I have a horrifying fear of heights. My heart races, I get short of breath, and I’m always within seconds of fainting. I avoid balconies, towers, rooftop bars, and a million other wonderful places.
This fear doesn’t sit so well with one of my passions: Skiing. I am not into many sports, but skiing, I adore. I have been on the slopes since I was 3 and I escape to the mountains every time work, weather, and play permit. I am actually currently in the Alps, for (a bit of) work and (lots of) skiing.
Of course, the ski lifts are a total nightmare for me. If you’ve ever been skiing with me, you notice a complete transformation instantly. I stop talking, I freeze, I spend most of the time holding my breath, closing my eyes, and counting down to the top of the hill. I’m also completely confused as why other people don’t feel the same exact way.
I try my best to not let this phobia get in my way. I haven’t stopped skiing, even though my phobia seems to get worse every year.
The thing that keeps me going is the realization that this phobia is completely irrational.
It’s a stupid phobia. It’s a completely irrational phobia. It’s a real handicap.
But then again, all phobias are stupid, irrational, and a handicap.
Perfect example: homophobia (you knew I was going there. I know! I’ve become predictable!).
Talk about stupidity, irrationality, and a handicap.
I have tried, time and again, to understand where homophobes are coming from. I swear to you I have. I think understanding your enemy is the best way to make him or her your friend.
I can’t. I really can’t. Every argument a homophobe gives is completely irrational. According to most homophobes, us gays are out to destroy just about everything: religion, social fabrics, marriage, children, and so on.
If I had the power to destroy just about everything, don’t you think I would start with the homophobes.
But I don’t.
Maybe I’m not gay enough? Or maybe I haven’t figured out how to activate my powers?
The thing is, we all have phobias, and that’s completely fine, most of the time. If your phobia only affects you, and you are aware of its irrationality, then, at most, it affects your life, and only your life, hopefully to a limited extent.
It starts becoming a problem (a very serious one) when you use your (completely irrational) phobia against others, and when you don’t even question where it might come from.
Your phobia becomes dangerous when you use it to justify hate and violence and bullying and fear and mocking and prejudice and bigotry and conservatism and
Any belief that is based on phobias deserves to be tossed right out of the window.
OK! Enough with blogging. I have a ski lift waiting for me, and maybe, just maybe, if I can survive these (ridiculously scary) lifts, a few homophobes might realize that their phobia is something they can get beyond.