General Question

Jude's avatar

Do you find that the people in your life (family, friends, co-workers) are accepting of gays, lesbians and transfolks?

Asked by Jude (32134points) October 7th, 2010

When you sit and chit chat with them and the subject comes up, what do they say? If they’re homophobic, how do you deal with it?

With my family, since I’ve come out, they’ve been good and are extremely supportive. Friends, of course, are wonderful. Co-workers (who do not know about my sexuality), on the other hand; I see some homophobes there.

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90 Answers

camertron's avatar

Unfortunately many of my rather conservative relatives don’t look favorably on what they might call “flamers.” Most of them are religious and from a time when gays, lesbians, and transgenders weren’t socially accepted. My friends and co-workers, though, are of a much more liberal mindset because they’re younger and therefore more influenced by the open-mindedness that seems to characterize our generation. Overall, I would say that people are very accepting and don’t really give it much thought – they just accept and that’s it.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

In my family then we’ve always had homosexuals and only a few members had a problem or made it a problem. I’m unaware of any trans folk though. My group of friends is very accepting and varied.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

My family is accepting of gays.When my niece and nephew came out,no one gave a damn.I think they might have been alittle disappointed.As for me,I work for myself and don’t give a damn either way.My friends are pretty much the same too .They don’t care if you are hetero either.XDThey would much rather bitch about money and politics.;)

Scooby's avatar

I know sadly, too many small minded people! :-/

NinjaBiscuit's avatar

Luckily most of my friends/family/co-workers have the same view as I do so there’s no arguing or anythiing. We don’t agree with the gay/bi lifestyle, but we don’t hate them/berate them/look down on them for the lifestyle they’ve chosen. The only time it comes up is if I mention a friend who’s gay, and they ask how they’re doing these days or something, lol. We don’t treat them/talk about them differently than anyone else.

DominicX's avatar

Yes, I do. But then again, I am from California, specifically the liberal San Francisco area, where most people were against prop 8 and people who are homophobic are looked down upon. I know for a fact that this kind of thing can vary greatly by region. I don’t know the views of some of my family members that I am less close with, but I don’t have a single homophobic friend or family member that I can think of. My family and friends were all accepting of my homosexuality. If anyone did have a problem with it, they never made it apparent to me.

Can’t speak for co-workers, as I haven’t really had a job yet…

prolificus's avatar

One of my ex-girlfriends, as a bisexual, hated the word “acceptance” or any variation thereof because, to her, it implied making an exception to a rule that otherwise deemed homosexuality as wrong. It took me a long time to embrace her perception, as I thought acceptance was better than tolerance. However, the more I have thought about it, the more I think I don’t want to be an exception to a rule. I’d rather be loved than accepted. My family, who doesn’t agree with my homosexuality, loves me. This is good enough.

Everyone else in my life treats me the same as they treat others, because my sexuality is of little importance to them. I’m fortunate to have good people in my life.

I have encountered homophobic people, though. Instead of arguing with them, I advocate for myself by being at peace with myself and letting my life speak against those who think homosexuality is anything but whole and healthy.

crisw's avatar

My family (three sisters) are all very supportive. Two are former conservative Christians and I am very proud of them for where they are now :>)

My work is very gay-friendly. We have several openly gay employees- and we are a private school, so that is probably something of a rarity!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Other than my mother, I can’t think of anyone who has mentioned a word about not accepting it or ‘not grasping the concept’, in Mom’s words. If chatting with an acquaintance and the topic comes up, it’s pretty easy to tell how they feel about homosexuality and other topics for that matter. They all start out the same: “I’m not _____ (insert homophobic, racial, prejudiced, etc.), BUT, I just don’t….” If the ‘but’ is used, it’s almost always a sign that they are.

YoBob's avatar

I find that most folks really have much better things to worry about than the sexual orientation and/or practices of their friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Oh sure, most of my family have no problem with the heterosexual lifestyle as they’ve chosen it for themselves ~
In all seriousness, only my mother knows about my ‘abnormality’ and she never discusses it and ignores when I talk about my activism and continuosly talks about my friend’s parents (she’s a lesbian) and how difficult life must be for them to live with such a disappointment of a daughter. She usually finds herself facing the door since I slam it in her face and leave after these conversations. Some of my co-workers know I’m queer but I don’t know another queer co-worker (other than one of my bosses). There isn’t much of homophobia because they know to tow the line, so to speak. My friends are mostly queer or allies so there is zero issue there.

tinyfaery's avatar

I live in a very liberal city, so I rarely encounter people who are anti-gay, at least openly. I have been out at every job I have had since marrying my wife and no one has ever even blinked an eye, except when I worked outside of Sacramento. There were a few people who treated me differently once they found out. Plus, the other gays at my work were so closeted. Scary.

josie's avatar

I am straight.
Most of my straight friends are indifferent.
My friends who are gay (a couple of guys, a couple of girls) are real nice people and we socialize quite a bit.
I do not know anybody who is “anti” gay. I know lots of people who simply do not understand it. I probably don’t either to be honest. But I figure De gustibus non est disputandum

