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Hop Against Homophobia: My Post

May 17, 2012

So, I’m partaking in the Hop Against Homophobia with like… 200 other blogs. I like the idea, and while I’m going to offer a M/M themed prize, I also think this hop should discuss all homophobia. It isn’t just gay men who face hatred, and just because we write M/M doesn’t mean we should forget the rest of the QUILTBAG.

I’m a bisexual woman who leans more to the lesbian end of the spectrum. Yes, I’m married. I’m married to a bisexual man. But R. has been only one of three or four men in my intimate life. I’m just not attracted to many men. I like women. The majority of my intimate partners have been women, and they will most likely always be women. I knew this about myself very early on in my life. My first girlfriend was one of my best friends in junior high school. It was bad enough being overweight in a school full of mostly average-to-thin individuals, but I made myself even more different by kissing a girl.

I’d been a victim of bullying because of my weight or habits since grade school (I was an idiot in the first grade and got caught picking my nose by classmates; I never lived that down). I thought I knew what it was to be ostracized and humiliated, but then I went and dated a girl. It was common for me to walk through the cafeteria and hear the popular kids snickering about the ‘dyke’. I don’t even think they really understood the word, what it did to me, but they used it anyway. Because I liked a girl, because I thought she was beautiful and smart and funny and so damn weird as to make me feel normal, I wasn’t to be treated like a human being with feelings and ears.

The relationship ended when I transferred schools in high school. Once that happened, a different close friend of mine became my girlfriend. I think she was the one that tipped off my mother that we were more than just friends. In high school, I also met my best damn friend, a gay man, who I still revere to this day. I remember walking home with him one day from the drugstore and, as a car drove by, some man screamed ‘faggot’ at us. He just shrugged it off, but I’d had ‘dyke’ leveled at me many times, and I wondered if it had hurt him as it did me, if he smiled just like I smiled because you just don’t know what to say in those moments.

From thirteen to seventeen, I had two of the three most important relationships of my life happen. I was sad when the relationship with my high school girlfriend ended, but by then, I had met the man who I would marry, and I couldn’t imagine a different life from the one I share with him. I’ve had female relationships since marrying, and I will probably have them long into the future. When I’m out with a girlfriend, though, eyes do gravitate toward us. Most adults, though, have the common sense not to shout dyke in a restaurant or snicker about the two fat girls holding hands. But you see it in their eyes, and I remember when it was like in that school cafeteria.

It makes me desperately sad to know that happiness can be so hated by others. My happiness, my joy in my relationships, is cause for scorn and ridicule and ugliness. My happiness doesn’t ruin someone else’s happiness, but someone else’s bigotry can ruin my joy. It’s high time tolerance became the mantra of this world, and I wishβ€”so badly wishβ€”that I believed it would be. But those same people who snubbed me in school and screamed mean things as they drove down the street are raising children. Children who will snub that gay boy in their class or throw a beer bottle out their window at the two women holding hands on a street corner. It’s generational, and it needs to stop.

Schools, churches, parents, grandparents, and strangers need to take up the banner and preach tolerance, acceptance, and understanding to the generation just now able to understand. With the government stripping away women’s rights, devaluing the lives of those who are not straight, and favoring the rich over the poor, we need to stand up and take control once more. Wash away the old and embrace the new. Embrace the diversity of love and life.

So, as part of the Hop Against Homophobia, I will be offering three prizes to three winners. πŸ™‚ All you have to do is comment here and I’ll draw three names on May 20th. I’ll post up a new blog post on May 21st with the winners, as well as send out emails to the winners.

1st Prize: $50 donation to The Pride Center, a Florida-based GLBT organization, plus an ebook copy of The Keeper, Rachmaninoff, Catalyst, or Other Side of Night: Bastian & Riley

2nd Prize: $25 donation to The Pride Center, a Florida-based GLBT organization, plus an ebook copy of The Keeper, Rachmaninoff, Catalyst, or Other Side of Night: Bastian & Riley

3rd Prize: Winner’s choice of The Keeper, Rachmaninoff, Catalyst, or Other Side of Night: Bastian & Riley in print or ebook (if in print, signed by K. Piet and me)

So, comment! πŸ˜€ You do a lot of good commenting, and if you’re one of the three chosen, you get a book to read, too. Awesome-sauce, right?

