Ignorance: The state in which one lacks knowledge, is unaware of something or chooses to subjectively ignore information. (Wiki)
Ignoranus: A person who’s both ignorant and an asshole. (Anonymous)
“To be ignorant of one’s ignorance is the malady of the ignorant.” – Amos Bronson Alcott
Friends, family, coworkers and downright strangers; the majority huddle up under the roof of ignorance of the queer. And there is nothing surprising or shameful about that. All of us were, and still are, ignorant of many realities. But here I would like to differentiate between people who know they are ignorant, and people who stick to their crooked beliefs like scotch tape sticks to a Chihuahua, people also known as … ignoranuses.
“The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you know nothing about.” – Wayne Dyer
It is the reason why when you come out to an ignoranus, they get flashing images of drugs, porn… It is the reason why when I told a female ignoranus that I was at a feminists’ march, she asked if I was a dyke and that if it was at all relevant to being a feminist. And it’s the reason why we always expect an automatic negative reaction.
“Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don’t know because we don’t want to know.” – Aldous Huxley
However, amidst all this pessimism and negativity, I can still find in ignorance a friendly foe, dangerous sure, but also friendly. Why? Because it’s curable. A mouthful of patience, a teaspoon of facts, and a pinch of time is the entire recipe you need. Of course, quantities of ingredients may vary according to the situation.
“Your ignorance cramps my conversation.” – Bob Hope
I am not an offensive person by nature, so when an ignoranus proceeds to educate me with their opinions about queerness, I listen. I have developed a habit of finding out people’s views on queerness, and a pleasure of responding with facts. But when this ignoranus is someone you really care about, what do you do? How can you contain your disappointment if they say “tfeh,” revealing a disgusted face, “I can understand anything but this,” thus shooting down any inkling of hope you had at a peaceful coming out. So do you give up? No.
We human beings, in our nature, adapt. We can adapt to anything: war, disasters, recession, poverty, abuse, technology, Haifa Wehbe… anything. So yes, they can also adapt to us being queer.
Homophobia vs. Ignorance
“The reasons for homophobia are rooted in ignorance.” – Collette Katzen
This is what it all comes down to. There is no such thing as a phobia of homosexuals, unless a homosexual actually bit you when you were young while screaming “I’m a homosexual.” But more often than not, it is due to a rigid intolerant upbringing and misguided religious zealots. So, to all the homophobes out there, venture out of your small world. You are not homophobes, you are simply ignorant.
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