A Glimpse Of Unsurprising Rural Homophobia

Good evening, Gentle Reader. If you weren’t aware, I’m a big ol’ queer. I grew up in a rural area – hell, I’m living in a rural area now. I’m accustomed to the frequent shout of “Faggot!” or “Homo!” It’s not right and it makes my blood boil, and when I can, I aggressively do my best to educate those in my sphere. Those who know me that I’m not only belligerent, but downright scary when I lose my temper.

I came down to my mum’s after the poetry reading last night. She was supposed to take me to a doctor today (as I don’t have any insurance, and occasionally lose the use of my left leg, at the moment, for no damned reason.) Instead – I’m not sure why – she wanted to see a play at the High School instead. Whatever. We did so.

PHS

The play was “Legally Blonde,” and was a good show, that portrays gay caricatures. They’re well-intentioned, but – they’re still caricatures. It contains an ardent activist-in-general/feminist who is called a lesbian once early on, objects, and then shows attraction to other females avidly through the play (for laughs, I’m sure,) and a lovely little number called “Gay or European” wherein the straight defense council need to determine a witness’s sexuality to sway the outcome of the case. I found it both amusing and offensive. It *is* both amusing and offensive. The character – who, it turns out, is gay AND European, har har – is portrayed in a positive(ish) light, despite being a minstrel character. On balance, I ended up bemused, but was slightly pleased that a play at my old high school contained openly gay characters at all.

Not so the local townsfolk, it transpires. Maman and I stopped off for dinner, afterward. I never order cocktails in straight bars, so I ordered an unpleasant amber ale. We chatted, but as ever – we really like to eavesdrop. A lot. A few of the locals were up in arms over that scene in the play. In fact, a brawl seemed imminent. Several brawny greyhairs were crowding around a father of one of the actors – not even the father of the “gay” kid. Slurs were flying. When the waitress approached and apologized for the language (doubtless eyeing my velvet blazer and brooch,) she suggested that we pay up and depart. Not in a threatening way; it was more a “Have you heard of Matthew Sheppard?” sort of thing.

The Laramie Project Poster

Ordinarily, I would have confronted the bellicose yokels. However, I was using a cane, and not for show – I’ve been hobbling about for days, now. I turned tail and fled, Maman not quite understanding why the waitress and I were rushing us out.

About Ty DeLyte

Madame DeLyte has suffered a grave disappointment - YET AGAIN - and still believes that freedom, beauty, and truth are what's valuable, rather than vulgar cash. He'd add love to that list - but, well, what can he say about love?
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4 Responses to A Glimpse Of Unsurprising Rural Homophobia

  1. ekgo says:

    Yeah.
    That sucks.
    I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea of people really truly believing, all the way down to their dark little souls, that they are right about everything they think and there is no room for Other.
    My step-dad is both racist and homophobic. He’s from Kansas, yes. He’s such a good guy, he’s taken great care of my mom and of all her kids even though we’re not his biological children. It’s so easy to forget he hates people based on things that…have no bearing on his life. No gay person has ever slaughtered his family. No black person has ever ruined his entire life and the life of everyone he loves. And even had that happened, no one person is representative of the collective, anyhow, so after lots of therapy, those beliefs wouldn’t make sense anyway. They don’t make sense now.
    And because I am a horrible daughter and a horrible friend, I invite all my boyfriends and our one black friend to our events and then tell my parents that The Scary People will be there and it is their decision whether or not they attend. Since my mom loves my boyfriends and wants to steal our black friend’s baby, she makes my step dad come along and he has to be nice. In my heart, I always hope he sees that these people, our friends, the little family we’ve put together for ourselves, are just more people. Just like he is, just like his people are. I want him to know that all these people – ALL of them from my BFF since 6th grade to my irritating down-the-road neighbor – matter in our lives and we matter in theirs and so they should all matter to him, even if he doesn’t like some of them as individuals.
    It’s a lost cause. I know that. But I don’t understand it and I don’t know why it hasn’t changed yet. And I am sorry. I am sorry I can’t change it and you can’t change it and haters gonna hate. 😦
    And hopefully, I’m not coming across as all condescending or evil or arrogant or straight-privileged or anything because I’m not trying to but I almost alway end up being a jackass when talking about things that I don’t actually understand because I’m a middle-class white girl living in a conservative area. And am a slow learner, apparently. Gah!
    I NEED YOUR MANNERS BOOK!!!!

    • Tyler J. Yoder says:

      I would reply more fully about this, my dear, but I actually have a post coming out in the next week or two that actually goes into this topic pretty heavily. I know that you’re working your way forward, but there’s a lot of posts in between here and there, so when it comes out, I’ll try to remember to come back here and post a link. ❤

      • ekgo says:

        Haha, so when I read “I know you’re working your way forward,” I thought you meant, “You’re trying not to be an asshole when talking about things you don’t understand and that’s good!” and I was like, “Oh? You can tell? Yay! I’m making progress!” and then I realized, “OH! No. He means I’m working my way forward in blog posts. Eh heh. Wow, I am freakishly full of myself.”
        It was very entertaining. For me. Because I am easily entertained.

    • Tyler J. Yoder says:

      So I’m not certain, because I forgot to come back and post the link I was going to for you, but I think that it was this one?
      https://paisleyglen.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/a-romantic-misadventure/
      Of course, you’ll get to it eventually anyway, so no worries. 😀

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