What a beginning to my day. I have spent the morning cheating on you thesis and on you, blog. I’ve been hiding in a corner of the cafe I frequent watching as people read the recent issue of The Globe and Mail. Why the hiding and the creeping? Two reasons: I’m in it. A column I wrote made it into print. Miracles do happen kids. Reason #2: What I say in the piece makes me afraid someone might boot me in the face with the Old Testament. That shit’s heavy!
I’m actually not serious about the Bible concussion. Not sitting in this cafe anyway which is certainly Melissa friendly; however, the responses online to my article have already made me think about the Witness Protection Program. Oh, not for me, but for the people out there who still feel the need to hate others because they themselves feel so sadly insecure. I want to find them. Each and every one. And give them a big, gay, kiss. Wearing Saran Wrap of course.
Homophobia. My work concentrates on this for sure but experiencing it outside of a text- book definition and in the world– in the hallways, in the shopping mall, at the Burrito stand–this is where homophobia really makes its mark. We need to keep talking about it though, because I don’t want to see any more queer kids feeling as though they have nowhere else to turn but to death.
Homophobia is defined online as “an intense hatred or fear of homosexuals.” Nothing new there. My professor, who I dearly miss, once told me that homophobia was actually simply “the fear of an inherent possibility.” I thought him brilliant. The idea that future feelings of queerness were always lurking within, around, atop of the individual made me smile. Not because queerness is an albatross, but because it is pure potential.
Now, however, a new definition has found its way into my head, and this one comes from my pal Freud and his pal/nemesis Judith Butler. Freud and Butler see homophobia as the “‘afterlife’ of prohibited desires.” Beautiful that.
I want to think about the difference between my professor’s definition and this one. One argues that a hatred of queerness arises from a terror of that which might come, of what we convince ourselves is almost inevitable. The other, much more compelling to me, speaks to an anxious melancholia, the knowledge that a shot of the gay, and our queer desire, is always already within everyone. Going nowhere. Part of you from the start.
Maybe the next time someone makes some homophobic comment to me, or you, or your friend, or loved one, or neighbor responses and reactions can start turning towards pity rather than sadness, fear, or anger. Homophobic people are repressed and, as we know, the repressed have a real hard time pooing, have headaches, are headaches, and, really, can’t be that dynamite in the bedroom. Just sayin.
And here is my article. It’s getting some angry, homophobic comments online. Feel free to pity, or, in Freud’s words, congratulate these angry folks on finally finding their afterlife.