Ask Damon: Am I homophobic as a result of I believe my homosexual in-law is impolite?


Hello Damon: My brother is getting married and my new sister-in-law requested me to be within the wedding ceremony social gathering. The opposite individuals on her facet are a cousin, just a few mates, and her brother “Charlie.” I’m uncomfortable saying this, however Charlie is a stereotypical homosexual man. Once we all went looking for coordinating apparel, I attempted on a costume and he instantly mentioned “Oh honey no, I refuse to be in a photograph with you in that costume.” I felt self-conscious attempting on clothes round Charlie.

I additionally really feel uncomfortable with how he makes use of language used to convey ladies down, like “witch” with a b and “slut.” The opposite bridesmaids discover him charming and pleasant; they’ve even mentioned that they’re so glad there may be “a homosexual” within the wedding ceremony. I by no means considered myself as such a stick within the mud till now, however I simply don’t click on with him.

Beside this wedding ceremony, I’m going to see Charlie rather a lot as our households come collectively so I’m going to must be taught to cope with him. Do I simply ignore it when he talks bluntly about weight? Let it go when he calls me a witch? Or is there a manner I can ask him to verify it somewhat with out coming throughout as a homophobe?

Bridesmaid: So, let’s simply get this out of the way in which: I’d fear much less, if I have been you, about “coming throughout” as a homophobe and extra about “being a homophobe.” Since you are one.

Now, homophobia, like each different bias, exists on a spectrum. You’ve your violent homophobes, who use excuses like faith, their idea of morality, or their difficult emotions about their very own sexuality, to perpetuate hate. Nothing out of your letter signifies I’m describing you.

Then there are individuals who maybe don’t carry any acutely aware private animus towards queer individuals, however have internalized unfavourable and reductive stereotypes about them, and I believe that is the place you exist. To be clear, I’m not suggesting you may have some homophobic tendencies simply since you’re off-put by your soon-to-be brother-in-law’s conduct. As a substitute, I’m saying it’s since you imagine he’s performing like a “stereotypical homosexual man,” when there isn’t a such factor.

It feels … rudimentary to even kind this out, however not each homosexual man is like Nathan Lane in “The Birdcage.” Some are. Most aren’t. The conduct you may have an issue with isn’t “homosexual male” conduct. Out of your description, he’s a ordinary boundary-stepper who additionally simply occurs to be homosexual. You’re completely justified to inform him his language and his feedback about your trend sense have offended you. This doesn’t must be an enormous manufacturing, both. Simply name him on the telephone or invite him to espresso and discuss to him.

And who is aware of? Possibly this’ll be a bonding second for you two. It’s not unusual for individuals who’ve had underwhelming first impressions of one another to grow to be shut after getting actual. However even when that’s not within the playing cards for you, you must get previous this anachronistic stereotype, for the queer individuals you occur to satisfy, and on your personal well-being.

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