An Open Letter to H's Mom Regarding Homophobia
by Sue on Sat 17 Feb 2007 08:42 AM EST | Permanent Link | Cosmos
Dear H's Mom,
Congratulations on raising spunky, articulate and polite daughter. As you know, she took the time to post a comment on this blog several months ago, sharing her thoughts on the Upper St. Clair performance of "The Importance of Being Earnest" and the potential for homophobia. Unlike most of those who comment here, she had the guts to post her real name and stand up for that which she believes. That's commendable and I'm sure you are very proud of her.
But you aren't happy that googling her name brings up a lesbian website. Out of deference to your sensibilities, your daughter has very politely asked me to take her comment down.
Given that your daughter seems to rock, it is quite discouraging, H's Mom, that you are a homophobe. Oh, I know you probably don't think that way of yourself and would never be the kind of person who says "I hate gay people." And you probably think we deserve some civil rights and disagreed with Rick Santorum's man-on-dog slurs.
But let me be clear, H's Mom, that being "freaked out" because your daughter's name is associated with lesbians is nothing but homophobic. And you freaking out sent a very clear message to your daughter that if she is gay, it's not okay with you. And that, H's Mom, makes you a very real threat to myself and my community. And your daughter, too.
If being mistaken for a lesbian or perceived to be lesbian-friendly is the worst assumption people make about your daughter, is that so bad? If you are worried how people might treat her or what they might think about her, you might want to consider why people do that. Perhaps you might use the opportunity to teach your daughter some lessons about tolerance, rather than capitulating to gay panic.
I'm honoring your daughter's request to take down her comment because she asked me politely and was very respectful and straightforward with me about her reasons. She seems like a great ally for my community and has her head on straight when it comes to your being freaked out over this whole thing. I doubt she's going to develop a sudden fear of lesbians over this.
I do hope you take a moment to consider the lesson you've taught her.
Sue PghLesbian Correspondents
Re: An Open Letter to H's Mom Regarding Homophobia
by Richmond K. Turner on Sat 17 Feb 2007 10:54 AM EST | Permanent Link
Well said! And even if the comment had stayed up, and even if Googling this young woman's name would have pulled up a "lesbian website", one click would have shown the nature of the comments that were being made. You don't just Google a name to see what links come up; you do it to actually click on those links and see what they are all about. And if anyone Googles "Richmond K. Turner" and finds this comment listed there, I would just like to point out that I'm a dead male Admiral, and thus I can't quite qualify as a lesbian. Thank goodness we've cleared that up!
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