My name is Zachary, I'm 22 and I'm gay.

I'm gay and I'm tired.

I'm tired because I constantly have to fight for my right exist within a heteronormative world.

Sure, society has come a long way in its tolerance of the LGBTQ+ community but we are still fighting against opposition from those who think we should have never left the closet. This, of course, brings about things like homophobia, transphobia, and other nasty phobias that confirm my belief that, as a gay man, I am not 100% safe in America still. I mean, Pulse was only two years ago and it still feels like it was yesterday. It also doesn't help that we have an administration in the White House that actively seeks to limit the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, the most recent being their plan to erase Trans folk completely.

When I bring my concerns about modern Homophobia up to my cishet friends and family, I often feel like my fears are ignored or swept under the rug. "It's not like that," they tell me, a person who has been called a faggot and dick-sucker by multiple people throughout my life as a gay man. What I think it is, is that they don't completely understand how homophobia can present its self. They believe homophobia as only being an active form of hatred when, in fact, it can be passive as well.

A good example of passive homophobia is when religious people claim they hate the "sin" of being gay and not the actual gay person. That's them basically saying that I'm destined for hell in a nice way, hoping that I see it as them "partially" accepting my "lifestyle"

Then there's those who believe in being gay as a choice when it's been proven, multiple times, that homosexuality comes from one's chromosomes and genes. Though, the most common form of passive homophobia is believing all gay men to be "feminine" and "flamboyant" when that's not the case. Yes, there are gay men with more of a moon energy but there are also quite a few gay men who posses sun energies. What bothers me is that I often see friends, family, and acquaintances engaging in this passive form of Homophobia. When I call them out on it or explain to them how it's hurtful to the gay community, some of them become indignant. They claim that I'm being "too sensitive" or that I don't have a sense of humor (which is funny because you can actually be funny without being problematic). They also like to play the "I have gay friends so I can't be homophobic" Get Out of Jail Free card, sort of how like racists like to use their black friends as tokens to get out of being racist.

So, to sum it all up, please don't be a homophobe or support homophobes. I literally am tried at having to explain to people why this is important to me when it's pretty obvious why it is.