“Straight people shouldn’t work in the middle of a gay area…” No, that’s not from a Bible Belt Republican, Catholic Priest, or Bill O’Reilly. It’s from someone who should’ve been glad to have a straight guy comfortable enough to work in an area with a large homosexual population. It’s a direct quote from a gay man commenting on my summer job in Dupont Circle. Instead of being glad to have me on his side, this particular individual thought that as a straight man I had no right working at a caf? in the middle of a gay community.
The same man at one point explained to me the meaning of the phrase “breeder.” He told me that a homosexual calling a heterosexual a “breeder” is the equivalent of a heterosexual using the word “faggot.” At first, I found “breeder” amusing. Then I realized that the word had the same purpose as all derogatory words. After going on for five minutes about how I shouldn’t be working in Dupont this individual concluded with two words: “(Expletive) breeder.”
It’s just as bad as someone walking into a white neighborhood and telling a black kid that he has no right working there due to his skin color. Isn’t it discrimination regardless of who the perpetrator is? Yet it seems as if amongst some of the gay community it’s only wrong when straight people are hateful.
In a point in time when the gay community is fighting to prove that all people, regardless of sexuality, equally deserve marriage rights, this type of behavior does nothing but alienate gays. Just like the Black Panthers were counterproductive due to the way they alienated themselves from whites, homosexuals who demand an emphasis on the division between gay and straight focus on differences instead of embracing similarities. This self-alienating phenomenon is sometimes referred to as “reverse discrimination.”
It makes no sense for members of the gay community to push away the rest of the population and insinuate that everything comes down to sexual orientation. Such suggestions only promote the bigotry that has haunted their struggle. They can’t ask for equality while emphasizing that they are different and deserve special treatment.
For example, recently a gay coworker insulted and seriously humiliated me. He did so in a manner I would find no more acceptable had it come from a straight man. But, with a straight man, I would have physically confronted my aggressor and thrown a punch. Yet due to the sexuality of my antagonist I could not do so. While my urge to resort to violence was purely a reaction to a verbal assault on my person, I couldn’t follow it. Should I ever hit a homosexual, regardless of my reasons, I would be labeled a gay-basher – forever grouped with Nazis and members of the KKK and compared to the butchers in Laramie, Wyo. who took the life of Matthew Sheppard.
I must note that most of the homosexuals I have encountered in Dupont Circle have been rational. Those who went so far as to insult my heterosexuality were not offended when I responded in like. Those who flirted with me only to learn that I was hetero were not angry and were relieved to hear a polite, “I’m sorry dude, I’m straight,” rather than the shocked “What the hell, I’m not gay!” that they hear all too often.
While most homosexuals are reasonable, the vagabond extremists ruin it for them. These are the ones who find it acceptable to call a straight man a “breeder” and harass him but think it a crime if they get hit as a result of their actions. Ironically, hate crime laws defend them. If a straight man hits a gay man for harassing him about his sexuality, the gay man could be defended by hate crime laws, despite the fact that the incident was the result of the gay man’s hate. Instead, the straight man, reacting to the insult, not the person, would be the one society would look down on as a gay-basher – the perpetrator of a hate crime.
The hypocrisy of the current state of relations between homosexuals and heterosexuals has been witnessed in the past. Reverse discrimination, hate crime laws that look only at the participants and ignore the incidents, is all just history repeating. The gay rights movement is plagued with extremists just like every worthy cause. As a heterosexual male who has spent almost three months surrounded by homosexuals, I cannot disagree that most homosexuals are just as good human beings as the rest of the heterosexual world. What concerns this young breeder is that yet again a minority searching for equality has seen its membership lower itself to the levels of those they would fight against.
-The writer, a sophomore majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet columnist.