TexasDude's avatar

Mom (conservative atheist): In favor of gay rights.
Dad (neoconservative non-denominational Protestant): Things they are “icky” but doesn’t care what they do. Not in favor of equal rights.
Friends (everything from anarchist, to ultraconservative, to straight up socialist and representative of most religions): Almost universally in support of gay rights/not bothered by gays
Me: in favor of gay rights

MrsDufresne's avatar

The women that I know are accepting.
Some of the men, not so much. The people that I know that are not accepting, I do not consider my real friends, they are just acquaintances. And yes, they know how I feel.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I can’t really think of anyone in my life that isn’t. There are a few men in my life that I wouldn’t say are not accepting, but a little apprehensive. My family and close friends are either indifferent or supportive. I’m sure that any one of them who felt differently wouldn’t dare say so to me, everyone knows that I don’t tolerate any bigotry.. I don’t care who you are.

cookieman's avatar

Some are, some are not.

My wife, friends and a some relatives are very open minded and progressive. A bunch are homosexuals themselves.

The rest of my family is either homophobic or simply care not to discuss it. And, unfortunately, I work with quite a few aggressive homophobes. Luckily, my interactions with them are brief and professional.

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dalepetrie's avatar

The people I know run the gammut from sheer intolerance to being themselves completely out and proud. I grew up in a small town with little diversity where I managed to live from the time I was 5 until I was well into college before I ever met a person who was openly gay. Growing up in the 80s, it was culturally not only acceptable but almost expected to be derisive about homosexuality, make “gay” jokes, etc. For most in my circle of family and friends it was ignorance/lack of exposure/lack of understanding that caused the insensitivity, in short, it was as “good-natured” as prejudice can be in that it was not about hatred, perhaps a bit about fear though. I am close to very few religious zealots, and from my perspective, the nature of the treatment given to homosexuals by my peer group and role models has far less to do with the concept of “sin” and far more to do with the concept of unpalatability. I myself as a heterosexual male have absolutely no problems with homosexuality or homosexuals, though I do have an ingrained aversion to the idea of personally engaging in homosexual activity, not because I see anything “wrong” with it, but for the same reason I don’t eat broccoli, it’s just not pleasant to me. Far be it however for me to begrudge anyone from being who they are, and that is how I always saw it.

My mother was always far more accepting than my father, my mom never really brought the subject up in so many words, it simply was not something which impacted her life in any way, whereas my father was the type who likely would have kicked me out of the house if I’d turned out to be gay. He and I always argued over the issue, he had the belief (and still does) that it’s a choice, but had no reasoning, logic or evidence to support his assertion, whereas to me it was always as simple as this…“I find brunettes more attractive than blondes. I did not choose to find brunettes more attractive than blondes. I have no control over what arouses me. I could not ‘switch teams’ if I wanted to because I am not turned on by the idea of sex with a man. It therefore flies in the face of all logic that anyone else would or COULD determine his or her sexuality.” I would often say that it’s not as if I was ever given a checklist of attributes I wanted to find sexually arousing in others, I never checked a box on a form, no one ever said to me, “Bob or Roberta, choose one.” The sheer idea that one could or WOULD choose to do something to which it was natural to have an aversion, an act which would also make them a social pariah in some circles, has no basis in logic, reason or the personal experience of anyone I’ve ever spoken with on the matter.

As I went to college and eventually moved to a major metropolitan area, I encountered more and more homosexual people in my day to day life, and not one of them was in my eyes any different than any of the other myriad of people I encountered. My sole objection I’ve ever had to anyone proclaiming to be homosexual was when that person was “in my face” about it, in other words to the point of sharing more than I need to know, not because it grosses me out, but because some things to me and my sensibilities are, and should be kept private. I had no more use for the loud and proud and in your face gay than I did for the macho man telling me about the chick he banged in some parking lot…six of one, half a dozen of the other. As I got older, and our culture moved forward, great strides were made in popular culture in the 90s with gay and lesbian kisses being aired on TV, popular celebrities coming out and stark contrasts between the aforementioned “good-natured” prejudice that a lot of people were guilty of, and the news stories about the Matthew Shepards of the world. There is something inherently wrong with someone who is not shocked by the cognitive break between ignorance and hatred.

I met and married a woman who since we met has had her half brother and first cousin come out. My brother in law and his SO are among the closest acquaintances we have in terms of the amount of time we spend with others. We have a 9 year old son to whom this was always presented as a natural thing, never questioned…they are his uncles and they love him, he loves them. Any people I meet around my age or in my peer group, I assume by default these days have no problem with homosexuality, and anyone who has ever reacted in a way that convinced me that they were not accepting has not really been given a place in our lives, fortunately those are few and far between. Even most of my family and friends from a bygone era are accepting and more sensitive now days.

