Homophobia, and what it costs society

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americorps
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Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby americorps » Thu Oct 07, 2010 6:49 pm

In the USA recently, there has been a rash of suicides of young people struggling with sexual orientation issues that have been publicized.

However, it is not a new issue, there or here in Peru.

Upwards of 50% of all suicides between the ages of 12-24 have some connection to sexual orientation or sexuality issues and while a similar study is not available in Peru, homophobia takes a serious toll on many in this country.

As someone who has provided crisis counseling to teens struggling with sexual orientation issues, I have seen first hand the damage that comes from silly jokes, off-handed comments. I am not even talking about the out and out bigots who just spread hate, but those that are maybe not so much bigoted but make a gay joke without thinking of the audience or how it could come across, those who question a man's masculinity in a joking way or those who simply snicker when others do.

Is there any doubt that one is free to make those comments...that is not in question...there are no laws against being inconsiderate, hurtful or indifferent to what you say or how much it can hurt others, but should one say something is another matter.

When someone young and struggling hears that they could not be a good parent, that they are unusual and unacceptable, that they are less, they are sick, they are broken somehow, it takes a little of their soul away.

Take enough away, and someone panics and feels worthless.

Here in Peru, in my 4 short years here, I know at least 8 young men and woman who have been forced from their homes, and denounced by their families simply for being born gay. I know men who have been attacked in the streets, lost their jobs and suffer other horrors simply for being perceived to be gay.

It is a shame and a tragedy that does NOT have to happen.

I am not scared to be called politically correct or without a sense of humor when I counter a homophobic (or racist or sexist or classist......) comment because the alternative is that someone who is impressionable is listening and until they hear me say that homophobia is ignorant, might take those comments to heart. I would rather someone be angry at me than kill a little bit of another young soul.

I am, honestly and frankly, very intolerant of such intolerance because I know it costs lives. I am bigoted against bigots because they use their freedom to hurt others.

But I also see signs of hope. There are Christian and Catholic groups that have responded to the recent rash of publicized suicides that have sent messages of love and tolerance without changing their anti gay feelings.

One does not have to agree, one should just not hurt someone else because of that disagreement.

I encourage you, next time you hear a gay joke, a homophobic comment or someone masculinity or femininity is questioned, think who is listening or reading and if maybe that stupid little comment, no matter how offhanded, might destroy a piece of someone's soul ..ask yourself ... is that really something I think is ok?

Then do something, softly, gently is fine...but not doing anything is helping perpetuate it.

Peace out.


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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby Remigius » Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:33 am

Peru is still captive of a dogma that considers homosexuality as a disorder. You should send your writing piece to the paper to have an audience who really should read this. We Expats tend to be pretty open-minded (at least, I hope).
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby americorps » Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:46 am

Remigius,

On this very board I have been told I could not be a good parent, I have been told that I am un-natural and I have been told that I am too out.

An ACAP official referred to me, behind my back, with a derrogatory term meaning feminine gay man in Spanish. Within expat events, I have heard terms "light in his shoes" and both gay and HIV/AIDS jokes that though not always received with laughter, often polite chuckles so as to not make a scene.

The overwhelming majority of people have not reacted like that, of course. Ragamarra, for example is against homosexuality, but is equally against hate and bigotry. Another poster wrote me recently in tears saying how much the suicide news has effected her and wanted some support in facing the issue.

I have also found that those who are the extremists, often feel empowered when they are not challenged. That is where those who are more moderate can play a part. To not leave it unchallenged.

When I was told I could not possibly be a good parent because of my sexual orientation, not only did that fly in the face of reality as there are literally hundreds of studies on LGBT parents that disprove that myth, but moderate people felt uncomfortable that I defiantly rejected the comment as hateful, hurtful and bigoted citing it was "only an opinion".

The opinion, in and of itself did not lessen me, but what about the others here who may have been struggeling with the question? How could hearing something like that make them feel? How did it feel to know that others were tolerant of an opinion labeling us as lesser human beings?

Gay is, in some respects, the last open target. Could you imagine if someone on this board had said someone could not be a good parent because they were black? Jewish? Peruvian? They would have been crucified. However, because it was LGBT, it was just an opinion.

