guy to my right was clinging to my arm and the one on the other side was trying to spoonfeed me!
Of course this totally fulfilled my macho fantasies and made me feel good but at the same time I could not help feeling scornful, an aversion I'm sure I would not have been there had they been the other kind of gay. I beat down the metaphorical bile and kept my game face on, smiling at the company and trying to be as cute as I could. Not long afterwards, we said our goodbyes. They asked one last time whether I would like to go with them but I refused, saying my flatmates would be worried if I did not come home in the morning. This was a lie of course. I don't think my flatmates care about me at all.
On the way home I felt really bad about how I sort of just used these guys. I feel bad about the times I almost automatically scowl when I make eye contact with gays on the street but I'm trying my best and one day I just might have some drag queen friends, I hear they are a blast to be with.
I'd like to share with you what inspired this entry. Yesterday Bobby wrote about suicide among gay teens and it struck a chord with me. I may only do my bashing in silence but I'm just as much a part of the problem. And even if you don't discriminate, but let it pass when others do, you're part of the problem. If you're not against discrimination you're for it. And since I'm not ready to crusade for gay rights on the streets, let me do it here.
I can't begin to imagine what you're going through. It must be hell to keep your head held up high everyday through the jeers and catcalls that surround you. It must be terribly difficult to smile when all you want to do is cry. Or maybe you cower in fear of being found out. You're lonely, you can't talk to your parents, and you're not sure who your real friends are. Life sucks, and it takes all you've got just to get through the day and maybe you're so tired of trying to understand why this is happening to you and you just want to give up. Don't. Because things are going to get better.
I'm not saying that it'll be butterflies and rainbows when you grow up cos it's not. There will always be assholes and stupid people. But there will also be people who will see that you're beautiful, who will believe in you. You will meet people who understand you and accept you for who you are. Life will still be hard, but things are going to get better.
But for now, suck it up.
PS. Since I'm not very good at writing inspiring stuff, maybe this video will help.