But there are those like my father, who despite having lost all interest in sex over 30 years ago from all accounts, is still too appalled by the idea to accept it. He clearly has a problem with his grandson’s uncles being gay and has made less and less effort to keep those feelings to himself. And as a result, he is seeing us and his grandchild far less often. I am aware of the tragedy it would be to fully cut him out of our lives as he is pushing 70 and does not maintain his health very well, I know he is a remnant of the past, soon to have his prejudices die with him, and I try to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. But I do not change how I live, if they come down to visit, my brothers in law may come over to visit as well, and he just has to deal with it. And whereas it was of not only great convenience to my wife and myself, but a great pleasure to my son to send him with his grandparents for a couple weeks each summer to go fishing and do all the outdoorsy things he loves but can not do down in the city (or with his citified parents), the most recent trip resulted in my son being exposed to some fairly hateful things that my father said about his uncles, and thought it may be the elephant in the room right now, when push comes to shove and we don’t send him up next summer, if they demand to know why, I will not shy away from telling them. Which sucks because it hurts my mom as well, and quite frankly, I believe my son to be at least as smart as I am, and I don’t think he would take a cue from my father and turn against gays, that is not my concern…my concern is that we want him to know that love is unconditional and that everyone should be who they are without fear of what others think. That lesson is too valuable to be undermined, even at the expense of family strife.

So overall, I’d say I’ve noticed tremendous progress over the last 2 decades in cultural acceptance of homosexuality, and I’ve noticed a great deal more understanding out there. I would however like to make one last comment to @prolificus.

Accept and except are two different words with very different meanings. To accept something does not make it an exception, and excepting something does not make it included, in fact, the words have if anything nearly opposite meanings. I think yours (and your ex’s) issue is more one of grammar and perception than anything. But if you have an aversion to the word, I can not begrudge you that any more than you can begrudge me an aversion to eating broccoli or cock.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

They damn better well be, or else they won’t be in my life much longer.

tranquilsea's avatar

I have certain family members who are extremely homophobic. My mother couldn’t understand why people had to know what you did in your bedroom. I think that was her way of being ok with it. I don’t discuss homosexuality with my homophobic family. There’s no point.

I’ve always been very supportive of gay rights and I’ve had gay friends at almost every point in my life.

OpryLeigh's avatar

A large number of my friends and work mates are gay and the ones that aren’t are surrounded by gay people (whilst trying not to generalise it is very obvious that my place of work and others like it always seems to attract gay girls especially) and so all of my straight friends and colleagues all seem happy to work alongside gay people without it ever being an issue. I’m pleased to say that my place of work is very accepting of homosexuality.

The only people that I have ever noticed to be less accepting are older family members.My great grandmother is getting more accepting since a gay vicar joined her church and she thinks the world of him. My other grandmother is less accepting of the gay lifestyle, claiming that it is unnatural but she is never rude or unaccepting of the person. My dad is a strange one because (and he’ll admit this) he doesn’t understand how people can be attracted to the same sex as themselves. He is not unaccepting, just ignorant and he wouldn’t treat a gay person any different to a straight one. My dad is a people person and is very accepting and non judgemental about pretty much everyone.I like the fact that, just because he doesn’t understand something, he doesn’t claim that it is wrong.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Friends, yes. I mean, if they’re friends with me, they pretty much have to be accepting of the fact that I’m gay. I won’t have any homophobic or bigoted friends (doesn’t matter who they’re prejudiced against).

Family.. well.. yes and no. Depends on what side of the family – my dad’s side is very 50’s-traditional, somewhat conservative, Middle America types. My dad has on numerous occasions called California “the land of the fruits and the nuts”. My dad’s brother and wife were visibly uncomfortable when I was open about dating women (I made a casual comment about an ex-girlfriend, didn’t push it or anything, but I wanted them to know). My grandmother on that visit kept pestering me about why I didn’t have a boyfriend, much to the delight and amusement of my then-18-year-old cousin (she got that I was gay, was fine with it, and found my artful dodging of the question to be hilarious).

My mom took about 10 years to accept it despite the fact that she’s the biggest fag hag ever.. that was ridiculous, considering I was surrounded by gay men my entire childhood and they were considered part of the family (guess it’s okay for others, just not when it’s your daughter?). I think pretty much everyone else on my mom’s side that knows is okay with it, but I don’t have loads of contact with them.

Co-workers.. well, I’ve worked in the restaurant industry for a long time and found that 99% of the people I’ve worked with are totally cool with it. I did experience some homophobia when I worked at the country club in Roanoke (though, apparently, no one had the balls to say anything to my face, so they made comments and jokes behind my back). That was really disheartening, since I worked hard and tried to get along with everyone, that they’d be two-faced.

prolificus's avatar

@dalepetrie – even prior to your English lesson, I understood full well the difference between the two words. Thank you, though.

