Dear Editor: Today, as I was leaving the Stonewood Center food court here in Downey, I was called a “Gay” and a gay slur by a young man accompanied by his friends.

He said it with a smile on his face. He was a rather large looking teenager. Could have been a football jock. Though I have no way of knowing his true age.

It was on some level intimidating because with such volatile language there is always the possibility of violence looming just around the corner.

I have found myself in this predicament many times. You might be perplexed because you know me to be a female, but I am a rather stereotypical looking masculine, or butch lesbian. And I am somewhat androgynous and it is not uncommon for people to mistake me for a male.

Homophobia is irrational.

I recall a “Letter to the Editor” written a few months ago. In it, a reader of the Patriot was complaining that she had witnessed a drag queen in a Christmas parade. She was quite incredulous and wanted to move her children some where they would not be exposed to people who are, to paraphrase,  “gender confused”, or something to that nature. I had thought to respond at the time but had thought to myself, “What’s the point?” Is anyone who thinks like that capable of being rationalized with?

No, emphatically,  no!

I have wanted to understand for the longest time the psychology of homophobia.

It is, I believe, similar to racism, and anti-Semitism. Of course if you know anything about the Jewish culture, (my mother was a Jewish convert) then you know that that is somewhat of a redundant statement because anti-Semitism is both anti Jewish as well a kind of racism.

I think, though, homophobia is a little more complex because it is so universal among many races and religions.  But a common denominator would be “Paternalism”.

“And there in lies the rub...”, to quote Shakespeare.

So what do I say to that reader who wrote that people like me are confused about our sexuality? Well, I have to tell you, “I am not confused madam!”

It is you who are confused. I know who I am. I am a lesbian with a fabulously manly haircut. And if you want to scare your children or teach them to be quite narrow and take them to some part of the country that is caught in the time warp of 1950’s Americana, where, I presume,  there are few people of color and maybe even a few “Jim Crow” laws left on the books, then that is your prerogative, because I would not venture to tell you how to raise your kids or for that matter, that they even be literate.

But there is a price to be paid by all these people so afraid of “progressives”, “evolutionists”, “gay marriage” proponents, and all the other paranoid conspiracies that are trying to corrupt your children.

At the very least, your kids have the narrow perspective of their mother and may never fully thrive and grow in an ever changing cultural world.

At the very most you are ignoring the fact that I and so many of my fellow gays and lesbians and transgendered people were not, in fact, raised by homosexual parents. That’s right. My parents were straight.

There are many people who have their ideas about whether people are born gay or not. I personally do not care about whether it is a choice or biological. Some people are born into a Christian family but as adults choose to be a Buddhist, or a Jew or a Muslim. And in a free society, that is their right. So it isn’t relevant to me whether people are biologically gay. And I find the discussion inane and time consuming.

Lastly, I am not one for forcing my point of view on anyone’s children. But I wish you would teach your little ones before they become great big ones some basic manners about how to treat people.

Oh that’s right, you already have (insert sarcasm here).

“Good job!” to mother of the guy who called me a slur. Your son is just one punch in someone’s face away from a career in prison.

Prison, you know, that place where a large group of men share a communal Roman style shower?

Greta Campbell




Published: April 10, 2014 - Volume 12 - Issue 52