Nobody wears a sign that says ‘fag’ on their face. ‘Bollera’. ‘Dirty’. ‘Travelo’. Nobody carries a detailed report with their personal history in their pocket, ready for when someone wants to know or use that information. Samuel did not wear it, not many others, others, others. However, they carry fear and violence on their backs, with the threat that showing themselves and living as they are will have consequences in their jobs, in their families, when they walk down the street or spend a night partying.
Homophobia, like machismo, unfolds before those who, without having to reveal in words who they are, break with the norm. When on the street or in a bar a man -or several- call us ‘whores’ or ‘bitches’ they don’t know much about us. Nor when they decide to grope our asses on a bus. Maybe we are just walking alone down the street, or we have put on our skirts, or we may have rejected his comments or his attitude, or we have refused to be nice or accept his invitation.
They assault us verbally or physically, they make us feel bad, they harass us because, regardless of what we have expressed and the specific thought that they have in their heads at that moment, machismo is there, as the breeding ground that allows and encourages . Like the general idea that protects and unleashes the specific violence that a few commit.
When someone is rebuked with ‘fagot’ or ‘dump’ or ‘travelo’, whoever does it does not usually have much information about their victim. But their appearance, their behavior, the way they walk or talk, the way they dress, how they behave, break with the heteronorm and that is enough for there to be those who deploy violence against them. Once again, regardless of the specific idea that the aggressors have in their heads while exercising their violence, LGTBiphobia is there, as the breeding ground that allows and encourages. Like the general idea that protects and unleashes the specific violence that a few commit.
It is very likely that if we ask many of those who carry out this violence, the most extreme and the most everyday, they will tell us that they are neither sexist nor homophobic. They will say, “I? But what do you say” and if anything they will try to justify their actions in some way: “what happens is that he was an asshole”, “he spoke badly to me”, “well he hadn’t fooled with me”, ” he was recording me “,” he answered, “I was asking for it”. Machismo and LGTBiphobia are inoculated in our socialization, in our values and in the ideas on which we build every day.
Lawyer Laia Serra said in this interview with my colleague Marta Borraz: “Most hate crimes occur like this, there is always a context. They are everyday situations. Hate unfolds when crossing a traffic light wrongly, parking I don’t know where the car, leaving a nightclub and doing something, look in a certain way, throwing a drink, a problem with the mobile phone … There are endless disagreements and domestic situations that are absolutely a pretext for deploying violence for discriminatory reasons. It is so important to assess the correlation between the pretext and the degree of brutality. ”
Let’s stop asking for ‘perfect victims’, ’round cases’ or obvious causes. If feminism and LGTBIQ activism know anything about something, it is how difficult it is to make people understand that what we call normality is plagued by machismo, homophobia and transphobia, misogyny and plumophobia, and that it is tremendously important that what seems less obvious comes out the light and question. That ‘fagot’ or ‘whore’ are terms so frequent that we think they mean nothing does not mean that they are not really full of content. They are. Let us point it out and vindicate ourselves, if necessary, as whores and fags, if that means living as we are without judgment, fear or violence.