I think the way I used acceptance applies because, how often does someone say “I accept you” to their loved ones? To say you accept someone means a decision had to be made – either continue to exclude the person, or to bring them into your fold. One wouldn’t need to offer acceptance to someone who is already in one’s circle. To continue to accept someone who is in your circle implies a constant decision-making process, which could be contingent upon anything. Love, on the other hand, in its purest form is unconditional. Which is why I prefer love over acceptance.

Mikewlf337's avatar

Not really. I really don’t care if someone is homophobic or not. It’s their views and they are entitled it. I personally don’t give a crap if someone is gay or not. My family can be very homophobic but I wouldn’t really know since we never really talk about it.

dalepetrie's avatar

@prolificus – I get that completely. I just in general have an issue with overly political correctness as I believe it leads to more problems than it solves. In other words, someone such as myself who would use the word acceptance in a perfectly valid and reasonable manner, and much like Horton, I’d mean what I said and I’d say what I meant, it could nonetheless be taken by the agents of political correctness, or by those to whom there is a personal sensitivity based on the perceived and not actual meanings, as some sort of back handed insult. When I “accept” something, I use that the same as I would “include”, whereas I use “except” the same as “exclude”. I think it would be a mistake to hear the word acceptance as a wholly bad word, though on the thought of “preferring” love to acceptance…who wouldn’t?

Seek's avatar

Me: Used to be homophobic. Then I escaped my back-asswards family and started using my own brain. Now I’m 100% pro-everyone that isn’t trying to hurt anyone unwilling.

My husband: has a tendency to project bad experiences on other people. For example – the only gay person he knew growing up was the guy down the road that molested a couple of his friends and came on to him. So, he has a hard time not projecting that on to other people. In his defense, he does have a couple of gay friends, and two transgendered friends, and he treats them no differently than any other human being. He supports equal rights for the LGBT community, particularly in reference to adoption. He’s come a long way since our uber-religious roots, just not as far as I have. ^_^

My son: Well, he’s two.

Everyone else… doesn’t matter.

Jabe73's avatar

My family was pretty conservative as well as most in my area. It is definately not something you see openly in my area that’s for sure. The shock when we found out one of my siblings was gay. My mom would usually avoid the topic altogether and act like nothing was happening. Not getting to far into this here all I can say was it was just denial through the obvious.

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iphigeneia's avatar

My immediate family is very supportive of gay rights. I have teenage brothers and I have noticed that they are more PC than their peers, which makes me very proud.

My friends would not be my friends if we disagreed on this topic, and it’s not something I’d discuss with my workmates. There is, however, a big difference in the way gay people are treated as opposed to transpeople, which makes me sad. I know I’m not an expert on the topic and how to approach it, but I think many people I know don’t even think about what goes on inside the head of a transperson. They’re often viewed as just interesting or (more commonly) funny phenomena.

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Mom2BDec2010's avatar

My mom is strongly against it(she’s a major bitch) but my best friend is a lesbian so i have no problem with it. I just ignore her rude remarks and mean looks.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, I come from a very accepting family, and a couple of family members are gay.

downtide's avatar

My father is very homophobic. I just avoid the subject altogether with him, though it’s something I’m going to have to confront very soon. Everyone else I know has been amazingly accepting. It’s just my dad.

Pandora's avatar

@camertron I have gay friends who don’t like flamers as well. I call them conservative gay people. LOL
I would say that family and friends are a mix. Some who get it, some who don’t, some that care, some that don’t.
The younger crowd are probably the most excepting. Although young men still discovering their sexuality probably are the most homophobic simply because they don’t want to be labeled gay by being friends with a gay friend.
The middle crowd really doesn’t care unless it a kid of theirs, and the older crowd is still trying to catch up with the sexual revolution and can’t fathom gayness not being some stupid perverse trend, like the pot heads of the 60’s.
My mom for one thinks that people today are obsessed with sex too much and this is simply a by product of that. She says in her day people were way too worry about where their next meal was going to come from to worry about sex. She said they were aware of gay people back then but everyone, gay or straight had the decency to keep what they were doing private.

wilma's avatar

Most of the people in my life are very accepting. A few are not, they are mostly older folks, and I’m not close friends with them.
I have gay friends and family members, we get along just great. My mom might have a hard time talking about “it”, but she thinks they are fine people and treats them as such.

wundayatta's avatar

Mostly. They wouldn’t be in my life if they weren’t accepting of people who are different. There is one exception. One guy in my crazy group is misogynistic and and homophobic, I think. I like him because he is crazy and he understands me, and he’s real, not virtual. When he treats people badly—ok, so he treats everyone badly—that’s not going to work. I guess he is hard on everyone—always dissing them, but he seems to do it worse to women, and I know he is homophobic, and he’s always calling me “honey,” and “dear” and joking about us being an item. I think that there’s something going on underneath all that—repression of some kind. Anyway, I try to defend other people from him, and I don’t put up with his homophobic bullshit, and I guess that’s how I stay friends with him.

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loser's avatar

They really kinda have to be or they won’t be in my life.

