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Dear Jody

By |2009-04-23T09:00:00-04:00April 23rd, 2009|Entertainment|

{SUBHEAD Fearing the straights}

Q: I am a 33-year-old black, same-gender-loving man. I am in a transition to change my life. First, I have overcome depression and suicidal thoughts over a year ago. I’ve done this with the help of therapy. Also, in this period, I found that I still have an issue with straight people. Now, I know kids can be cruel and I have forgiven them because they didn’t know any better. But I still have some anger toward straight men, especially black, heterosexual men. I had some of them tell me that I should “get over it” and learn how to get along with them, and just maybe – some time or another – I will befriend some of them, at least those that aren’t scared of other same-gender-loving men of color.
I have put up a wall and have hostile feelings toward them. I hate (with a passion) their behavior toward other people that are different. But I know that I should not hate anyone; yet it seems that every time I reach out to them, they shun me away or are just plain evil.
Well, to make a long story short, I just gave up on them and I do not trust them. I do not let people get close to me, due to the fact of having trust issues with people. Someone told me that it was my fault that kids and some adults made fun of me when I was a kid because I didn’t have a strong male figure in my life. After hearing that, I wanted to end it all at that moment, which I thank God I did not. Instead I went running for professional help, since I believe that God has a great and mighty plan for my life. And by the way, I dropped that loser of a “friend.”

I want to know how I can overcome my heterophobia? It is ruining my life. I can’t go on like this forever. I missed a lot of opportunities to meet straight people that are positive, open-minded and non-judgmental. And last, someone stated to me that I should look past my nose to get a better understanding on how other people think and act, so that I won’t close off others, and so that I can move on in life and heal and become whole for the first time in my life.

Some Anger Still

A: The only way that you are going to be able to overcome your fear of black, straight men is to face your fear head on. You said that there are “straight people that are positive, open-minded and non-judgmental” – so, you know that they exist. The other thing is to understand that you will continue to come across black, straight men that are ignorant and have problems with their own sexuality – or they wouldn’t have a problem with yours. In other words, you have to realize in your head and gut that they have the problem, not you. That way, when you meet up with them, you can walk away from them knowing that you are OK – like you would with anyone who is abusive.
It is wise of you to understand that you are missing out on many good black, heterosexual men in life due to your fear of them. The only way to get over it is to engage with them. If I were you, I’d start by observing and checking around, asking friends if they know straight men that you might like. Start small, pick out someone whom you think might be or has shown to be trustworthy. Start to get to know this person in small steps. Be careful not to apologize for who you are, or on the other hand, have an attitude about it, either. Take it slow, and give it a chance. If the person doesn’t work out, move to someone else.
I would also suggest that you get a straight, black, gay-friendly therapist to help you with this process, if possible. But if not, move ahead on your own. You might also ask other same-gender-loving men how they have handled this problem; certainly many of them have had some of the same experiences that you did.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.