Hop Against Homophobia.

When Hop Against Homophobia was first announced, I had to put it aside in my head to let it simmer. There’s a lot of emotional stuff that is attached to that idea and to be honest, overwhelmed with sorting wheat from chaff made it necessary to let it sit.

And now the time is upon us and I still struggled with what to say…what to share…what to point to and say “stop this”.

So, I thought I’d start with something personal.

My father is homophobic. Actually, coming from Hawai’i, there’s a pervasive homophobia that’s tied up with what’s acceptable homosexual behaviour and what isn’t but I’m not going to get into that here. There are cultural components, yes but my father, whom I estranged from, is just plain mean.

And I’ll leave it at that.

When I was almost thirteen, most of my friends were boys. There weren’t any girls in the neighbourhood my age and to be fair, I had no interest in frilly things. Catching lizards, climbing the mountain in Waianae to look for rose crystals and riding a skateboard was much more interesting. I had friends who liked doing those things with me. Those friends were boys but I didn’t really pay much attention to their sex. They were friends.

But ah, these were boys who were quickly learning about girls and I had a father who had a stash of Penthouse. So one day, while we were at my house, they went into my parents’ bathroom and took one, smuggling it out with them. I had no idea they’d done that.

Not until they tried returning it the next day and instead of putting it back, shoved it under my mattress. Also without me knowing. I wasn’t paying attention to them. We were probably playing Atari at the time. Big thing then, Atari and I had one.

I said they were my friends. I didn’t say they were smart. They were boys. Teenaged boys at that.

My father discovered his wallet was missing a few days later.

The man tore the house apart and found the magazine under my mattress. And went fucking donkey ass nuts. Murderous through the house nuts. If you ask why, don’t bother. Man’s psychotic and a sadist. It’s what he did. He found his wallet in the kitchen, in the pantry where he’d left it with his keys. But oh, the magazine was the tipping point. Because now he had proof I was a lesbian.

I came home from school and came up the stairs to the living room of our split level house where he then proceeded to beat the shit out of me.

And I literally mean beat the shit out of.

I have bone chips along my jaw line on the inside of my mouth from that beating and I pissed blood for about a week. I couldn’t walk the next day so my mother called the school to tell them I was sick. She had to do that for the next couple of days because I couldn’t see out of one eye and the other was red from a popped blood vessel. It was difficult to move my right arm and I was dizzy sick from what was probably a mild concussion. When I had a CAT scan later in my life, I discovered he’d fractured my shoulder blades.

All because of a girlie magazine a couple of friends stole and shoved under my mattress.

We’d already clashed over things…my father and I have very different ideas about people. Even when I was very young, I heard him say things about someone’s skin and sexuality and I disagreed with him. Sometimes, ruinously so but it was important. What he was saying was hatred and hurtful. It made no fucking sense. Why hate someone because of the colour of their skin or who they loved?

It still doesn’t make any sense to me. And while I may not be a lesbian, it shouldn’t have mattered. I’m his kid. He’s supposed to love and protect me, not shatter my bones beneath his fists.

Something occurred to me that day…and well in the days that followed. It’s a philosophy that I’ve stood by and will continue to stand by until I draw my last breath.

It doesn’t matter who you love,
so long as you love.


Raise your voice to that cause when you can. Let people hear you. Let people know it’s okay to love because we need more love in our world and less blood and pain. Head over to Hop Against Homophobia and let your voice be heard.

Much love and haato.

62 thoughts on “Hop Against Homophobia.

      1. Treasure

        Wait a minute…killing? killing? I san’t think of a character you’ve written that I would be OK to see dead, or rather all the ones I think should be dead already are.

  1. Patricia

    I don’t know you but I know you. Your story today blindsided me. Thank you, Rhys, for sharing something so horrendous. It helped me. Just being brave to tell all that was momentous. I had to hold my head in my hands. Now I will check out the Hop site.

