Welcome to my Hop Against Homophobia blog post.
We’re not there yet.
Yes, the Netherlands seems pretty open minded about LGBT issues, but we’re not there yet. For almost every couple of meetings with someone who doesn’t give a fuck about who does who in the bedroom, I’ll have heard some derisive comment, however ‘innocently’ meant. About “those people”, about assumptions and stereotypes. Most of these come from old beliefs, incomprehension, and a lack of interest in anything ‘other’.
Depending on who I’m talking to at the time, I speak up… or hold my tongue.
Years ago Eldest wanted to wear nail polish. He was in the penultimate year at primary school and had been out for a school checkers tournament on the day we hosted a birthday celebration. After he came home, full of stories about how the competition had gone, one of my sisters-in-law sidled up to me and asked me, “Is he going to be gay now?”
I had no problem explaining to her that nailpolish had nothing to do with being gay. It was a fashion statement–more or less–and that as far as I knew, Eldest still fancied girls. (since he spent most of said primary school fancying the same girl, I was pretty sure of that, actually, but that was none of her business).
Fast forward and picture me at another birthday, earlier this year, where a brother-in-law was proudly playing a game with his grandson on an iPad. It was something about colours, something I wasn’t exactly paying attention to, until my brother-in-law suddenly said, “Pink is a girl’s colour.” And I pressed my lips tightly together and tried very hard not to say anything.
I can rattle off a number of excuses that came to mind then: it wouldn’t have changed his mind, it would have fallen on deaf ears, I didn’t want to ruin the atmosphere… I vaguely remember murmuring, “In Victorian times pink was for boys because it was a strong colour.” to one of my nieces. But she wasn’t the one who needed to know that, and I missed the opportunity.
Needless to say, thinking about the
the incident immeditely jumped to mind. Because things like this catch me unawares. They show me that those old beliefs are still being taught, and that we’re not there yet. I’m not there yet, even though I find myself holding my tongue less and less.
Today, over 100 participants–all part of the LGBTQ fiction community–will be blogging and spreading awareness of homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia. Hop on board, show your support, and speak up against these phobias by visiting all our blogs and reading our stories.
We’re not sending you hopping for nothing, though. At every port there are prizes to win. (See below for a list of all participants)
So, what am I giving away, and what do you need to do to win?
Two randomly chosen winners will have a choice of The Fifth Son, Oren’s Right, or any of the anthologies I have a story in.
Entering is simple: leave a comment and a valid email adress is enough, though you’re free to share your own story. I’d love to hear them.
The contest will run until midnight on the 24th, and I’ll announce (and contact via email) the winners on the 25th. 🙂
Meanwhile… I’ll keep writing stories set in worlds where these issues are issues no longer, and hope the world I live in, will one day reflect the worlds I write.