“Have you been safe with the recent girls you’ve been with?” I asked.
“Ah, well, you know, sometimes yes and sometimes no," he said, blushing - knowing fully he was at risk, “I got checked though, so it’s cool.” I didn’t want to push his buttons and go on about how he has to check every six months to know for sure that he is in fact, safe. The HIV virus can remain in a person’s body for months, even years before finding out. It just makes me sad how hypocritical and so judgmental people can be without taking any accountability for their own actions whatsoever. How can someone sit there talking about how “gross” and “sinful” people are, while they’re doing something worse off? Heterosexuals are just at risk for HIV than gay men are. What bothers me most about certain straight guys who have this obsession or fantasy about two girls being together is that they seem to think being “gay” is okay, only if you’re a female. To make matters even uglier, they cringe to even see two butch women together just as they would with two males. I totally understand their madness, but this is the very thing that enables their own children to become bullies. Being that my friend has a few kids of his own, I wonder how they’re being taught at home. Tolerance begins at home.
While growing up, my mother used to tell me such wonderful things about her cousin Anthony, who was a gay transvestite. He taught my mother how to do her hair and makeup and always made her laugh. My father adored him as well and oddly as this sounds, his own mother (my mom’s aunt) never knew about Anthony being gay or even a transvestite. I think it was more of a long-term denial phase, but she loved him nonetheless. He sadly died from AIDS eventually. From a very young age, I was taught to respect people of differences and appreciate their uniqueness. Even though my father was an old fashioned Italian “Archie Bunker” Brooklynite, he always welcomed anyone who was homosexual or just ‘different’ into his home. His ‘tough guy’ attitude would lightly mock upon those who were “light on their feet” or perhaps, those who were “fairies”, but never said, “Oh how gross and sinful!” One day while he was watching part of the gay pride parade on TV, he blurted out, “Wouldja look at dese’ fairies?” He chuckled and kept watching. I immediately asked, “Dad, you have four daughters, three of them with men. Don’t you think one may slip from the norm?” He took a deep drag from his unfiltered cigarette, stared at me and asked, “Why whadday tellin’ me - you a fairy too?” My life flashed in front my eyes. “...Yes.” I remained silent as he kept staring. “You dating that nice Puerto Rican girl?” he asked as he channeled in the Archie Bunker spirit. “Yep.” I replied. And out of nowhere came the least expected thing I would ever hear from his lips: “I love her! Good for you! I ratha’ see you with somebody nice like her ratha’ than some schmuck dat would treat you badly. Good for you!” he said, nodding his head approving of my new relationship.
From old school types of mindsets to current bigotry in any type of form can vary from one person to the other. In my personal opinion, the worst of all are those who are preach about sinful acts of homosexuals, yet practice unsafe promiscuous heterosexual sex. (Quite the tongue twister there.) I knew where my dad was coming from. He means no harm when he says “fairy”, but to some it may be hurtful. To me, I knew better because he wasn’t being a hypocrite. For those who only prefer to see female homosexuals yet detest gay male couples makes me wonder if it’s more about the hidden homosexual in themselves or just hatred in their hearts in general.
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