Watching Mithli Mithlak With My Mother

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I was watching the second part of Mithli Mitlak on New TV with my mother last Tuesday night. I was listening intently, trying to make her listen too. She was reading something and occasionally looking at the television with disgust and rage. I wanted to know what she thought. I pushed her buttons. I made her talk. She said that homosexuals are abnormal, disgusting. She said they are a disgrace to our society.

I’m not out to my family and what she said didn’t encourage me. But this time, I didn’t shut up. I gave her a piece of my mind. I have no idea how I could say this to my mother, with such conviction, without backing down and with her actually falling silent. I said: “Homosexuals are human beings, just like me and you. There’s nothing abnormal about them. They work, they study, they go out, they succeed, they do everything we do, sometimes with the same irrelevance, and other times, they make more difference in society than you or I could be able to in years. There’s nothing disgusting about them. If you don’t agree with their sexual behavior, that doesn’t make them any less humans than you. In the end, what they do in the bedroom isn’t affecting you in any way. I have a lot of homosexual friends, and they’re amazing people.”

My mother fell silent. She still had that look of anger in her eyes. At some point, she said: “Sometimes it makes me doubt you when you talk with such vigor and passion about their rights and their future in this country.” I smile. What else could I do? If I’m discriminated against in my own home, how can I expect members of our society not to discriminate me? If my own mother thinks I’m disgusting, how can I expect other people not to think so? If my mother, who has unconditional love for me, thinks that I’m abnormal, what about other people?

It makes me sad. It makes me feel trapped when I think of all of this – like the only choice I have is to run for my life! I’m condemned by my own family for being who I am. It makes me feel abandoned and alone. I have no idea how to convince my mom, how to talk to her, logically, how to help her be more tolerant, or how to open her mind up. I cannot imagine how many people out there are like my mom or even worse. How do we get through to these people? How do we make them listen? The more I look around, the more there are people exercising prejudice, hate, and discrimination everywhere in this country which we’ve tagged as “gay friendly.”

It’s sad that educated and cultivated people like my mother think of homosexuals this way. I don’t know how we are to achieve our goals; I have no idea how we can speak up and not fall silent facing these people. I’m discouraged. Honestly, I’m scared!

- Contributed by McCutcheon

Guest Contributor

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