It took me the longest time to understand that two same sex people falling in love and expressing affection was considered something out of the ordinary. Maybe my lack of social interaction or just the topic never coming up in the conversations I had with friends and family, I never realized that for some people it’s something uncomfortable and they looked down upon it. Until I grew up to be 16 or 17, I was once sitting in class having a conversation with one of my friends, and they looked at a teacher and said ‘gay lagta hai yeh’ (‘ he seems to be gay’) and they laughed it off, so did I. In my mind I thought that was something said in light humor and not to mock the teacher. In some previous 2-3 months to this incident, I had seen TV shows and some movies with some gay jokes but none of them was actually insulting being homosexual. They were all simple comedy scenes intended to make people laugh, just like there were scenes for straight people or bisexual people.
Then, slowly I started realizing that some of the people who were referring to this teacher as a gay man, were actually making fun of him. Then came college and as freshers, we were invited to some party by the seniors that said ‘couples would be given free entry’. Now one of my female friends wanted to go to the party but she was feeling let down because according to her, she had no +1 to go with. Me, not being much of a party person was not going to attend but jokingly said ‘take me as your partner’. But then expecting to hear ‘I thought you were not going’ instead, I heard ‘Eww. No! lesbians and gays are not acceptable in our society’. So I asked if it were okay with the society you would take me? She said ‘No, I am not a weirdo, not some gay person.’
Now that I had started realizing that there are more homophobic people than I ever thought there were, all those big celebrations of gay marriage becoming legal all over the USA started making sense to me. I finally understood why it was such a big deal. I started wondering what the shame and problem related to it was, but I couldn’t figure it out and still can’t.
Also, the maybe effeminate behavior of some men sometimes leads to big cases of mockery, ridicule, and presumptions of that person being gay. The same goes for ‘not normal’ behavior of women. Now we are the ones who set boundaries of what body language should the genders follow and they are not hard and fast rules. So some people have a different style of walking, talking hand gesturing from what is ‘considered’ normal and that doesn’t make them any subject of laughs.
It’s also true that a lot of pf people do not intend to insult anyone by calling them gay and just pass on some comments in light humor, which the person at whom it’s targeted also takes it as a joke. And that’s okay and how it should be. But if it is being conveyed as an insult or something disgusting, there is a problem. How people choose to live their lives, as a gay, lesbian, straight, bi, asexual and other orientations is totally up to them and to be honest, no one else’s business. Frankly, no is hurting or interfering anyone’s lives by being homosexual and so in my opinion, why mind how and what they are? We are all humans all equally capable of possessing different skills, talents, being good friends, family, relatives, and professionals.
If you are inching towards being homophobic, stop for a second or two, think why and you will discover there’s no good reason. Live and let live! Peace.