Don’t forget to visit the other blogs in the blog hop, and spread the word about International Day Against Homophobia. Things need to change, and bigotry and hatred need to be stopped, and the only way it can happen is if we all stand up and make it happen.

And the giveaway is over! Thank you for all your comments. I hope to be able to reply to them all soon!

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31 Comments
  1. Andrea permalink
    May 17, 2012 9:08 am

    I love that you’re doing donations as your prizes. Thanks!

  2. May 17, 2012 9:45 am

    Thanks for sharing your story SL!

    I had a similar experience in high school, in which I somehow ended up a very prominent target after unabashedly dating a girl. We were both obviously bisexual, but that didn’t stop people from going “oh hi, you’re the lesbians aren’t you?” and giggling like we were some novelty or calling me “dykes on bikes” because I wore a leather jacket. What hurt worst was that my closest male friend at the time, who was gay and should have empathized with me, said the most derogatory things to me. I struggled with my sexuality for many years, but I’m lucky, too, that I’ve had many supportive (or at least tolerant) friends and family along the way.

    Bullying and expressions of hate come in all shapes and sizes, unfortunately. I’m not sure I’ll ever understand why so many people feel they have a right to crush or restrict other people’s right to do something as simple and wonderful as freely loving another person.

  3. KimberlyFDR permalink
    May 17, 2012 10:21 am

    Love should always triumph over hate and I believe it always will.

    kimberlyFDR@yahoo.com

  4. May 17, 2012 11:09 am

    Great post and a fantastic way to handle the prizes!

  5. May 17, 2012 11:18 am

    Thank you for sharing – I’m sorry you’ve had to go through all that. Hugs.

  6. May 17, 2012 11:42 am

    Andrea — Thanks for the comment! Yep, donations are awesome prizes.

    Violet — Bullying, bigotry, hatred, they’re all such sad things. And it doesn’t really change with age. The only thing that changes is how they’re expressed. It hurts my heart to think of the children going through what I did, who will grow up to shy away from expressing themselves out of fear. No one should fear who they are or expressing that.

    Kimberly — I hope love will be the guiding tenant in the very near future. Everyone is a human being and deserves to be treated with respect.

    Marie — Thank you! πŸ˜€

    Sarah — My hardships have given me strength, though I do hope the landscape of the world begins to truly change soon. I’d love to spare other children the pain of growing up feeling out of place and wrong.

  7. Danny permalink
    May 17, 2012 11:48 am

    Thanks for choosing donations as your prize. That is wonderful.

  8. K. Z. Snow permalink
    May 17, 2012 11:58 am

    Thanks so much for bringing a bi-slanted-toward-lesbian perspective into this blog hop. We all could benefit from extra doses of awareness.

  9. May 17, 2012 12:06 pm

    Danny — Thank you for commenting!

    K.Z. — I think such hops should take into account all those who fall under the QUILTBAG umbrella. We’re all here. We all suffer and hurt and rage to be accepted. πŸ™‚ I’m glad I could offer that bit of awareness here.

  10. sallybookslut permalink
    May 17, 2012 12:51 pm

    Wow, what an amazing story . . . on all levels, hon. I think you’ve done a better job in speaking to the spirit of the day than anybody else I’ve come across yet.

    I almost skipped the hop because of the m/m focus, but I decided to offer up a choice from my towering review pile – if that happens to be a m/m title, that’s great, but if it happens to be a f/f or trans* title, that’s great too.

    As for the idea of charitable donations as prizes, I wish I had thought of that. πŸ™‚

  11. May 17, 2012 2:16 pm

    thank you for being a part of the hop πŸ™‚ Donations for a prize…awesome idea!

  12. May 17, 2012 2:58 pm

    Thank you for sharing this with us today

    musings-of-a-bookworm@hotmail.co.uk

  13. Cole permalink
    May 17, 2012 3:27 pm

    Wow, Saundra, thanks for talking about that. I had a similar experience that I wrote about, specifically the beer bottle incident. Not only is it demeaning, having to go through those things, but damn scary! I’m glad you’re living a happy life now πŸ˜€

  14. yganoe permalink
    May 17, 2012 6:55 pm

    Thank you for sharing your touching story!
    Yvette
    yratpatrol@aol.com

  15. May 18, 2012 9:53 am

    Hatred, bigotry and injustice of all kinds makes me so damned angry I could literally scream and punch walls. I don’t of course, well not always. I do however try to be proactive in helping to promote the cause of acceptance, justice and freedom to be who you are and not to have to hide who you are from anyone.

