Today I’m taking part in the Hop against Homophobia. As we try and bring about more understanding in the world please share links with your friends and family to this blog and others on the hop. Help get the word out. Help us open more minds. Follow the link in the image below to the complete list of blogs participating in the hop.
Acceptance can be one of the hardest things to find, either in ourselves and or other people. I suppose I’m one of the lucky ones as most people I’ve known have accepted me warts, glitter and all. This is not to say that I haven’t faced my share of homophobia, but it’s not something that I face on a daily basis. As a very masculine man with a nice butch husband, most people don’t realize that I’m gay, unless I say something, or until I tell them. I like it that way.
Years ago, when I was just coming to terms with being gay, I had a very good friend who helped me through my self-acceptance and helped shape me into the well rounded person I am today. For several years, she was like a second mother to me. She explained something that she called the green monkey syndrome, which today I can think of other more appropriate terms for it, but we’ll stick with her terms. The green monkey syndrome is this. Monkeys will kill any of their own kind that they deem as different than themselves, but the catch is, monkeys are color blind. So, until a monkey comes out and says they’re a green monkey, all the monkeys will think everyone is brown. Unfortunately once the green monkey makes their presence known, the other monkeys jump on him and kill him.
Unlike racial differences, for the most part being gay is an invisible minority that is only noticed when we draw attention to ourselves. I use this to my advantage. Folks can’t spot me as gay either by my appearance or my actions. I mean things such as, I don’t like to do auto repair , but can get my hands greasy when I have to. But I make it work. Most folks get to know me before they find out that I’m gay. And by getting to know me they love me. I make a point to be the best person I can be. I avoid being stereotyped in any way. Although some of my friends like teasing me about “every so often the gay just shines through” This is fine.
As a writer, I like to carry this mentality over to the characters I write. I’ve had some “formula” writers tell me there’s not enough drama in my gay couples, that real people have more personal conflict than I portray. My reply there is that I’m trying to give a good example of what gay couples can be. I want to show stable, loving couples. I’ve received several reviews thanking me for showing men who are obviously gay, but not going overboard in the drama or sexuality, giving them a read closer to their own lives. That’s the point of my writing, and my life, quiet acceptance, one friend, or reader at a time. Slow quiet acceptance in the end gets better results than massive change forced on people. Spend more time showing people how you are the same as they are as opposed to how you are different. Build relationships on understanding and likeness, then your differences simply add spice to life and you’ll be surprised how people react. Over time, I’ve only lost a couple of so called friends when they found out I was gay. Because in the end they know me for who I am, and what I am doesn’t matter. Some people are surprised that my lover’s father, a hardcore cowboy/mountain man accepts us, but he knows who I am, and loves me like his own son. We’ve often discussed how if I were a stereotype flaming gay, that wouldn’t be the case. Blending in can be very important to finding acceptance. Don’t stand around screaming about how you’re different, join in and show how you are the same, and you’ll be surprised how quickly people’s minds change. Fight for acceptance one person at a time. If we all do this, pretty soon homophobia will a thing of the past. I hope everyone enjoys the blog hop and does their part to help bring about acceptance.
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