This may end up being tl;dr and rather unstructured but these thoughts have been in my ahead for a long time and wanted to share them anonymously with people my age.
I have spent my 18 years of life in middle-class suburbia but perhaps surprisingly with all the anti-discrimination laws, etc. I have been brought up with the idea that there is something wrong with being gay. It is not abhorrent, it will not cause you mass-hatred but if you are gay then this is inferior to being straight. I am pretty sure that my upbringing is similar to the majority of TSR's readership and I'd be surprised if this feeling was not shared by many others.
Why have I developed this notion? Well basically it's been subtly ingrained in me my entire life. My parents are not anti-gay. They think the gay couple down the street are hilarious and Graham Norton is great entertainment but having a gay son? No way. Gay people are not quite right. They are eccentric, camp and unmanly.
At school is perhaps where the view that being gay is acceptable but undesirable is mostly enforced. I have had teachers make disparaging remarks about gays, light-hearted, throwaway comments that nobody can find offensive. Insults like ****** and heaps of other homophobic slurs are just so standard amongst teenagers and will never ever be reprimanded in classrooms. The Inbetweeners is such an awesome example of how it's OK to insinuate there's something wrong with being gay. I know that to bash this show is considered heresy by most people my age and no doubt you think "stop being so quick to be offended, these are clearly just immature, harmless jokes". Yeah clearly the show isn't explicitly homophobic but it does clearly imply being gay is something to make fun of someone for. It's just not the right way to be. And obviously the most harmless and omnipresent one of all "argh that's so gay", again you probably have no issue with people being gay but it still implies that to be this way is incorrect. The small things add up.
Then of course you just have the plain old gay-hate from many uneducated people. Again it is super normal in schools for people to explicitly express hatred to gay people. Proper full on abuse is common and I think nobody in my year at school would openly say they were gay. To do so was close to suicide and just not something you can do. At my school anyway this explicit hatred was far less common but still prevalent. It's been basically non-existent at sixth form though.
Kind of linked ishomophobia in football. Yeah you basically can't be gay or you are hated and nobody will want you to play for them. Simple as that. I could probably find more examples but in some areas of life you simply can't be gay without facing a torrent of abuse.
What I wrote this for though is just this omnipotent kind of assumption that being gay is a character flaw. I have felt it my entire life. It's just a far from ideal way of life. It's such a weird paradox between the explicitly liberal view of gay equality and the implied belief that it is something that slightly detracts from you and is not to be desired.
The comparison between racism and homophobia is pretty funny too. Racism is just snap unacceptable in a lot of society. Call someone the n word on here and expect a quick permaban, call someone a fag and nobody will mind. I could expand but having that comparison in mind when looking at this topic is kind of funny how hypocritical we are. Black footballers not tolerated? What? I know these two things are different beasts and not 100% comparable but still thought it was worth noting.
I do wish I was more articulate but I think that's quite a lot of the thoughts I've collected about the whole thing. I wonder how people see things changing in 50 years? Do we just like making fun of people who are different too much for this stuff to ever go away fully?
Implicit anti-gay feeling in 21st century Britain Watch
- Thread Starter
- 24-12-2010 20:31
- 24-12-2010 20:35
I.... I just can't be bothered.
- 24-12-2010 20:36
I don't think you could have been more articulate, this is a really well thought out article.
I don't like to think about it, but you are completely right, as you say the modern family in Britain are not actively anti-gay, even like gay people, but would not want to be associated with being gay, or their children being gay.
It's a sad truth of our society still, but I think this can still apply to many other lifestyles, and may never go away.
- 24-12-2010 20:38
I think the problem is more of an anti-different feeling than specifically anti-gay. Most people just out right hate difference, thats why schools dont teach: 'gay/black/disabled is ok', they teach: 'gay/black/disabled makes no difference'.
I suppose its a fluke of evolution.Last edited by morecambebay; 24-12-2010 at 20:40.
- 24-12-2010 20:39
Please can you give us a summary, it is Christmas after all?