Wednesday, February 20, 2013


"Stay away from Chris. He's a faggot."

I can't remember how old the first time that I heard the word "faggot". I was 6 or 7...i think. I wasn't sure what or who a "faggot" was but I was assured that it wasn't something that you wanted to be. And I was sure to stay clear from Chris. That was the first time that I heard the word faggot but it wasn't the last.

I think I grew up like most kids in the 70s & 80s...homophobic. While I knew that I would never harm a man because he was gay, I didn't want to be around them either. Once the explosion of AIDS in the early 80s, homophobia ran rampant. During my freshman year at South Carolina State University, we were faced to deal with AIDS in a big way. On November 7, 1991, Magic Johnson announced that he would be retiring from the NBA because he had acquired HIV. I remember seeing dudes in the dorm crying because they thought Magic was gonna die. Some wondered..."was Magic gay?" My response was "does it matter if he got HIV from being gay or doing drugs? It shouldn't. You should be concerned about the man...not the disease." It was at that moment, I realized that my thought process had changed.

Three years later, I read a book that changed my views totally. The book was called Invisible Life by E. Lynn Harris. The book featured a story about a man who realized in college that he was gay and his inner struggle to come out of the closet. The more I read the book the more that I realized that these characters sought the same thing that I They wanted it from other men...I wanted it from women. There were parts of the book that were initially difficult to read (the love scenes) but that got easier with time. I learned from that book that people are people. We all like different things. I could care less what somebody does behind closed doors. Their personal choice doesn't define who they are. People are people. Gay...straight. It doesn't matter. 

Of course, not everybody feels this way. Just a few weeks ago, Chris Culliver, a member of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers made some homophobic comments while being interviewed on a radio show in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. Culliver was asked if he’s been approached by homosexuals.

“Nah, I don’t do the gay guys, man … I don’t do that,” said Culliver.

He was then asked if there were any homosexual players were on the 49ers.

“No, we don’t got no gay people on the team,” said Culliver. “They gotta get up out of here if they do.”

The radio host asked Culliver to reiterate his thoughts, to which the player said, “It’s true.” He added he wouldn’t welcome a gay teammate – no matter how talented.

“Can’t be with that sweet stuff,” continued Culliver. “Nah… can’t be… in the locker room man. Nah.”

He later apologized and will have to undergo sensitivity training as mandated by the San Francisco. 

He's delusional if he doesn't think that he doesn't have a gay teammate. The numbers suggest that there is. 

Maybe I should give him my copy of Invisible Life to him

And maybe some of you...


Tee Reese said...

I'm almost on the same page as you.. the getting use to the love scenes.. no can do! Lol! But all the rest.. I respect all and give equal treatment.

Don said...

Damn. It took a genuine human being to write this post. Respect. I've heard of Harris via Lolita Files after he died a few years ago, but never read his novels. I can tell by the outpouring that he was loved, beloved.

I had a gay cousin who died in Orlando, Florida awhile back. We ridiculed him growing up, cause he couldn't play sports for nothing in the world.

I never got the chance to apologize and tell him how much we loved him for all the good things he could do and did.

ShellyShell said...

Once again using my damn Niners as an example albeit a good one but still.
I've never been homophobe maybe because I knew my older brother was gay as a young kid and didn't even know what it really was. Faggot was not to be used EVER. My mom was strict as hell on that. I guess also because my parents both work in the medical field so I wasn't as scared of AIDS as everyone else. I was very educated on it and constantly asked questions. We had a close family friend die of AIDS back in 87-88 and I grew up with a kid who was HIV positive from a blood transfusion when we were 7. I've never felt any kind of way about it.
Ha, it's been so long since I read Invisble Life that I don't even remember the sex scenes. LOL!

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

Great post! So many straight men think empathizing with gay men or accepting them will turn them out...when in reality like you said we're all just people who want someone to love us. Thanks for sharing!

LadyLee said...

You know, it gets a little suspect when people are screaming on the negative about homosexuality... especially here in the ATL. Hmm. I automatically think, and I hate to say it, that there are some, um, closet issues going on there.

I haven't had any homophobia problems. I pretty much lived with my great grandmother up until the age of 5. And her son and his boyfriend lived in what we called the "back room". The room didn't even have a door, just a silk curtin. So I grew up with 2 uncles, who were together for some 30 years.

One of my fondest memories as a child was sitting on the living room floor wrapping their Christmas gifts of cheap avon men's cologne... and making sure that the gifts were wrapped identically.

I knew the adults whispered about it, but they were my uncles. They just happen to be together. So me and my siblings didn't have the homophobia thing going on.