I think this board is the perfect place to share this message.
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby Remigius » Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:02 am

Okay, point taken. Sorry to hear about that. Just to let you know, I detest any form of discrimination and believe sexual orientation has nothing to do with the ability of giving love and affection to children.
Last edited by Remigius on Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby americorps » Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:11 am

Remigius,

just for the record, i am not angry and you did not say anything wrong. I am just being loud and clear about how I feel.

The news of the suicides along with a recent spate of homophobic actions received by friends here in Peru has reminded me how important this issue is and I am using all my media to talk about this, facebook, twitter, blogs and face to face conversations.

I was raised by my grandparents who were both social activists and....quite honestly, blunt people.

I shine in their example...albiet and admittedly, sometimes too brightly.

Cheers
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby Remigius » Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:14 am

I've just added something to my previous post, but you were too quick in responding. Again, I understand you completely.
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby tupacperu » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:48 pm

americorps wrote:Remigius,

just for the record, i am not angry and you did not say anything wrong. I am just being loud and clear about how I feel.

The news of the suicides along with a recent spate of homophobic actions received by friends here in Peru has reminded me how important this issue is and I am using all my media to talk about this, facebook, twitter, blogs and face to face conversations.

I was raised by my grandparents who were both social activists and....quite honestly, blunt people.

I shine in their example...albiet and admittedly, sometimes too brightly.

Cheers


Americorp, Welcome to the club. I as a Black man have a difficult time accepting that minorites are not backing the Gay community more, espcially after years of struggle to gain equality.

I am with you on this matter, though we have bumped heads at times. A good parent has nothing to do with sexuality. All are free to live their lives as they please as long as their rights do not enfringe on others. Uncomfortablility with people becasue of their race, creed or sexual orientation is not an enfringement, it is a personal judgement and very egotistical and self righteous.

I am a child of the 50's-60's and I can related to where you are coming from, especially coming from an evangelical family, I had to challenge many of the teaching of my youth to become a real person, non-judgmental and tolerant of all. Opinions are opinions but when people trample on your personal choices and personal life that is enfringment.

I am sadden by the details of the news of this man's suicide, it show that we have not made progress in this world when some one chooses a different path. I can understand your position fully and I for one would support the choices of any human. It is called in simple term HUMANITY.
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby americorps » Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:38 pm

One thing I have to say, again in reference to my grandparents.

I thank God every single day of my life for them.

I told my grandmother I was gay when I was 15 years old, back in 1980. She looked at me for a moment, asked me if realizing that made me feel happy or unhappy. I replied that figuring it made me relieved and happy.

She sat there for another moment and I almost burst into tears and then she looked at me and said.

if you are happy, then we should go out and celebrate. And we did just that (I got a lobster from red lobster for being gay). hahaha.

My grandfather and in fact all my family were equally accepting.

I am truly blessed for that (and I miss my grandparents so much.

I often have a hard time imagining a parent who will not love their child unconditionally. I hope I never do.
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby Remigius » Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:56 pm

There mere fact that one has to announce being gay is already sad enough.

It's good to know your family supports you. I mean, it's also in their best interest. How many times haven't we heard about breakups after 10 years of marriage with children being the victim, because dad had to suppress his true feelings for so many years?
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby mammalu » Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:37 pm

I am glad this subject has been brought up to our attention. The latest events in the news (at least here in the USA) have open channels of communications and discussions with friends and families.

The tragic event of the suicide of a Freshman at Rutgers University, where 2 of my kids graduated from, affected many of us with links to the University or who can relate to the inconceivable pain of losing a child.

During my last few visits to Peru, I noticed my friends and some relatives made jokes about gay people, blacks and jews, which made us feel uncomfortable. When it happened at my place (I was renting an appartment), I was blunt and stopped it right away. I found it more uncomfortable when any of my friends, after hosting a lovely time for us would start with this sick routine. I delicately stated my point of view and it made it worse, I believe. The more I think about it, the more I believe it is cultural: the art of making fun of somebody is widely accepted in Peru.

