Volume 93, Issue 91

Wednesday, March 22, 2000


OPINIONS

Art is eye sore on the UCC beach

Time to accept your intolerance

Time to accept your intolerance



To the Editor:

"Love the sinner, hate the sin."

I am writing this letter in response to anyone who has ever used these words when discussing homosexuality. I am writing this letter now, because I have noticed that in spite of all the efforts at education, all the workshops and all the gay pride campaigns, homophobia is still alive and well.

By homophobia I am not simply referring to people who go out and commit "hate crimes." I am talking about most of the people surrounding me, who whether or not they admit it, are uncomfortable with the idea of homosexuality and to a much greater extent, the act which defines it.

The first thing I need to point out is that being uncomfortable is OK and admitting that you are uncomfortable can lead to open dialogue and eventual acceptance. What is not OK is denial. I am surrounded by people who seem to justify their ignorance with sayings like, "I love the sinner, just hate the sin," or my all time favourite, "I am not homophobic, I just don't want to hear about it."

To those people I ask, do you think I really want to hear you in the hallways of my residence talking about who it is you are sleeping with and what kind of things you do behind closed doors? Do you think I really care to see all of your rooms adorned with posters of naked women? I don't complain though and I try not to let it bother me. I just say to myself, "Well, at least you like that stuff, so go for it." What I don't understand is why you would recoil if I were to exhibit the same behaviour with regards to my sexual preference.

The fact that you exhibit disdain for a behaviour and for people who have the nerve to "be faggy about it, throwing it around" shows that you do in fact have a problem with homosexuality. Saying that you don't have a problem with it and justifying yourself by pointing out that your "best friend's uncle" (or some other variation) is gay, doesn't make it OK. You cannot accept an individual if you do not accept what they do and like it or not, the "sin" is what defines the "sinner."

My sexual identity is a very large part of my identity – it is a part of biology that makes me who I am. Pretending that you don't have a problem with what I do hurts you more than it does me. Everybody has bigoted views to some degree. I try to recognize mine and admit that I have faults and try and educate myself so that I may change them. By not admitting that you are in anyway bigoted or racist, or sexist, or homophobic, etc., just means that you will never change and you can never accept others.

I would be a fool to think that I could change anyone's opinion. More than likely at this point in your lives, most of you have put your defensive walls up, which is what people do when they feel they have been attacked. Maybe now, you can understand my behaviour sometimes. All I ask is that you think about how it would feel if you were me, or maybe a friend of yours who is a closeted homosexual.

So instead of putting up walls and saying you "don't want to hear it" when someone in the room asks me how my date went, why don't you just try and listen, God knows I have and I'm probably a better person for it.

Dougal C. Martin
Social Sciences I



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Copyright The Gazette 2000