Hop Against Homophobia: Why I’m Liberal

Over the next four days I will be part of the Hop Against Homophobia.  If you follow that link, you will get to a page that links to other authors who are also participating.  The participants are offering prizes, including me, and if you’re up for bouncing around and doing some reading on this subject, you very much should.  So really quick, before the post starts, let’s talk about the giveaway.

The giveaway extends from Thursday, May 17th, to Sunday, May 20th.
* I’m giving two prizes: a  Signed Paperback Copy of Gambling Men and one copy of any Dreamspinner Press e-book from my backlist of the winner’s choice.
*Anyone who comments on THIS POST of my blog is eligible to win.
* Winner will be chosen by the randomizer at nine o’clock, PST, Sunday the 20th.
* I’ll announce the winner in a separate post.
*  Even though I will post again OVER this post, only people who comment on THIS post will be counted.  (I’ll remind you of that later, too:-)

Now, all that being said, let’s get on to my boring story! (And before the boring story commences, I need to thank Mary Calmes, because before you–in her words–“gut yourself like a frog in biology 101” you need someone who will read your frog guts and tell you if they’re too gross.  Thank you, my darling– I couldn’t have written this without you.)

Okay, so one of the things that was happening with my blogging even before my brush with the law is that I learned how to keep some of my dumb-assed opinions to myself, because I never knew who was listening.  Venting was all very well and good, but I was frequently surprised (did I mention the dumbass?) that I hurt people’s feelings.

Well, that’s sort of how I became such a staunch advocate for gay rights.  Because I used to be just a big-eyed country girl with only ignorance in this matter, and when I think back to those days, I cringe.  How many people did I hurt with my ignorance?

So… my stand on homosexuality… shall we trace back?

I remember when a friend of a friend came out in high school.  My friend said to somebody nearby, “Yeah, I know he’s gay. Why does that matter?”   It was the first time I actually knew there was a word for boys liking boys.

The field conductor of our band was filling out a dating questionnaire for a fundraiser.  He “accidentally” put “female” under his gender, and got a list of boys.  My parents asked me if it was a Freudian slip– that time, I knew what they meant, and I said, “No!” because like most of the senior class, I had a major crush on him.  *sigh*  Why yes, he came out in college, why do you ask?  It was the first of many drama crushes I had.  My learning curve, it ain’t ever steep.

In junior college, drama, many of my friends were gay–but they didn’t talk frankly about it to me, because I was too “innocent”.  Looking back now, I wish I’d been less “innocent” and more brave and willing to talk about it, because I still wasn’t getting it–I wasn’t getting what it really was, I wasn’t getting why it mattered, all I got was what my gay and lesbian friends were willing to show me, and that was often the stuff that made me laugh.  I do have one very clear memory from this time, though (and it was over twenty years ago.)  One of the boys I’d had a crush on in high school had just come out–and he was one of those sharp dressing boys, who always smelled so good.  I wasn’t in his inner circle, although I knew about the gay because my friend Sally had told me (and she was newly lesbian– she knew these things) and I remembered being really disappointed.  He was really cute.  Anyway, we were both working tech on a show, and I was sick–103 temp sick, shivering in my own sweat as I worked the light board sick, and there we were in the tech booth when he took his brand new leather jacket off and put it around my shoulders.  It smelled so good–leather and man and Polo (*swoon*) and I remember having this thought: this guy was so out of my league anyway, and if he was this nice of a person as a whole, that maybe that whole whispered disapproval around the whole idea of “gay” was off base.  This guy saved my life (it felt like) and even at an “innocent” nineteen, I could figure out that just all around niceness like that couldn’t come from a bad place at all.

After junior college there was San Francisco State and then Sac state.  I remember one of my bosses was flamboyantly gay enough to playfully ogle Mate’s backside when he was working the line one night, after Mate and I started working in the same restaurant.  I remember another friend–this one read some of the first of my writing–who filled me in on the fact that his “roommate” was really his lover, and that’s why he didn’t move out when they beat the holy hell out of each other during one of their more physical fights.  (This idea blew me away.  “You didn’t realize that’s how gay men fight?”  “I didn’t realize that’s how anyone fights–are you sure this is a healthy relationship?”  “Well, we’re still men!”  Yeah, yeah, feel free to discuss–but when Jeff and Collin beat the fuck out of each other in Living Promises, I was coming from that place right there.)

