Your Homophobia Isn't A 'Difference Of Opinion,' It's Hate

Your Homophobia Isn't A 'Difference Of Opinion,' It's Hate

Don't tell me, a gay man, just to accept that some people want me dead.

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Sometimes, I sit and think about the fact that gay marriage was legalized in all fifty states for only four years.

Four years.

Four years ago, before this law was put into place, gay and lesbian couples could get married in only a small number of states. In other ones, they could get a legal document stating that they were "life partners" but that, of course, wasn't recognized by most employers and insurance companies. Four years ago, when gay marriage was finally recognized in all fifty states, the LGBT+ community rejoiced; but, this happiness was short lived.

People began coming out of the woodwork, claiming that this the downfall of the United States. They became angry, enraged, at the fact that a minority that has been long discriminated against was getting some basic human rights. There was even the infamous Kim Davis, a government employee, who refused to issue a marriage license to a gay couple. She claimed religious discrimination and became somewhat of a martyr for the homophobic community, seeing the gay couple and the rest of the LGBT+ community as her oppressors. Thankfully, she lost her case and had to pay $225,000 in legal fees for the gay couple she discriminated against.

This little story brings me to my larger point: using terms like "religious freedom" and "difference of opinion" to make one's homophobia seem less severe.

People like to think that just because the gays got the right to marry, it means that they're protected from things like homophobia. They think that because the AIDS crisis is over, the gays are a happy and healthy bunch who have no fears what so ever. Which, in my humble opinion, is a load of absolute garbage.

LGBT youths are thrown out of their homes by their parents for being gay, lesbian, and transgender. 40% of the 1.6 million homeless youth in America identify themselves as a part of the LGBT community, which is absolutely alarming. It's no easier for LGBT adults either. We live in fear of having our rights taken away or infringed upon at any moment. We live in fear of being harassed or assaulted if we hold hands or are affectionate with our partners in public. We're afraid that we'll have a repeat of the Pulse nightclub shooting, turning out safe spaces into a space of terror.

Please, realize for once in your life that homophobia isn't simply a different opinion, it's straight up discrimination. Whenever I hear people say "I don't hate the gays! I just hate the sin!" still reads as "I hate gay people but I'm just saying this to make myself seem more tolerant than I really am." This also applies to straight women who claim to love gay men, but, allow their relatives, husbands, and boyfriends to toxic homophobic dribble whenever they feel like. If you were truly a dedicated ally, you would openly and angrily condemn their behavior and refuse to associate with them. But when you don't, and sit there and smile and say "well, that's just their opinion" you have become complacent in their hatred and discrimination towards the gay community.

Alright, so y'all can get mad at me, a gay man who's telling you truth of what it's like to be gay, or you can step back and reassess your own internalized homophobia and try and make a change in your life.

It'd be a lot cooler if you did.

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19 Things Every Long Islander Knows to Be True

You know you're from Long Island when...
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I love to travel, see new places and go on adventures. I love that I was lucky enough to go to school out of state, travel abroad, and see so many new places. However, no matter how much I travel, there is always one place that will have my heart, and that's Long Island. Growing up on the island is special. We're a unique breed, brought up on bagels, pizza, and great beaches, and we definitely stand out. You know you're from Long Island when...

1. Lawn-guy-land.

Whenever someone asks you where you're from, you take extra caution to say Long Island, but no matter how you say it, they still comment that you have a Lawnguyland accent. "Haha all you Long-Islanders say it like that"! Haha, no I did not say it like that, shut up.

2. You're a bagel snob.



No matter where you go, no bagel will ever compete with A&S, My Three Sons, or Bagel Man. Jersey people will try to tell you that their bagels are better but there is really no chance. Bacon, egg, and cheeses give me life.


3. New York City is "the city," and the only acceptable way to get there is "the train."

LIRR is love, LIRR is life. Quick, easy, and always a good time. You can get to Manhattan in under an hour. Who doesn't love drinking out of paper bags and listening to people fight on the phone. Just don't miss the 2:42 train home or you'll have to wait in Penn Station until 5:30.

4. You've been asked at least five times if you know the Long Island Medium.

LOL yeah, she's my neighbor!!! Of course, I don't know her. First of all, Long Island is 1,400 miles long so I don't exactly know everyone, and second of all, why are you so obsessed with the Long Island Medium?

5. Everything above the city is considered "upstate."

Westchester, Albany, Buffalo, Rye, they're all the same thing to me: Upstate.

6. You get really frustrated when people say you live "in Long Island."

No, it's an island. And we live on it. So, "I live on Long Island."

7. While summer concerts are always great, Jones Beach Concerts will forever be #1.

Oh what a special time. I'm not ashamed to say I saw Ke$ha twice, complete with glitter and all. Once with Pitbull opening, and the other time with LMFAO opening. Get $leazyyyyyy!!!

8. You probably played lacrosse at some point.

Whether you just played in third grade, or played on varsity in high school or college, lacrosse is the single most important sport on Long Island and everyone has given it a try.

9. You celebrate the day Ralph's opens as if it's a holiday.

Ralph's is the number one summertime snack. If you live on Long Island chances are you're within 10 minutes from one.

10. You can correctly pronounce places like Hauppauge, Massapequa, Ronkonkoma, and Patchogue.

That's a party trick if I've ever seen one.

