Trying to overcome my homophobia.

by Julia Orwell 71 Replies latest jw friends

  • Julia Orwell
    Julia Orwell

    I had a music album by a gay guy before I was a JW and had no problem listening to it. It's good music. Some of the lyrics are what you might call 'gay', that is there's some talk about boyfriends, gay bars, and queens and the intolerance the artist encountered as a gay man. When I became a JW I stopped listening to it. This is going back to the mid nineties.

    I loved that album and missed it for a long time. Well, one day recently I found it again at my mum's house and put it on. I still love the music, the same music I loved on it when I was 13 before this whole JW fiasco. I've worked with gay people and really, I couldn't care less that they were men and had male partners, or when I met a woman's female partner or whatever.

    But the JW religion so indoctrinated me with a phobic reaction to homosexuality, I am having really strong feelings of guilt listening to this album right now. I know it's silly, because a story about a men finding love and that is really nice, whether they're gay or not. I'm torn between really enjoying my ancient forbidden music, and connecting with a part of myself from 20 years ago, and ingrained fear of anything 'gay'. I know it's irrational, and I feel guilty for having this reaction. It's funny that a part of me still revolts against gayness. I breed birds, and some of my buyers are gay (I notice gay men really love their pet birds and I know if I have a gay couple come and buy, those birds will be well looked after) and on one level I don't care and realise it's none of my business, but 15 years of JW conditioning vies with it in a strong negative and derogatory reaction. Before I was a JW, I was vocally pro-gay, even though I am straight. Now I know gay people are the same as straight, but my crazy emotions aren't keeping up.

    If you're gay and reading this, please don't be offended. I think you're great and there's nothing wrong with you. I try to learn more about the gay perspective because it's 10% of the world's population, which is something really noticing, and besides, I think you're gorgeous. I just wish I could rid myself of 15 years of JW conditioning. Even now my feelings are rebelling at this song about 'you're one in a million men..." sung by a man. So stupid. What should I do?

  • Faithful Witness
    Faithful Witness


    Don't be so hard on yourself. Just be kind. Your programmed reactions are normal. It sounds like your heart is in the right place, and you have compassion.

    You are right about the gay men and their birds. haha. Since most don't have kids, their pets become their spoiled children.

  • blondie

    It helps to socialize with people outside your group. I live in an area with a large group of gays, work with them, socialize with them, men and women. I find I have more in common than differences if I look at what we in common. Many are married for some time to each other and have a home life not much different than mine. I don't have children and no pets. I have met childless heterosexual couples who have pets that love them. Being around and spending time getting to know people beyond the stereotypes has been a wonderful learning experience for me and has added to my friend base.

  • fastJehu

    @ Julia Orwell

    Don't worry any more.

    A close look at about the question:

    "Do You Ban Certain Movies, Books, or Songs?"

    will show you this:

    "Our organization doesn’t review specific movies, books, or songs so as to rule on what our members should avoid."

    More about this (NEW) enLIGHTening:

  • cantleave

    Go to a gay pride event with some Ex-JW's - I did, it was fantastic and totally destroyed any homophobic feelings I still harboured.

  • happy@last
    [email protected]

    I would agree with Blondie, it is sometimes the circle of people we are with that can dictate our 'prejudices'. Don't look at gay people as being gay, look at them as being people.

  • Phizzy

    Dear Julia, you have highlighted how very deep such conditioning by the WT goes. Deep seated prejudice and fear is also a problem for people not influenced by the WT.

    For example, those who have a deep rooted racist attitude, even when they recognise that to be wrong and no longer give voice to it, their problem is still evident. I saw a white lady I knew who was born and bred in South Africa, and would not think of heself as racist, brush off and reject the helping hand of a kind black guy as she struggled with some steps.

    I think, (hope), that he just thought she was a proud old lady, but I knew it was her upbringing.

    Often the vestiges of such deep seated things are evidenced by such expressions as "Some of my best friends are Gay" , or Black, or whatever.

    Will that tiny nagging wrong feeling ever go away ? I don't know, but as long as we recognise it honestly for what it is, as you do, and we do not act upon it, but carry on as though we did not have the feeling/s , we are doing O.K

    Thank you for your many honest and thoughtful posts.

  • rubadubdub

    Yes, Julia Orwell, in order to get over JW homophobic programming, we need to see gays as people just like us. When I first let the organization, I made a to-do list for myself. One item was to invite a gay couple to spend a weekend at my home. Now I wasn't going to pick some random couple off the street, but I knew the opportunity would present itself, and it did. At a continuing ed class, I recognized a woman I had met years earlier. She and her SO were going to be in town as vendors in an antique show. I inviteded her to stay and to bring her partner. They were delighted. We had such a great time catching up. We cooked a lovely meal together. It changed my whole perspective. Don't be hard on yourself. Enjoy your music!

    Another thing I do quite regularly is thank military personnel in uniform on the street for their service. I shake their hand and thank them. One older gentleman (older than I) teared up. I asked if I could give him a hug, and his said yes! I will never forget that. He was so appreciative.

  • iCeltic

    Go on, what is the LP?

    I know exactly what you mean, I less and less now have those feeling about gay people whereas I used to think they were bad people, I now know they aren't. Especially living in Sydney, it's way more out in the open here than in the uk.

  • pbrow

    Orwell.... I think your heart is def in the right place. The point of them being a certain percentage of the population is telling. It even happens in the animal world. If you beleive in god than you have to come to terms with the fact that although homosexuality is a minor part of nature it is indeed a part of nature.

    My experience has been once you get to know some gay individuals and couples you start to realize just how "normal" they are.


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