    1. :::hugs:::: and smooches. I debated whether or not to share but then said, how can I ask you to speak against something if I don’t tell you a bit of why I feel so strongly about people being able to love openly and freely.

      :::hugs you tight:::

    1. It was something I was wrestling with but in the end, I said… screw it. Just write and go forward.

      And I have hope that all of us will make a difference. :::hugs:::

  2. Thank you for sharing this – I’m sorry you had to experience that, particularly from someone who should have been loving & protecting.
    I’ve been working my way through the Hop Against Homophobia posts – some very thought-provoking ones in there. I’m hoping as time goes on people will learn to accept others for who they are rather than hating them. It’s just taking a bloody long time…

    1. I have faith that we will work through these hard times if we continue to stand together. I have to work through the posts myself and so far, they’ve been very thoughful and caring. It’s so nice to see that coming out today. Thank you for coming by!

    1. I’ve gotten to the point of the book where I just want all of my characters to die in a fire. I’ve got a couple more chapters to go till the end.

  3. It’s not easy to change how others think. Taking it day by day, slowly, we could all come together and voice a difference. My parents are, actually were homophobic; but I’ve gradually altered their way of thinking through explanation. They are not all for it yet, but they are both more open now. Wife is doing the same with her mom. 😀

  4. annebarwell

    I’m so sorry you had to go through that *hugs*. Your philosophy sums everything up in a nutshell. I wish more people would get that.

  5. Patricia Grayson

    I know my baby granddaughter will live in a more loving world, I will do my small part. That’s what gives me hope.

  6. I was going to say that my dad is a homophobe, too, because he thinks gay people should be able to have civil unions with all the same rights as marriage, but not actually be able to get married.

    Then I read your post.

    So, yeah, not quite in the same league.

    I’m glad your dad is out of your life. You deserve so much better than that. And I like your philosophy — truly words to live by.

    1. Heh… I’m all.. NONE SHALL MARRY!

      My father. Ah, that’s a complication. I repudiate him but due to cultural obligations, my mother is kind of at least forced to suggest I get in touch with him if I go home. We go thru that dance every time. It’s tiring but I understand why. Familial. Asian. Meh. :::grins:::

      But yes, your father! Still, a union is sometimes easier to embrace for someone struggling to reconcile things in their heart and head. It’s still a good step. While not equal, it’s where some people HAVE to go in their minds and that’s okay. Every step forward, no matter how small, is still a step forward.

      And please, definitely love where you can. Enjoy life and eat dessert first. Always taste things and most of all, laugh. Best advice anyone can give… find the absurb in the most trying of times.

    2. And by NONE SHALL MARRY, I really think marriage is kind of a church thing… the government should get out of that business. Perhaps unions for all… and marry in your faith if that’s your choice. I dunno. I’m not married. I don’t have that…binding so I might feel different if it were on my plate to consider.

      1. A friend told me that in France, everyone has to have a civil wedding (like at a courthouse) in order for the gov’t to consider them married. Whether they have a religious ceremony or not is up to them. It might be similar in Brazil, because I knew a Japanese-Brazilian woman whose only marriage was a Shinto ceremony, and I got the impression that the Brazilian gov’t did not consider them married, because they hadn’t had a civil wedding. Of course, these conversations took place about 20 years ago. Things may have changed, YMMV, etc.

        Yeah, let’s float the idea of civil unions for all. The people who say, “gays don’t need to be married, they should be happy with civil unions” would go BALLISTIC. It might be fun to see their heads explode, though. 😀

  7. Patricia Grayson

    Agree with and love your recent post. Government OUT of marriage….Union for those who choose. You have to be yourself whether in or out of a union….You ought to enhance your life by uniting with someone, not diminish yourself.

    1. Yeah I figure since I’m not married, I can decide for everyone what they should do. ::::grins:::: I do wish people can just love who they want. It makes no sense not to.

