Saturday, August 23, 2008

I am homophobic

Well, here goes with trying to air out an issue that I have been living with for a long time now. Now, none of you know me, not like we spend time together like my friends and family in “the real world” so I will try to make this simple.

I get a lot of shit from people saying that I am homophobic, hate gay men, am prejudiced, etc. I guess that I am, in a sort of way, but I am going to take this opportunity to explain. I have wanted to write this…and then not wanting to…I think that means that I should. I will give you the nutshell version and maybe one day the full details.

Over the past ten or fifteen years, I have been known to give dirty looks to gay men, glare at them with hate and even give them ‘fightin eyes’ while clenching up my fists. It is not that I have any real issue with their personal choices or that I have any problem with people being gay…just don’t do it or show it around me.

I used to live in an area where there were an abundance of gay men and every trip to the grocery store would get my blood boiling. Having men in the produce isle winking, smiling and making eyes at me just sent my head spiraling into REALLY BAD places.

The people in my life would always give me dirty looks and tell me to relax, let them be, take it as a compliment…or something like that. I try. What has gotten me to this place where I seem to be punishing all gay men is an experience that happened in 1993.

I lived in Boston and had been going through a hard time with going out and drinking a bit too much. On one night, I was at a bar near South Boston “Southie” and as I exited the bar, a bit inebriated, and began my stumble home I walked by an alley where all of the sudden a guy grabbed me from behind, put a large knife to my neck and led me out of sight. The guy was bigger than I, he had a big knife and I was drunk…not a good situation for protecting one’s self. Now I was ready to hand over my wallet and watch when I noticed that that was not what he wanted. Right. I was sexually assaulted by a man. Now I had not talked of this with many people because I felt that it made me feel like less of a man. I know that my choices in that alley were limited…I could have tried to fight, but the steel of the knife blade was a consistent reminder of reality, pressed to my neck. After the assault, I filed a police report, went to the hospital and then tried to forget. Shortly after the incident, I moved to CA.

I know that the gay men that I see in daily life are most likely NOT the man that did this to me, he probably was not even gay…just a sick drug addict or something…but my head has made a connection that I can’t seem to break. I know that I need to get past this because I don’t want to go through the rest of my life with that hatred in my head…so that is why I am posting this.

Yes – I can be serious and deep and personal…no pee in sight.

21 Comments:

Insane Mama said...

Baby- you are so brave to throw this out there, you are so brave to be honest with your thoughts.
I think this was beautifully written.
Me
ps I love you

Deb said...

I also think you are incredibly brave to tell this story. Being sexually assaulted is very hard to talk about. It gets easier to talk about and you do get past it - never over it, but past it.
Thanks for sharing that Chris.

Stephanie said...

Bravo to you for putting yourself out there and sharing what happened to you with all of us. It is such a difficult thing to talk about, and I know it must have been difficult for you.
I think that writing about your attack and working through the feelings it caused will help you on the road to healing, and it will also help fellow victims of sexual abuse/assault.
Excellent post, my friend. God bless.

Molly said...

I think when anyone has been the victim of a serious assault it is hard for them to deal with, but I think for a man, I can only imagine it is somewhat harder. Glad that you felt you could talk about this here, and I think your feelings towards gay men are somewhat natural as far as most straight men are concerned. Hopefully one day you will reach a point where it simply doesn't bother you anymore.

Swirl Girl said...

Holy shit- i think I would be homophobic, knifephobic and bostonphobic if this had happened to me.

You got guts dude.

The Mom said...

I am sorry this happened to you Chris!! What a sick and ugly world it can be!

Jasper Mockingbard said...

Wow.

That's all I can muster.

Single Mom Seeking said...

Just found you through my blog... thanks for the great comment there. I agree with the other readers here: this is a very brave, courageous post. Thank you.

Rhea said...

Oh,man, Chris, that's just awful and horrible. I can't believe that happened to you. :o(

I can understand where you would have trouble with gay men after this. I probably would too. :o(

TentCamper said...

Thank you all for the comments so far. Itis hard and hard to write about...which is why there was no detail...yet.

I do and have had gay friends, but it just takes me kowing them before I can get the other shit out of my head.

Karen said...

I'm sorry that happened to you. Nobody should have to go through that..

Talking about it helps. It will take time though. It's something that you never forget, but you can get to a place where it no longer defines who you are. Sounds like you are well on the way.

Re your feelings towards gay men. I can understand that. There was a time when I felt very much the same way towards men, bec ause of what happened to me. There was a time when I realised that not ALL men were rapists/sexual abusers/violent and that all men were not resposible for one a few men had done to me. It helped a lot, in moving me from the place where I was a victim, to where I was a survivor, by putting the blame squarely where it belonged ... with those that had abused me and not with everybody that happened to possess a penis...

Stephanie said...

Tentcamper - Without saying anything else, just know that twenty years later, I am still petrified of men with beards.

Marcella Chester said...

Thanks for this post. I'm sure it was tough to reveal why you get triggered. So often those of us who have been raped try to put what happened behind us and not think about it, but that sort of violation isn't so easily buried and tends to pop up despite our wish that it leave us alone.

T said...

Wow. Well, the amazing thing about you, TC, is that you aren't afraid to be who you are. No matter how it looks to anyone. I enjoy that you will admit perceived 'faults', realize how you got there, understand that you can change but maybe just aren't there yet, and accept yourself completely, as is, in this moment in time. That is HUGE and your acceptance of yourself will be the one thing that will help you to heal and grow. You, and only you, can decide if the things that happen in your life will define you or define who you wish to be. You are an inspiration because, even though you could, you don't seem to define yourself as a victim. Continue to look ahead, my friend. Your life is getting better and better as you face and release your past. Love ya!

Raging Dad said...

Wow, I am used to coming here for humor and levity! Bravo for being brave and exposing yourself. I hope that time and positive experiences with gay men will help you to overcome the negative association. As for overcoming the effects of the assault, well, I guess I am fortunate enough to say that I cannot really offer advice there. Unfortunately, there are many out there who can.

Pleasing Procrasinator said...

What happened is awful. I agree with the others, very brave of you to get the story out there.
I most certainly understand your agitation.

Mom2FiveBratz said...

My husband is homophobic too. Our youngest son is so sensitive, and caring, and well..pretty enough to be a girl, I keep saying he could grow up to be gay, and thats totally okay with me. My husband turns into the excorcist when I say such things, so now I say it just to see his head spin. :)

Mom2FiveBratz said...

I guess i shouldve read the rest of your post. (Im not suppose to be reading posts, just looking up the weather!) I am so sorry you had to endure something like that, why are people are cruel? I hope what goes around, comes around for that thug.

'That Girl' said...

Yes, you are brave for sharing that, and for filing a police report..that's unusual..but you did all of society a favor.

And, I can totally see the correlation in your head.

for a different kind of girl said...

Chiming in to say that it is, truly, brave of you to share with us what happened to you. Sexual assault carries such a stigma for the victim, and I imagine that it's perhaps magnifide ten-fold for a man who has endured such a thing. Thank you for sharing.

Maddnessofme said...

That is horrible and surely something you don't want to be reminded of. I can understand why seeing a gay man reminds you of that incident and causes a problem for you.

It's ok for you to feel however you feel. You are entitled.

Although, I do know a few gay men who will tell you there are psycho straight men too, that it has nothing to do with orientation. You already know that though.

If you haven't yet... don't watch Brokeback Mountain.

 

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