(Guitar Music Playing) Phobias are types of anxiety disorders that causes a person to experience extreme fear. Arachnophobia the fear of spiders.
Hydrophobia – the fear of water think of the difficulty of bathing, baptism or
healing from Claustrophobia the feeling of being trapped in closed spaces.
Interesting-how these stages have become spaces for me to heal, to face my
fears. So you can imagine how I felt- In the baseball locker room when the
picture of my friend kissing a man, fell out of his pocket. Tears- gathering in the corners of his eyes. He sat. I stared. Felt Ashamed. Realizing that he was waiting on me to cast punishment on him for simply existing and then I remembered-how just last week. Boys tied a boy to the field goal post, stripped him naked, painting faggot into his reddening skin with fists. Remembered how just
last month they strung a black boy to the back of a pickup truck by his ankles Rope digging into his bones. Drug him two miles until the skin burned off until the white resembled them. Remembered how last year a student who was both-Black and gay picked a gun up. Placed it to his temple. Decided that he would rather
make love to a bullet in death then to live and be bullied in a world where he can’t love. Remembered how communities made excuses of boys just being boys having fun and how courts-showed its phobias of issuing jail sentences for hate crimes. Sitting in the locker room, we could hear our teammates footsteps coming, echoing the hate of the sixties. In good ole, Alabama, we shout Roll Tide! We play baseball and yes we know that it is dangerous for a man to be black But it is even more dangerous for a man to be gay. The marginalized have become phobias. Black or Gay, things to be feared. Chalk lines and yellow caution tape drape both equally, as if we are living etch a sketches to be used and tossed out when done. Black and Gay bodies have become beautifully broken concrete
graffiti to lay as reminders to neither be black nor gay-less you be hunted. While the picture lay on the ground, I questioned why do phobics run from or attack things? For me, I wanted to run because the picture staring back at me was a reminder of my ugly. His eyes gazing at another man: my insecurity, that a woman would never love me with that same passion or honesty. In high school, I knew that he was black. Did not know that he was gay. Knew he was man, each time he helped fix the knot in my tie. Change my tire by
the expressway or fixed my palms to shoot a pistol
properly Just in case the good ole boys came in sheets at night. Even though my father raised me Christian. Gay was frowned at in my house. I learned well from community to not love gay. How to hate what was different. I picked up the picture, wrinkled with my homophobia. Hid the picture in my pocket. Before our teammates came in and when they were gone and the locker room was safe. I returned to his picture with a handshake. We walked silently. Me into my home. Him into his home. I wonder if that’s what they meant by
homophobia? His house next to mine a secret in between. LOVE IS GREATER THAN PHOBIAS.