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What strikes me with the most fear and worry is not the adolescent, name-calling homophobes. Yes, part of it is a legitimate cultural sickness. But part of it is just being a guy. You make fun of anyone and anything. What worries me is the calculated and normative homophobia that mature and reasonable adults seem to carry in our society.
I know a guy. Let’s call him Fred. Fred is a sweet guy and he works hard. I often see him at the restaurant where he works and we tell each other Abou-El Abed jokes while I get my large and unhealthy order. But Fred is a homophobe. He often tells me how outraged he is when he sees gay couples. He once scolded two gay women who were kissing in their car while waiting for an order.
So I think you guys figured out the twist by now. Fred doesn’t like gay people. One time a friend of mine, let’s call him Alfred, walked with me to the restaurant. Actually there were other people, but Alfred is a gay dude. I wish I could include him based on his impersonations or witty social satire, but he’s in this yarn because he’s gay. Sorry Alfred. Anyway, then me and Fred start telling jokes. Suddenly Alfred jumps right in. He gets along with Fred and he laughs and tells his own jokes and we really enjoy ourselves.
So there was no breakthrough, there was no angelic glow we all basked in as Fred realized he was hating on guys just like Alfred for no good reason. But it showed me how homophobia is just something that exists in people’s consciousness. With even a little bit of logic they can get rid of it.
– Mazen Abdallah
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