Friday, July 22, 2011

Latent Homophobia

When it comes to homophobic taunts, where do you draw the line?

With the more hostile reactions such as harsh contempt and outright violence, such obvious homophobia is easier to recognize and therefore much easier dealt with. The line can be drawn in the sand with the haters on the far end.

But what if the homophobia is expressed in a far subtler manner?

Case in point would be Piratin Patty's new beau. Oh yes, she has a new beau. And Harry fulfils possibly every nit-picking criteria she has - shaggy, scruffy, sweaty, filled to the brim with indefinable machismo - and in every possible way, one of the nicest fellows around.

And Harry Huevos cooks up a mean pork adobo.

Harry comes knocking

Since like any situation rom-com, we all hang out together in almost every possible situation, it would be impossible for Harry not to know that both Fabulous Felix and I are gay. Hell, with Felix around, the beautiful life's pretty much a rainbow-flag waving, disco-dancing Queen Mary floating in a tub of lube.

Me, he thought I was dating Patty till I handed him my pink passport denying me access to Labialand.

Felix : I think Harry's homophobic.
Paul : That was quick judgement! But how?
Felix : Just from the way he reacts when we talk about gay stuff.
Paul : He does?
Felix : He scrunches up his face.
Paul : Hmm. I think I have seen that too. Think he also says yuck.
Felix : Homophobe.
Paul : Surely you don't expect him to embrace such a lifestyle - and us - in a day. It took some of us years to work out our own internalized homophobia.
Felix : Pfft. Homophobe.

Think one morning Harry even squealed like a horrified Victorian debutante and drowned himself in a duvet when Felix inadvertently walked in on him changing.

A latent homophobe?

Possibly. And I didn't even realize it till both Felix and Patty pointed it out to me. Have I grown inured to such slings and arrows? Obviously with the years of endless homophobic taunts in school, I've developed such a thick impenetrable hide that small insignificant slights just roll off my back.

No burning crosses. No raised fists. No nasty epithets.

Just the occasional twinge of discomfort when he talks to guys who likes guys. I would have dismissed it as the usual straight-boy discomfort when it comes to everything homosexual. That kinda behaviour I think we can all work with. Give it time, we'll have Harry marching together in the gay parade in solidarity one day.


kenny said...

can i please know ur email , i want to ask u something ?

Tempus said...

well you sure have confidence in getting some sense into Harry. well, in my case I think one of my close friend is also a homophobe. Not gonna change him in anytime soon, maybe when I've managed to sort out who is the real me, then I will have myself knocking at him.

DeluSion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DeluSion said...

I have a straight guy friend who's been very nice to me. He knows I'm gay, but when the topic of gay people comes up, he still shows contempt to gays in general, and use all the derogatory terms in front of me.

It's horrible! But he's nice to me, so I think he just chose to ignore the part of me that's gay. And the reason he ignores that part is because he doesn't know how to deal with it. Slowly as society evolves and "we" become more visible I'm sure (read:hopeful) that that attitude will change. And slowly he'll realize the things he has said in front of me aren't really nice to say.

(1. sorry for the long and a bit unfocused comment.)

savante said...

Sure you can, kenny. Send it to

Pretty much sorted myself, tempus :) Hence I'm able to tease him!

Takes a while to change people, delusion... little baby steps.


john chen hui long said...

it's a touchy subject between me and my straight friend. he makes fun of gay men but me, and that makes it all the more awkward. i'd rather not be an exception.