This week in school, I found out some things about my peers’ POVs on LGBTQ+. And they were slightly surprising. I mean, lots of people use “gay” as an adjective to describe anything weird or strange or gross or scary or anything of the like. So I already knew that a) they don’t really understand how to properly sue the word “gay” and b) they [probably] don’t really like gay people.
One thing I learned is that some people—even some who are my good friends—are very homophobic. They think that you get to choose to be gay or lesbian or whatever. And they think it’s gross and unnatural. One of the reasons that I think people think this is that they’re uninformed. Maybe friends who have never known someone who was gay told them these things, and they decided it was right. Maybe their parents are uninformed or just very anti-gay. Whatever the reason, many people are homophobic, and it broke my heart to learn this.
It was during design class. I was telling my friend about my new novel because she’d read the first twenty-five pages and wanted to know if I’d written more. The boy next to me overheard and asked me what it was about. I described the main characters to him and the extremely basic root of the plot. Afterward, he kind of grimaced and said something along the lines of, “That’s weird. Having a gay character.” I proceeded to inform him that Jack was bisexual, not gay, which he still thought was weird. I asked him why he thought so and he said it was “gross” for two people of the same gender to be kissing. He said he didn’t like gay people and all that stuff.
I lectured him for a moment, and he kind-of-not-really listened. Then my friend who is a 120% ally came over and joined in. We had to go to our next class, and as we waited outside, I heard a few of my friends near me discussing how of course people choose to be gay.
UMMM. What the heck???
The second thing that happened went a little something like this. We were playing basketball in PE and I was “subbed out.” [Which means that we have too many players so one has to stay on the sidelines and switch out.] One girl whom I know and talk to was also subbed out, so we talked while they played. After a little bit of chatting, she told me about something really funny that has happened today.
Apparently, this one boy was walking around with his hands crossed over his chest [I don’t even know why] and someone had said that he was transgender and was covering up his breasts. And then someone joked that he was on his period. I know I should have said something, but I was kind of speechless at the sheer horridness of this, and I just kind of nodded and smiled a little and turned away to watch the basketball game. The girl was still chuckling to herself.
I’m not transgender. I’m not claiming to know exactly how trans people feel. However, not only am I an ally, I am writing a book in the POV of a transgender person, and this hit me kind of hard. People are now joking that others are transgender, and scorning them for it?