Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia

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!!!!!THE WINNER OF MY GIVEAWAY IS JULIANA!!!!!!

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Today is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and to help spread word and bring people into awareness of the issues the LGBTQ writing community, including authors, publishers, and cover artist, have banded together on this amazing blog hop. This list is impressive (see end of post for whole list)

So when I signed up for this blog hop I was really unsure what exactly I was going to do my post about. There are so many issues out there that in regards to homo/transphobia I was sort of left scratching my head.

Enter real life example.

As some of you know my EDJ (evil day job) deals directly with the public. I’m a supervisor of people who are supposed to provide customer service. Excellent customer service to anyone

Well one afternoon one of my associates, a man in his mid-forties, was gabbing to everyone who could hear when a customer approaches. She’s tall, broad- shouldered, made up, and obviously transgender. As soon as she walks away the cutting remarks started. I’m sure you’ve all heard something similar “did you see that?” “I don’t understand! You’re a dude that means you don’t put on make up and strut around in women’s panties”, etc, etc.

I was appalled.

For the first few comments I could only look at this person in shock. I mean really, how could someone be so insensitive?

After a few more comments he turned to me and asks, “am I right?”, looking for support for his views. I couldn’t believe it.

Really?

He’s fishing for me to pump my fist in the air and proclaim his opinion right?

Wrong.

I calmly looked at him and told him, “actually I think she looked great.” (And she did but that’s off topic)

He looked at me in shock before exclaiming “I’m sorry, she? That thing was born with the wrong plumbing to be called a she. I don’t care what they say.”

You’ve heard an argument like this before right? Purely based on the biology of a person? Heard someone referring to a transgendered person as a thing rather than a person?

I was stunned. Stunned but not enough so to not state my position. I calmly looked at him, told him I respected his personal beliefs but had to wholeheartedly disagree. It’s not about whether a person is born male or female. It’s not about the name, gender roles, and expectations our society gives them at birth. It’s about who they are. It’s about who they identify themselves with. I don’t care what their birth certificate says or what’s going on between their legs. What kind of human beings are we to deny recognizing a person as who and what they are in their very core?

Who was this man to ridicule not only the woman (yes there were words said over my referring to her as a woman) who came into the store, but a whole group of people? He justified himself by saying “Look, I don’t have anything agains gays, I’m not homophobic. I volunteered for things, worked security for their Pride parades. I don’t care what they do behind closed doors I just don’t want them rubbing my face in it.”

How, exactly, is a woman being comfortable with who she is rubbing his face in anything? I asked him this and his response was, again, how wrong it was. *shakes head* I knew nothing I could say would convince him to open his mind, even a little, on the subject.

I had so many arguments for his close minded view. Who’s to say she was “gay”? And even if she likes men it would, to her, most likely make her straight. Slippery slope with this guy and I could have spent the rest of they day trying to explain it to him. But it would have been like banging my head against a brick wall.

There is such a gap in understanding between the community and people like this man I work with. A gap that can’t be closed until a dialog is opened up and those who don’t understand, by choice or ignorance, are willing to hear what the LGBTQ community has to say. Sadly, until then scenes like this will continue to play out everywhere. Men and women will continue to get funny looks, be on the receiving end of cutting remarks, and bullied for trying to make their outside match what’s always been on the inside.

Now your reward for listening to me rant!

Every stop on the hop is offering a giveaway. I’m giving away an eBook copy (any format) of my novella Homecoming.

How do you win? Just leave a comment with your email (Sally at gmail dot com) and I’ll use random.com to pick a winner at the end of the hop.

As my son would say, easy peasy.

***additon***

I stumbled across this post this morning at the Bilerico Project and had to share it. It asks, and attempts to answer the bigger question here: why do people hate what they don’t understand. In this case it’s the transgender community but I think it can be applied to the issue of homo/trans/biphobia. Click here to read.

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24 thoughts on “Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia

  1. This is very moving for me. Just lost my sister who was a lesbian. I miss her so much. She and her partner were not allowed to get married in our state which broke my heart. Love is love, that’s it plain and simple. No matter what people said to her about being with someone of the same sex she proudly held her head up. She was a great inspiration to all of us. This is a wonderful blog post and hop ❤
    kittyissweet@gmail.com

  2. I love that you had the ability to respond in the moment. And as much as you felt unable to change that man’s mind, the simple act of speaking up and speaking out against that sort of willfully ignorant behavior does open the very dialog you say needs to be started. Perhaps not with that man, but if there were others around you who were truly ignorant of transgender issues? Well, you made sure they got to hear the rebuttal to his tranphobic slurs. Thank you for that, and for sharing it with us here.

    • I have a very good friend who’s transgender so this subject takes on a personal aspect for me. She’s one of the most beautiful people I know, both inside and out, but because of being transgender she’s had to deal with so much negativity. Recently that’s extended to her job. She almost got fired because someone mentioned her status on a social media site and her boss found out. I can’t fathom this being a sound reason to threaten her job, but it’s usually the subtlety of trans/homophobia that catches us the most off guard.

  3. Ray

    Your blog post’s conclusion is really worth being read by all homophobic. It’s an ultimate realization. Jointly everyone must try to do away with the gap that exists in our society, and in the lives of so many LGBT people.

  4. suze294

    lets hope he a niggle took root in his brain so that he thinks before acting next time, or that some one else calls him on it if he relates the tale again (no doubt including the mad woman in his office!!!)
    All we can do is try to put reasonableness across to such people

    littlesuze at hotmail dot com

  5. Rissa

    (Easy Peasy) Lemon Squeezy!

    Thanks so much for being a part of the hop and sharing with us!
    raynman1979(at)yahoo(dot)com

  6. michelle

    Wow, congrats on keeping your cool. I’m not sure I could have (but I’m trying to be better). Thanks for the post.
    MHupp20032003(at)yahoo(dot)com

  7. Penumbra

    Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth arguing with someone who’s mind is set. They clearly don’t what to be open-minded and it feels like a waste of air, explaining the facts to them. The thing is, they don’t see that they look and sound like idiots when they make those statements.

    penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. sherry1969

    Talking to some people is like talking to a wall. I enjoyed your post. Thanks for being part of the hop.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  9. It’s sad how some people are so eager to state their opinions to strangers, despite how rude they are. You handled yourself very well for that situation. Why do you think people do that?

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