That’s so GAY! – Homophobia Online

Latest posts by Craig Lomas (see all)

As gay men and women, I highly believe that I would find it hard to pinpoint anyone that hasn’t been affected by homophobia at some point in their lives. Whether it’s the odd comment or a fully planned attack, this is one form of prejudice that needs to end. Socially, we have evolved so much in terms of acceptance, but it’s sad to think that there are still individuals out there, dragging their knuckles and finding the need to self-involve themselves in other’s personal business. My whole school life was over-shadowed by verbal abuse I received for my sexuality. At such a difficult time of self-exploration and getting to know oneself, I was further troubled by the whole ordeal.

It seems in this ultra-technological world we now live in, cyber bullying has taken to sites such as twitter and Facebook, to further incite hateful comments and victimise users for their sexuality. Social media is a great platform for exposure and can be used to great effect. It’s very disheartening, however, that in some cases it is used purely for the opposite. Are these people really that insecure and un-loved, that they feel it necessary to spark controversy for re-tweets and the odd argument? The answer is yes. It’s fair to say we are all entitled to our opinions, but that doesn’t mean we have to document them in the form of vile ridicule and abuse.

Narrow minded people will ‘breed’ more ignorant individuals and so it goes on. Parents should be mindful of their hatred and not pass this onto their impressionable children, to then fill the YouTube comments section with hate and bigotry. I am very lucky to have understanding, non-judgmental parents, but aside from that they were brought up themselves to respect others, something that has been passed down onto us as their children. Respect does not mean shouting ‘gay’ at someone is acceptable. It is pointless. Yes, we know we are gay. That’s like shouting ‘bus’ when one drives past. Note to self ‘must try harder next time’.

It’s as if for some reason people can’t just be happy unless they are causing hurt or upset. When you have the screen as a barrier, social media homophobia can often go unchecked and breed more hate. I pity people in that situation. Bullying is a coping mechanism which is continuously being fought against, but where the playground mentality persists and social media enables, it’s hard to see a time completely free from bigotry and homophobic abuse.

It is however refreshing to see so many celebrities such as Wentworth Miller speaking openly about their sexuality. In the age we live in people are fuelled by twitter followers and the idolisation of celebrities, which influences some people’s opinions and actions. Maybe all we really need is a few more to come out and speak openly.

There is far too much hate in the world today, how about you try understanding your fellow man and his journey. Respect isn’t given it is earned and with respect you have the foundations to any relationship. It’s about time these folk stop hiding behind the screen and realise the real world impact, and stupidity, of their actions.