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It’s funny. I knew that lots of people against Prop. 8 just took for granted that it wouldn’t pass. I didn’t ever take for granted that it would fail, but I did take for granted the idea that my friends weren’t homophobes. Until last night.

I saw the Laramie Project last night. It was so good. Unbelievably heartrending. You get the idea. I think I probably would have cried just reading it, but watching it, having a person say the words to me, it was even more than it could have been. So I firmly believe that everyone should see it.

I told a friend this. I’m not naming him. I told him it was for SURE worth the $7 it cost for students. And then, he hit me with this: he was for Prop 8. I asked him why. He said that he couldn’t explain it, but that I couldn’t change his mind. He was also very hasty to proclaim that he “doesn’t hate gays.”

What exactly is your problem then? You can’t explain it to me? Don’t you think that maybe that’s indicative of something?

Maybe he doesn’t hate gays. I think it depends on how you define “hate.” In his mind, I think “hating gays” means that you go beat up gay people just for being gay. Or you bully people, call them faggots, all those horrible things that you hear about when they talk about discrimination. And I know my friend wouldn’t do any of those things. He wouldn’t physically or verbally intimidate anyone just for who they are.

But maybe there are things you can do to discourage people from being gay. Maybe if we don’t let them marry, that will encourage them to think about how “wrong” being gay is.

I’m going to call this passive-aggressive homophobia. He doesn’t hate gays. But he’s uncomfortable with the idea of homosexuality. So uncomfortable with it, in fact, that he wants it to just go away. Maybe if the homosexuals get discouraged by the fact that they can’t marry, they’ll just stop it. Stop being gay.

He doesn’t think about it this much, I can guarantee that. In fact, I’ll daresay he doesn’t actually think about it. It’s all a gut feeling.

The real reason he won’t see the Laramie Project is its subject. He won’t see a play about a gay guy. It’s too bad that the very people who really should see it are so prejudiced against it that they won’t. They’re afraid of letting go of their prejudices, of their gut feelings of right and wrong.

If he wants to hang on to his prejudices, that’s fine with me. He has a right to them. People to have a right in this country to whatever opinions they want.

But there is no right to be my friend. I honestly feel pretty used at the moment. It’s as if my opinions matter and they’re relevant right until they don’t agree with his. And he won’t defend his opinion because there is nothing to defend it with. Just his gut feeling that homosexuality is wrong. Well, people used to have gut feelings about black and white people getting married. They aren’t nearly as common now because people are used to mixed marriages. One day, it will be like that. But for right now, you have to convince people that their gut feelings have no justification.

Maybe his gut prejudice is more important to him than my friendship. I hope not, because I really like him otherwise and I like to think a bit more of myself than that. But I’ll be able to take it if he decides to keep his homophobia and give up my friendship. I won’t be that offended, I won’t pursue a vendetta against him, none of that. I’ll just be pretty damn disappointed.

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4 Comments

  1. I love you sally-bally. This is perfect, it isn’t an offensive declaration that calls all other opinion null and void, but it declares the other view point as wrong. All anti-gays should see the Laramie Project, I wish I had seen it when it was at my local theatre…*siighh*
    People need to be able to back up their view points with substantial evidence, so far no one I know who is for Prop 8 has been able to do that.

  2. “It’s as if my opinions matter and they’re relevant right until they don’t agree with his.”
    Never have truer words been spoken. Of COURSE he can’t back up his position with logical evidence. And yes, the people who need to see it the most, won’t. Because of prejudice. Because of a little word I’ve grown fond of hating: bigotry. Maybe he doesn’t hate gays actively, but he definitely is a passive-aggressive homophobe.
    Sally, you are a beautiful writer. This clearly exposes any fallacy of the homophobe to the world. Except for those who refuse to use their brains.
    You know what I say to homophobes in accord with Prop 8? I say well, if you believe in discrimination, maybe we should go back to segregation, right? Maybe even slavery? Should we take away women’s suffrage then, and return to our medieval-minded Puritan ways? Yes, perhaps we should.
    Actually, I could use a homophobe for a slave…

    Ah, satire. ❤

  3. P.S. I’m glad that Laramie blew you away like it did me. It really is one of the most powerful pieces of theatre I’ve seen yet.
    -Zachy


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