Last week in Chinese class somehow we got on the topic of homosexuals. I knew Asians were not as open-minded as Americans about some things, but never before had I witnessed such blatant homophobia. (Well, other than growing up playing hockey w/ the boys, who would often make up their own definitions for the word "fag--t", to the point where I figured it was just synonymous with dumba$$ or sh#thead. Actually, their use of the word was so off that I dont think it could even be considered homophobic...)
Anyway, in my class it's just my Chinese language teacher and 3 Korean students. Pretty much everyone would say "gay" & then make "eww" noises. One girl even started pretending that she was gagging. As in sticking out her tongue and dry-heaving. (At that point I thought the topic of conversation must've moved on to something somewhat gag-worthy, such as Chinese babies squat-crapping on the streets, but noooo...)
My classmate finally removed her gay-hating index finger from her mouth when I kept shaking my head & yelling "THIS IS SO SOOO WRONG!" My teacher asked me if I liked gay people, and I nod & continue: "In American culture, being gay is very much accepted. It's considered bad to NOT like gay people. I have many gay friends. A lot of people are gay. Lindsay Lohan, do you know her? Oh, you're a big fan, huh? Yeah, well she's GAY." Ok, maybe I painted an innacurrate description. And Lindsay Lohan: terrible example. But in all my broken Chinglish, I seemed to have gotten the message across. Then again, now my classmates probably think everyone in America is gay.
p.s. I think it was a matter of ignorance, not real hate.