I remember another friend who was as out an proud a lesbian as I have ever met.  I was standing next to a male manager at the cashier’s stand when the night’s receipts printed out between his legs.  She reached in and grabbed it, and he said (playfully) “Sexual harassment!”  She winked at me, grabbed my knee, and said, “Nope– that was sexual harassment!” I giggled all night.  She was the worst driver I’d ever had the misfortune of getting into a car with.  To this day, Mate agrees.

So, on the whole, I’d had enough interaction with the gay and lesbian community, you’d think I’d know better–you’d think I’d be hip and not stupid, but I wasn’t.  When working at another restaurant, one apparently known for it’s gay and lesbian clientele, I remember trying really hard not to be upset at the sight of two women necking.  I confided my discomfort to the cashier I was working with, and the female manager she standing next to.  I said that logically, I knew it was fine, but on an instinctive level, it was just something I wasn’t used to seeing–none of the gay or lesbian couples I’d ever known had actually necked in front of me.  I guess until you see someone doing it, it’s just a word, and you don’t get that this world spins on a different gender axis, and for a moment, you’re dizzy.  Nevertheless, I probably shouldn’t have confided my ignorance to two women who were sleeping together.  No, I didn’t know that at the time–but, well, that job didn’t last long.  People were unexpectedly cold to me, why do you ask?

And putting my foot in it didn’t end there.  Part of it was my own fault, and part of it was the world around me–it sure would have helped in the 90’s and early ’00’s if there was a handkerchief code for “Gay friendly but still stupid.”  Would you like examples?

*  I thought that line in Steel Magnolias about all gay men liking track lighting was hilarious.  Not because I think it’s TRUE, but because it reveals the same innocent ignorance I myself was victim to–and it also revealed (given that it was from a grandmother who was talking openly to her gay grandson) a willingness to change and enlarge her world, and I’m all about that.  That being said, laughing about it in front of a recently out colleague was probably not the best thing for me to do.  I don’t think he understood where I was coming from at all, and that was my fault.

*  I related the restaurant story to another colleague–who, unbeknownst to me, was gay. I was using it to explain that I was continuing to expand my perception of the world so I don’t make those mistakes anymore, but I don’t think she ever felt safe to confide in me after that, and I feel bad about that.

*  I was discussing a far away branch of my family once, including, “Yeah, unfortunately the patronymic (Junior) is going to end with my cousin.”
“Why is that?” asked a colleague.
  I shrugged. “Sadly enough, he’s gay.”
The colleague’s eyes cut to another colleague, who was gay, like he was trying to tell me something I didn’t know.  (By now, I knew.  Duh!)  “Why sadly?” he asked, his eyes still darting nervously, like he needed me to clear this up.
I rolled my eyes.  “Because nobody in the other family trusts us enough to just tell us he’s gay.  It’s all about guessing.  And it’s not that we give a shit, it’s just that it would be nice to know–that way, we don’t have to ask if he’s found a nice girl or not, right?”
I think both colleagues were surprised.  I think they were sure I was going to spout something about how awful the g word was–but that’s the thing.  If I didn’t have the handkerchief that said “gay friendly but stupid” how was he supposed to know?

* Like all of the good things about me, it was my students who brought out the best of me in this matter.  I remember the very defensive AP student who managed to alienate his entire class not because he was gay, but because he was SO defensive about being gay.  He was perhaps the first openly gay person who was willing to define himself in the face of the entire world that I had ever met.  I remember asking him if maybe he could give the class a chance (they were a sweet bunch and eventually he did have friends) and in turn, I was willing to expand my awareness to a non-heteronormative world.  (Yes, he used that term– he liked to flaunt his intellect.  I think he was impressed that I wasn’t stupid either.)  I think that kid did a whole lot for my understanding of why it would suck for the world to assume he was straight–because this kid?  There’s not enough pray-the-gay-away in the world, and he was dead on.  The world needed to love him for who he was.  I think once he understood that I (and his classmates) could do that, he became a whole lot more lovable as a whole.