A while ago some members in this Forum were teasing a young Peruvian member who had recently travelled to the U.K. When he took offense, some other members responded by telling him 'don't make a fuss about it, it is only a joke' and also a 'chapa' is only a cute name (even if it makes reference to your race, a handicap, physical appearance, etc.)

I also remember a News report on Peruvian TV about an individual who was arrested for X reason in San Isidro. The neighbors were interviewed and referred to the owner of the house as , 'La Coja'. I couldn't believe it! Having a sibling affected by Polio, I found it offensive and unacceptable for the TV Station to perpetuate the ignorant remarks and broadcast the news without editing or ignoring the poor remarks.

I hope that for many Expats the fact of putting down somebody due to his/her race, religion, sexual orientation/physical appearance/etc does not become a habit easty to copy. We are not the holders of the truth (not self-righteous please), but also at least many of us can detect cruelty and bigotry, masked as jokes, and can stay away from them.

My hunble 0.02
Stand with anybody that stands RIGHT. Stand with him while he is right and PART with him when he goes wrong." ! Abraham Lincoln
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby alexPeru » Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:48 pm

http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2010/10/seco ... -bullying/

A colleague sent me the link... It really saddens me to read these stories...
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby tupacperu » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:57 pm

Social stigmas (racism, sexual preference, etc...), will never completed be eradicated in this world.
IHMO

My concern has always been institutional (racism) exclusion. When institutions such as gov't and private business reinforce social stigmas, it not only cost society but individual families. To be excluded from a promocion, or denied a job or an adoption because or race color creed or sexual preference hurts more than society. It prevents very talented and forward thinking people participation which impedes progress.

I am not on to concentrate on the social aspect of discrimination, but one should realize it is driven sublimitally by institutions, in the form of media, commercials, even elections of public figures etc...

We need to put pressure on these intitutions (public and private), to not engage in perpetuating these stigmas.

One thing I am really concerned about is the role of men in society (pet peaves), when the media finds it acceptable to treat men like idiots in commercials and TV, even to the point where violence is acceptable. We find it acceptable for women to strike men and somehow it is amusing. To me we have moved to polar opposite, in some way perpetuating the war of the sexes. It is much like reverse sexism, but it sell products.

As a society we have a long way to go with racism, sexism and accepting sexual preference as a private and biological matter between consenting adults. Looks like things are getting worse not better.
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby americorps » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:25 pm

Recently there was an incident here in Lima where a municipality was having a mass marriage and a woman came in and started beating a man because she claimed to be his wife but he was there marrying another woman.

The police stood by and laughed. The comments on this very board were broadly dismissive of domestic violence from a female against a male suggesting he got what he deserved and some finding only humor in the situation.

I tend NOT to find domestic violence funny in any form.

I do NOT have a problem with the fact that 90% of attention and resources of rape and domestic violence issues focus on women because that reflects the reality of the problem statistically, but only recently the other 10% have been taken seriously in the USA and still not yet in Peru.

Men who have been rapped or beaten by women are still often chastised, doubted, teased or dismissed. That is wrong.

I am a breast cancer survivor. They say that upwards of 50% of the US population do not realize a man can get breast cancer, but we do. In fact, 2 men a day die from it in the USA and men are more likely to die from it because it is under-diagnosed and therefore often not caught into too late. Now, I am NOT comparing that to the fact that 40,000 women who die each year from the disease, but what I am talking about is NOT who gets it more, but how men are treated. By the way, I have been breast cancer free now for almost 25 years

I was at a cancer clinic at the KU Med center in Kansas City and one woman actually told me I had no right to have breast cancer and I demeaned her by being there.

She later apologized and we became good friends. I sort of understood some of her sentiment, society puts too much focus on breasts as a measure of a woman, plus in her case, she was just scared and angry..a natural emotion in that situation. However, I will never forget the ridicule from her and others, especially from men.

However, again just looking at the balance, machismo causes far more damage to Peru than anti male sentiment and one certainly should never forget that.

