I have watched for some time now how LGBT persons tend to be more understanding of homophobia when it is touted by fellow LGBT persons, and I’ve always been curious about this phenomenon. Does homophobia appear more palatable when preached by gay persons? Do biphobia and transphobia sound more tolerable when trumpeted by homosexuals? Is it possible that within ourselves, we can find justification to condemn others and perhaps ourselves for our sexual proclivities? I was once of the view that the homophobia within the gay community is just as worse as that from the outside, but I chose to drop that perception along the line because I realized that for some reasons, it wasn’t very helpful. Recent developments are however beginning to force me to have a rethink. And the most recent case of the self-proclaimed ‘Snapchat queen’, notoriously known as Bobrisky, suits for a case study.

You see, as regards the subject of sexuality, I strongly believe the word of the individual should be taken as absolute proof. As a guy, you may have slept with numberless amount of men, but if you choose to identify yourself as straight, I’m all for respecting that self-identification. This is why despite the accounts and rumors of men coming out to attest that the Orlando shooter was gay, I stuck with the story that he was straight. Omar Mateen never publicly saw himself as gay. (Heck, he was married to two different women.)

So, to me, Bobrisky or anybody like him retain the right to scream NO to the question ‘Are you gay?’ And I most certainly have no evidence to think otherwise, not least when I’ve never met this young man before. I myself, as proudly homosexual as I am, will give a NO to that question depending on the person and place of questioning. This is perfectly understandable. We live in a deeply homophobic clime. Even people who live in gay-friendly societies have various reasons for denying their sexuality and we can all cope with that.

But what happens when we choose to take this denial a step further and make utterances that do not help anyone in the long run even though they appear to help us temporarily? Are there reasons why we can be vocally homophobic and feel comfortable about it, even garner applause from our fellow gay persons who help us to cement such reasons? I have read very disturbing biphobic comments on this platform even from self-professed rights activists, and it makes me shudder at how conveniently we can hold the same kind of views that haunt us and gather support from others who are too quick to share their personal experiences and give equally convoluted reasons for their obscene views. This is disgraceful.

Sincerely speaking, how much would some of us gay people be given to take the podium and vociferously condemn homosexuality? It seems there may be no price at all for this hypocrisy.

What reasons can we easily give ourselves to become like the homophobes who hate us? I’ve heard persons in some quarters argue that we can’t blame Bobrisky because he had to save himself, and I ask: Does saving yourself and saving others have to be mutually exclusive endeavors? In this era of straight people coming out to strongly condemn homophobia, what do you gain as a trans person, cross dresser, effeminate man or masculine woman, lesbian or gay, MGM or bisexual, from fanning the embers of what is seeking to consume you? And why do you think you shouldn’t be held up to the same standard and even be reasoned with as you express your homophobic views? If it can be said that it is better to keep mum than to open your mouth and be thought a fool, is it not better said that it is better to keep quiet than to open your mouth and in the process endanger the lives of so many out there for selfish gains?

What the likes of Bobrisky and those who support his harmful homophobic shot at saving himself finally fail to realize is that those who hate him care very less about who he’s fucking with. The gender of his imaginary ‘bae’ is irrelevant to their bigotry. His flamboyantly effeminate looks are enough to arouse the most inveterate repulsion in the mind of the homophobe and no amount of ‘I am not Gay’ or throwing gays under the bus can save him.

Don’t take my word for it, visit the comments on Instagram. Isn’t it schizophrenic that such loud cross-dressing effeminate guy can be so ignorantly homophobic? His utterances do not help anybody including himself and it’s most unfortunate that he cannot see this. Internalized homophobia ought to remain an internal affair for the sake of the rest of us. That Bobrisky happened to be in a position where he is asked the question “Are you gay?” before judgment is passed on him is a privilege that he should not use to endanger lives of others who will not be opportune to receive such fair hearing. Mr. Bobrisky and his supporters should know better.

Written by Henrie