Updated: Oct 22, 2020
By Anonymous in June 2020
Warning: profanity, cursing(including the f slur), mentions of homophobia and brief mention of depression.
Since it is Pride Month, I feel compelled to write about Queer oppression and my personal experiences.
I am not openly gay. I am one of those people who is assumed to be gay even if I do not say anything. I am not ashamed of myself. In fact, I love myself. But, the toxic debate community makes it hard to love myself sometimes.
My first homophobic encounter occurred my freshman year. I was in a debate round and had fun. It was a normal round. But, after the round, the opponent came up to me and said, “You sound gay.” I don’t take offense to the word gay but why is there a stereotype of what gay people sound like?
My next and most important experience was during my sophomore year. After a round, I talked to my opponents. After our conversation, they immediately said the word “faggot.” Maybe I sounded gay. Maybe I just looked gay. It hurt. I don’t know how else to explain it besides it hurt. This led to my self hatred.
I walked away from the tournament depressed. I realized that no one in this community gives a shit about who I am. No one gives a fuck. Even my coaches are homophobic. For example, one of our coaches said they had a significant other, and someone I know asked who. My coach got offended and assumed we were talking about his sexuality. He acted as if it is despicable to be part of the LGBTQ+ community.
In another instance, my coach said that I would be friends with his old debater who was gay because we would be “compatible.” This was the most insensitive comment I have ever heard. As a closeted individual, being told that we would be compatible puts me into a box of what I need to be and who he thinks I am. I never said anything about the comment. If I said something then everyone would know the true me. The gay me.
Everyone that is reading this is probably wondering why am I closeted. I am out to my close friends but I do not have enough support. I have kids on my debate team that still say “faggot,” and I have homophobic coaches. It is not a safe environment for coming out. I am not allowed to come out. I can’t come out. Not because of a lack of wanting to, but because if I do, I will lose people I love.
With the community at large, hearing these derogatory terms against LGBTQ+ individuals makes me want to stay closeted even more. Why would I want to be someone that everyone hates? Why would I be me if I am just gonna be bullied all the time? Debate has never been a safe space. On the Beyond Resolved Youtube, people were trolling the Queerphobia Krikik as if it was some sort of joke saying it's “cringe”. I will never feel comfortable coming out to the debate community. Never.
This community has failed Queer individuals. It has failed me and so many more. They have never been there to support me. Everyone says their allies and they turn their backs and say the word faggot and bully Queer people. You isolate Queer people and exclude us from the conversation. You utilize us to win a ballot, but you laugh when we fight for our lives in round. You are the problem. You have let my community down and you need to do something to change it because you have broken me.
Note: The Beyond Resolved blog reflects the ideas of individual authors and not necessarily of the organization as a whole.