Let me tell you about my visit to the barber shop when I discovered my barber was homophobic.
My last trip to the barber shop started out normal. Getting into the chair and starting a conversation to fill each other in since my last visit. This time my barber decided to take the conversation in another direction. He told me that his daughter, who is gay, is getting married in a few weeks. I congratulated him, when he says, “I’m not going. I am not about to be struck by lightning“. The statement caught me off guard, because he knows I am gay and we talked before about an experience I had at a previous barber shop.
He continues saying, ‘I don’t have a problem with gay people. It’s just that you cannot get married under God in a church“.
Noticing I became quiet he attempts to change the tone by adding, “Gay people are cool. You are one cool dude and you dress like a dude. I just don’t like boys dressing up like girls and wearing heels and girls like boys. Just be regular with it“.
At first I wasn’t going to comment and move the conversation to another topic, but I realized I can’t allow these comments to be made without speaking up.
Thinking to myself, “Bitch, I got time today“.
Gay and family.
Growing up in a small town in South Carolina I have always heard similar statements. I have family members who say they won’t attend my wedding, and siblings who called me a faggot growing up. Sadly, growing up I got use to hearing people say things like that and learned how to ignore it.
Think about that. Getting use to people and your family saying hurtful things to you.
At first I told him that not attending his daughter’s wedding would be a mistake on his part. He would be hurting his daughter on one of her most memorable days in her life. A day he will decide not to be part of. No amount of expressing love for her the day before will make up for missing it.
Now you have created resentment they will always have against you.
I used an experience with my father to help him understand. My father didn’t attend my high school graduation. My mother went against my wishes and invited him when I told her not to. (More to that story). He told her he would be there, so I became excited to have all my family members attend. He didn’t show and gave some excuse as to why he didn’t make it. I brushed it off because it was my big day, but my feelings were indeed hurt. They still are and I’ll always remember that he could not put me first for once to celebrate my accomplishment.
Regardless of how his daughter deals with it the day of her wedding she will always remember that her father was not there. A person who she loves and care about did not want to witness something great in her life.
Gay and religion.
Growing up in the small town of Hartsville I was called gay before I may have known what gay was. Also hearing I was going to hell before my young mind knew what Hell was. The glories of growing up in the Bible Belt with these great “Christians”.
So I took this time to question religion with my barber. I simply asked him, “If God is this amazing being why would someone be doomed to hell for being in love? Think about it. Isn’t he a loving God and that is the reason we are here, for love and happiness?‘ After making my statement he stood quiet, and I continued, “because if you can go to Hell for love, then why would you believe in him”?
You learn to truly form your own relationship with God, and stop listening to other’s interpretations.
Gay and black.
The thing about being gay and black is that you cannot be both in some people’s eyes. We are raised to be strong, smart, and have to work twice as hard in this country. So being gay is seen as adding more baggage.
The famous phrase goes, “You already have it hard enough being black. Now you adding gay to it“? People say it like it’s some career choice black gays make at a young age.
The need for gay people to act and dress what some consider “normal” is asking someone to not be themselves. My barber mentioned how he saw a guy who was dressed feminine a week prior to my visit. He said in his hometown guys would try to fight him. And to that I asked, “Do you know how brave that guy is?” Brave because he is able to walk freely while knowing there is someone out there who may attack them.
Possibly being attacked for being yourself. That’s some shit, right?
Reminds me of how white people had this hatred or feeling superior towards black people for just being born black. Or how people from the Middle East is treated by some white people. Gay people are treated the same way. Worrying about being attacked because a group thinks low of you. Being hated for something you have no control over. Being yourself. However, you will get those people who will say that you can hide being gay when you can’t hide being black. To those individuals I guess you say Muslims can hide their religious beliefs and way of dressing because of the hatred they are receiving from everyone?
One would think that with everything going on in the world (Trump being president) that people would just stop creating unnecessary division.
Now I have to find a new barber.