Hello, this is S. L. (Steph) Danielson and this is my reason for joining the Hop Against Homophobia.
I have all kinds of friends, from my early years..gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, you name it. Everything under the LGBTQ umbrella. Many have changed my life forever, in very, very good ways…which is one reason I write the genre I do.
In my opinion, homophobia is like any other phobia…if you break down the word, it’s fear. Plain and simple. Fear of anything or anyone different than ourselves.
I grew up in a small town in West Virginia… we had one black kid in our entire school, so diversity was certainly not something I grew up learning. Anything or anyone different was not discussed favorably in our household, if at all. It was a very homogenous environment, where everything was the same, nothing changed.
Then we moved to an enormous city where everything changed. When I was 16, I met my first ever openly-gay friend. His name was Daniel, and of course I had a crush on him at first, but I simply enjoyed his company, and being his friend. It never mattered to me at all that he was gay.
He is part of what inspired what I write today. Male/Male romantic fiction, where they are loved and respected, and treated no differently than all the other people I know. Today I have not only over a dozen books, and fans who love how real the characters are, but support (in a sense) from my family….(but at a distance). That isn’t real support in my head, my mother thinks I was brainswashed, and my father, though a fan, thinks that being gay is ‘sick’.
To me, being gay is not at all sick, to me you are born that way and it is part of who that person is. It doesn’t matter to me at all, I’ll still be their friend. Skin color, eye color, nationality, religion….sexual orientation. Doesn’t matter. I was raised Catholic but am at heart a Christian, who loves all of God’s children.
My final word on homophobia? It’s an excuse. No more excuses. People are people. Treat everyone the same.