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4Women - Opinions

Letters and opinions from concerned South African women on current affairs and issues affecting us all

A reader's feelings when she witnessed blatant homophobia

Haters and their words

By Charmaine De Klerk

I got on my bus this morning as I usually do, annoyed that I have to go to work yet again. My stop is the actual local terminus and had the usual suspects queuing for the bus. People sat in their usual seats and tried to get comfy.

There are always one or two non-regulars and this morning was no different. There was a man bringing two little kids to school who sat across from me. The girl was about 6 or 7 and the boy a little younger. They were playing and for whatever reason the boy started to cry.

The man told him to stop and he wouldn’t so the man told him he was a little faggot cause only queers cry!!! My head spun so much so that I still have an ache in it. Everyone was horrified. Thankfully no one on the bus smiled or laughed, there was an atmosphere of total disgust. I sat there wondering if I’d heard what I thought I did so I turned off my iPOD. I had been right, the man continued to say the boy would grow up to be a faggot and a little queer until the poor little fella forced himself to stop crying. I felt like turning around and saying something like “I’m queer and I don’t appreciate you using words like that” but I’m not that brave. It was horrible and as they left the bus I felt so sorry for the kids.

I’m not one to comment on how other people raise their children, I’m not lucky enough to have any myself and I can only imagine the stress two kids can put you under, but this outburst was abhorrent and I just can’t get it out of my mind.

What chance do those kids have of growing up open minded and respectful of all types of people? It’s repugnant to think that at such a young age they can be “brain washed” with someone else’s ignorance. Don’t get me wrong, I know this happens I know children are thought to hate, no one is born to discriminate, kids love openly and honestly, but to see it in such a violent outburst was deeply disturbing.

It’s no wonder that minorities are still marginalised, when this kind of loathing is still being passed on to the next generation. Sometimes I convince myself that things are changing and then something like this happens and it’s like a punch in the face.

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