Dear B. Scott:
I am in a new relationship with a guy who meets all of my standards and requirements. He is single, gainfully employed, financially independent and a homeowner! He knows how to fix things, has a great sense of humor, he doesn’t drink or smoke, he doesn't use foul language…above all, he makes me feel beautiful and sexy and treats me like a queen.
The problem is he is very homophobic and was raised in a country that frowns upon homosexuality. He has zero tolerance for gay people in general. I, on the other hand, have a few relatives and several close friends of mine who are LBGTQ (Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender & Questioning).
Recently, my new guy and I were having a discussion and when he went off on a tirade about his extreme dislike of homosexuals, I told him I did not agree with him and found his comments to be offensive and shared with him that I have friends and family members who are homosexuals. He questioned how I could associate myself with “those people.” He also nearly fell out when he learned I went to my lesbian friend’s wedding a few years ago. He actually raised his voice at me and asked me why on earth I would go and support something like that? He also now questions whether I have ever slept with women before.
I told him that this was someone who has been nothing but a friend to me and a dear one at that, and I went out of support and friendship because as my friend, I support whatever makes her happy and I know she would support me in the same way. I also added that what goes on in someone else’s bedroom, between two consenting adults, is not my concern, nor his. He doesn’t get it at all.
It has taken me a long time to find a man who has all of the qualities that he does, but I can’t compromise who I am and won’t alienate people I love because he doesn’t agree with their lifestyle. What should I do? Thanks.
My dear love muffin, for you to have finally found someone who meets ‘all of your standards and requirements’, yet harbors homophobic views is truly unfortunate.
Racism, sexism and homophobia stem primarily from ignorance. Which, on the bright side, means it can be cured with knowledge. I would take this opportunity to reach out to his humanity. From the sound of it he seems like a great catch and it would be sad for him to be hung up on something that shouldn't concern him if he is truly confident in his sexuality.
During the course of my life I have interacted with homophobic men like him. By me walking in my truth and being the person that God created me to be, I’ve often changed their views just by them getting to know me. Maybe a part of you coming into his life is to help him become a better person by being the person you are.
He obviously needs to be more educated on the beauty and the diversity of the gay community. Sit down together and express how you feel. Make sure you express to him that your friends, including your LGBTQ friends are a valuable part of your life that aren’t going anywhere. He should know that at the very least, this is how you choose to live your life and that if he loves you he will accept it. Use this as an opportunity to enlighten a fellow human being. One less homophobic person in the world will ultimately make it a better place.
I would also try to dig deeper and find the source of where these strong homophobic views are coming from. Not saying that this is the case in this particular situation, but from my personal experience and according to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, sometimes when a person is extremely homophobic…well, they’re actually dealing with their own sexuality issues.
This isn’t something that will change overnight, it’ll definitely be a gradual process. But you both have to agree that from this point forward, there will be some tolerance and ideally a willingness to work towards acceptance.
Approach him with love. It’s amazing what a little love can do, and hopefully his love for you will outweigh his ignorance.
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