Homophobia Is Still Alive And (Unfortunately) Well

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

It's Valentines Day, I am on my way home from work with a beautiful bouquet of roses that my Girlfriend has had delivered to my office. I board the Edgeware train and sit next to a seemingly harmless woman. She's middle aged, with brown hair and a green coat. Just as i'm about to open 100 Puzzle on my phone, she turns to me and says "Oh, such a romantic day!" looking at my flowers. I smile and simply reply "yeah."

I think that's the end of it until she continues to comment "A beautiful bunch, how long have you been with your Boyfriend?" - this woman of course doesn't know me, she doesn't know i'm gay, and my 15 minute commute is not worth an explanation to a stranger. I choose to ignore the Boyfriend part and reply "a year." She responds to this talking about her husband; I find out his name is David and that he is away on business. She talks about missing him even though they don't really celebrate Valentines Day, and she expresses that he will come home with a bunch of lilies every time he returns from his business trips. My anxiety means i'm not one to overly entertain strangers, so I just politely smile, nod in agreement and let the woman continue her story. 

At one point I think she probably notices that she's rambling, so she asks me what my name is. I tell her it's Jayde, forgetting to ask hers. She then asks me my Boyfriend's name. This is when I decide to stop ignoring her assumptions and tell her that "My Girlfriend's name is Paige.' Her face drops, her tone changes, and she simply replies "oh." She doesn't say anything else whilst she's gathering her bags together as we approach Belsize Park station. As she gets up from her seat, she looks back down at me with a face only a mother could love, spitting the words "You should be ashamed of yourself. Disgusting." as she waltzes off the train.

I am a twenty-seven year old woman who has been dating women for eight years. I am used to derogatory comments from drunk men on nights out bellowing "lesbo" across a Wetherspoons, however I never expected to have a woman calling me disgusting on a Wednesday evening Rush Hour tube, just because i'm gay. I was absolutely astonished by her insults and outright homophobia that she wasn't at all embarrassed to express.

I would say I have been extremely lucky within my "Coming Out Story', i've rarely experienced serious homophobia and all my family and friends have been beyond supportive and accepting. I work in the music industry in an open-plan office of all ages and genders. When the roses arrived this morning, every single colleague cheered and aww'd and expressed their happiness for me. Because of this, I guess I naively forget that there are still people like this in the world. There are still people that are narrow minded and invalidating. This woman on the train was a coward, she waited until she was walking away from the situation to call me disgusting. She attempted to make another human being - a stranger - feel wrong for loving who they love. It's 2018, how is this still happening?

Being surrounded by so much love and acceptance, I took this evening with a pinch of salt. But I know there are so many people out there that would be affected by this kind of negativity, and this is what makes me so sad. Please just know you are loved, and you can be exactly who you want. 

As I stepped off the train at my stop, a man who overheard what the woman had said to me told me to "have a lovely evening with your Girlfriend" and restored (a little of) my faith in humanity. 

So, Mrs Asshole, you tried to belittle me but it didn't work. And those lilies David brings you whenever he returns from his "business trips" are probably a cover up for shagging his assistant. At least my homosexual relationship is loyal - Happy Valentine's Day!

Whould you like to comment?

  1. This made me so angry. What a horrible horrible person. No wonder her husband is on business for so long, imagine falling in love with someone to find they act like that. Im so sorry you had to deal with that. But I'm glad you've got someone who absolutely adores you to come home to! x

    1. Crazy right?! I didn't realise we were still living in the stone age! Thank you lovely. x


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