JLeslie's avatar

I have not read the above answers. For most of my life the people I was friends with and family members were very accepting of gay people.

Since gay marriage has become an issue in the US, I have found that I do know people who are against gay marriage, which I find dissappointing, but the majority of these people I have met recently while living in the south, they are not the long time friends I have known since childhood, college, or even during most of my adulthood, it is just in the last 5 years or so. They are not close friends, they are for the most part simply people who we have met and generally like their company, but we do hold many philosophical differences. However, they are not homophobic in my opinion, they just seem to be ignorant and not exposed to many gay people (so they think) and seemingly go along with their political party and church. I guess maybe gay people consider that homophobic, but it is something else I think. It is a failure in my opinion, a failure of applying the golden rule, a failure of civil rights.

KhiaKarma's avatar

I haven’t personally had a conversation with anyone in about 5 years (since I have been out of college) who had any problems with LGBT peeps. However, I work in a field where acceptance is a must and my dad has recently come out as a transexual (at the age of 60!). So people probably wouldn’t say anything to my face. I also have many close friends that identify as homosexual.

muppetish's avatar

The first person in my life who I learned who didn’t view LGBTQ individuals in a negative light was my older brother. I would prod him with questions when I was a kid that I didn’t feel I could bring up with either of our parents. His attitude was the easy going “why should I try to control what they do?” My younger brother was less comfortable with the subject, but has matured over the years. My mother is staunchly in support of LGBTQ rights—(but she does say things now and then that may not sound negative, but she does stereotype people often.) My father… well, it’s one of the few wedges between us.

My extended family? Not supportive at all. I love them, but I avoid bringing up the topic at all costs (which is difficult) because I will just end up angry.

My friends are a mixed bag. Most are fairly supportive. If I learn they aren’t, it pushes me away and I start questioning the entire foundation of our friendship. (I realize that may sound silly… but I’ve had too many friendships end on “it’s not that I am homophobic, I just disagree with the lifestyle~” Are you serious? You can’t be serious.)

I haven’t known my co-workers long enough to pinpoint their stances.

My community is fairly homophobic. Southern California isn’t a sea of rainbow banners. I passed by at least ten yellow signs on my way to university during Prop 8 season. That doesn’t sound like a lot… but people don’t put signs up for anything here.

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Harold's avatar

I am straight, and so are all my family. However, I have several homosexual friends. There is an openly homosexual couple who regularly attend my Christian church. They are warmly accepted, and often take part in proceedings (last week sang up the front, took a public prayer, etc.) I am glad that I know people who realise that God accepts us for who we are.

I work in a public university, which is obviously very liberal. No problems with being accepted there. Like others, I don’t understand it, but that is my problem, not their’s.

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My Dad is your typical old-fashioned Chinese patriarch who believes not only that children should be seen and not heard, but that women are inferior to men, and that marriage is the union between a man and a woman——so you can pretty well guess what his ideas of gays are like!

My Mom is your stereotypical dutiful, loving Japanese wife and devoted mother, always reserved but dignified, and a bit on the old-fashioned side——strangely, however, she is quite open in her thinking, and she in fact is supportive of gay rights and is very reasonable and understanding.

My siblings are a mixed bag——my oldest brother likes to make silly jokes about gays and shares my father’s narrow-mindedness, but my other brother and sister are like me and are accepting of gays and fully support gay rights.

Most of my co-workers are like the majority of straight people——they make the odd homophobic comment, and some are supportive while others are anti-gay.

I am a staunch supporter of gay rights, as is my wife, and we both try to instill the same values to our young children, that human beings are human beings, regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation.


Btw, it was very hard for me to grow up in a household with such an old-fashioned, stern, and patriarchical father. I believe getting a good, formal education is the reason why I never turned out to be like my Dad, and I’m glad some of my Mom’s accepting ways rubbed off on me. Lol.

I am a right-leaning conservative individual, and I do hold some “old-fashioned” values, but I fully support gay rights nevertheless.

Sarcasm's avatar

All of my online friends (Which, I’ll be honest, are significantly closer to me than any of the people I consider to be real-life friends) seem accepting of LGBTQ lifestyles.
I have absolutely no doubt that my brother and sister are accepting as well.

I’m sure that my RL friends are at least accepting of the “LGB” part of the acronym. Living in a small, conservative, rural town though, I’m not entirely sure how they’d react if they came across someone who was Trans.

California’s a fairly liberal state, but San Diego county is on the conservative side (I blame the military bases). SD County voted 54% in favor of Prop 8. I’d assume that the general statement is that they’re not accepting of people who fall into the realm of GLBTQ. That acronym is a mouthful.

FutureMemory's avatar

My parents were typical hippies, so of course they raised me to not judge people based on something as ridiculously trivial as sexual orientation. My friends are essentially the same – no haters in my crew. Some of my other relatives do talk a little shit (“silly faggot, dicks are for chicks” and other moronic statements) but considering we have at least 3 homos in the family they aren’t against it – they just think it’s something ok to make fun of. Stupid.

