It’s strange that homosexual slurs are so often used to describe someone as weak or soft.
A guy gets upset about something and one of his mates tells him to “stop being a fag”.
A footy player gets hurt on the field and doubts he can still play – his team-mate runs up to him, tells him “don’t be a poof. Get up and keep playing”.
The clear underlying message here is that heterosexuality is big, tough and strong while homosexuality is associated with weakness.
And that’s leaving aside the habit people have of classifying something that they don’t like as “gay”.
I’ll put my hand up as having used these demeaning phrases in the past and never thought twice about it.
But, once I did think about it, I made an effort to stop.
And I realised calling someone a fag for being soft doesn’t make sense.
Because being gay doesn't seem soft or easy – it looks really hard.
They have to put up with a lot of stuff that heterosexuals simply never experience.
I’ve never been verbally abused for being straight. Nor have I been bashed for it either.
I was able to marry my wife without any law having to be changed.
No one looks at me twice if I hold my wife’s hand or kiss her in public.
And the chances of me being discriminated against for liking women? Zero.
Don’t forget the fact that I could never have been jailed for committing the crime of being heterosexual.
People don’t have a choice when it comes to their sexuality. and yet gays and lesbians have long had to fight through prejudice, fear, stereotypes and violence.
They keep their heads up, they keep pushing forwards. They keep loving.
And they do it in the face of bigotry. That takes strength, not weakness.