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To think this isn't homophobic?

(136 Posts)
LeeFiora Sun 01-Jan-17 06:48:44

Was watching a film, The Family Stone, the other day, and the reaction one of the characters gets to a comment she makes is really bothering me.

Basically the character says that if she had kids, she wouldn't mind if they were gay but that due to the mindset of society at large it would be easier for them to be straight. The other characters are absolutely disgusted by her and she is shamed into leaving.

The thing is, that's exactly the view I hold. I have a small child and will absolutely wholeheartedly support any loving relationship she gets into as she gets older. I do think it would be easier on her to be straight as I'd like her to be able to, for example, hold hands with her partner in public or be able to hug and kiss them without people tut-tutting it, as I have very unfortunately seen happen.

AIBU to think this isn't a homophobic point of view?

Melstarrynight Sun 01-Jan-17 06:51:09

I wouldn't have said it was, no. I also think it's true depending very much on where you are living as well.

daimbar Sun 01-Jan-17 06:54:26

YABU if you live in a bit city but I assume you live somewhere a bit backwards? I have been holding hands with my girlfriend / wife for the last 15 years and can honestly say we've not had a single tut-tut. My life has been no more difficult for being gay. We do live in Brighton though (previously London) so maybe I'm naive and we live in a bubble.

SVJAA Sun 01-Jan-17 07:00:50

I think it all depends on context. If it was said because the parent wanted an easy life, or would be ashamed then that is homophobic. If it was said because they would hate their child to be hurt by scumbags passing comment, it's misguided but not homophobic.
Personally, I wouldn't have an issue if one of our kids was gay. Apparently eldest DSD has a GF, and the only issue we have is that she's too young to be in a sexual relationship with anyone, male or female.

daimbar Sun 01-Jan-17 07:02:51

Oh, one more thing. You sounds like a lovely mum and if your DD grew up to be gay and had the support of friends and family I imagine that would be the only thing that mattered to her.

If a mean stranger tut-tutted at her for being gay then I doubt she would give a toss, I certainly wouldn't.

Fallonjamie Sun 01-Jan-17 07:06:24

I think it's the 'oh I'd be worried and sad for you if you were gay' implication that is the problem.

Fuckityhi Sun 01-Jan-17 07:07:14

I don't think it's homophobic. I come from a deprived area in NI and my family who are all still there are horribly racist, homophobic and hate anyone different to them. Obviously I have nothing to do with them. It would be very difficult growing up gay in that environment. One of my friends was gay and was sent to conversion therapy. He had an awful time of it and like me, doesn't live there now.

Daim I first went to Brighton about 8 years ago and saw same sex couples walking along, holding hands for the first time in my life. I'd never seen it ever! I remember thinking how amazing it was to "be able" to do that. It's probably why Brighton is one of my favorite places.

If any of my children are gay, I hope they know me well enough to know that they don't even need to "come out". It doesn't matter. But I do acknowledge that if they are gay they will likely face prejudice and possibly abuse at some point and no parent wants that for their children. It's not homophobic to want them to not have to face that.

LadyLothian Sun 01-Jan-17 07:08:09

It's not a homophobic comment. I remember when my brother came out the only negative emotion I felt was a deep helpless at not being able to protect him from the utter wankers who seem to take exception to anyone being fucking happy and secure in themselves.

But people will judge your child anyway. People will make negative judgements based on their appearance, job, disability, life choices etc. it's one of the hardest things to accept as a parent.

Things are much better for gay people than they were, although there's still a long way to go. The most negative reaction my brother tends to get when out with his family is people trying to work out which one is the biological father of their kids, and that's mainly motivated by nosiness wink.

