The first event which inspired this post has to be Courtnee Love-Cox and her latest blog post. Here it is if you want to have a read. I suggest you do. It's heart-wrenching... This made me think about maybe posting some stuff about LGBT issues that I might become involved in or hear about that would be important. So here I am!
Just to clear the air here - I'm bisexual. Hence my involvement with LGBT issues and all that. And I have a good few close LGBT friends. I'm even part of the UCC LGBT Society as the Finance Officer. It's a brilliant society and we've done some great work - that is, the whole society, not just the committee. And the cherry on top this year was that we won Best Large Society at the BICS (Board of Irish College Societies) Awards. But enough about that, it's not what I'm here for.
|Bi Pride ^_^|
That's me at Cork Pride 2011. Such a fun day! I was really nervous about going as it was my first pride. But it turned out to be a brilliant experience!
The first thing that was said was mentioned the other day, when I was asked a very simple, clean question. This question was - what kinds of sweets would I like to see being sold in the pub where I'm currently working. I took a second to think... and decided on Malteasers. Because they're my weakness! I absolutely love them ^_^ THEN, the quick reply I got after making my suggestion took me off guard:
"Is that because you like balls in your mouth?"
I was not happy. At the time, I just brushed it off and continued working. But then more comments were made and they all just piled together. On reflection, I find it quite homophobic. Sure, I don't mind the odd joke now and then. Or even serious questions like when I was asked who was the most attractive of the male chefs in the kitchen :P But when something like that comes out of something as innocent as Malteasers, it's not good.
The next one is just as bad. I was babysitting one night. Looking after two wonderful kids - everything was great! The following morning, when I was working, I had a little chat with their dad. He had asked me if I watched the Olympics diving the night before. Of course, I didn't because I was looking after his kids and wasn't distracted by tv. So I told him I missed it. Then I hear:
"But they're guys walking around in shorts. That's your kind of thing, isn't it?"
I'm paraphrasing here... These aren't the exact quotes but they're almost identical to what was said to me. Still, it was not very nice to hear. I babysit you kids and you have this idea that instead of doing my job I've been drooling over half-naked divers on tv? That's not on...
The last, and probably WORST, of what I've had to put up with is this... As I put the kids to bed, one of them wanted me to read a bedtime story. So I grabbed a book - Duck In The Truck - and I start reading. Once I'm finished, I ask the little guy if the story was good and he tells me he didn't like it because of my [Irish] accent :D I thought it was adorable and funny. So, I set him off to sleep and let him be. Where the story gets bad is here - the following day (after the Olympic Diving incident). I started telling Dad the story about his little guy and his thoughts about my accent when it comes to storytelling. So I started....
"I was putting *** to bed last night and he wanted me to read him a story..."
"Hold on now, Kieran. This isn't going down a dark route is it? Given your recent... outburst.."
Now... First thing, the asterisks are in place of the little guys name. The 'outburst' is in relation to my coming out to my workmates. What was implied (at least, what I took from it) was that the story I was telling Dad had some sexual component regarding his little son... I was horrified when I heard this. First there was the "joke" about the divers... now you're thinking that I molested your son as I put him to bed... Or something to that effect...
Seriously?! I've never had any stick about my sexuality before but these three things happened in the space of two days! They really affected my self esteem and work ethic...
As I've said above, I'm not the activist type when it comes to LGBTQ issues. But I do try to help the cause when I can. And being the victim of the recent comments I just told you about - it makes me want to educate people even more! You might think it's a harmless joke. But the people on the receiving ends of those "jokes" don't find them funny. I'm all for having fun and taking the piss sometimes but there's a line... And some people just don't know where it is!
So far, you're probably thinking, "jeez... this is a bit dark and morbid..". I think it is anyway. But I want to end on a good note ^_^ There are so many LGBTQ people out there who have it tough... whether you're out or not. But as Lady Gaga once said, "If you really want it, you can make it happen". So if you're the victim of bullying because of your sexuality, or the way you dress, or the things you like, or the people you hang out with - don't just sit back and take it. You can make a stand and make things better for yourself! If you need help, ask for it. You will find help somewhere. Once you have the dream that you want something better, you can make it come true if you really want it to! Here's a video I took when I went to see Lady Gaga ^__^
So don't ever let stupid comments or bullies get you down. Chances are, the people who bully you are afraid of you. They're jealous. That they can't be the amazing person you are. Just keep thinking positive and everything will work out ^_^