Annoying Family Members: Homophobic Uncle

Annoying people, who doesn’t hate them? What if they’re part of your own family? What if you had to share the same house, live understand the same roof, with that person? Well, today I’m going to talk about my highly homophobic uncle.
When I went to Venezuela two summers ago, I saw my uncle. Our ideas didn’t really go along, but I remained silent for the sake of peace and discreetness. I had many annoying moments with him. Moments that make me realize how regressive people’s minds can be. Those moments showed me how oppressed homosexuals and even minorities in general can be.
One time, my uncle took his family an me on a trip to a mall. I was anxious since it was the mall I loved as a child, it was more than four years since I visited it. And shortly the memories started galloping through my mind, but they were halted by a weird shop. It was a normal common store. What caught my eye was the huge sign: the store’s name, Habib, written with rainbow colors. Arabic names for stores aren’t uncommon in Venezuela, on the contrary, many Arabs prefer naming their name some exotic native name. The shop sold many gifts and small house decorations. Beside that shop was a small kiosk with the same name connected to it. But this kiosk had a huge variety of rainbow colored goods. From keychains to pins and badges and flags of all sizes, mugs, teddy bears, and many more, all having some kind of rainbow involved with it. A small badge caught my eye, the Venezuelan flag slashed by the rainbow flag. I asked for the price, followed by my uncle who was willing to buy it for me. Between the “no I don’t need it, thanks” and “killak zaw2 bas la2”, my uncle asked for the prices of the keychains, for he needed new items for his shop. He was astounded after being told they’re for gays. He picked up his son, who was playing around, clutched my arm, and grabbed his wife away. She was dumbfounded, but started spitting in disgust after being told the reason of the hassle. I just got told never to get close to that kiosk again, EVER. But more than they were astonished I was perplexed. Not only by his reaction, but by their ignorance and close-mindedness. The mall that once made me so happy was now a place of bad memories. Yet I would still pay the Habib store another, and hopefully, less dramatic and calmer visit.
Another time, I was sitting at my uncle’s shop, hesitantly and unwillingly chatting with his assistant. Our weak conversation was interrupted by some customers outside. Two men, one of them dressing exactly as Majdi and Wajdi, only his hair was long and tied into a ponytail. The other guy was dressing normally, only his way of speaking was different. It was my first year after discovering myself, so I was curious to know more about my fellow gays. My uncle’s assistant (who is also Arab) was disgusted by their sight and called up my uncle to take them over. He attended them with disgust, increasing the prices, rolling his eyes, disrespecting them and making them feel bad. On the other hand I was smiling and treating them like any other customer. Weeks passed when another “uncommon” customers visited us. This time they weren’t (so) gay mainstream, but that didn’t help them, they still got the same non acceptable treatment they don’t deserve. It was hard for me to perceive their sexual orientation, often catching some small signs. While they were conversing and discussing the prices and their choices, I asked my uncle in Arabic why is he treating them that way, all I got was “Shaz” as a response. My thoughts screamed so loud I was scared he might hear me, yet I still did the same routine of keeping them to myself. What else could I expect from this old-fashioned man?
This was my experience I went through two years ago. Some nice some bad, yet I’m still me. I’m still the same kind of person that keeps all memories. Cherishing the nice and learning from the bad. What other way can we become advanced and less regressive?


10 thoughts on “Annoying Family Members: Homophobic Uncle

  1. It’s really sad that your uncle would go so far as to actively discriminate against gays. A person may be closed-minded enough to not like their “lifestyle” (as is the buzzword nowadays) but it’s only common human decency to treat people as people, and nothing less. I’m glad you’re able to share your thoughts on here and I applaud your self-control and outlook on life! Indeed, it’s impossible to change other people’s views unless they want to do it themselves, but the least we can do is learn from them and make sure such bigotry isn’t passed on as long as we can help it.

    • Hey Hala, how are you. I love your name.
      Thanks for all your compliments. And indeed you’re right, I should’ve helped. I’ll take note for next time 🙂
      Hope you’re enjoying my blog.
      Have a nice day 😀

      • I’m doing well, and thank you! Indeed, I enjoy your blog very much. By the way, I’m Lebanese too, and living in Beirut. It’s nice to keep up with blogs of fellow Lebanese as well, especially those with different takes on the world around them.

    • Hey, how are you 🙂
      Well, in my case, my parents are nothing compared to my uncle. Yet this doesn’t mean they’re “ok” with homosexuals, they just wouldn’t discriminate as my uncle does.
      Thanks for your compliments 🙂
      Have a nice day!

  2. You really don’t choose your family. But (in many cases) you choose to avoid them. Everyone has “that” uncle/aunt/cousin/whatever, the best thing to do is just not letting them get to you.
    Nice posts keep ’em coming! 🙂

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