The Hop Against Homophobia is here! (All avow alliteration! :D)
First thing: make sure you visit everyone else's blogs, which can be accessed through the main Blog Hop site.
Second thing: I'm a straight ally, so I don't have any personal experience with homophobia. The closest I've gotten to it is reading those really ignorant, ugly comments that show up below online articles about gay rights. I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to have that sort of bile spewed directly into my face in real time, not knowing if words will be the end of it or if they're the prelude to a bashing.
So how do we end homophobia? It needs to be extinct, not just driven underground. (I apologize in advance to any non-US readers -- this post is going to be very United States-centric.)
Despite the civil rights victories of the 1960s, racists still exist. They know not to use the N-word in public (because if they do, they'll be told off, sneered at, ostracized by most Americans), but they'll say it in private, among their friends and families. Just the fact that they still *think* it gives me the creeps, really.
I don't want to control people's thoughts or to force them to think a certain way -- no one wants the Thought Police -- but I want those bigoted, hateful thoughts to disappear organically, to be burned away by education, by open-mindedness and acceptance.
I have no idea how to do this except to Stay Calm and Carry On. To not tell people that they're being MORONS, even when I really, really think it, because then I'll lose them forever. To not drive that hatred (and idiocy) underground where we can't shine a light on it. It's gonna be hard, but I'll try. :)
We *can* win hearts and minds. The man who organized NOM's bus tour last summer had his mind changed by the peaceful counter-protesters at the Atlanta rally. My friends and I were some of those counter-protesters. It feels great, knowing you made a difference.
There's still a long way to go -- the recent vote in North Carolina proved that. But things are changing fast, and young people give me hope for the future. I'll do my small part by continuing to march for equal rights and by writing as much HEA gay porn as possible. :)
(You can read HEA (oops, spoiler!) gay porn in my story "From A Simmer To A Burn", one of the M/M pirate romance stories in "Cross Bones", an anthology published by Dreamspinner Press (and, I just discovered, on sale right now!).
Comment on this post from now through May 22, and I'll put your name into a drawing for a chance to win a free e-copy of "Cross Bones".)