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Facade's avatar

Mother- Kind of ignorant, but doesn’t dislike gay people.
Father- Calls them “fags,” so there’s that.
Boyfriend- Very accepting
Friends- Have no problems with them, but aren’t activists or anything
Co-workers- Most of the ones who aren’t gay like to throw slurs around

JLeslie's avatar

@Harold I appreciate your honesty. It touches on what I mentioned in my answer. My sister, and many gay people feel people who don’t support gay marriage are homophobic, and I don’t think homophobic is necessarily the right word for it in this case, but gay people get pretty upset when I say that typically, even when they I 100% support gay marriage.

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rpm_pseud0name's avatar

I can remember the only two times in my life when I heard what my family thinks of the lgbt folks. The first time, I was young, maybe 12 or so. All I remember was being in the living room & the topic must have been on the news, for my mother & father both started in on the matter. Something about how ‘they’ should all be shipped to an island in the middle of nowhere to die off. I’ve never heard them talk about lgbt people since then.

The other time I heard it discussed, was from my older brother about 7 years ago. We were amongst friends & he began boasting about signing a petition to prevent gay marriage. I looked around at our friends & no one really looked upset. I’ve been playfully hit by my older brother when fighting over the last cookie, I can only imagine what he would do if I fought him over this.

So for now, it would appear that I live amongst the ignorant in real life & keep good company here with (most of) you guys.

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Dog's avatar

[Mod Says] Please respect the asking party and stay on topic which is “Do you find that the people in your life (family, friends, co-workers) are accepting of gays, lesbians and transfolks?”

All off topic quips will be removed.


syz's avatar

Friends and coworkers, accepting. Family, not so much.

Jabe73's avatar

Another thing I wanted to point out is many people I do know who are liberal on quite a few issues like abortion rights, supporting social programs, enviromentalists, animal rights among other things have seemed to stray on this issue for some reason or not outright support homosexuality or gay marriage. This is something somewhat similar to my mom’s take as well as several other people I’ve known of which many are considered “liberal”. I guess some liberals are more conservative than others depending on where you live.

Ironically I am way more conservative than my mom on many issues but when it comes to the topic of gay rights I usually argue in favor and she argues against. Interesting paradox here. It is probally the religion thing. She is somewhat religious (she believes the bible literally) and though I’m not an atheist I’m not religious.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, but there seems to be some correlation with age. The older the people the less accepting they are. At least that’s my impression.

augustlan's avatar

Older relatives not so much. Co-workers have been a mixed bag… some outright hateful, some totally supportive. All of my friends are, though, or they wouldn’t be my friends. Even my husband, who is a West Virginia mountain man with ‘redneck’ tendencies, supports gay rights. Our very best ‘couple friends’ are a gay couple. These two guys are married, in their eyes and in ours, though not in the law’s (yet). Of course we’ve raised all of our children to understand that homosexuality is perfectly natural, and that they are free to be themselves, whoever they turn out to be.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

My parents were always pretty respectful of all kinds of differences. Anyone I encountered at work or in social settings who are actively intolerant of others is automatically excluded from the set of people in my life.

ducky_dnl's avatar

When it comes up with anyone (which is a rarity) I tend to phase out of the conversation. I don’t feel the need to start an argument over what’s wrong or right, in my opinion. If anyone ask me about it, I usually say “I dont care” or something along the lines of that. I’m not rude about it. Does this make me ignorant or homophobic? No! I just feel that there are bigger issues to talk about than what people want to do with their lives. I only get pissed if people are throwing their sex life in my face while bashing my sexual preferences. If it’s all about respect, than when I talk to people about it (with a level-head), why do they have to attack heterosexuals first? No one can even deny that it hasn’t happened. It’s like the only one who can seem ignorant about this topic is a heterosexual. If a homosexual bashes a heterosexual, it’s fair game. It’s one-sided. That’s why I tend not to argue about it, because either way.. I’ll always be wrong to the people I’m arguing with.

Mother – by peoples standards is ignorant, but doesn’t hate gays.
Brother – accepting I guess.
Dad – all for it.
Me – By peoples standards, I’m ignorant.. but I honestly don’t care if it’s not thrown in my face. I don’t have a problem with them
Aunt – By peoples standards is ignorant, but doesn’t hate gays.
Grandma – I’m not sure.
Uncles – All for it.
Friends – Don’t care enough.

JLeslie's avatar

@ducky_dnl homosexuals bash heterosexuals?

ducky_dnl's avatar

@JLeslie Yes. It’s just not that big of a deal to people I guess. I have heard and seen the phrase “heterosexuality can be cured” and other statements… Which is a form of bashing.

JLeslie's avatar

@ducky_dnl Oh, I see. Well, I guess none of that type of stuff should be going on, but there is no active movement by homosexuals to take away the rights of heterosexuals, and I don’t think gay people are going around beating up heterosexuals.

