I was watching All Aboard! Rosie’s Family Cruise a while back – a documentary about Rosie O’Donnell’s gay family cruises. In the film they interviewed various people, including the mother of a woman who had accompanied her daughter on this cruise in a show of support.
The mother was saying how her husband had refused to come on the cruise because he just could not accept that their daughter was a lesbian and he was “hurt” by the fact that she was.
It made me angry. But it wasn’t what the mother was saying about the father that angered me, it was the self-loathing look of the daughter. She stood there with her head slightly hung, listening to her mother defend her homophobic father.
I have a real problem with self-loathing queers. I cannot stand the politician or Christian leader who has railed against homosexuality only to be “outed” as homosexual themselves.
I realized, however, that my reasons for being angry with self-loathing queers was because I was once a self-loathing queer.
In my early twenties I was secretly going to the gay bars in Calgary with my equally closeted male roommate. Neither of us even admitted to each other that we were gay – we wanted to go to these bars because they had the best music. At least that was the lie we told ourselves.
Most of my life everyone assumed I was gay. They never assumed anything else so I dated men and eventually married one and I even said to myself, this will prove that I am not gay. Yes, I was self-loathing.
Now I am learning not to beat up that twenty-something person I used to be.
I made choices that I thought were best for me at that time. Calgary in the early 1980’s was not a great place to be gay. AIDS had appeared and society looked at it like it was the “gay” disease. Homophobia was rampant and this was not a climate I even wanted to consider embracing my sexuality.
I have become the polar opposite of the self-loathing queer. I am now a very out and proud lesbian. I openly show affection for my spouse in public and dare anyone to look askance at us.
It will be nice to someday see a world where we don’t have to feel this way. It will be nice when being gay won’t be so outside the norm where a kid will be able to say, “I am gay,” and it will be okay.
The All Aboard! film was pro gay and I am sure the part that irritated me would not have been noticed by many.
Maybe that is the point. Change takes time and things have gotten better. O’Donnell’s film can be made and shown on HBO, and those who still oppose gay marriage must realize that nothing dastardly has happened to society because gay marriage is now a reality.
There was a time in our recent history when women were denied the vote because men assumed they were too incapable of having such a responsibility. Giving women the vote would be the downfall of society they thought. Today this seems so ridiculous, even laughable.
Some day in the future the way society looked at gay people may seem just as ridiculous. I hope.