A couple of weekends ago I went to Pride in Cardiff.
Not because I am gay, but to encourage and be supportive to a recently come-out friend.
And I’m ashamed to say I was shocked (I really shouldn’t have been).
I was shocked at the reactions.
One person screeched at me ‘BUT YOU’RE NOT GAY!’ when I told them I was going.
No shit, Sherlock.
And a total stranger sniggered at the parade, ‘What’s this, the queer choir?’
Duh. What are you? An asshole.
There was another incident I’d love to tell you, but I’m forbidden. Suffice to say, it was homophobic.
Why these reactions? And I am very conscious that these are extremely tame examples. How, when gay marriage has been legalised this year, are people still coming out with this nonsense, this ignorance, this total suspicion and fuckwittery.
Homosexuality is normal. As long as wo/man has roamed the earth, wo/man has fucked both sexes. But you know this, enlightened reader, because I am confident you are not an ignoramous.
So, I’m not going to labour the point here. But I was flabbergasted at these reactions, especially from those I know.
In one sense, I am in a position of privilege; I am a heterosexual white person living in a developed country, raised by liberal-minded parents. I’ve never been discriminated against (well as a woman, but that’s pretty run of the mill, and I’ll write about that another time), because I don’t fall into a ‘minority’. And I assumed everyone else thought along similar lines, that in 2015, it doesn’t matter what you are, we are all equal.
Well I was wrong. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t realise just how widespread discrimination is against something as normal as being gay.
A friend mentioned something about a parent saying something along the lines of ‘as long as he’s not gay’. Really? He can be a murderer, thief, child molester, as long as he’s not gay? (Yes, I’ve been deliberately extreme there).
Cripes, I’m tempted to make a crass joke about not having to deal with daughter-in-laws if my sons were gay, but that would be tasteless.
I’m horrified I thought this was no longer such an issue. I’m disgusted that people I know (and I liked) have such judgemental opinions. I’m gutted we still live in a world like this. But I’m glad my eyes have been opened, and I’ve had those rose-tinted spectacles pulled off. I wonder how many other people think like I did.
Thank you, Pride, thank you for opening my eyes and making me see why Pride is so important. Thank you for making those around me know that this is how I feel. And as ironic as this sounds, in the quest for equality, thank you for making me look at other people a little differently, and for making me realise we are not all equals. Some of us are narrow-minded wankers.