    Thank you for a very moving and honest post

  16. May 18, 2012 11:45 am

    Sad and touching post SL. thanks for sharing.

  17. Layladawna permalink
    May 18, 2012 12:49 pm

    It’s true that there are people raising their children to be phobic but not all children turn out like their parents and some people are raising their children to embrace diversity. So there is some hope that the generational effect will stop or become a positive one.

  18. Gigi permalink
    May 18, 2012 3:43 pm

    Great post. Thanks for participating in the HOP.

    gisu29(at)gmail(dot)com

  19. May 18, 2012 5:53 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully one day things will improve so that everyone can be themselves no matter who they choose to love.

  20. May 18, 2012 7:31 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing that. You’re right, we should have included QUILTBAG as a whole and we’ve already decided to do that for next year. There will be a post-hop blog entry with info on next year’s hop. I hope you (and everyone else) forgive the shortsightedness of this year’s hop.

    You have gone through massive hurt and it breaks my heart. I was bullied at school, but it was nothing like this. And still I’m damaged for life for what I went though.

    I’m just glad that you’ve found happiness now and I hope the world will become accepting towards ALL people in our lifetime.

  21. May 18, 2012 7:52 pm

    These stories are really depressing me but I swear I will read them all. Maybe someday we can do this just for the fun of it when there is no longer a need to remind everyone of the inhumanity of humans.

  22. Ashley E permalink
    May 18, 2012 10:58 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing with us. I hope these stories inspire people to really try to change what’s happening in our world today. Hating people because of who they love isn’t acceptable.

    ashley.vanburen[at]gmail[dot]com

  23. May 19, 2012 4:14 am

    thank you for sharing your post with us all. I believe we will change someone’s mind with this hop and they will see with new eyes.

    normanielsen@bigpond.com

  24. Shawn G permalink
    May 19, 2012 2:01 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  25. Lisa permalink
    May 19, 2012 2:31 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. People should be able to love and marry who they want. That’s why I think as a parent it is so important to teach your child tolerance and compassion for others.

    Thanks for taking part in the hop and for making a donation as part of the prize. Great idea!

    lkbherring64(at)gmail(dot)com

  26. Amy permalink
    May 19, 2012 9:34 pm

    I’ve been there on being bullied for my weight. I’m 39 and it’s still with me. Like you said, my happiness doesn’t affect someone else, so why do they feel the need to trample on it? Thank you for sharing your story!

    lina7391(at)hotmail(dot)com

  27. Pati permalink
    May 20, 2012 1:28 pm

    My daughter has a coupls of friends who are a lesbian couple and my heart just breaks for the one girl. The one girls parents are completely homophobic so her parents just hink this girl is her best friend. It’s so sad. They were shocked when they met my daughter because she was 100% okay with their orientation and was very supportive when others made rude comments. I look forward to the day when everyone can love whomever they love without fear. If enough of us parents raise our children talking openly about all orientations we can make this world a better place, of that I have no doubt as I’ve seen it with my own kids who are now grown. Thank you not only for sharing your story and for offering books as prizes but for the prize donations as well, what a wonderful way to contribute.

    Hugs,
    Pati
    JPM6966 at aol.com

  28. peggy permalink
    May 20, 2012 4:46 pm

    Thanks for the post, the hop was great.

    Peggy1984@live.com

  29. May 20, 2012 7:49 pm

    Thank you for participating in the blog hop! I have several friends who have come out of the closet to me but none of their family, I find that heartbreaking that their families will never understand who they truly are on the inside and who they love.
    One of my friends came out to everyone, his family, his friends and he was blessed to not lose anyone. Actually most everyone already knew who he was and had excepted him a long time ago, it was him who took so long to accept who he was. All of his family and friends support and love him and this is how it should be!

    Tabatha Hansen
    mmparanormalromance@gmail.com
    http://www.mmparanormalromance.wordpress.com

  30. Penumbra permalink
    May 20, 2012 10:19 pm

    Thanks for participating in this hop. I’m enjoying all the great blog posts.

    penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

  31. May 20, 2012 11:50 pm

    I pray that the children of those who hate don’t turn out like their parents. I don’t have kids, but I do my best with my niece and nephew. It’s so sad that so many people spend so much time judging & hating others 😦

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