Sitting in a movie theater, innocently enjoying "Bohemian Rhapsody," I suddenly felt a pit in my stomach, an ache in my heart and heat rising through my entire body. A man sitting next to me blurted out "oh come on, this is disgusting, nobody wants to see this gay stuff". That was just the first of many comments and slurs he made throughout the entire movie during any scene that included any part of Freddie Mercury's sexuality.
I had so many thoughts about this man and his comments. Why go see a movie about a gay man's life if you didn't want to see what his life entailed? Why feel the need to say those comments out loud and not just keep them to yourself? How do you not think twice about who you could be offending? It is incredible for me to be able to be out and to go see a movie in theaters about the life of an incredible openly out gay man. The movie was great but the comments honestly hurt me a lot. Yes, he was an older man saying these things and it might be uncomfortable to see a man kissing a man, but I still don't think that should be an excuse to make comments about how "disgusting" gay people's lives are.
I was at an Indians game with my girlfriend at the time, holding hands walking to our seats and politely made our way through the row to our seats. There was a middle age straight couple sitting next to us and immediately looked me and my girlfriend up and down and I just smiled and said hello. The wife just smiled and said hello back and went back to watching the game. My girlfriend put her hand on my knee and I leaned into her a little, no major PDA.
The man just looked at me and shook his head when he noticed her hand on my knee. I immediately looked away and took my girlfriend's hand and pushed it off of me and asked her not to touch me because I didn't want to cause issues. She immediately got mad that the guy was giving us nasty looks and wanted to say something but I asked her to just keep the peace. I hated feeling like I couldn't be myself and couldn't let my girlfriend have her hand on my leg or hold my hand or anything while we were out. I didn't get why it was okay for him to kiss his wife next to us but I couldn't even let my girlfriend put her arm around me.
In an urgent care, I was nervous and a little uncomfortable waiting for the doctor to come in because I didn't know who it would be. I couldn't get an appointment with my doctor anytime soon so I just went to the urgent care near my house. I was greeted by a woman and answered some simple questions for her. When asked if I was sexually active because my time of the month was late, I replied yes but it's normal for me to be late because I have an ovarian disease.
She immediately told me I need to take a pregnancy test and then I uncomfortably said no I promise I do not need to, she looked completely puzzled and insisted it's in my best interest. I replied saying that I'm never involved with men. She looked directly into my eyes and said "Oh so you're a homo?" I was so shocked and felt like my body left the room entirely so I just with replied "well…. I'm gay yes". I have written about this particular instance before but it's still one that haunts me the most. A medical professional felt that it was okay to say "homo" and then proceeded to say that she doesn't understand how people like me have sex. After getting through the appointment I did contact the urgent care and report what was said to me.
These three instances are just some of many that I have experienced and I honestly don't know why I still get so surprised by them, they happen to so many people in the LGBTQ community all of the time. I get that homophobia is alive but I didn't think I'd ever feel directly attacked by it. I guess I just never noticed it before I came out. When I came out I had a few people very close to me say they were worried for me. They love and support me and think it's great that I'm confident and able to be so open with my sexuality but they also worry about all of the backlash and hate I will get because of it.
I never really understood why they worried so much until the first time I heard someone say something about me when I was out with a girl. When I was closeted I never had to face complete strangers, professionals, or even acquaintances who made direct comments or looks making me feel like who I was, was completely unacceptable. I know that there will be many more instances and comments and looks that I get but it doesn't ever make it any easier or any more acceptable.
I will be directly hated on for something out of my control, and I never thought I'd have to face that in 2018 and I never wish this feeling on anyone. Unfortunately, a lot of hate exists for a lot of different "minorities" and not much is being done about it. The thing is, we need to stop singling each other out, stop making comments that diminish a person for who they are and things they can't control. I am only human, I cannot help but get offended by these instances.
I hate that I have to second guess my safety, or that I have to keep all of these feelings towards intolerance hidden in because I don't want to cause a scene. It's 2018, I'm out and I'm proud, so if you could just keep your comments to yourself or erase them completely, the LGBTQ community would greatly appreciate it.