I'm aware it's not only Christians who are homophobic, but in my life so far they are the only people I have experienced who have voiced their opinions to me.
I have quite a liberal family, so finding out about and meeting my girlfriend wasn't a big deal for them. However, since I started talking about her to my friends and mentioning to them that they might meet her soon, I've noticed that those friends who are Christian are not taking the news well.
They're not being explicitly insulting or anything, and I guess I should be grateful for that. It's just the casual comments about how "it was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" and "I think that people have a right to be gay, but I just don't want them in my house". They give me enough trouble for being an atheist already, but this seems altogether more personal.
I don't know whether I'm being over sensitive being troubled by what they're saying. Normally I just laugh it off and try not to let it bother me (why should I care what they think?), but it's really been getting to me lately. Has anyone got any tips for how to cope?
I find a quick knee in the bollocks enormously satisfying; unless it's a woman.
There are any number of comebacks you can use - like "Your parents must be so proud" or "Would you like some tomato sauce to go with that chip? [On your shoulder]"
Your brain can't tell the difference. Love's love. You're lucky and I hate you! ;-)
"Would you like some tomato sauce to go with that chip?"
Haha, that's made me happy! I may have to use that one.
Thanks for cheering me up :)
Thanks Richard. It's been a really intense evening on the homophobia front. I've had to tell a good friend that I can not longer be around her due to her homophobia. Somehow it's ended up that she is actually angry at me about it. She's saying that she let us continue to be friends despite the fact that I disagree with her Christian beliefs (I also continued to be friends with her despite her disagreement with my atheism, but that's besides the point) and that I'm being intolerant by not wanting to associate with a homophobe.
Ergh, people! :(
There are degrees of homophobia. I am not sure if "grossed out by same-sex action" is homophobia, or just being grossed out by a particular sexual activity (plenty of people are grossed out by sexual activities that aren't their thing). The next degree is limiting one's behavior because the person is scared of coming off as gay or scared that they actually are gay. Then there is the religious "love the sinner, hate the sin"--which makes some people preachy and judgmental, but I think it could also be interpreted as "you can still like a person even if you don't like everything about them". And then there is WBC, Pink Swastika and other people who believe homosexuality should be a criminal or capital offense.
I had a friend who identified as non-straight but later became Christian and believed the usual Christian view of men and women being meant to be, but still was very accepting of me when I said I had a girlfriend. I also had a Sikh friend and I was so afraid to tell her. I finally did after over a year of being friends. She did say a few times that she thought people should be with the opposite sex, if everyone went gay then humanity would go extinct, and some other way-off things but to give her some credit, she had NEVER (knowingly) met any non-straight person before. She also then asked me about my experience too. We are still friends. I don't require my friends to agree with me on everything and I don't need everyone's approval about my relationships, so I can still be friends with someone who thinks differently. I would probably start inching away from someone if they were totally unwilling to talk about it.
Homophobes are poison to the mind. For what they say to your face, they are probably saying more behind your back. Bigots are usually cowards so are as likely to say things you don't hear as say things you do hear.
The Adam and Steve comment is so cliche and time worn they might as well be quoting the bible - that comment has been around for decades. It indicates a lack of intelligence and a lack of critical thinking. It's a form of groupthink - they don't have to think for themselves.
I expect as time passes you will drift away from these jerks, or they will drift away from you. Friends don't say hurtful thoughtless things to friends - why would someone need enemies if that was the case?
Since you are still in school it might be better to smile in their face and avoid them at other times. People usually go their separate ways after graduation, no need to have unnecessary drama and isolation. I wouldn't go out of my way to remove them from your life, just don't invest emotional energy in them either.
Like others have mentioned, the best way to cope would be to disengage from people that are so closed minded about homosexuality. Distance yourself from them as much as possible and seek out supportive friends and family members.
The only alternative would be to challenge them directly when they make statements that are upsetting to you. Like for instance: "I understand that Christians define homosexuality as sinful but there are other people who think that being gay is as natural and normal as being straight...it's just the way some humans develop and it's not a choice. People cannot control who they find attractive and there will always be a segment of the population who are attracted to the same sex. Since the beginning of time. There always have been...it's just that homosexual people are oppressed and repressed by cultural disapproval and religious intolerance from people like you."