  8. “I don’t care if you’re black, white, straight, bisexual, gay, lesbian, short, tall, fat, skinny, rich or poor. If you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you. Simple as that.” – Eminem

    I take it one step further – I’ll be nice to you because that’s the right thing to do, regardless.

    Thank you for sharing such a traumatic part of your youth, everyone needs a voice, and you’ll help so many others because of your experiences.

    1. :::hugs::: and thank you for visiting and making the rounds. and YES, fully endorse doing the right thing.. because it’s the right thing to do. :::cheers you on:::

  9. Andrea

    Wow, I’m happy to hear that you aren’t allowing a person like that in your life anymore. Thanks for sharing your story.

    1. Thank you for going through the hop and my post! It was a pretty hard decision to make, funnily enough. It’s pretty much ingrained culturally that he’s my FATHER and I should be there for him. Breaking away from that relationship has some ripples in the family but for the most part, everyone respects my decision. They still have to suggest I get a hold of him but I know why they say that. We HAVE to. I can then say, no and everyone’s then happy because we’ve all completed our obligations. ::::grins:::

      Hope you have a great weekend!

    1. Ah, thank you for making the rounds of the HOP! It’s been a pleasure to read through what I’ve been able to catch. I’m going to have to go through the blogs today and Saturday and read. Soooo many people sharing such great thoughts. Thank you!

  10. Suze

    Wow, Rhys, what a story – the man should have been locked up and the key thrown away. I’m glad you were able to share, i hope at not too much cost to yourself. We should all be able to freely express ourselves but ABH is not acceptable

    1. Ah, oddly enough he was locked up for a year but not for this. The biggest problem was he was a cop and people accepted his stories of things as they happened. He’s a very charming person. Those of us closest to him know better. My mother has since divorced him and is happily married. She was as much of a victim as anyone else. We are free of him so it’s… okay, you know?

      Sharing this story… that was kind of hard but I figured if I just wrote it and hit POST, I could walk away and say…. there, that’s something I had to say. I’m glad you found it and thank you for visiting! The blog hopping is something I’m dedicated to catching up on this weekend!

  11. bluevitriol

    Wow, that was an intense story. Glad you survived and yes, we have to stand up for what we believe in or how can we ever hold our heads up again.

    1. Hello! And thank you for doing the Hop!

      Ah, it was a 50-50 thing for me to write it. In the end, I said Damn The Torpedos and figured, why not? Just write. Go forward.

      I’m actually quite okay. Doing well with it all :::Grins::: I could always use more coffee though.

      Thank you so much for dropping in!

  12. Foretta

    I love that quote “It doesn’t matter who you love, so long as you love.”

    Thank you so much for participating in the hop. I hope that this helps to spread the word and that one day a hop like this will no longer be needed. I have shown many of the post to my nieces and nephews. We recently have been discussing how damaging bullying is and how innocent remarks can make you be seen as being a bully. One of the things that makes me mad is when I hear…you’re so gay… pisses me off. These post have helped them already. I heard my nephew stand up to someone that called someone else a hurtful name… I was so proud. Thank you all for helping by sharing hurtful and/sad memories and your personal views/message.
    I pray one day for equality for EVERYONE not just some.

    1. Good for you in providing a safe haven and positive place for your nieces and nephews to be. I do wish the world would be a place where we don’t have to make people “aware” of these kinds of social issues but I am always touched to see everyone reaching out as a community when we do.

      Thank you for coming! And thank you for helping guide our world to a better place!

  13. yganoe

    Thanks for participating for this wonderful cause of awareness…I teach high schoolers and this is a topic that we discuss at length. I just want them to be aware and know that they have the power to change the world!

  14. I have no words. All I can do is send you hugs and say thanks for participating in the hop and sharing your story.

    1. :::hugs::: I’m actually pretty good. Life’s… just life, you know? Heh. And strive to make this world a better place for those after us, yes?

      Thank you for doing the Hop! And thanks for stopping by!