Finally, sexual orientation instead of preference is much more accurate. Being gay is not considered by any credible scientific circles to be a choice, but much more an orientation similar to being left handed. Further, preference suggests it is about sexual activity and actually it is not. There are many avowed Gays and Lesbians who lead chaste lives and therefore there is not preference or choice made. I never chose to be gay, I was born that way and have always known it. Maybe you can argue that I chose to act upon it at some point in my life, but that does not change anything. It would be to me, like saying someone who has light enough skin and can pass as being white chose his or her race. The race has not changed, only how it is being presented.
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby rgamarra » Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:04 pm

There was an interesting quote I heard recently, I can't recall where I heard it (it was in a documentary I think), but it struck me as being very poignant.

It went something to the tune of "God waits until we are standing in front of him {in the afterlife} before he judges us."

I think we as human beings are quick to judge others and label them for their differences. I know that there are people that prefer not to be labeled by certain terms that they find derogatory and offensive, but I in turn find labeling someone "homophobic" or accusing someone of having "homophobia" to be derogatory and offensive in itself. It's easier to label someone as a "homophobic" or a "bigot" because it justifies not having any open dialogue with that person and vice-versa.

Any crime against a human being is a "hate crime" regardless of how that person or society identifies themselves as.

I think the real question should be is: "What does prejudice and ignorance cost our society?"

I think with age (and I hope some insight) I personally have come to take a "neutral" stance on a number of issues. Personally, in respect to homosexuality or plural (consensual) marriages, it is better to keep politics out of the bedroom and the bedroom out of politics.

In the mean time I think we should all demonstrate a tolerance towards each other and the societies that we live in. Kicking and screaming only makes more foes than friends and only creates more divides than bridges.

Until we as human beings can demonstrate a mutual respect, love and understanding of each, then there will always be prejudice, ignorance, labels and hatred.

I hope that when I stand in front of God he will say "You have loved your fellow human being as I have unconditionally loved you."

There are no one way streets in life and all of us have to share the road together whether we like it or not.

That's just my two cents.
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby americorps » Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:46 pm

I would be very hesitant to suggest that organized killing of people based on race, sexual orientation or whatever, for example the Holocaust, are just the same as any another crime
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby rgamarra » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:08 pm

americorps wrote:I would be very hesitant to suggest that organized killing of people based on race, sexual orientation or whatever, for example the Holocaust, are just the same as any another crime


Hmmm...I don't know the point that you're getting at (hard to interpret via the internet), but I think hatred is at the root of any and all crimes perpetrated against a single person or group of people, i.e. the Holocaust.

Maybe you could clarify. :?:
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby americorps » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:31 pm

Well, the word hate crime is often misused like Global warming.

There is no question global climate change is happening, (its cause is debated, but not the point of this comment) but people often note that certain parts of the world are getting colder and so they use that as an argument against global warming...however global warming is a phrase, misnomer, that really refers to global climate change.

The term hate crimes are often targeted by people who oppose them in much the same way. There is NOTHING about the definition of a hate crime that suggest that other crimes are not motivated by hate. Yet many people who are bothered by the idea that crimes motivated by discrimination are tracked differently seem to suggest that the phrase is literal and to suggest the phrase suggests other crimes are NOT hate crimes.

However, many recognize that crime has many different motivations, hate, greed, mental illness, passion, for example and hate is often involved in many of them, indifference in others and insanity in others. However that really has nothing to do with the definition of hate crime. A hate crime is determined when bigotry is the main source of the crime and my argument is that is as it should be because when that happens, racial violence increases. I am very glad the USA has taken a stand saying that killing is wrong, and especially killing those based on race...as Hitler did against the Jews, takes a crime against a human and makes it a crime against humanity.

It is not saying that one crime is not worse or better, it is saying that 2 offenses against civility have happened, 1 is the horrific act and the other is the motive of genocide. It also befits the US justice system. There are different levels of murder, Manslaughter, Killing by self defense, Murder 1, Murder 2, etc... For hundreds of years we have added motive to a crime as a factor in the conviction and punishment. This expands on that and quite frankly, I am glad it does.

