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to think this is homophobia

(26 Posts)
loveareadingthanks Thu 18-Dec-14 17:09:51

albeit a fairly harmless type...

I have a friend who I've accused of homophobia a couple of times; he says he isn't homophobic. MN jury please advise :-)

He isn't anti gay or ever says anything nasty about it. He says he can't be homophobic as he doesn't dislike the idea of being homosexual/homosexual people.

However, he's a bit peculiar about it all in that he seems to find it really really interesting if someone is gay, and can't accept it as a normal state. He accepts people have the right to be gay, it doesn't bother him, but he doesn't accept it as 'natural' either. He thinks it's a choice. And that it doesn't happen with animals so it can't be natural.

Is this homophobic or just a different view of homosexuality? Nature versus nurture, I suppose.

But also he'll really comment on gay people. We were in a bar once and was talking to one barmaid about knowing another of their barmaids. OK. Then suddenly out of the blue he suddenly blurted out 'She's a lesbian!' about the second bar maid, really loudly, and like it was an amazing piece of news. My jaw dropped, the barmaid he was talking to looked disgusted and walked off, and other people at the bar stared. I told him he shouldn't have said that, her sexuality is no one else's business. His argument is that it's nothing to be ashamed of so there's nothing wrong with talking about it. He couldn't seem to grasp that yes it's nothing to be ashamed about but no it's not something you suddenly shout about people to random other people - 1) it's her personal business and 2) it's simply not an interesting enough thing to mention.

The other night we were watching TV and he said about a presenter 'She's married to her female partner' again all a bit excited about it like it was big news. I just said, that's nice, but why are you bothering to tell me. He thinks it's interesting because she 'doesn't look like a lesbian'. As you can imagine we then had an exchange on what does a lesbian look like anyway, and he also reckons he's never met any lesbians and I laughed and said he must have but wouldn't have realised.

I'm making him sound lesbian obsessed but I don't think he is. It's more that he wants to be all nice and liberal and ok with homosexuality, but really he sees it a weird terribly interesting 'thing' some people choose, that's great gossip. I find it a boring everyday fact about people.

So ...who's right. Is his heart in the right place but he's a bit immature about it all, or is he homophobic?

DoctorDonnaNoble Thu 18-Dec-14 17:11:23

It does happen in the animal world.

loveareadingthanks Thu 18-Dec-14 17:12:08

I've tried that, he doesn't believe it or says it's not the same.

LurkingHusband Thu 18-Dec-14 17:12:28

^ And that it doesn't happen with animals so it can't be natural^

none too bright then ?

loveareadingthanks Thu 18-Dec-14 17:12:54

I would suspect he is winding me up, but he genuinely seems quite surprised that I don't find it the most amazing interesting fact ever about people.

spidey66 Thu 18-Dec-14 17:13:00

fluffyraggies Thu 18-Dec-14 17:13:40

He sounds curious/fascinated about it. Perhaps he himself is bi.

trashcanjunkie Thu 18-Dec-14 17:16:51

Yep I'd second the possibility of him being bi...

OfaFrenchMind Thu 18-Dec-14 17:17:44

Not homophobic. Socially inept for sure!

GingerbreadPudding Thu 18-Dec-14 17:19:35

He just sounds really immature. In days of yore the media used to get all excited if someone was GAY. Now it's barely a flicker of a mention. The shock value has gone. I'd hope your friend will get over it. But if also wonder if he might be gay or bi himself and testing everyone's reaction to the news. I'd just ask him.

TheCowThatLaughs Thu 18-Dec-14 17:22:33

I'd think he was probably gay but was finding it difficult to come to terms with it. It does happen in the animal world, and even if it didn't, who cares, really?

WestEast Thu 18-Dec-14 17:24:10

Sounds somewhat ignorant and childlike IMO.

PortofinoVino Thu 18-Dec-14 17:25:48

No, not homophobic.

formerbabe Thu 18-Dec-14 17:26:41

I think its really weird when people say its a choice. It isn't and even if it was a what?!

BarbarianMum Thu 18-Dec-14 17:30:27

Homosexual behaviour is widespread in the animal kingdom (well in vertebrates anyway).

workhouse Thu 18-Dec-14 17:30:40

I think that it is probably more homophobic if you go out of your way NOT to mention it.

Hatespiders Thu 18-Dec-14 17:32:07

It's a bit like young children who have just been told about babies growing in mummies' tummies. They'll call out at the shops, "Mummy! That lady has a baby in her tummy!"
I think he's sincerely trying to understand homosexuality, without condemning it, but has yet to learn how to comport himself in company without being embarrassing or offensive.
Not exactly homophobic, just immature and a bit inept.

loveareadingthanks Thu 18-Dec-14 17:54:07

'I think that it is probably more homophobic if you go out of your way NOT to mention it.'

I don't know about that. He wouldn't have blurted out 'She's hereosexual' about the barmaid, or told me very excitedly about the woman on TV being married to a man. It's the finding it such a big deal that makes it worth irrelevently mentioning someone's sexuality but only if that happens to be homosexual, that is raising my eyebrows here. That's different to making homosexuality a taboo subject.

19lottie82 Thu 18-Dec-14 17:56:52

He isn't homophobic as he doesn't have a phobia of homosexuals

JennyBlueWren Thu 18-Dec-14 17:59:49

It sounds to me more like the way I've known some elderly people talk about homosexuality. Like it's an interesting fact about someone or an interesting topic of conversation -"so why did they become gay?" They're not homophobic more homocurious! Like it's a novelty.

beginnerrunner Thu 18-Dec-14 18:02:00

It definitely happens in the animal world. My male guinea pigs used to shag like errrr rabbits!

EhricJinglingHisBallsOnHigh Thu 18-Dec-14 18:02:00

Yes it's homophobia, albeit more of the annoying than threatening kind. He's obviously not accepted that some people are just gay and yet that's not the most interesting or relevant aspect of their identity, he isn't comfortable with it and he's just a bit weird about it. So yes, treating people differently because of their sexuality includes being weirdly fascinated by it, and is homophobia. I wonder if he's secretly gay or bi too.

And animals can be totally gay.

Mousefinkle Thu 18-Dec-14 18:11:57

Animals can be and are gay, Benny the Bull was a great example of that. It's tougher for animals to be gay though because they essentially live to reproduce.

Anyhoo I wouldn't say he's homophobic but he certainly has a massive curiosity and interest in homosexuality. He's possibly bisexual or indeed homosexual himself and is going through the peaks and troughs of trying to come to terms with that. He's obviously trying to make sense of homosexuality and has a huge fascination in it, in the same way I and many others have a fascination with serial killers iykwim. You want to know why they are the way they are. The nature vs nurture debate is still ongoing, a lot of people do still believe you aren't born gay. perhaps he's testing the waters and trying to see how you'd feel if he came out?

I don't know but I don't get homophobic vibes from what you've said. A homophobe usually has a great amount of anger and bitterness towards homosexuals, they are often closeted gays themselves.

Babycham1979 Thu 18-Dec-14 18:12:39

I think your friend is probably gay. Send him to a psychotherapist and tell him to come back in six months time,

Gawjushun Thu 18-Dec-14 18:18:50

Definitely immature. It sounds like he just really wants people to know how ok he is homosexuality, but he comes off as a bit of a twat in the process.

The stuff about it being a 'choice' is a bit odd though. Perhaps he's struggling with his own sexuality and trying to 'choose' to be gay.

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