  15. I am so sorry you had such a father. My own father is homophobic but at least he isn’t violent. With him it is probably just his generation and I don’t get into it with him. Honestly, the topic doesn’t crop up that often.

    i am glad that you survived his brutality though and hope that in time no one wlil have to suffer as you have.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    1. ::::hugs:::: I wish everyone to have a life where they can hold their heads up and be loved for who they are. That would be a wonderful world. Thank you for stopping by!

  16. I had a friend who came out to everyone, his family, his friends and he was blessed to not lose anyone. Actually most everyone already knew he was gay and had excepted him a long time ago. It was actually himself who took so long to accept who he was. All of his family and friends support and love him and this is how it should be!

    This is how it should be coming out, people should love you no matter who you you fall in love with.

    Tabatha Hansen

    1. I am SO very glad you came by and that your friend had a good experience coming out. I so wish that for everyone who needs their parents to be there for any reason.

      Thank you!

  17. g8torgrrl

    I’m so sorry that you had to go through that. A parent has one job, to protect and love their children no matter what. That’s it, end of story.

    Eerily, it sounds like your father, my mother and my Uncle are cut from the same cloth…. My mother is Korean (I’m Korean/American) and she is CONVINCED that because I’m in my 30’s and still unmarried I’m secretly a lesbian. Nope, just endlessly picky and difficult to live with (hmmm, wonder who I got those traits from lol).

    However, when my youngest cousin came out, my Uncle (mom’s brother) lost his ever-loving mind. Really, like needed to be put into inpatient facility for a while. Now, which is better? Accepting your gay son and moving forward or going psycho and having to seek 24/7 treatment? Seems like an easy choice for me but I’ve been raised in the US so….

    I’m happy to say that his mom (my very, very traditional Korean Aunt) has been totally supportive and even tried to fix him up once. LMAO Sadly, my mother talks about him as though he’s dead and gets absolutely enraged when she hears that I’ve spoken to him or his brother. In her squirrelly little brain I think she believes that his “sickness” (GAH, I hate that attitude) is contagious. Seriously.

    So, now you know just WHY I love DK and DS so much. 😉 You managed the essence of the complexity of Korean families with a deft hand. Bravo. My out and proud cousin says BRAVO as well. Though DS did make him cry a little, but that’s another long story…

    1. I am so glad that your cousin was able to find himself in the “noise” of all that pressure. I know it was difficult and I hope that he’s doing okay. I also hope I’m doing your culture proud. *hugs*

      Oh yes, nothing says lesbian like an unmarried Asian daughter. *grins*

      And I’m so happy you liked DK and DS. Woooot! Thank you.

      1. g8torgrrl

        I know, right? No husband, must be sleeping with girls. Lord. She’d have a stroke if I told her what I REALLY think is sexy. hehe

        He’s going great actually. He’s found a wonderful partner and my Aunt adores him. Thinks he’s the greatest guy and he’s not even Asian at all! *gasp!* What kills me though is that he’s a Republican working for the Conservatives in D.C. Wrap your brain around THAT one! 😉

        My Uncle is back in Korea, re-married to a woman that believes he only has one son. No joke. I’d like to whack him a few hundred times, but that’s just me…

        You’re doing a great job. Can’t wait for the next one!

      2. Patricia Grayson

        About that Republican who is gay…..an eye opener was Christopher Bram’s novel “Gossip”, about a gay man and his conflicts about politics and love. Great story. An unconventional writer.

      3. Patricia Grayson

        Independent. I may be doing a 180 on this election—shocking even myself.

      4. g8torgrrl

        Thanks, I’ll check it out. You know, after he came out, I asked my Cousin if he was ever worried about my reaction specifically. He said no, not at all. He was, however, terrified to tell me he was Republican. I told him I’d love him even if he was a Republican. lol

      5. g8torgrrl

        Independent too. My whole family is Republican so I’m the black sheep.

    2. Patricia Grayson

      That story back in May still sticks with me. Always will. Thank you for sharing it.

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