- October 16, 2015
Yesterday, in the Huffington Post, HRC Senior Specialist for HIV Prevention & Health Equity, Noel Gordon, wrote about the importance of speaking up against anti-LGBT bias wherever it might occur:
It started out like any other day.
I had just finished my morning workout, when eleven words cut short the stillness of the locker room: "I don't mean to judge anybody, but it's just not natural."
At first, I kept my head down, torn between interrupting a private conversation or just quietly dealing with the churning in the pit of my stomach. But eventually, the rhetoric grew to be too much: "I'm not about this same-sex marriage stuff. It's all they care about. Besides, nobody talks about the fact that they're still out there spreading diseases."
"Stuff?" I thought to myself. "Diseases, really?" Clearly this man had no idea an LGBT equality and HIV prevention advocate was standing just a few feet away. But he was about to find out.
I marched over to his side of the locker room and discovered there were three of them: an older man who routinely invoked the Bible, despite asserting he was an atheist; a middle-aged man who had clearly never met a black, gay person before; and a millennial, not much older than myself, who also happened to be an employee of the gym.
I wanted to call them homophobes, but I focused instead on the impact of their words: "Excuse me gentlemen. Even if you aren't big supporters of the LGBT community, I'm sure there are ways for you to express your views without using such hateful rhetoric. And, more importantly, you're just plain wrong."