Since my family and I entered ANS in August, I have been a little frustrated, and for good reason. In the twenty-first century, homosexuality has become old news. Gays have fully integrated themselves into the mainstream, and are no longer seen as outcasts like they were in the past. Yet, how come there are people here at school that don’t realize that? Why is it, that for some, gay is not okay?
During my first week here, I was asked no less than three times if my brother was either: a) a homo, b) *wavy hand motions and a wink”, or c) “gay, because of his hair, ‘cause it’s, y’know, pink, right?”
Sure, he had pink hair. Yes, I know that pink isn’t conventionally seen as a manly color. But is someone’s sexuality really determined by something as simple as hair color? I thought that people got over the silly ‘LOL, no homo’ phase a while ago, around 6th grade. I think that this lack of respect, or just the lack of care for terms such as ‘no homo’ or ‘gay-boy’ is awful.
Yet, it only seems to be blatant at this school. For those who don’t know, I recently moved here this year from Amman, Jordan. You know, the place in the Middle East, a region where women have to wear headscarves. In Saudi Arabia, a neighboring country, simply being LGBT and crossdressing can be punished anywhere from public floggings to torture. But there, in Jordan, the people who made gay jokes, or said ‘no-homo,’ were often shunned or ignored. In general, the LGBT community was very respected. Now, coming here, to Nicaragua, a country where it is legal, and where, in certain areas, discriminatory behavior towards them is punishable, I don’t really know where all this homophobia is coming from.
So, you tell me. Am I being over-dramatic and the times I have heard these types of things are being exaggerated, or is there a significant population of this school that is either genuinely, or jokingly, homophobic?