Some years ago I took an "Anger Management" class due to some apparent issues my boss at the time thought I had. LOL I don't even remember what I did. Either it was blacked-out of my memory or it was so insignificant to me that it doesn't matter and therefore my brain dismissed it. Whatever the reason, the event is gone but the memory of taking the class still sticks with me. Why? Because I remember the teacher saying that anger is a secondary emotion. He said, "Anger never comes first. Anger," he explained, "is a byproduct of another emotion. Anger results from fear."
Fear is what I believe fuels the fires of so many wars.
Fear of the unknown keeps people trapped in their safe little sub-divisions. The world seems like a big scary place and huddling in one's own two-story colonial with its white picket fence and a dog in the back yard is comforting. We don't want to know about the wars oversees. We don't want to know about the killings in a neighboring city; we like safe, we cling to warm and fuzzy. But the problem is that the world is an ugly place. People are shot for a pair of shoes! So while homophobia is disturbing, it should not be surprising. Yet it is, because people choose to wear painted glasses that make the world out to be full of love. Wake up, people. The world is not over-flowing with chocolate fountains of love. It's full of hatred and FEAR!
When I was growing up, there were gunshots down the street. It wasn't a safe neighborhood, but I was okay. One day my brother (younger than myself) came home crying. Some kids shoved him off his bike WHILE HE WAS RIDING IT and stole it out from under him. Lucky for him, two other kids were playing basketball nearby and saw what happened. They knew my brother and came to his rescue. They ran after the guys who stole the bike and took it back for him. This was an act of kindness in retaliation to the act of violence. Why did they take it in the first place? I don't know. People always want what others have. Success, popularity, wealth, clothes, chickens, a published novel, you name it. I think they get angry and blame society for the fact that they don't have it-whatever IT is. But what is lurking under the surface of of covetousness? I propose it is FEAR. Perhaps the kids who stole my brother's bike feared never having one of their own, perhaps from poverty, and decided to act out of hatred and anger to get what they desired.
I am being philosophical to make a point. FEAR drives people to do any number of things. And I believe people are homophobic out of fear. They don't understand someone's attraction to the same sex and they see it as a disease. On Wikipedia it defines Homophobia as: "a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards homosexuality or people who are identified as or perceived as being LGBT. Definitions refer variably to antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, and irrational fear." I like that last bit "irrational fear." What fears ARE rational? Fear of bees? Fear of heights? But fear of a homosexual is completely irrational in my book!
And WHY is that? WHY are people afraid of homosexuals? Aren't they people like everyone else?
A friend of mine at Kaleidoscope Trust told me about injustices in Nigeria where people are being jailed because they dared to text someone they cared about who happened to be the same gender. TEXTED!!! What the F*** people? Did we sink so low as a human race that we jail people for texting because they might possibly be gay? Oh my God!
So yeah, I think it all comes back to fear! People don't know how to handle their own misunderstanding and ignorance so they lash out in anger because they are afraid to admit they don't understand. Wouldn't it be easier to get to know someone you don't understand first? If I wanted to know about Ball Pythons I wouldn't run in fear when I saw them. I'd ASK an expert: "Hey, is that snake poisonous?" (To which the reply would be, "NO. And by the way the term is 'venomous'.") I think the same fear applies to tattoos and piercings but that is just an observation...
To squelch the FEAR in our nation and around the world we need to help people understand that homosexuality is not a choice, and it's not a disease. It's they way people are made. (And I believe God makes people but that is another discussion.) Homosexuals are people just like everyone else. He is short, she is smart, this guy has blue eyes, and that girl is gay. It is a trait of the person, why are you afraid of that? What is the solution? hahhahhaaa. (ROFL) Um, people are evil and do stupid things ALL THE TIME! I think the solution is LOVE but I also do not see that people act out on love as much as they like to talk about it. The Bible says, "perfect love casts out fear." But how do you love perfectly? Another "I don't know!"
I FEAR all the time! In fact I was thinking of writing a book on fear! I live it. I cower and I find it hard to just be MYSELF. It is because I am afraid of society. I am afraid of judgement. I am afraid of someone attacking that human part of me they THEY are afraid of. I don't have solutions. But I am trying to make a difference one person at a time. And as I read in DC Juris' blog this morning, "Because that's how change happens - one small victory at a time." That is what I think sums it up!
Thank you for
NOW... what you and I are obligated to do--since this is a hopping contest.
I am supposed to offer you the reader a "prize for stopping by". I also encourage you to look around the other 262 blog posts and enter each contest. You could get lucky! All you have to do to win is leave a comment. the entries are accepted between NOW and May 20th. On May 21st I will pick a RANDOM winner from the comments on this blog. (I will link this to my goodreads blog so you MAY leave comments there too!)
To the winner I will give a pdf copy of When Love Is Not Enough. IF YOU ALREADY HAVE IT, I can offer to give you a pdf of the very next book I publish. (I have TWO submitted right now.)
So please, leave me some thoughts. (I'm afraid of what you might say.)
Spread the word and END homophobia!