*  And finally, I remember the girl who had been my TA and who came back to visit.  I adored her, and I didn’t adore her one teeny bit less when she said, (showing off her rainbow bracelet) “Guess what, Ms. Lane!  I went off to college and got all gay!”  I hugged her tighter.  “Good for you,” I said, and by now, I knew what it was, and why it was a big deal

At the end, when I was taken out of my teaching job, it was because I assumed that the rest of the world was less ignorant than I was, and not more so.  I assumed that the books wherein I wrote about gay couples growing up and having a happy ending and an (eventually) happy life had always been acceptable, and it had only been my wide-eyed ignorance that hadn’t seen that in the first place.  It’s funny, that of all the blithe assumptions I’ve ever made in my life, that last one is something I’m almost proud of.

So when I think about it now, I think that besides myself for being a dumbass, the thing I am the most irritated with is the world, for encouraging me to be a dumbass.  I was too embarrassed to ask questions, and I kept making the same dumbassed mistakes.  And you know what? The world being what it was and still is, nobody called me on my dumbassery.  Many of the poor GLBT people exposed to my ignorance didn’t feel confident enough to challenge me about my assumptions–when they would have been in the right.  The heterosexual people I knew were all about the “whisper it ’cause it’s bad”–and they weren’t helping me just step up and investigate the idea that we’re all created equal–we’re just not interested in the same plumbing!  I know that even as I progressed and wrote about this subject, it was still hard for me to recognize bullying–people who were gay-friendly didn’t talk about being gay-friendly.  People who weren’t gay-friendly were conducting a subtle and then not-so subtle campaign about how being gay was bad.  All of the sotto-voiced secrecy?  Wasn’t helping.  When I confessed my discomfort at seeing the women making out, if someone had said, “I’m gay–do you realize how offensive that is?”  I would have gotten over my hangups a helluvalot sooner.  If my gay colleague had said, “Do you realize how offensive it is that you think that’s funny?” I could have explained, “It’s only funny to me because it makes ignorance look ignorant,” and he might have felt more comfortable around me.  The thing is, in a way, our world has gotten to this terrible impasse of screaming bigotry and bullying because for twenty years, the homosexual community didn’t feel free enough to simply stand up to big-eyed country girls and educate the holy fucking shit out of us, like we deserved.

And now, all of those people who’ve been secretly afraid of this community are thinking, “Well, nobody’s said anything for years– we all must be right.”

Homophobia is in the small fears and the big ones.  I overcame mine by looking at human being after human being, and trying my hardest not to offend human beings for simply being who they are.  I am aware–painfully aware–that I hurt people during this process.  I am even more aware that not everybody has that sort of introspection.  If the people in my world had been comfortable enough to come out, speak freely, talk to me without fear of watching me turn into a screaming lunatic, then I would have been an educated, well rounded human being much sooner.  And, quite frankly, I don’t trust the rest of the world to come to the same sorts of realizations on their own.

We need to educate our world that people are people.  It took me twenty years.  It could have all happened when I was sixteen, if the health teacher had said, “Not all people are heterosexual.  Some people enjoy same sex relationships, and those work differently.”  Homophobia isn’t just those wingnuts from WBC screaming stupid, scary, blasphemous things– homophobia is being afraid to just ask questions, to confront a community that you know nothing about and admit it’s important.  Homophobia would have been being unwilling to talk to a student about the one thing that’s making his school life a sheer misery, or explain to him that it doesn’t have to suck, and he can still be completely himself.

Homophobia is being unable to say, “Oh, are you/is he/is she/are they gay?” without a fear that you will somehow insult someone by simply asking what their life situation is.

