A very deep (and very long… prepare yourself) reflection and article share about the everlasting effects of homophobiaAugust 10th, 2020
Lengthy/deep post alert – read/save for when you’re ready to dive in.
*****PLEASE READ THE ARTICLE I’M ABOUT TO SHARE when you have some free time, you won’t regret reading it if you know me well and are committed to supporting and understanding the journey that LGBTQ2+ people like me, and those who love and support them (like you), have gone/are going through every day.
This article is a real story about the everlasting effect of homophobia.
This article came out in 2017 and it resonated hard when I first read it. I bookmarked it instantly, have read it many times since, but haven’t ever shared it on my social media… because I never felt I could do justice to publicly share something that *hit exactly in my heart as the experience I’ve had exactly*
But then, I’ve seen a few other queer friends over the last few months cite this article as majorly resonant for them too.
And over the last month I’ve shared some posts trying to find some internal reconciliation for my own homophobic past, and yesterday I shared my utter rage at what’s happening with the harrowing homophobia and anti-Semitism and outright fascist bigotry growing in strength amongst Polish culture (which is but one example of a humanity that is utterly filled at every turn with hatred – homophobic and otherwise).
And I finally feel like, today, I have a personal voice to add to this article that I hope you’ll read. Because this article is 95% as if I had written it myself in my own personal experience… an experience of transformation, yes (to the point where I am often publicly posting and sharing about Pride issues, and wearing a Pride face mask for gosh sakes… yes I have transformed a lot from my past!); but also there’s the lingering shame for a past that involved deep-rooted repression of love that manifested in homophobic ways.
The crux of this article, you’ll see, is about the fact that homophobia doesn’t just hurt those targeted by it. CERTAINLY it hurts the targeted an awful lot.
But, whether the homophobic eventually transforms with the realization (like I did) that they are deeply repressing a truth about themselves… or whether the homophobic is confronted with the realization that people they love are targeted (as my super-wonderful family members realized in their remarkable support and love of me and others in the LGBTQ2+ community through their ever-evolving and growing love)…
The fact is that the guilt of homophobia lasts and lasts and lasts, and no matter what you can do to reconcile and become ever more awesome in the present, you’re haunted by your past.
And that eats away at the sheer joy you experience when you open your heart to love.
And a stark reminder that homophobia need not be utter bigotry or bullying: it can be silent and subtle and hegemonic too…
How fully wonderful it would be if I’d grown up in a world where I wasn’t indoctrinated by my societal and religious interpellation to a point where being my true self wasn’t even a conscious option growing up… see, I grew up not in a world of hateful teachings by my parents or family or loved ones (on the contrary, they are wonderful and loving!). Rather, I grew up in a deeply Catholic education and world view where being gay wasn’t really even presented at all, and as a result the gradual early adult self-realization I had was one of confusion and otherness and disappointment and burying and secrecy. Being gay wasn’t an option for the “perfect” me that I’d taught myself to be, you see. Like the author in this article, I repressed my sexuality by being “a perfect boy.”
That’s the consequence of *anything other than the outright freedom and support from every point of life to just simply be your authentic self as you’re meant to be*
I don’t, for a second, fault those who love me. I don’t – because I can’t – fault my past. I can’t change my past. I can’t undo my homophobic past.
I can only love now, and ever forward.
ENJOY THE READ