11. You or someone you know "has seen Lindsay Lohan's house before."

Okay, guilty. I actually have seen her house though. My cousins lived around the block from her, but regardless, you've heard this way too many times.

12. Billy Joel is your idol and a hero.

"Piano Man" will always make you tear up, and if you ever memorized the words to "We Didn't Start the Fire," it was probably the best moment of your life.

13. Thanksgiving Eve is the biggest party night of the year.

It's a huge reunion for you, your friends, and every other person you went to high school with. Full of hugs, cheek kisses, Bud Light and Fireball shots, Thanksgiving Eve is always a good time.

14. You've been to Safety Town and it was the best field trip of your life.

If you never went to Safety Town, you probably had a deprived childhood and I am so sorry.

15. You've winded up at the diner at the end of the night on many occasions.

Whether or not you've wanted to, you and your friends ended the night many a times with a trip to the diner. There is nothing better than greasy mozzarella sticks or chicken fingers at 1 A.M.

16. You hung out in parking lots or playgrounds as a young teen.

It was the cool place to hang out. Probably the first time in your life you felt like a BAMF.

17. You've tried to find the Amityville Horror House.

And were most likely unsuccessful.


18. No pizza will ever live up to your beloved New York pizza.

SO #blessed to have grown up with such doughy, delicious, cheesy goodness.

19. Family means the world to you.

Sunday dinners at your grandparents, your family coming to all of your music concerts, home cooked meals every night, tons of cousins, family is the most important thing to you. Whether you're Irish, Italian, German, or Polish, family is your number one.

There you have it. Long Island is a wonderful place to grow up, it will always hold a special place in my heart, and I will always consider myself a Long Island girl.

Cover Image Credit: http://housedecorsideas.party/decors/map-long-island

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18 'Queer Eye' Quotes That Prove The #Fab5 Are The Most Amazing Humans On Earth

They're smart, funny, and have hearts of gold.

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I never watched the original "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," so when I started watching "Queer Eye" on Netflix, I was not prepared for the range of emotions I experienced. So. Many. Tears. Every. Time.

I am convinced that these five men are five of the purest, most amazing humans in the world. They put aside their fears and insecurities and go into people's homes to help them look and feel better. I think it is important to note that they are going into homes in the south.

Despite what we as a country want to believe, the south is notoriously slow to adopt progressive ideologies. So the fact that five openly gay men are willing to put themselves into situations, in places they may not be accepted, is amazing. And they do it because they have a passion for helping others.

These men change lives. They encourage people to embrace their bodies, talents, and feelings. They help people feel good about who they are now.

Of course, the Fab 5 can't go into every home in the world and shower happiness on us all (though if I ever find a genie in a bottle, this will be my first wish), we can still experience the encouraging, loving, and hilarious words of the Fab 5 from the comfort of our homes.

"You're strong, you're a Kelley Clarkson song. You got this."

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- Johnathan Van Ness

"You being your true self isn't going to offend anybody. It's very unlikely that people are going to cause you an issue just because you are being yourself. And if they're concerned, that's on them. You're happy."

- Tan France

"When people build up walls, they end up keeping other people out. But they're also keeping themselves in."

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- Karamo Brown

"I heard a preacher once say, 'Sometimes when you're feeling buried, you're actually just planted.'"

- Bobby Berk

"What I've learned is that living in public life... it's impossible to have everybody like you. No matter what you do."

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- Antoni Porowski

"When people say, 'You can't teach an old dog new tricks,' it's not true, because you can reinvent yourself and learn new things whenever you want." 

- Johnathan Van Ness

"If my gay black ass from the South could do it, your ass can do it. So, just believe in yourself."

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- Karamo Brown

"Style is not fashion. Fashion is not trendy after a season. I couldn't give a sh** about fashion. Style is dressing the way that you feel confident and what is appropriate for you, your age, body type."

- Tan France

"How you take care of yourself is how the world sees you. It's OK to have a relationship with yourself."

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- Johnathan Van Ness

"Don't let that fear hold you. Don't let it hold you any more."

- Karamo Brown

"I want my partner to look at me and think I respect them enough to make an effort."

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- Tan France

"I'm sending this memo to every guy in the world. Making an effort with your wardrobe doesn't mean you're a wuss. Making an effort means you're serious about the life you want."

- Tan France

"Confidence is sexy. Knowing who you are is sexy."

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- Johnathan Van Ness

"I never want people to think they are not gay enough, or straight enough. It's so much more about what is in your heart."

- Johnathan Van Ness

"I experienced the hate and the ignorance, and it's scary. I started getting older and refusing to accept that. And refusing to accept the kind of chains that I've been having my whole life. I just wanted to be free."

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- Bobby Berk

"You can't selectively numb feelings. So if you try to numb the vulnerability, you also numb the joy, happiness, connection. You can't have connection and joy and happiness without vulnerability." 

- Johnathan Van Ness

"I'm never massively concerned about what somebody is wearing, as long as it makes them feel really good about themselves."

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- Tan France

"Being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength. It shows you are in tune with yourself, which is the sexiest thing to men or women."

- Karamo Brown

These five men truly have everyone's best interest at heart. They are kind, considerate, confident, and caring. They go out of their way and out of their comfort zones to help others embrace who they really are.

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