 In order for homophobia to finally be abolished, we need to move to a world where people speak about human rights like they are a given, and it’s the bigots who whisper among themselves, because they’re the ones who are doing or saying something bad.  The sooner we do, the sooner we can get to a place where a big-eyed country girl can say, “Oh, you’re gay?  Sucks for me!” and the conversation doesn’t screech to a halt.  When this finally happens, with any luck, the screeching scary wingnuts won’t feel comfortable trying to rip away other people’s human rights, and every country in the world can jump on a government that would hang four men in public for doing private consensual thing with their bodies in the safety of their hearths.  The sooner we can speak up and expect that the world will accept gay rights as naturally as they accept blonde rights and brunette rights and short people rights and the rights of people who drive Volkswagens, the sooner nobody will feel comfortable giving voice to atrocities and saying it’s “God’s law.”

My shame in my previous ignorance is profound.  I cringe when I think of the shame the entire human race is going to have to face when they come to their own realization.  The sooner we can educate the world, the sooner we can look humanity in the mirror and say, “Yes.  We have done right by you.”

0 thoughts on “Hop Against Homophobia: Why I’m Liberal”

  1. NR WALKER says:

    This was fabulous. Thank you for sharing. <3

  2. K-lee Klein says:

    Great post, sweetpea. I enjoyed hearing your experiences and thank you so much for joining the hop.
    *hugs and squishes*

  3. Becky says:

    I think that Maya Angelou quote is appropriate here. "I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better."

    None of the hurt was malicious. Ignorance by itself is not a sin. Refusing the opportunity to learn is the sin. You learned. And now that you know better, you do better.

    It's really all we can ask of ourselves or anyone else. Take the opportunities to learn when they come our way, and try to create those opportunities for others.

  4. Anne Brooke says:

    Really moving post – thanks for sharing your experience with us – great stuff.



  5. Jaime says:

    Thanks for sharing Amy! I love reading peoples personal stories.

  6. Donna Lee says:

    I work in human services. You'd think we'd be a bit more educated, wouldn't you? Well, at one meeting/training event, the longest and most fraught discussion was which bathroom individuals who are in the midst of a sex change should use. When it was suggested that they should use which ever one that coorelated to the gender they identified with, there was an uproar.

    We have a long way to go. I learned much information while working in a counseling center in college but it wasn't until I got out in the world and could use the information stored in my brain that it made its way into my heart. I shudder to think of the folks I have offended along the way. All we can do is the best we can do and share what we have learned and push our way forward.

  7. pointycat says:

    Loved the post – thank you πŸ™‚

  8. Anna says:

    See I don't think its offensive not to want watch people make out. I don't like watching straights stick their tongues down each others throat why should I feel any different about watching a gay couple?

    I have no issues with PDAs like holding hands, quick kisses & Hugs etc in fact I think thats healthy but when it goes on and on or nearly sex in public. Its please get a room. Funnily enough my gay friends feel same, about both gay and straight couples too

  9. pointycat says:

    Brilliant post – thank you πŸ™‚

  10. Eden Winters says:

    Wow! And you were worried about posting this? It's awesome! Thank you for sharing. You really tugged at my heartstrings, but then again, your writing always does.

  11. roxie says:

    My ignorance is vast, and with the best will in the world, I say the wrong things. And still, I think it's better to do that than to keep my mouth shut and say nothing. Actually, it's none of my business WHO you love, as long as you keep your hands off children, non-consenting animals, and my husband.

    I cherish people, not stereotypes. And the longer I live, the more I realize that there are no hole-shaped pigeons or pigeon-shaped holes, and the whole process of pigeon-holing is a waste of time because the pigeons keep flying away.

    I tend to feel uncomfortable when I see any two people necking in public. I'm even a bit embarrassed when I see dogs fucking. That's MY problem, and I can always look somewhere else.

  12. Wade says:

    Love reading your thoughts! Thanks for posting πŸ™‚

  13. Anonymous says:

    Very moving post. Thanks.

  14. Andrea says:

    You have so many great stories and experiences, thanks for sharing.

    andreagrendahl AT gmail DOT com

  15. Such a great post Amy. I loved reading about your different experiences and about how you learned about not only homophobia but also about your own ignorance in regards to the gay lifestyle. Thank you for sharing this with us and for taking a stand against homophobia.

