Will gay marriage change social ignorance?

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When will people stop caring about who people fall in love with? So it looks like marriage will become available for everyone in the near future, but will this really change attitudes over homosexuality? I mean will this mean that if I chose to hold my boyfriends hand in public, I will not get any dirty looks? Truth be told I am not bothered what people think, but my boyfriend does not think it is right to hold hands in public and neither do a lot of my friends because of the stigma that homosexual Public display of affection gets from ignorant people.

When I am at university I live in Worthing. It is about 10 miles from Brighton and I can certainly see a substantial change of attitudes towards homosexuality in Kent and how people accept difference and individuality in Worthing. In general, the people in Kent tend to be more rigid and quite frankly, less friendly. In Worthing the little old dears actually smile and sometimes the warm gesture is followed by a sweet little ‘hello’. As a result, I feel more comfortable down there so I can relax and be myself. Whereas in Canterbury  people don’t smile nor do they even acknowledge you are there and will just walk straight into you half the time, but if one was to hold my boyfriends hand then then it wouldn’t be comfortable experience for either one of us.

The outcome of this is that Jason and I try not to express our feelings out in public, and this can at times get very frustrating. I understand that I should really just do what I want no matter what other people think, but that is easier said than done and I don’t want it to have to be a challenge, because to be honest with you, I think it would damage my confidence having to deal with the confrontation. I would prefer to just not have anything to do with anyone who is homophobic. Saying this, my brother had homophobic views before I came out. It took me showing him that I was a normal person just like him, for him to get off my case and accept me for who I am. For me, he is family and he was worth the confrontation, but strangers who decide to judge when they don’t even know me don’t deserve my time or effort. I cannot wait for the day when gays are not seen as dirty promiscuous creatures walking on the earth and are just accepted for who they are. Yes, we are in the 21st century and I totally realise that most of us are open minded people who don’t get involved in other peoples love life, but for me it is not worth putting myself in an uncomfortable situation when it is not necessary just to prove a point.

So I hope that gay marriage ends up sorting out this predicament, but I have a funny feeling that this will not change over night and homophobia will continue on into the future. Or just send all the homophobic men, women and children to jail so that we can all live in harmony!

H

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