However, no one suggests that a gay life is worth more than a non gay life, that is not the point and defeats the base of the concept of law, that the law is reason free from passion. Hate crimes law is not really about hate, but about motive.
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby tomsax » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:12 pm

Interesting discussion from you both. Wikipedia definition (based on various dictionaries) is "Homophobia is a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and in some cases transgender and intersex people."

Hate would be one of the negative attitudes but it wouldn't be confined to it. For me fear is more the route of things in homophopia. I am not gay but the attitude of many churches to homosexuality does grate with me. The idea that it is okay to see homosexuality as as an error, as an affliction, as a corruption as long as you love those who have made that error, affliction or who have become corrupted. I think if I was gay I'd rather be more simply hated than suffer that sort of love.

On the other hand I do think Rachel has a point that the accusation of homophopia can be a catch all put down that avoids engaging properly with other people's arguments. It depends on the person using it though. A discussion on what is homophobia, if properly engaged, can also be a way to help us all question whether we too easily succumb to negative attitudes and prejudice.

Rachel's comments on hate remind me of an old friend of mine who used to say "I just hate people who have a problem with homosexuality". Somehow I can't put him in the same category as someone who says "I just hate gays". But perhaps I'm biased.
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby americorps » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:39 pm

I think one of the key differences is that people who choose to act on their homophobia do so, then claim that they are discriminated against for their beliefs when called out for it.

They are not, in my opinion, forbidden to feel that way, it is WHEN THEY ACT UPON IT and it then diminishes my rights or my full participation in society on an equal level that I will not hesitate to fight. I have NEVER denounced anyone for claiming that homosexuality is a sin. I do denounce them when they use that thought to deny me equal protection under the law, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. When they use their feelings to deny me the right to marry or adopt or even keep my job.

Especially when they use that thought to bully, abuse, beat, or kill me.

Ragamarra, in particular has often stated her feelings about homosexuality and I have never once had a problem with her point of view or her stating it out loud. I both respect and I like her very much. She was always clear, honest, respectful and not cruel in her presentation, just presenting her opinion. She never attacked, never incited and never used hate.

I have tons and tons of friends in my life that believe homosexuality is a sin, just as I have friends in my life that are not pro-choice and I used to work at a women´s reproductive healthcare clinic. In fact I was known to carpool with a friend to the clinic some weekends with a good friend and she would protest as I would go inside and work, then we would carpool home, often stopping for dinner along the way.

That is THE huge difference and one of the reasons I do not generally support the claim that people who demonstrate homophobia are attacked for their thoughts, they are held accountable for their actions.

Still, to get back to the point, no matter where one stands, I guess we are all guilty of not always choosing our words wisely. And when they are full if vitriol and venom and when they dehumanize people, as is human nature, those words can hurt and hurt so deeply they take away self esteem and pride and in certain conditions, can contribute to suicide.
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby tomsax » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:17 am

americorps wrote:
They are not, in my opinion, forbidden to feel that way, it is WHEN THEY ACT UPON IT and it then diminishes my rights or my full participation in society on an equal level that I will not hesitate to fight. I have NEVER denounced anyone for claiming that homosexuality is a sin. I do denounce them when they use that thought to deny me equal protection under the law, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. When they use their feelings to deny me the right to marry or adopt or even keep my job.



I think that is a pretty neat way of making a distinction. I suppose the issue is when words become hurtful even if not intended to do so. I agree claiming homosexuality is a sin is not very hurtful, but then the word "sin" is not really very strong even within most churches. For instance it is often generally accepted that we all sin quite often, even priests and ministers, for example when we have too much pride or are selfish. For that reason other terms are often used for homosexuality which up the stakes and are more hurtful. As an example, I think children of religious parents find it more difficult to tell their parents they are homesexual than admit to other "sins". But I agree if it were only said that homosexual acts were a sin then that would be fine.
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby tupacperu » Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:25 pm

rgamarra wrote:
americorps wrote:I would be very hesitant to suggest that organized killing of people based on race, sexual orientation or whatever, for example the Holocaust, are just the same as any another crime


Hmmm...I don't know the point that you're getting at (hard to interpret via the internet), but I think hatred is at the root of any and all crimes perpetrated against a single person or group of people, i.e. the Holocaust.

