Don't call me homophobic - You don'even know me

Firstly, let me settle an issue about me when it comes to the topic of homosexuality – I do not support same-sex relationships.

Now, some of people will say that (1) I’m homophobic, (2) a bigot, (3) irrational because of my beliefs, (4) intolerant or (5) all of the above.

This is where the problem arises: One will be tempted to label me as a person who hates others because of their choices – but the unfortunate bit is that most people won’t even take the time to hear me out before they pronounce judgement. So to describe me as irrational or dismiss this article even before reading the whole of it should tell you that you are the irrational one.

Also, this article is not about my actual opinions on same-sex relationships – it revolves around the reaction that you, dear reader, had to the first line of this piece. Let me explain:

For as long as I can remember the word ‘homophobic” has been used as a description of people who hate those who are in same-sex relationships. And for a long time I have tried to grapple with this idea especially because others have found themselves retracting statements, apologising and even showing a sense of shame in a bid to be accepted– the latest sensational example being Jonah Hill.

The problem I have is that the words “homophobic” and “bigot” are used liberally to describe anyone who expresses an opinion disagreeing with same-sex relationships. We hear it practically every day – radio personalities are the worst culprits.

Instead of facilitating an environment of discussion around the issue, fostering an open dialogue that encourages talking instead of violence, they use their platforms to bash people who disagree with the popular viewpoints. Those with differing opinions are dismissed very quickly because they are being “homophobic”.

But don’t we all have the right to disagree?

As a rationally thinking individual, it boggles my mind that when I express my disagreement, people are keen to jump up and defend people’s right to choose their lifestyles, followed of course by the name calling and attempts at shaming.

But resorting to calling people homophobic before one hears what someone has to say makes for an irrational person. Like a school bully, one takes advantage of spectating crowds and tries to force people to do their bidding, in full view of passive bystanders who laugh along because they don’t want to be victimised.

The moment a person denies me the right to state my opinion, that person automatically becomes a bigoted, intolerant and judgemental person. Their statements against me are based on passing judgement on my character, of which they know nothing about.

Saying that someone is homophobic while engaging in a debate automatically skews the conversation and sets it on the wrong footing – we can be passionate about our beliefs, but we need to listen to each other more.

Balstrome 2014-08-10 06:36:31 PM
Sure you can state your opinion on these manners, and everyone should stand for your right to say these things. But by saying them in public and online, you are showing everyone that you are in fact a bigot, a homophobe, fearful, and most likely a self hating closet gay person. That is my opinion of you.
Thomas Tarrants 2014-08-10 07:04:52 PM
What a completely vacuous article. If you have an objection to allowing same-sex couples to get married that isn't rooted in homophobia, ignorance, bigotry and the like... then what is it? I have yet to hear such an argument.
Themba Monare 2014-08-10 07:05:10 PM
I wonder how this Ntsane Ntsane guy was given a space? He filled it up with nothing or he's yet to write his arguements?
Brolloks En Bittergal 2014-08-10 07:37:07 PM
I liked this article. "The moment a person denies me the right to state my opinion, that person automatically becomes a bigoted, intolerant and judgemental person. Their statements against me are based on passing judgement on my character, of which they know nothing about." So true.
Rammsteen 2014-08-10 07:43:18 PM
I tried to call you homophobic with a good reason but they didn't allow my comment. Just goes to show, freedom of speech, freedom of sexuality, freedom of anything really is like Janis said: "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose".
Benjamin Button 2014-08-10 08:14:33 PM
Great letter!! Why do we ALWAYS have to accept it, why can't we say no. Is it because their feelings are hurt? What about our feelings? Soon we will have to accept beastiality as well. Give it 20 years and it will be acceptable because some slick lawyer will bamboozle a judge and it will be legal. That's the way human kind evolves, or shall I say devolves?
Bryan Staind 2014-08-10 08:42:20 PM
Do you watch lesbian porn?
Robert Coughlan 2014-08-10 08:43:52 PM
"The moment a person denies me the right to state my opinion, that person automatically becomes a bigoted, intolerant and judgemental person." Nope, there is no problem in not tolerating the intolerant. Google the 'paradox of tolerance' for further reading on this
Wehr Wulf 2014-08-10 09:06:13 PM
Ah, why even bother commenting on this article. Either way, expressing one's opinion on this topic just leads to insults. I have my opinion and I'm entitled to it, like it or lump it. I don't give two sideways fks what you think of my views and name calling has nil effect on me. For the record, I accept gays but am anti same-sex marriage. That's my final say on the matter. This is a topic I prefer to always discuss face to face.
Chase Cameron 2014-08-10 09:27:35 PM
For as long as I can remember the word ‘homophobic” has been used as a description of people who hate those who are in same-sex relationships. BS... a phobia is a FEAR of something, usually of the unknown. You are fearing something you believe will impact your life and way of being, which is nonsensical because it will not. What you are feeling is a phobia - a deep seated ignorance of the unknown. What you are feeling is what white colonists felt towards people of colour not so long ago. What you are feeling is irrational and not based upon fact but upon emotion. Your phobia has consumed the part of your brain that separates fact from fiction. You are right about one thing though, you are entitled to your opinion but that opinion says more about YOUR ignorance than anything else.