    Have I told you that I lurve you today? Allow me to do so now. I lurve you, thank you for taking this stand.

  16. Tiffany says:

    What a wonderful post. I can think back and say that I have overcome my ignorance also.

    I hope the world is able to do the same thing.

  17. Katy says:

    Your post is insightful as always. I grew up in a very small, bible-belt town, with a very strict religious mother in the 50's and 60's. Since then I have lived through much. I have had gay and lesbian friends, 2 lesbian sexual encounters. Lost several fiends gay and straight to AIDS. And I still have some of the old prejudices. I don't like making-out in public, nor do I like to have someone else's opinion forced on me. But people are who they are no matter if they are gay, straight, male, female, black, white or somewhere in between. And it is not my place to judge them. Thank you for giving me my say!!

  18. lily sawyer says:

    Wonderful post, Amy. thank you so much for sharing.

    Linda xoxo

    yinyang1062 at yahoo dot com

  19. Unknown says:

    This is why I love you, Amy Lane. No one is perfect. But you might be one of the bravest people I know, because of how you embrace that about yourself and do better every time out.

  20. Jackie B. says:

    Excellent post! Now I'm looking forward to doing some blog hopping today πŸ™‚

  21. Great post Amy! Thanks for sharing.


  22. diannakay says:

    That was really interesting and thought provoking. Hopefully this blog hop will help make a difference.

  23. jeayci says:

    Copy/pasting my comment from Goodreads because I'm not quite sure where to comment:

    I agree with Helene and Kaje (and others here), you have nothing to be ashamed of. We are all products of our environment, and even in the most gay-friendly places there is still a pervasive heteronormative undertone. How else would you explain how an 8-year-old eventually-bi daughter of lesbians and an 8-year-old eventually-out gay boy, when talking about sex (you put what where?!), would talk about it as "the man" and "the woman" as if it never occurred to us it could be "the mEn" and "the womEn"? In Berkeley, California.

    That was me and one of my best childhood friends, many years ago. And that's just one example of many. Even growing up in Berkeley with lesbian moms, I've still been confronted on multiple occasions with my own heteronormative assumptions. And, sometimes, my moms with theirs. But it is getting better, as more of those assumptions are questioned.

  24. Cole says:

    Thanks for having the courage to admit your mistakes, that's a hard thing to do no matter what they are. Also, what you've talked about is probably one of the most important discussions we could have. I once had a friend, who had known I was gay for a LONG time burst out and say, "but who's the girl?", as if she'd been holding that question in so long and finally couldn't stand it anymore and had to know. And after we got finished laughing and apologized for laughing at her, because she was truly ignorant and didn't know any better, we explained and I could tell that she immediately felt better. Not only did I feel ultimately better because I hadn't known that she didn't know that she was dealing with questions like this, but I think she felt better, because she didn't have to worry about making a mistake. She could simply speak up, and because it was all without malice, she could be forgiven for not knowing something she didn't have intimate knowledge of. Taking that leap in life and being vulnerable in such a case is hard, and I compliment her and you for being able to do that, no matter how long it takes. πŸ™‚


  25. DarienMoya says:

    I love the very last statement, and I often think about the same thing. Just the shame they will feel when they realize how assholish they were being.

  26. Anonymous says:

    You're learning, and so am I. We all are, gay or straight. It's part of being human. Great post.

  27. Unknown says:

    thank you for sharing this with us today. I think this is an important cause that needs the spotlight shining on it.


  28. Anonymous says:

    Love it! I totally agree that education would solve so many problems. The only hitch is that some people still refuse to evolve even in the face of facts. Hopefully in ten years things will have improved.

    geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

  29. This was beautiful and made me cry. I can definitely identify with some of your experiences.

    It took me a long time to work through my own ignorance – I was in my late teens when that stupid ass light bulb finally turned on and I realized that there is not a thing wrong with loving somebody regardless of their gender. At the age of 34 I have worked through a lot of that innocence but I still have my moments. Granted with me it might just be "foot in mouth" or "no-filter" syndrome.

