Love is love, and all human beings have the right to be in love with whoever they love.
Homophobia is a dark cloud that muddies that idea. But because of culture, religion, and upbringings, some people, unfortunately, learn to be homophobic and to be harshly judgmental against what people do in private.
But homophobia can be unlearned. Redditor u/Mr_Damaged asked ex-homophobes what made them change their views... And people answered with stories about what opened their minds and taught them not to hate others.
10. Their daughter opened their eyes
"I'm old, lets get that out first. I grew up in a society that used gay and all the various derogatory terms as insults. It took a long time to get past that. It happened after I had kids. My daughter came home from school with a friend. After he left I said, 'Is he gay, cause he seems gay?' She said, Oh my god dad, why the hell would that even matter to you?
It was like a light lit up in my head. You're right, why the hell would that matter? It was a life changing moment. Why do I care? Why should I care? I had no sensible answer to those questions other than I shouldn't. It changed my views toward life and happiness, and oh yes, politics. She knows how much I've changed, and I've made sure to let her know it was that simple statement that changed me. It was the moment I quit teaching her, and she began teaching me."
9. Love is loveGiphy
"First time I fell in love. I realized how wonderful it was and at the same time realized that it was wrong to take that amazing feeling away from people."
8. They listened and became an ally
"I remember starting high school and they had us all Gather in the gym to look at all the clubs and extracurricular activities offered to us. I saw some kids standing under a banner that said 'gay-straight Alliance', and I chuckled at its absurdity.
Then I went to one of the meetings to impress a girl I liked.
The leader of the group told the story of Matt Shepard. A gay college student who is beaten to death in 1998 for no other reason than being gay. From that the other members of the group started sharing their stories of being bullied and persecuted and beat up, most of them by members of their own family. That's the moment that my callous heart melted, and I realized how insufferable I've been up until that point in my life. And I've considered myself an ally ever since."
7. They met new people in college
"Going to college, meeting and interacting with gay people. Seeing them as people."
6. Their friend's sexuality didn't matter to them
"When my friend realised he was gay. I was 12-13. I didn't see him become a different person. I just saw him staring at men instead of women. What do I care.? He's still the same guy. His sexuality did not impact me."
5. Australian politicsGiphy
"The yes/no vote in Australia. The ads for the yes vote was almost entirely based on compassion, but the ones in support of the no vote was based on hate. It was kind of pathetic looking back and it was sad how many old/sheep follower type people would see that and believe it and hate gays for it."
4. They were honest with themselves
"Realising I'm gay. I Still got some internalized homophobia to deal with but it's a process."
3. Consenting adults can do what they want to do
"Leaving Arkansas did the trick. How arrogant can someone be to tell others what they can or can't do on their own time/private life when it's by consenting adults."
2. Parents aren't always right
"Well my dad was and is a homophobe so when I was younger I was shaped to believe that anyone who isn't straight is bad. But then I realised that dad is just a mean person and that people can't help who they are or who they identify as"
1. Simply growing up
"Growing up. It's easy to be judgmental when you're young and life is simple. When you enter the world of paying bills, drowning in debt, going without sleep, and trying to hold it together when times are tough, you start to see that we're all-- all of us-- just trying to make something good out of our generally s***** lives. Why begrudge anyone their happiness?"