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Low-key homophobic behaviour from my brother

Discussion in 'Family, Friends, and Relationships' started by NikkisHideout, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. NikkisHideout

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    Sexual Orientation:
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    So, lil' background information. I'm 18 and I've been out for about one and a half years. Nobody who matters has had a problem with it (to be precise, nobody has ever had a problem with it). I've always known my family wouldn't give shit even if I said I wanted to date the neighbours' car, they're the best people in the world and I guess I should consider myself lucky to have been raised by about the most accepting family I can imagine. Nobody else has ever minded either, be it classmates, teachers or the people I hang out with on the web for gaming, I've always had people say "that's cool, be whoever you wanna be".

    The one I've had the most worries about, after coming out too, is my brother. He's 15 right now, and for guys that age it's quite common to use the term "gay" as a slur or make jokes on gay people and such. I actually came out to him (was already out to my ma at the time) when he made a joke on gays and I told him to say it to the face of a gay guy (pointing at me) or to shut the fuck up.
    So he says he's got no problem with that, and I'm sure that, given the way he was raised, he knows there's nothing wrong with it, but his behaviour still bothers me. While my father simply went from asking whether I had my eye on any girl to asking whether I have my eye on any guy, my brother almost freaks out if I even mention anything beyond holding hands. He says even the idea of two guys kissing makes him wanna throw up. He doesn't want to hear a thing about it.

    At the same time, though, he sometimes shows me pictures of women, y'know, actresses he thinks are hot and such, and he's like, do you think she looks good. And since I'm gay but not blind, I answer, yeah, looks good, or, no, looks ugly. And every time, I feel like he's thinking "thank god, there's still hope for you." I feel like his entire behaviour shows he wishes I'd say "surprise! I was joking!", and that really bothers me.

    Like I said, he's never openly minded it, but this whole low-key lack of acceptance is really grating on my nerves. It's one of the things that make me more and more withdraw and isolate myself from him (mainly though because he's often as much of an asshole as teenagers that age can get, immature as fuck). I don't think he even realises how much he subtly degrades everything gay, and if I confronted him, he probably wouldn't think of him in any way homophobic, but I feel his behaviour makes it clear he's basically "don't ask, don't tell" turned into a person.

    Like, couple months ago, I mentioned this one singer has a cute ass, and he was like "that's so disgusting, men can't have cute asses. Women have." That's pretty much his mindset summed up pretty good: men can't, women can. Men may stare at women's asses, men may not stare at guys' asses (totally disregarding the fact girls stare at guys' asses too).

    So. End of rant.

    Anybody know that situation or has had to deal with it before? It's not as big as a deal to actually intensely bother me, it's not keeping me up at night or so, I've built tons of self-esteem over the past year, to the point where I pretty much tell anybody I meet within a couple hours or days, and I actually have a pin-up guy as desktop wallpaper (plan on printing that out and sticking it to my door to keep my brother outta ma room, because he can't respect other people's privacy and knock). It's just a permanent, subtle bother.

    See you. Or rather, read you. Or whatever.

    P.S: About "subtly degrading" everything, he's like, if a musician wears eyeliner or any kind of make-up, he's like "eww, that's gay." Pink shoelaces? Eww, gay. Long and properly taken care of hair, lipstick, emo music? Totally gay. And always in a voice that might as well say, "eww, that's slimy" or "eww, that's mouldy".
     
    #1 NikkisHideout, Jul 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  2. Barbatus

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    Hi NikkisHideout,

    Your brother sounds pretty mature about it (not surprising for a 15 year old). I've not had to deal with that kind of situation, so I'm going to try and throw in counter viewpoint. I just wondered if maybe he is (as a teenager) worried about his own sexuality (I know it doesn't work that way but you never know what he is thinking). If so then maybe he is behaving in a way which is like 'I'm so not gay, look at all this gay stuff I don't like' or whatever. Do you think that is possible?

    Even if it isn't the case, it basically sounds like you need to talk to him about it. Why not just say what you've said here (minus the rant element) and just explain how his behaviour is just really immature and makes you feel uncomfortable? You could point out you don't trash him when he is taking about women (you may even what to react the way he does to your guy comments when he next mentions girls).Just a thought. Do you have any specific ideas about how you want to tackle this?
     
  3. Jax12

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    When he makes those "that's so gay" statements, ask him what makes him think it's gay? And what does being gay mean to him?

    I'd turn the tide and ask him why does he think these statements are funny. Perhaps he's producing these responses to you because he knows it gets you upset. Generally speaking, there's no reason for someone to act like this unless they're dealing with some internalized homophobia themselves.
     
  4. Totesgaybrah

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    Bingo!

    Not guaranteed but its certainly possible. I didn't have the family that the OP has but when I was 15 and dealing with confusion over my orientation I shamefully acted quite homophonic. Not towards any actual LGBT people but just in general, disliking anything remotely feminine, saying things like "that's so gay" literally all the time. I also tried to make myself as "manly" as possible.
     
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  5. AbsoluteNerd

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    Honestly, a lot of that sounds like normal teenager stuff. The whole, "that's so gay" stuff is a part of mainstream highschool society, unfortunately. I came out to my brother as bi, and sometumes he would make that kind of comment without realizing it because he's surrounded by it at school. The commenting on pics and stuff, idk.