    There are a number of people I can thank for puting up with my innocence and teaching me to be a better and smarter person. But two people in my life have had the most impact on me. I am grateful every day for one of my best friends that come out to me when we were in our early 20's. She had just met her future wife. They have both patiently put up with my foot in mouth moments for years. And do you know when I realized that I reached a milestone in my life? The day that my best friend's wife playfully hit on me. It made my day. Because at that point I realized that they had been holding back and finally, finally, we had reached that point in our relationship where they can tell me anything and I will get it. Yeah it makes me sad that it took so long for us to get there
    but boy am I happy we did.

    And there I go crying again. Damn it.

    And I just had to add – The Jeff/Colin fight is one of my favorite scenes ever. Colin had that first punch coming πŸ™‚


  30. Yvette says:

    Thanks for the wonderful post!

  31. Cherie Noel says:

    Amy of my heart… you know I love you bunches, and I love this story as much as any of your fiction. I know I make dumbassery look smart many a day… and all I can say is that I urge all my friends to educate me when I say stupid stuff. Love that you can see where you've come from, and how you (we all) can help make someone else's journey a wee bit easier. Go on with your badassed, big eyed innocent self. I pinky promise to tell you if I catch you being a dumbass, and only ask that you do the same for me.

  32. DecRainK says:

    We all learn as we go πŸ™‚

  33. Leaundra says:

    At least you learned and were willing to make changes. What I find sad is we need teachers like you to teach our children. If you get ride of all the teachers who truly get every student who are you going to have left.

  34. Mary G says:

    Thank you for your honesty. I sure
    your experiences are common ones but no less easy to experience. Here's to you helping educate the world.

  35. Michelle says:

    Go Amy! Love the way you express yourself. I wish everyone in the world would read you. Ignorance wouldn't stand a chance. Let's all be out there kickin’ homophobic butt!

    Michelle L

  36. Kim Fielding says:

    I think you and I are around the same age, so when we were kids nobody talked much about being gay, or if they did, it was assumed to be shameful. Nowadays, though, my kids are growing up in a world where being gay is a lot less of a big deal–to most people anyway–so they won't make the mistakes we did.


  37. Tami B says:

    What an awesome post and very enlightening. Thanks for sharing your experiences. tb-kindle@hotmail.com

  38. Thanks for having such a fantastic post. Thank you for taking part in this hop. Hearing everyone's experience so far has simply been amazing.

  39. wulf says:

    That was a fabulous post. Thanks for sharing with us your past mistakes and how you learned to grow past them.


  40. Galad says:

    One of the things I've always admired about you is your willingness to invite the rest of us in to your life and your inner world. Sometimes that sharing has been risky and taken great courage. You tell stories that entertain, teach and break our hearts.

    Thank you for a great post that speaks to our humanity, compassion and ability to grow.

  41. Foretta says:

    Thanks for participating in the hop. This is a great cause that I pray one day will not be needed.


  42. Jen says:

    That was a wonderful post thank you for sharing. I'm pretty ignorant about gay rights but I think I'm learning. I just never really had anyone around me that was gay (that I knew of) so gay rights or gay people in general were never really brought up. My family/friends were never homophobic it was just more of a non-issue.
    Reading all the posts on this blog hop has been a great learning experience for me!

    ineedtoread76 [at] gmail.com

  43. Unknown says:

    FANTASTIC post. It's nice to know there are others out there who aren't perfect. πŸ™‚


  44. sylvan65 says:

    Ok, you really rock! Thank you Amy!
    (ps. loved the photo with the finger!)


  45. Panda_04 says:

    Some people take time to deal with knowing others re gay and what it actually means. I have a 14 yr old neice and last yr when she was 13 the asked me to take her to the Gay pride parade in our town. I was extremely surprise that she would ask that because she had never expressed she was interested in that. I was shocked and proud, needless to say I couldnt take her because of a previous engagement but I was so proud, and we will be going this year.