I think statements like the one you quote is try to demonstrate to heterosexuals how mean and ridiculous their statments are. Seems some people have a really hard time putting themselves in the place of others, they don’t bother to stop and think, what if I was the minority? how would I feel? What laws would I want to protect me? Would I want to be singled out? I see this inability all too often.

DominicX's avatar


Um…I’m pretty sure that’s meant facetiously. It would be pretty stupid and weird to suggest that heterosexuality is “wrong” considering that’s how people are brought into this world…

For the most part “anti-straight” is a joke. There’s no proposition banning straight marriage, people aren’t bullied in school and driven to suicide for being straight. You can’t compare the two at all. “Anti-gay” sentiment is a serious issue. Especially with the recent wave of suicides caused by anti-gay bullying.

ducky_dnl's avatar

@DominicX and @JLeslie I really feel for homosexuals that have to go through that torment, and I wish there was respect from both sides. I have no problems with homosexuals and don’t wish any harm to them. I condemn people that make fun of homosexuals and use derogatory names. I just feel that it shouldn’t be publicized so much. It should just be between the two people involved.

DominicX's avatar


It can’t just be between the two people involved when there are issues like gay marriage and gay bullying. Homosexuality has to be brought into the spotlight when these issues arise, otherwise they will never get resolved.

muppetish's avatar

@ducky_dnl “I just feel that it shouldn’t be publicized so much. It should just be between the two people involved.” – This viewpoint only makes sense to me if you also feel that heterosexuality should not be publicized. Why one and not the other? Although I don’t personally have a problem with sexuality in general, I can understand others having reservations about the overt display in the media… but if it is only a hesitancy to the presence of homosexuality that doesn’t make sense to me.

Seek's avatar

Agreed, @muppetish For example, there has recently been released a movie that is a “remake” of a movie I’m very fond of. In the original Swedish movie (based on a novel), the main character’s sex is ambiguous and presumed female, until it is revealed that the character is a castrated boy. This is a major element of the character’s history. In the American remake, the character was changed to a girl, period. I feel this was harmful to the feeling of the story, and done solely so American audiences wouldn’t react harshly to the idea of two 12 year old boys falling in love and sharing an innocent kiss.

JLeslie's avatar

@ducky_dnl when you say publicized, I am not sure if you mean you don’t want public displays of affection, or you don’t want the media talking about gay people or issues, or you don’t want to see a gay parade? What exactly do you mean?

Gay people back in the 90’s started coming out a lot, because there was a movement not only for gay people to not only feel like they had to live in hiding from their friends amd family, but also, because the gay community recognized that the more people realize that the cousin, son, friend, accountant, hair dresser, actor, lawyer, they have grown to love or respect, depending on the particular relationship is actually gay. The more the public was aware that gay people exist, and they are not part of the them but part of us the easier it would be for people to start understanding.

Anyway, then there was a little bit of a lull it seemed with coming out of the closet, or so it seemed to me, and now that gay marriage and don’t ask don’t tell is being used in politics, which I think honestly the right wing has put it in the news more than any other group, it is in the media again, and being talked about. As soon as the Republicans stop this ridiculousness, it will all calm down again. I mean really, what is the harm in letting gay people marry? They are together anyway, it just gives them the legal rights straight people have. Do the evangelicals think they are going to dissuade people from being gay if they can’t get married? Well, they do drive gay people underground sometimes, on the down low from their wives. It is so distructive. I personally know two men who lived a lie for years, finally getting a divorce to be with a man. One was a doctor and loving father of 3, the other also a father of three children. A relative on my husband’s side who is gay once told me he always thought when he was younger he would get married, because he thought everyone did. He probably still would have continued to be with men, or at minimum have been unhappy in marriage.

camertron's avatar

@DominicX: coming from a Christian background I can speak a little to the idea that “homosexuality can be cured.” Some of the members of my religion take the stand that, while the individual is spiritually perfect, their material picture, which includes sexual orientation, must be addressed metaphysically. In their eyes, homosexuality is as much a “disease” as AIDS or Diabetes. I don’t agree with that viewpoint AT ALL – just thought I’d pass along a different opinion from the other side of the argument. Also, religiously speaking, I believe the tides are changing in favor of more open-mindedness. It might take 20 more years, but eventually homosexuality will not be considered a religious issue. There are just too many people out there who don’t believe it should be an issue at all.

JLeslie's avatar

@camertron exactly the point. They think it can be cured. So if/when a homosexual person says heterosexuality can be cured, it is a slight againts the Christians who think it is a disease.

camertron's avatar

@JLeslie hmm, I suppose so. I guess you’ve just gotta be careful when you express your opinions, especially on hot topics like this.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Skaggfacemutt's avatar

My two daughters have a gay friend that they just love, and have been friends with for over a decade. My granddaughter’s cheerleading coach is gay, and she adores him. I like both of these guys a lot. However, if one of my sons were gay, I think we would all “freak out.” I don’t understand the double-standard myself.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

Same-sex marriage became legal where I live when I was 15 years old. It is actually the people who are against same-sex relationships who seem to be more openly shunned here. This is a big change for me. When same-sex marriage was not legal here, from what I remember, it seemed to be the opposite.

snapdragon24's avatar

My family doesn’t care…people are what they are. However, when it comes to their own children…AKA me and my siblings…they would much rather see their daughters come with a guy and a my bro with a girl.

