Saturday, 7 July 2018

Arguing With Homophobes on Pride Day...




Homophobes are, as is turns out, much like Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense:  walking around like regular people.  They don't know they're homophobes.

Today, as it's Pride Day and lots of members of the LGBTQ+ community (and their allies) are marching through London, many organisations have chosen to show their support.  M&S, The Royal Navy and The Royal British Legion to name a few.

I've spoken about Pride and about sexuality on this blog before, so I don't feel any great urge to repeat myself too much, but I've never said this, so I'll say it now:

Last year, I realised that sometimes, I find women attractive.  Sometimes, I like a woman in that way.  Sometimes, I find it very easy to imagine myself with a girlfriend.  I get girl crushes and they're exactly the same as my guy crushes.  What I realised last year, was that I wouldn't turn someone down, just because they weren't my usual preferred gender.  If I liked someone, their gender wouldn't necessarily have to be a factor.

I've not really put a label on it.  I guess if I really wanted to, I'd put myself as the "Q" in LGBTQ+.  But I don't feel any pressure to label myself.  I am what I am and sometimes, that means I think "she's hot" and sometimes I think "he's hot."  It's not a big deal.




So, this year, when I spotted the inevitable dissent from the homophobes of the world, my actions were the same as they always are.  I called them out on their ignorance.

Because that's what it is.  And this year, I've seen some fabulous examples of ignorance.  Behold, some of my personal favourites:


  • "I don't hate all gay people.  I just hate the whole LGBTQ+ community."
  • "The gay agenda is disgusting.  Why must they flaunt their sexuality?  Straight people don't."
  • "I will be complaining about this.  The Royal British Legion should not support Pride.  They should support ALL service men and women and their families."
  • "Pride is just virtue-signalling, political correctness gone mad.  Why SHOULD it exist?!"
  • "Indoctrinating children to believe being gay or transgender is okay is unreasonable."

Here's the thing: Straight people flaunt their sexuality all the time.  What was The Sun's Page 3 if not aimed at placating a straight dude's sexuality?  Have you ever seen a straight couple holding hands, or kissing in public?  I know I have.  I don't get my knickers twisted about their agenda.

Also, the whole "support ALL service men and women" comment goes against the "they should not support Pride" thing, rendering it one of the most wilfully stupid arguments I've seen all day.

And I've seen many.




The trouble is, I've made the mistake of trying to speak reasonably.  Trying to explain how horrific it is that a person's sexuality could be illegal.  That loving someone could be reason for you to be attacked, persecuted or made to feel so isolated that you consider taking your own life.  That love is love and that rising above all of that horrendous history (and for some LGBTQ+ people in other countries, it's not even history at all) is worthy of celebration and pride.

And I shouldn't have bothered.  Because I'm arguing with the wilfully deaf.  I'm talking to people who use the word "hate" freely and yet call you a "virtue signalling, SJW snowflake" when you highlight the fact that all they're doing is hating for hating's sake.

So, I've stopped.  

I haven't stopped supporting Pride, or being supportive of all my LGBTQ+ friends (or being comfortable in myself).  But I have stopped trying to speak reason to those for whom reason has long since been thrown out, in favour of hateful, often far-right rhetoric.

I haven't stopped believing that using religion as an excuse to pour scorn on gay people is abhorrent and that no God I will ever believe in could persecute a person just for who they love.  But I have stopped trying to make the indoctrinated see sense.

And you know what?  I feel better for it.

I'm not saying I won't speak out, where I see hateful words spat all over a computer screen, or where I see intolerance preached as though it has any place in our society.  But I will know when to shrug my shoulders and say "what a sad little life you must lead, if this is how hateful your views are," before walking away with my head held high.

Sometimes, that's the best thing to do - leave them to stew in their juices, posting far-right propaganda about how hating the entire LGBTQ+ community doesn't mean they're homophobic, as though that makes any sense...

I'm off to enjoy the sunshine and bite my nails off whilst watching the World Cup.  I'll leave the idiots to argue amongst themselves.

Happy Pride, everyone.





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