I grew up in the great blue north, and felt that gay was normal, more than normal, cool. So when I say I was homophobic, I don’t mean gay bashing homophobic. I mean literally I was afraid of the same sex.
My personal space bubble in high school was well documented. Hugs were a rarity, and if I were to give one it probably went to the guy I was dating. I just didn’t do affection. In college I learned about the power of hugs and I started to let people into my bubble…occasionally. But still when it came to girls I was very picky as to would I allow there.
College is also where I met my first lesbians and made lesbian friends. And as much as I loved them or supported I didn’t want to see them doing anything together or hear about it. I was quoted as saying something to effect to lesbians friends W and SL, “Your love is a wondrous thing and makes me feel weird.”
As for being in a sorority? My personal uncomfortableness and extreme modesty became well known among my sisters. It even became a game. At important events I would get “boobed” by certain sisters. I went along with the game, because it was meant to be funny, but it tore me up inside. This game came to a halt when after an event the girls were changing. I was surrounded by a room of half naked women and I was overwhelmed. Then I got boobed by a sister and then I hid away and cried. It was so freaking confusing as to why I was crying.
At a meeting with a small group of sisters I had gotten close to, I was asked why I was so uncomfortable around women. I postulated that it was because my alcoholic mother was never affectionate with me. One of my friends stated this didn’t quite explain my uncomfortableness. While I agreed with this, I couldn’t think of another reason. I said it could be because my mother only ever hugged me while drunk. But even as I said the words, I didn’t believe them.
Since college I finally figured out I was gay, and interestingly enough my fear of women has pretty much vanished. I’m still not the most lovey dovey individual, but my personal bubble is much much smaller now. I’m still quite modest, but that’s because I don’t wear skin showing girly clothes, cause I’d rather guy clothes. And I’ve never had anyone to be naked with, so nakedness is unusual to me.
And that’s how the great big gayness resting in my soul destroyed the evil homophobia.
QBP: "The roots of homophobia are fear. Fear and more fear." -George Weinberg