Today I want to get into the dark stuff. Experiences many of us had and got hurt by. I am talking about the confrontation with people who can’t handle your liberated lifestyle. Basically, dealing with people who can’t handle you.
I don’t hide my sexuality. If someone asks, they get an answer and it doesn’t matter to me who they are. Parading around and telling everyone without being asked is not my style, but I really don’t care if I might shock someone with the answer.
Once somebody said behind my back that me not only liking men is a disease, after realizing I date women outside my relationship.
Obviously, a lot of non-heterosexuals have heard things like this, and it is still common to hate on people with different sexualities. I felt hurt, irritated, shocked. I didn’t know how to handle it. This was a young guy who has known me for quite a while, and we got along well. But when he found out about my sexuality, he felt the need to express his discomfort in such a drastic way. What frustrated me most, was seeing a young man be so close-minded! How is it still possible for people from our generation to feel the need to attest us a sickness for something as simple as sexual orientation?
Intolerance is Still Raised onto People
This is a worldview which I would expect from our grandparents, but not our own generation! Apparently, those worldviews are still raised onto people by older generations, and this comes as no real surprise.
A father figure in my social circles has proven why young adults might feel this way. With this man, I felt the need to position myself strongly, because he was walking over me regularly. My position included my sexuality because it is part of me and I want you to see all of me. When communicating my bisexuality, he nonchalantly ignored that part of me. Later I found out, he had asked a friend about it and how I live it out. His worldview crumbled and his only way to deal with it was by ignoring it.
People like him raised today’s young adults, and they might have never learned openness and tolerance.
Expose Them to What Makes Them Uncomfortable
I have made it my personal mission to transform everyone I meet who thinks within this worldview. That young guy I told you about has evolved and became more tolerant (no idea if I was the cause).
To be honest, we have never talked about it. I have confronted him with my irritation and my disagreement with his ignorance, but he has never explained himself about it. Is there really a need for him to do that, anyway? I don’t think so. It might have had a negative impact on me for a short amount of time, but he is entitled to his opinion. Going forward he showed me numerous times that he doesn’t feel uncomfortable around non-heterosexuals anymore. He even let me see that he is ashamed of what he has said years back. We are still talking to each other.
You can help!
Hearing stories like this always left me in disbelief, but I didn’t feel the need to address the ignorance behind it. Let me tell you, it is different once it hits you. You hear about these views and how older generations make us believe the dumbest ideas without questioning them, but you might not fully grasp it until it happens to you.
Please, if you hear someone say something like he did, confront them! Help deal with people who can’t handle us! Even if it doesn’t affect you personally, there is someone who gets hurt by this existing obliviousness.
Photo provided by Samia Liamani on Unsplash