Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Sunday Sermon [Homophobia]

Hola Everybody!
Preach mode today!

Hatred is never anything but fear -- if you feared no one, you would hate no one.

-- Hugh Downs

The greatest evil is that good men do nothing.

I have a friend who was once beaten to within an inch of her life. After she was beaten and brutally gang raped, her tormentors laughed as they urinated on her and left on a road like discarded trash.

As a result of this beating, she lost sight in one eye, suffered broken facial bones, and had to go through months of painful physical therapy. As extensive as her physical injuries were, they paled in comparison to the psychological and emotional damage she endures to this day.

Why? What did this sweet and beautiful young woman do that warranted such treatment, I asked myself when I saw her lying there in the hospital, her swollen, deformed face barely recognizable.

The answer was quite simple: she was brutalized simply because she was perceived as being different by a group of homophobes. She had the audacity to be different!

I couldn't understand and my mind could not grasp the degree of inhumanity evident in this act.

Hate and fear...

The simple truth is that the things we often hate most about "other” people are reflected within our selves. Homophobes attack homosexuals irrationally because they fear their own inner insecurities about their own sexuality. Repression is never morality and what happens is that when we push certain fears into the dark, they obtain power over us.

I have seen and witnessed this hate all my life. I am Puerto Rican, but my features could be considered "European" and as a result, I have heard many comments about Latino/as or blacks not normally uttered in public. It works the other way around too: just the other day, two Latinas were making comments about me in Spanish, thinking I was white. The comments were very suggestive and as we were getting off the elevator, I wished them a nice day in Spanish and they FREAKED!!!

I have heard Blacks talk about "spics" and "whitey," Latino/as talk about "niggas," and whites talk about EVERYBODY. I learned early that this whole deal was screwed up.

I learned early that people fear difference... and what they really fear and hate are themselves.

I bring this up because last night I heard someone make a comment in the chatroom about gays and no one really said anything. However, if we were to substitute "gay" for almost any other group, people would've had huge issues with that person's comment.

I think about my dear friend lying broken on a hospital bed and I shudder at the thought that as a society haven’t truly progressed all that much. Because it was this same indifference by some, and outright hate by others, that contributed to that crime that night long ago.

Someone somewhere said that the greatest evil one can do is to do nothing, or something like that, and I have to agree.




[un]Common Sense