Homophobes that are close to me: how should I consider them?

There are some who believe that people who are against gays and gay rights are bad people and deserve no respect.

As a gay man, how am I to relate to or consider my parents, relatives (including cousins my age), and friends of my parents, who are against gays and gay rights but otherwise are wonderful, caring, forgiving, selfless people?

WRS

Are you in or out of the closet with respect to your family? If the former, fake being straight.

BTW, not all who are against gays and gay rights are homophobes. Some don’t fear homosexuality, but merely see it as sinful and perverse. Personally, I don’t feel it is any of my damn business what other consenting adults do with each other in bed. Thus, outside of my own sex life, I consider homosexuality irrelevant.

I’m in the closet when it comes to others. My siblings know. Most of my friends know. Other than that, I’m not out (except for on here).

(What’s funny is that when it comes to relatives, I also hide the fact I’m a Republican. I’m in the closet, politically, with gay friends. So many closets!)

WRS

In that case WRT your family, you might want to stay in the closet. You don’t necessarily have to lie and say you are straight. Just make it seem like at the moment you have little interest in sex, and other things are more important to you. Curious that your family are both anti-gay and anti-Republican. Usually lefties are at least tolerant of gays.

Thanks!

They’re anti-Republican for the same reason they’re anti-gay: they’re quite rooted in South Asian Muslim culture. Republicans are seen as war-mongering, anti-Muslim, Christian fundamentalist fanatics. Gays are seen (at least in our circles) as immoral, hedonistic, promiscuous, anti-God (so because, they believe, gays are obviously consciously going against God’s clear laws and society’s essential standards), anti-family, dishonorable perverts.

My other concern is: are they bad people because they’re so intolerant?

WRS

Ignorant at worst I’d say… prejudice unfortunately is “normal”.
They would be bad if they on purpose hunt down or hound gays. Being active about your prejudices is “bad”.

Sorry to hear your a Republican… :wink:

Eh. I would hesitate very much to label people in this way…they just sound (like most people) as if they’re very much products of their culture. In other words, it wouldn’t be at all unreasonable for a kid of Jerry Falwell’s to hate gay people–they grew up in an environment in which that was encouraged–and it’s not at all unreasonable of me not to hate gay people–I grew up in an environment in which that was encouraged. I’m not saying you should be pleased that they feel this way, but it’s useful to remember that there may be valid reasons why they do.

And I’m fairly sure you don’t want this to turn into a giant coming-out!advice thread, but…do you want to? Like, at all? I know that some folks feel that Honesty is Paramount, whereas other folks are very private people who don’t want to share their sex lives/sexual inclinations with anyone whatsoever. If the latter, then you’re golden, but if the former…how bad would it be if you did come out? Would they go so far as to disown you, say? My friends/relatives who are homophobic only seem to be so in a fairly mild, nonvicious way, and I’m sure they’d eventually accept it if someone near and dear to them came out. But then you have the folks who are so virulently anti-gay that it would be foolhardy to broach the topic at all…

Well, I’m not going to come out to them. That much is final. No good will come from it. I have enough on my plate to worry about.

I’m just wondering about where they would stand on the morality scale.

WRS

Personnally, I believe the moral scale tips towards physical and economic survival, not pointing out that you follow the tradition of some of the muslim world greatist poets.

(For those who might be whoosed: Just as in europe, there were one heck of a lot of homosexual folks among the annals of islamic poetry.)

I’d really have to say what I’ve said a thousand times that if people are genuine and true, and they are “against gay rights”, then probably they’re not homophobes. If they’re “against gays”, perhaps, but how does that “againstness” manifest itself? Refusing to shake their hands, refusal to talk to them, refusal to hire them. If not, then you might wish to consider whether you’re shoving them in the right pre-packaged box.

That’s a tad on the extreme side of subjectiveness, wouldn’t you say? I guess it depends on where you regard the actions (or, in this case, the ideology/thoughts) of people that stem out of ignorance. To me, in most cases of the developed world, being ignorant is the lifestyle that hurts people. It is a conscious decision made by individuals with little regard to other people. To me, that’s being irresponsible. It hurts people. It’s immoral.

But as with all such things, I try to minimize the anger, but end up sad at the other side of the scale. Oh, what’s one to do?

Can we please dispense with the mistaken belief that homophobia means only fear of homosexuals? It doesn’t, and it irritates me when people use such a narrow definition that fails completely to accord with the term’s meaning. Bolding in the following quotations is mine.

From Merriam-Webster online:

From Dictionary.com:

From the Oxford English Dictionary (no link):

Also from the OED:

Ahh…I was thinking of the US idea of a religious conservative. With the US idea, being a Christian fundamentalist fanatic who sees gays as “immoral, hedonistic, promiscuous, anti-God (so because, they believe, gays are obviously consciously going against God’s clear laws and society’s essential standards), anti-family, dishonorable perverts” is the ideal for a religious conservative. These are the core values they embrace.

There is some disagreement about the definition. Personally, I reject the definition that it includes more than fear. If that is what you mean, then make it clear.

Are you financially dependent on your parents?

I’m a firm believer in being as out as possible (though I have a Fundamentalist sister who doesn’t know because my mother asked me not to tell her), but this is an extremely important consideration. Most of the people whose opinions I have changed did so because of knowing me- “He’s queer and he’s a good person… and if he’s a good person… hmmm… maybe they ain’t so bad after all…”

I don’t believe that being anti gay-marriage and makes one a bad person, just a bit of an ideologue perhaps (many gays are against gay marriage). Being against workplace non-discrimination acts is a bit more serious on the prejudice meter imo, but not necessarily homophobic. Homophobia is a zealous irrational bigotry where gays are concerned rather than the low-grade “ick, their relationships aren’t as important as ours” sentiment; to me, true homophobes are people who identify as straight but are as or more obsessed with the subject of gay rights as most gays are (though obviously on a different side): Jerry Falwell, Paul Cameron, Anita Bryant, James Dobson, etc…

Anti-homosexual and anti-Republican, eh? At least they’re even handed, are your folks.

I’m just wondering about where they would stand on the morality scale.

WRS
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Since this is a great debate:

Do you think that people who believe homosexuality is wrong are immoral? And I don’t mean homophobes.

Why is everyone supposed to say “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

This had been touched on, by me (then known as bodswood) and others in a number of threads, most notably this one.

I, for one, don’t wish to go over the same ground, given how energy-copnsuming it is and especially given the fact that a written record of the debate exists as a text to refer to.

I wanted to know what WeRSauron thought.

I didn’t know it was not debatable any more.

I don’t really see being wrong as a moral issue one way or the other. I see people who are wrong as mistaken or misinformed or perhaps even cognitively deficient or intellectually lazy, but morality would seem more based on actions than thought (I know, “en verbe, en opera, en cogitatione”, but that never made sense either).