Monday, February 15, 2010

'Homophobia Hurts Straight People Too'

"I think homophobia is an important issue because of the effect it has on straight people. Homophobia is literally and figuratively killing our youngsters - especially young, straight boys," writes openly gay former NBA basketball player, John Amaechi.

"In school, for a boy, being clever and interested in academia is gay, being kind and thoughtful is gay, being respectful to a parent, authority figure or woman is gay. For a man, being sexually considerate - that is, not sleeping with everything female that moves - is gay. Having non-sexual friendships with women is gay. Being nurturing and considerate is gay. Having a friend who is gay, is gay. Choosing not to drink until you puke is gay. In football, even reading the guardian or using words with more than three syllables is gay. We still socially reinforce industrial revolution-style gender identity on our boys and men so that to be a "real man" you must be the opposite of anything even remotely considered feminine. We wonder why violence against women is rising? Why our boys run away from academic pursuits in school? Why they rebel against authority and steel themselves from the true expression of emotion despite the consequences?"