Maybe you could clarify. :?:


Some crimes are for hate, personally I think that people who react have a hidden inferiority complex.
In my experience people resort to the N-Word to lift themselve above their own problem with inferiority.
They use it to raise their self esteem and need validation in who they are.

Just as people who commit crimes against gays, many are afraid of the very posibility they may have these feelings. Some how it is a way to say, I am better then this person. In the case where the student killed himself after his film was posted by his roo mate. Somehow the room mate felt that the film would give him one up and put another human being down.



Whenever I am called the N-Word, I smile with content, know that someone had to lower himself in an attempt to affect me.
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby Polaron » Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:17 pm

tupacperu wrote:
Whenever I am called the N-Word, I smile with content, know that someone had to lower himself in an attempt to affect me.


Tupac, you don't have beat around the bush by saying "the N-word." You can spell it out for all to see here:

Nincompoop!

Ok, joking aside, I hear where you're coming from, brother. I am one of those bullheaded people that insist that the best way for all of us to live is according to what we learned in kindergarten: don't hit other people, apologize if you hurt someone, share with others and respect others.

Nowhere does it say that we should judge others, or somehow take it upon ourselves to decide that they are "sinning" or that their nature is "sinful." That is just a crock of horse hooey. Don't engage in spreading negative generalizations about anybody.

Having said that, i want to address the title of this thread: "Homophobia, and what it costs society." I think americorps has been careful to avoid bashing or criticizing any people or persons. He is talking about the prejudice itself and how the behaviors that prejudice manifests do damage to our society, and he is right.

It is funny how some religions, such as Islam, take it upon themselves to berate any sexual orientation or conduct - without any empirical evidence to indicate it is somehow not fully okay - which their leaders do not specifically and particularly approve of. It still amazes me how people can get some ideas into their heads.

I do not care for religion in any sense of the word, but I don't practice disestablishmentarianism. I am an atheist, but I do not accuse christians of being crazy or evil because they believe in a deity. I desire and demand that same consideration - nothing more, nothing less.

I will never be satisfied until people stop claiming that homosexual orientations is less desirable than heterosexual orientation in even the most minuscule of ways. I want full equality - nothing more, nothing less, and I think we must insist upon it.

Now, I've lived in Latin America for 22 or 23 years, and I know that the process of change in social mores, especially in areas so dominated by catholicism, is slow and tumultuous. The best thing we can do here among our Latin American brothers and sisters is set a good example and nudge them along towards the truth. However, our fellow expats, who have lived in more open and less traditionalistic societies , ought to know better.
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Kelly
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby Kelly » Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:23 pm

I don't think feelings about homosexuality here in Peru will change much until their are some realistic portrayals of gay lifestyle on television and in other media. I know when I met my husband - who is not Catholic nor particularly religious, so that was not a factor in his opinions- he thought all gay men were like what he sees on Saturday night comedy shows. Living in Nassau, he worked with a couple of openly gay men, and it was a real eye opener for him, as was meeting my nephew. it really boiled down to ignorance, pure and simple, and once he was exposed to reality, homosexuality became a non-issue for him.

What is disheartening to me are people who don't have ignorance as an excuse and yet still remain biased because of their own irrational fears and prejudices.
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Re: Homophobia, and what it costs society

Postby Remigius » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:11 am

Kelly wrote: homosexuality became a non-issue for him.


Actually, even for religious people it should be a non-issue. I mean, we all have our opinions about the lifestyle and/or habits of other people, but as long as it doesn't affect us personally, who cares? Almost 3x a week I get all kinds of religious groups knocking on my door to "sell" their "product", even though I've put on 2 very visible places that I'm not interested. In that sense I prefer homosexuality over religion ;) Then you have the Catholic church claiming that homosexuality is wrong (even a disease), but when a priest from Trujillo is caught in bed with a parish employee, devout Catholics suddenly back him up for "having done good things for the community". I really prefer common people--be it gays, lesbians, hetros, bi-sexuals, etc--who live their lives in a humble way without having to scream for attention.

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