So while I don't think its a homophobic view to have, it's not a particularly helpful one. Especially as neither you or your child can control it.

user1467798821 Sun 01-Jan-17 07:13:26

As the mother of a gay son, who is out and proud and very much loved by us all, I dont think his life has been any more complicated by his sexuality than his autism has, in fact his ASD is the most complicated part of him. As his mother I pretty much knew he was gay from being very small, there was an air about him, so no big dramatic 'outing'. He's just our son

Motherfuckers Sun 01-Jan-17 07:15:46

My mum used to say that in the early 80s. Maybe it does depend on where you live, but it does seem outdated. Teach your child resilience and tolerance rather than conformity perhaps?

Scooby20 Sun 01-Jan-17 07:15:55

Its not homophobic. It is realistic and a view quite a few of my gay friends hold. One in particular. He really doesnt care if his child is gay or straight. But does worry his child would have to deal with some of the shit he and his husband have had to, if the child was to be gay.

Unfortunately life can still be more difficult if you are gay. Its getting better but its still a concern.

HerBluebiro Sun 01-Jan-17 07:20:14

Daim you live in a complete bubble.

In 12 years I've not held hands with my wife in public outside of gay clubs and friends houses except on distant country walks ( hardly public).

We used to be close. Sitting on a bus. Looks and body language clearly outed us. A few pointed comments and one frankly vicious rape threat means we are really not about to progress to openly holding hands.

Now we have a daughter I want to be more open. We live in a lovely quiet village. It is safe. But it is so ingrained now that we just don't.

Sad really.

And op that's a very slightly homophobic comment - identifying gay people as 'other' and something lesser. But a very understandable one. And not far from how I felt when I first came out. Ask me then if I'd rather be straight and I would have said yes for so many reasons. Now I have a beautiful wife ad daughter and happy family and I'd say no.

How I would feel should my daughter experience any hatred growing up because of me? I'd probably wish I were straight then too.

HerBluebiro Sun 01-Jan-17 07:23:37

Also worth saying that whilst I think it is a little homophobic, it isn't a phrase I would make any fuss over because the intent behind it is love. And it is normal to want to minimise pain to our children

mirokarikovo Sun 01-Jan-17 07:28:14

It's not exactly homophobic - but it's an attitude that has a strong implication to it that you accept homophobia as a permanent feature of society and don't appear (from the wording of your OP) to have hope that homophobia generally will be less by the time your DD is an adult, or be intending to fight to realise that hope. That attitude does have a faint whif to it that you aren't aligned very strongly against homophobia and if you aren't trying your best to be part of the solution then you are part of the problem.

I have a small child too. I have no idea what his sexuality will be when he grows up. I am doing whatever I can now to ensure that if he does turn out to be gay he will not experience homophobia - because if I waited to find out whether or not it might directly affect my family before I bothered to start fighting homophobia I would be ashamed of myself.

LadyLothian Sun 01-Jan-17 07:28:47

Now we have a daughter I want to be more open. We live in a lovely quiet village. It is safe. But it is so ingrained now that we just don't.

That's so sad HerBlueBiro sad

daimbar Sun 01-Jan-17 07:34:19

Wholeheartedly agree with motherfuckers :

Teach your child resilience and tolerance rather than conformity perhaps?

LeeFiora Sun 01-Jan-17 07:42:40

Yes I suppose I must identify gay people as 'other' in a subconscious way, though I think, without trying to belittle it, the same way I'd identify die-hard football fans as 'other' because I much prefer rugby. I'm not sure recognising differences is a negative thing.

In this situation, for me it's clear that by far the lesser people are the judgemental dicks who won't just let people live their lives as they see fit.

I'd hate to think I was sad or worried for gay people, as a pp said. That makes me sound awful! But then I suddenly became somewhat feminist when DD was born, despite the fact that I've always hated all that poor-women, positive discrimination stuff and I have a respectable career in a very male-dominated profession. Maybe I'm so desperate to protect my little snowflake that I'm starting to become unreasonable.

Scooby20 Sun 01-Jan-17 07:43:10

Teach your child resilience and tolerance rather than conformity perhaps?

I dont get this tbh. I teach my children tolerance. I was taught tolerance.

Didnt stop my friend and his husband getting the shit kicked out of them for holding hands. How do you ensure you children are resilient to getting beaten up?

