How to deal with everyday homophobia
I want to preface this article by saying that I hope that you never experience any form of homophobia, but it's good to think about how you're going to deal with it.
To be clear, I am not speaking about violent homophobia, which should always be reported to the authorities. I am talking about that which we experience on a daily basis, the looks, the mumbles, anything and everything that is designed to make you feel uncomfortable. And it's important to know this, no one ever has the right to make you feel this way.
Realistically, the best thing we can do is ignore it. But sometimes, homophobes will make a point of making sure that you notice their disgust.
Here's what I would suggest. Take a long, deep breath and and remember that you have chosen to live a life that is empowering to you. You are in charge of your own happiness. Never let anyone make you feel bad about who you are, particularly an ignorant stranger who can't or doesn't want to understand that not everyone is the same. They aren't worth your time, thoughts or effort.
No one is born ignorant. Bigotry is infectious, particularly within families. It is regularly instilled in children by their parents and whilst, during childhood, they may use this as a fair excuse, as adults, we have choices. They can make the choice to understand, to learn, to grow. Unfortunately, few choose to do this. Instead choosing to hide behind their parent's ignorant ideas. You might hear the expression "I'm not homophobic, but..." Ah yes, that big but. Changes everything doesn't it? If only they would change. But they won't, and you shouldn't try to change them either. As I said, this is a waste of your precious time. What we should understand is that bigots are very rarely happy people. To spit such poison at strangers only comes from a deep resentment for themselves. This is why it's so important that you have chosen not to feel that way, to live the life that was meant for you.
You should be immensely proud of your decision to come out, to BE out and proud about it. Ok, I know, we don't always feel that proud, but never let these people know that. Hold your head high and continue with your life and love. I promise, nothing will make you feel better than this. When you take control.
Easier said than done, I'm sure you're thinking. But of course! Unfortunately, when we are faced with this kind of situation, like so many situations in life, we must take the high road. So difficult at times, I know, especially when we are faced with injustice.
I have learnt that there is only really one thing you can do to take the power back, to take control of the situation. Catch them staring, flash them a warm smile and carry on with your life. Pretend that you have just caught their eye, rather than reacting to a menacing stare. When people realise that their actions aren't having the desired effect, or getting the attention they want, they normally stop. Remember, these people are essentially children! Roll with that.
Never doubt for a second that you have done the right thing coming out. These people are few and far between, I can assure you of that. Most people won't give a second thought to the fact that you're in a same sex relationship. Exactly how it should be. Let them be them and you be you. After all, how boring would it be if we were all the same anyway?!