  46. Rissa says:

    what a great post! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    raynman1979 at yahoo dot com

  47. Emily says:

    What an awesome, inspiring post! I like how you're honest and admit that you made mistakes. So many people are so in denial of how they treat others, it's refreshing to see someone who can admit they weren't perfect. Thanks so very much!!

    tiger-chick-1 (at) hotmail (dot) com

  48. Joanna says:

    You are so talking about my experience!

  49. Chris says:

    Thanks for sharing your journey. πŸ™‚

  50. Carla says:

    Great post Amy, thank you for sharing your experiences with us.


  51. B says:

    Beautiful! And I am so in love with the stop sign picture. I swiped it for my tumblr πŸ˜€
    Thank you for participating in the hop!
    bellaleone4 at gmail dot com

  52. nancy says:

    I commend you for your honesty. I look forward to the day when a majority of people turn away from their homophobic ways. I will be a better world for everyone.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Honesty and a desire to change is the only way to make a difference in the world.


  54. Peggy says:

    Great post, although I love all your posts!!


  55. L.M. Brown says:

    Brilliant post. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. Education and bringing things out to open is the only way things can change.

  56. Erica Pike says:

    Wow, sounds like you suffer from the same general foot-in-mouth disease as I do. God, I don't know how many people I've insulted because I just didn't consider what I was saying before I said it (and never meant anything in a demeaning way). I'm not talking about GLBTQ people here, just people in general. I've been trying to fix it by being more careful, but those who know me…well, know me.

    eripike at gmail dot com

  57. Ashley E says:

    An amazing post. Thank you for sharing! I still feel a bit too innocent some days… Sometimes it feels like nobody even wants to talk about it and that makes it even more difficult.


  58. Lisa says:

    Great post! As always, thank you for sharing your experiences with us.


  59. kelsey says:

    Do you know what makes it easier for people to admit they are dumb? When other people stand up and re-count their own dumbassery. Absolutely wonderful post. I can't admit to any dumbassery myself as both of my younger brothers are gay so it's just always been there. That's not to say I haven't seen stupid stuff from other people….I sure have. But luckily not from my parents or any of our extended family.

  60. gigi says:

    Interesting post. Thanks for participating in the HOP.


  61. Juliana says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your own experiences and for being part of the hop!

  62. Kimberly says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Yes, won't it be wonderful when we reach the day that sex ed includes the full range of human sexuality and gender identity and it's NO BIG DEAL? When everyone is free to marry the love of their life, and adopt or foster children if they wish?

    Toward that day ….

  63. Kimberly says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I too look forward to the day when sex ed includes the whole range of human sexuality and gender identity and it's NO BIG DEAL.

  64. amilyn says:

    Knowing a mistake and not continuing to make it is how we all improve. As a human being, you're always improving and you own up to your mistakes. Thanks for sharing your story!

    And the line in Steel Magnolias… even I find it funny cuz the grandson has one of the names and she wasn't in the convo to start with. If a gay person is offended by something harmless like that, then I can't laugh at fat jokes. Sometimes they ARE just harmless jokes, not intended to be cruel, but I guess everyone takes things differently.


  65. SusanR says:

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

    susanmik AT gmail DOT com

  66. Anonymous says:

    Homophobic Cyberstalking story of the Century can be read herehttp://homophobicdorsetpolice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/the-pre-meditated-and-manipulated-16th.html

  67. Manxkity says:

    Wonderful post my dear!
    I learned about the "gay thing" (what it was called at my high school in the late '70s early 80's) at 14 the first time I was asked out by another girl. I didn't get it then that it was an option. I remember being flattered but oh so not interested (I'm and Innie and I've always gone for the Outies) and my other friends freaking out. I don't remember what I said to her besides no.
    I think growing up in a multiracial family where when some asked if my Aunt was black I piped up with "no, she's brown." and when folks asked why my younger sister was so dark, did my mum marry a black man or my Da marry a black woman, we kids would all say (and still do nearly 40 years later) "It's genetics. We have the same parents." We didn't think it was anybody's business that she was adopted. She is my sister as much as my biological brother. My main ignorance was that everybody else thought it was "wrong" and I just didn't understand why when the folks in question were happy and a family.

    Color me an anomaly – Huggles


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