That behaviour is not ok and no one should turn a blind eye. But dealing with after, doesnt lessen the impact on the victim.

HerBluebiro Sun 01-Jan-17 07:47:21

Yup. But that's life.

And a hell of a lot better than before. Where we couldn't have any formal/legal recognition of our relationship. Let alone equality of marriage. Where my wife was not protected in any way should i die. Should either of us be ill we could be kicked out of bedsides as they are for families only (not in my adult lifetime would this have happened i think). And where my daughter would not have been my daughter. 1 would have existed as she is not a simple turkey baster child. And 2. If by some miracle she did exist, she would not be legally my daughter.

It is amazing the changes that have occurred. In such a short time. I am forever grateful to those who have done the hard work that I benefit from.

But.

It was only 2003 that it became illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexuality alone. Until then we could legally be refused hotels. Restaurants etc.

It was 2005 that the right to be named parents of same sex came in.

I don't recall when hfea allowed lesbians to use fertility services openly, but there were big hoops women had to jump through initially to prove the child would not be deprived due to lack of a father.

So yeah. Rape threat properly put me off being too open in public. And whilst the world has changed. It hasn't changed that much in some areas.

We do both hold my daughter's hand. We walk like any other family now. But I don't think I will ever walk with my daughter in my shoulders holding my wife's hand through a shopping centre etc. Just the way it is.

LeeFiora Sun 01-Jan-17 07:48:39

I'd never never teach her conformity. I'm not sure how saying that I'd theoretically like my gay daughter to be able to show affection to her girlfriend/wife in public without fear of negative attention gave you the impression that I'd try to teach her to be straight hmm

Motherfuckers Sun 01-Jan-17 07:53:50

Because it wasn't that long ago that people felt they had to hide their sexuality. If your child feels that her own mother would find it better if she wasn't gay, where is the hope for change?

creakyknees13 Sun 01-Jan-17 07:55:06

When I was at school (only about 20 years ago or so), one of my teachers said to us that she thought it was wrong and selfish for mixed race couples to have kids because they might face racist bullying. I can't see the difference between that comment and the one about being gay The comments are both clearly wrong and I would say the gay one borders on homophobic.
I have also seen the pile of shite that is the Family Stone and man do I want to punch SJP's character. She is possibly the world's most annoying woman in that.

HerBluebiro Sun 01-Jan-17 07:56:33

Lee yes the bigots are lesser still. I'd really hope you felt that way.

Recognising difference isn't a problem. Wishing your child wasn't different to yourself is. I'm not explaining it well. I don't think you are a bad person. And this is not homophobia on a par with beating someone up etc. But it is a little homophobic to say.

In this case literally fear of being gay (because of the added difficulties in their life caused by others who are more openly homophobic. I get it. It is not fear of them being gay per se. Just what their life would be like. But they could move to Brighton and have no problems whatsoever ever. They might have a better life being gay than straight. Would you ever say 'i fear my child being straight because of all the abuse she may suffer from her husband' which is still statistically higher. No. Because you see that as being a risk separate to her innate sexuality. Whereas being gay you see as risky in itself.)

I'm not sure I'm explaining it well. But yes it is a homophobic comment. Doesn't mean you are homophobic. Or a bigot. Or a bad person.

LeeFiora Sun 01-Jan-17 07:58:46

Also I don't just accept homophobia. I challenge it whenever I come across it, whether it's on social media or in real life. Unless of course it's me who is unknowingly homophobic, in which case I'm just fucked.
I don't think it's an issue that will go away in the foreseeable future and I do accept that as the reality, regardless of how little I want it to be true.

daimbar Sun 01-Jan-17 07:58:55

This post has really got me thinking as I must admit if my DD came out as trans I would have the same attitude as the OP - would love her unconditionally but would prefer it if she wasn't trans. There are so many posts on here proving how much intolerance there is towards trans people.

Therefore if the OP has experienced homophobia first hand then i can understand how she feels.

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