Quickie: Am I getting oversensitive, or am I just opening my eyes?
Recently, a friend of mine, well, an ex-boyfriend of mine, made some mildly homophobic and cis-sexist jokes on Facebook. Basically, he called a friend “gay” for liking Dr. Girlfriend from the Venture Brothers cartoon.
Dr. Girlfriend is not even transgendered, but it’s a common joke on the show that her masculine, deep voice is confusing given her ultra-feminine appearance.
After I called him out on his statements, he defended himself by saying he “just wasn’t attracted to transexuals”
My response was this:
“I understand not being attracted to men. I understand not being attracted to transexual women. Nobody says you have to be. However, it is ignorant and insensitive to call somebody gay for liking transexual women. Your statements also dehumanise transexuals, by implying that they are fundamentally disgusting freaks. Furthermore, neither of the people in question are actually transexual anyway. Making homophobic and cis-sexist jokes is just as bad as actually saying those things seriously. If I say nothing, I am implicitly saying that your statements are acceptable and that it is acceptable to dehumanise transexuals. I tend to think of you as better than the rednecks who yell “faggot” from their pickup trucks at passersby. I’m starting to think maybe I’m wrong. ”
He then argued that Dr. Girlfriend was a man, and that therefore liking her was “gay.”
“No, _____. Dr. Girlfriend is not a man. She’s not even transexual. The creators of the show did not write her as a transexual, it’s just a rumour on the show. And even if she were transexual, and a man were attracted to her, that does not make him gay. Not even a little bit. Again, your statement is ignorant and bigoted. I’m not saying you have to be attracted to transexuals. Or blonds. Or skinny women, or latino women, or big women, or anything else. My point is that trans women are no less women than cis women. Sure, the plumbing’s a little different, but if a uterus is what makes you a woman, than every woman who’s had a hysterectomy isn’t a woman either.
Also, accusing someone of being gay is implying that it is something to be ashamed of. Your words are meant to be demeaning, even if in a humourous context. ”
So, I can usually take a joke, but this line of joking just struck me as juvenile, crude and offensive.
Pending his final reactions to my possible overreactions, I may drop him as a FaceBook friend.
Am I being oversensitive? Or overreacting? Or am I justified in accusing him of being bigoted?
After he tried to explain to me that it wasn’t homophobic to call someone gay for liking trans women, I tried to explain that trans women = WOMEN and I brought up that sexuality is a spectrum, gender being one of many aspects of a person that dictate sexual attraction. Also, I explained why calling someone gay jokingly is the same as yelling an epithet out of hatred: that it implies that to be gay is demeaning.
He then played the, Well my gay friend thinks it’s funny when I call him a queen, card and called me “100% nuts” for arguing otherwise. He also accused me of having a “bias,” implying that I must be gay for arguing against homophobia.
After rewriting my response twice, (I decided against using profanity and referring to his diminutive manhood), I informed him why I was unfriending him, and promptly removed him from my friends, concluding with, “You used to be a nice guy, you obviously aren’t anymore.”