None of my friends are homophobes… my straight guy friends are far from homophobes, but I’ve seen them get uncomfortable when they are around one of my gay friends.

yeh I have about 5 gay friends, atleast 5 bi-sexual friends and one friend who was brave enough to tell me she was leaning on the lesbian side! Welcome to 2012.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Most of the people around me could care less one way or the other. We have one friend, however, very popular, former all-American jock (40 years ago) who is getting increasingly homophobic and misogynistic in his private opinions to me as he gets older. I’ve seen this before and don’t really understand it. He has nothing that I know of, no disappointments with either group, etc., that would set this change off. It’s depressing to witness, as he was quite liberal on this subject for most of his life. He is leaning to the right in other areas as well. He bought into the whole anti immigrant thing, too. In college he hung out with us, the SDS guys and took a lot of heat from his coaches at the time. His best buddy for years was the head of the SDS at U. of Delaware until the guy moved to Colorado a few years ago. They were even arrested together at a rally, but of course my friend got off (the Athletic Dept. couldn’t afford a scandal) and the SDS Prez went down. My friend bailed the SDS guy out of jail and even formed a defense fund for him, fueled by his BMOC popularity. It was quite a risky thing to do under the circumstances and he was risking his sports career, which is the only real reason he stayed in school. Admin was quite hostile toward radicals and their supporters in those days. He took a lot of shit for this. And now, if he isn’t watching a game on TV, he’s got Limbaugh or Beck on. I really don’t understand his change in attitude at all and it bugs the shit out of me. We’ve been friends for 40 years.

OK, I guess that was a bit of a departure from the question, sorry. I dated a woman recently who couldn’t stand the idea of gay men, and that surprised me because in every other way she was quite liberal. She really believed they choose the lifestyle and wouldn’t listen to any arguments supporting evidence to the contrary. She was in her late 30s. She became quite upset when the subject came up.

I sometimes hang at a nice espresso shop, you know, with the over-stuffed couches, low lighting, books on the shelves kind of place. The clientele are mostly college students up to people in their mid 30s. About 25% the guys have issues about gay men only, some of whom frequent the place. But they will still sit at he same table with them and converse. Many of the young women seem quite androgynous in style and attitude, and very casual about which sex they date. Attractiveness in appearance and ideas seem to be the only criteria for them. Overall, a person’s sexual preference doesn’t seem to be an issue with these people, which is nice and the way I think it should be. I had a bartender, who works in a gay club, complain to me that over the recent years his clientele has been shrinking because gays go anywhere now and don’t feel they need to find refuge in gay-specific venues. I think this is a good thing.

My friends, men and women, many of whom go back many years, are pretty much well- educated urbanite outdoorsy beach people, sail bums like myself, middle aged and older (like myself) on limited incomes. Very few of us own our own homes anymore and would rather rent on the beach. Nearly all of us are what would be termed today as liberals, although none of us fit any classification, I think. Most of us have dropped out of the big picture, preferring to keep our own houses in order as a way of dealing with an increasingly strange world. Politics is not a big subject among us any longer, I think the 2000 election was the last straw for many of us. And and we’ve seen Obamas come and go, but nothing really changes. We still get fired up when we see something come up, like Prop 12 in California, but now it’s mostly iabout guarding turtle eggs from the coons on our beach or building artificial Osprey nests.

My experiences may be a bit skewed as I avoid the typical angry guy in his fifties, the ditto-head, the guy who would turn this country into Gambia to avoid paying another cent in taxes. There are a lot of them here, willfully stupid people who echo the latest anti-Obama spiel, or the current Tea Party doctrine. A few of them frequent the little restaurant I have breakfast in here on the dock and I find them a bit disturbing, but they are really just bitter, powerless little men who don’t handle old age well. They are the butt of many a private joke between I and the waitress, Maggie, who calls them microdicks because she’s convinced their vehemence is somehow proportionate to the amount they are forced to spend on Viagra.

OK. That’s my boring rant for the day, but the gist of it is that I think this issue is becoming increasingly moot as this next generation comes into play. They have other things to worry about.

GracieT's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus, that last point explained why the group of my friends who share my views has absolutely no problem with LGBT people.
We have so many other
problems such as global
warming and water shortages
to worry about for sexuality to be a problem. Besides, a
great many of my friends have
come out to me, and I count
myself blessed to share their

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@GracieT Absolutely. I share both your larger concerns and your ambivalence toward whether friends go to bed with men or women. It is as unimportant as whether they buy Chevy’s or Fords.

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