Sunday, July 22, 2007

A frustrating conversation

A week ago, at my workplace, one of my co-workers had said that he felt another co-worker was homophobic. I had agreed. Yesterday, I was approached by yet another co-worker, a highschooler. We had the following conversation, transcribed word-for-word.

Her: Do you really think [male coworker] is a homophobic?
Me: I don't think he's *a* homophobic, as in some kind of alien species. I think he's a person who is somewhat homophobic. Most people are, and him more than most.
Her: What makes you think that?
Me: You can just tell... I mean, look at how he talks about women.
Her: That doesn't make him a homophobic.
Me: It all goes together. There are certain sets of attitudes... men invested in traditional gender roles are usually homophobic.
Her: But he talks to gay people!
Me: Are you saying no-one who talks to black people is racist? Look, I'm not saying he goes around beating up gay people or anything like that. I just think that the idea makes him uncomfortable.
Her: Oh, but it makes everyone a little uncomfortable. Doesn't mean they're a homophobic.
Me: (stunned silence) .... yes. Yes, it does.
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