I was shocked and disgusted by a 16-year-olds comment against gay men a few days ago.
I won’t repeat the comment but the gist of it was the graphic nature of the violence he would perpetrate against any gay man who would cross his path. The other young boy in the room laughed and agreed with him. I stared in horror with my mouth agape.
I understand that we are in a small coastal Caribbean community in Nicaragua but I couldn’t believe that a young man could be so closed-minded and would result to violence against someone based on their sexual orientation. And it isn’t that there aren’t any gay men in the community. There are. They are few and far between though and they try to stay hidden as much as possible for their own safety.
The adults in the room tried to explain to me the boys’ reaction. Not that they thought it was wrong but just wanted me to understand that it isn’t something they are used to seeing. To make matters worse, they threw in comments about God and the Bible in their defense.
I countered with the race and slavery argument but to them “that’s different.” I don’t think so.
I don’t know at what point I started to cry or what it was that made me cry but I cried and through my tears I expressed my disappointment at what I was hearing. I have a gay son and the thought of anyone harming him or wanting to harm him because of his orientation made me defensive like any mother would be and sad at the same time.
The young man felt badly that I was crying and said that if he had known my son was gay, he wouldn’t have said what he did. I felt badly that he thought that way and didn’t feel better that he would have kept his thoughts to himself had he known.
With the entire world just a click of the mouse away and with many countries now giving marriage rights to homosexuals I’m still horrified that there are still a lot of small minded, homophobic people out there. I can only hope that this changes in my lifetime and that as a society we will learn to live and let live.