When I was younger, I really didn’t understand why men were gay. I just couldn’t comprehend how a man could be attracted to another man. In fact, I use to joke around that I felt sorry for women, just because men are so disgusting. Then I would add, if I was a women, I could see being gay, because women are so beautiful.
So for many years, I was very ignorant about the subject. I would laugh and put down gay people. Mainly just as a defense mechanism because I didn’t understand what it meant to be gay. Also, it must have been ingrained in me that being gay was evil and that gay men would prey on anyone of the same sex. If I even thought someone was gay, I would stay far away or do everything I could to put this man down to prove that I wasn’t gay.
Then one day, a couple of my close friends invited me to go hang out. I was horrified when I got there and realized that most of the people at this house were gay. I quickly put up my defenses and left. The whole ride home, I joked on all the people in the house and criticized my friends for putting me in that messed up situation. To be honest it was my first real encounter with gay people. I mean, growing up there were people that I expected might be gay, but like I said, I stayed far away from anyone that might be remotely gay.
So a few weeks passed and I had forgotten the whole incident. I was invited to go to the Rocky Horror Picture Show, which I had loved going to ever since I was 16(I was around 20 at this point). In Virginia Beach, the movie is completely different than in Fairfax(where I used to go and watch the midnight movie). In Fairfax, everyone hung-out on the floor in front of the screen and just did whatever they pleased. Well, in Virginia Beach there were actors portraying each character that actually acted out each scene on a stage in front of the screen. Other people participated, but mostly from their own seats. It wasn’t the free for all that Fairfax was.
So one of my best friends was offered a roll as Rocky. I couldn’t wait to go. It had been a few years since I had gone, so I jumped at the chance to go. Well, when we got there I was in shock to find out that most of the cast were the same gay guys that were at the house. I tried to keep my composure, but all I could think of was “Is my friend Gay? Oh my God, what do I do now?” I was freaking out. All this time, I was afraid of gay people and it turns out that my friend is one of them….this just can’t be!!! So I asked him what he was doing with all these gay people. He kind of laughed and told me to relax. Then he wanted to know what my problem was, hadn’t I ever been around Gay people before. I boldly told him no and that I didn’t ever planning on being around them either!!! I did slowly start going over to the “Gay House” as I called it, but I was never comfortable doing so.
A few months went by and one of the guys that started hanging around with us was a black guy that was really feminine. He was very open about being gay. It took me a while to get to the point that I could even talk to him, in fact one time we were in the kitchen and he was like “There is something in your hair…I would get it out, but I’m afraid you might hit me.” I told him, yeah don’t even think about touching me!! He just kinda laughed and asked me why a guy that is 6’ 2’ 185lbs is so scared of a guy that is barely 5’ 7” 120lbs. I told him, I am not comfortable around gay people. I will say that, I was one to always say what I felt. I figured if I am going to say something about someone, I am going to say it to them first.
After hanging out a few times, I got comfortable enough around him to actually hold a conversation with him. I started asking him why he was gay. I wanted to know why he didn’t just “try” to be with women. He told he had tried to be with women many times and it was just gross to him. Then he put it into a perspective for me that just clicked. He said “You know how you look at another man and are not attracted to them at all, well when I look at a women I feel the exact same way.”
Over the years we became really good friends. I did actually find out that he liked me, but I will say he always respected the fact that I wasn’t gay. Honestly, the only thing he ever did in the manner of hitting on me was, after I moved back to the beach while trying to kick heroin, he ask me if I had ever thought about letting other guys blow me for money. Which I said no, and that was it. I’ll even go so far as to admit, I was kinda flattered when I learned that he had a little crush on me.
I had heard for a long time that homophobic people are that way because they are secretly GAY. So for the longest time, I questioned myself ”Could I really be gay?” Then I realized, I never have cared what other people think about me or who or what I am. My looks and actions go against everything that is considered normal. If I was gay, I would be proud to be gay. It would just be another explanation into why I was always so different.
I was homophobic because it was something I didn’t understand and wouldn’t try to understand. I was never taught by my parents to be prejudice, they always taught me to respect and honor everyone, no matter who or what they were. I’m pretty sure my ignorance came from the people I hung out with when I was younger, we always joked on and about gay people, so I thought it was wrong and disgusting. Once I understand what being gay was about though, I was never homophobic again.
I realized that it is so unfair to try to change someone into something they were never meant to be. Not is it only unfair to them, but trying to force a person that is gay into a heterosexuality relationship is so unfair to the other person too. I mean how many times have you heard stories about people that were married and had kids, then years later one of them comes out and the family is left devastated? This isn’t fair to anyone.
The way I see it, if someone is lucky enough to find some in this messed up world that they connect with, then they should hold on to them as long as they can. No one should be able to tell them they are wrong!!! Just like it isn’t natural for a straight person to be expected to be gay. It isn’t natural for someone gay to try to be straight. Being gay isn’t a choice!!!! Gay people aren’t trying to force straight people to be gay. SO STRAIGHT PEOPLE SHOULDN’T BE TRYING TO FORCE GAY PEOPLE TO BE STRAIGHT!!!!