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 sought...love. 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...