During a week where a gay Texas couple have had to flee their home due to death threats and a scout in California has been denied his Eagle Scout badge because he was gay, the world needed some tolerance.
I logged onto Facebook yesterday to see a post from my friend, and Glasgow DJing legend, Alec ‘DJ Toast’ Nicholson, on the Heterosexual Awareness Month page. Now, before we get into Alec’s post, let’s go over the aim of the page:
‘Heterosexual Awareness is about more than just being aware that we are straight. We are one of the only groups who no longer have a respected voice in this modern world.
Speaking up for traditional heterosexual values or lifestyle we have been mocked, ridiculed and called things like bigot… for nothing more than being part of a majority and having an opinion;
You might not have felt this form of discrimination yourself but many many heterosexuals have and from all walks of life. Everyday we get messages that thank us for having the courage to speak up.’
It seems that with more and more homosexuals standing up for their rights, the creators of this page are beginning to feel victimised. However, they are going about it with hateful speech. An example of one of the posts from the page:
Not only does this scream homophobia, it’s also upsetting for any homosexual to come across. I genuinely can’t put into words how disgusting and intolerant the page owner and their group of followers is. Alec’s post has managed to not only make me believe that there is light at the end of this rights-struggling tunnel members of the LGBT community are heading through, but also brings out the ignorance of anti-homosexual campaigners:
“You talk a lot about what is and isn’t “normal” but isn’t this missing the point? Being left-handed isn’t “normal” ; nor is being five feet tall, or six feet six inches. Come to that, being six years old isn’t normal – only a tiny proportion of people are! Gay people are a minority, so by definition not “normal” – and your case for why they’re HARMFUL seems to rest largely on the fact that it isn’t NORMAL – but you’d never say left handed people are harmful to society, or unable to raise children in a moral way, surely, just because as a subset they’re a minority? I believe the best way to judge people’s morals is not by how closely they conform to your idea of normality, but by whether they treat other people with respect. Sadly you fall at the first hurdle in that regard by spreading needless hate.”
The post from Alec, a straight, happily married guy, attracted comments, 127 of them, from those that are both against homosexuals having equal rights and those for them. Not only were they mainly homophobic but they made the incorrect assumption that Alec must be gay to be speaking up for gay rights. To say that it was a lost battle for those for gay rights would be an understatement but, what really gets to me, is that the main argument from those against fell to procreation and, as gay couples can’t procreate, homosexuality is in no way natural.
I mean, they’re debating that sex should just be to procreate. Hands up in the room if you’ve only had sex to procreate? Apparently, according to their logic, if homosexuals gain equal rights everybody will become homosexual and the world will end. I’m sorry, but if equal rights were granted tomorrow and homosexuality was ‘normalised’, do you know what’s going to happen? Nothing. A big, fat, nothing. Well, apart from some gays marrying some other gays, being happy and not living in fear.
This is what the LGBT community needs right now, we need the straight alliance to express their opinions, just like Alec, and show the gay teens out there that hey, it’s okay to be gay. These things are accepted by, most likely, the majority and that there’s no need to live in fear. Times are changing and people need to raise their voice. Homophobia is not something that happens far away, it happens on everyone’s doorstep. It happens when I’m walking down the street holding The Screechan’s hand. It happens when I go home and meet the small minded people I went to school with and they call me out for being a ‘dyke’ in the middle of Newcastle city centre. It’s one of the main reasons I moved away from my family, as I didn’t want our property to be vandalised like the gay couple across the road.
Homophobia isn’t always on purpose, sadly it’s come into everyday conversation and people aren’t even aware that they’re promoting it. I urge you to go over to No Homophobes and just watch the unintentional homophobia pour down your screen.
So, my plea to you all – speak out like Alec. If you see homophobia, call it. 90% of the time it will be unintentional and you’ll have educated someone on the misuse of language. The other 10% of the time? You’re probably not the only person in the room thinking it.
Oh, and if you see Alec down the pub? Make sure to buy him a drink.