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Diary of A Gay Black Man: Phobia by Tarringo T. Basile-Vaughan

On Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

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There are many fears in the world and everyone is afraid of something. Sometimes we don’t realize our own fears until we are faced with them. A co-worker screams suddenly and intensely every time she spots a spider; this is her arachnophobia: a phobia that many people besides her have, but a phobia that can be overcome through more exposure to spiders and that can be the case for many of our fears. As a child and into my early adulthood I was afraid of my own image in the mirror which is something they call Eisoptrophobia; something I never heard of but after realizing what exactly it was I understood my own fear. Time has healed me, seeing myself and loving myself more has healed me although there are still times I don’t like seeing images of myself. And I’ve heard of fear of heights, animals, the outdoors but I never thought or realized there were people with a fear of me.
Homophobia: The fear of homosexuality or fear of being homosexual.

Where do I begin here but to say I use to have the fear of being gay myself. When I started to realize the possibility, I decided I wanted to hide it or hoped it was just a phrase. Overtime I realized I was hiding who I was out of fear of society’s view on me. Not sure what they would call that kind of phobia. But I and so many others suffered from it. In fact I know many who still do. Homophobia is indeed a fear but it more is defined as hatred or is it cowardice? To an extent I can understand how hard it can be to accept difference, especially when there is a lack of knowledge or exposure to that difference. Isn’t that where we get many of these phobias? Times are getting better though as people are becoming more open minded and accepting but of course the more things change the more things stay the same. Homophobia isn’t cool these days so I find that it’s hidden as is racism or any other prejudice out there. But there is still small mindedness rampant out there.

Some people have a fear of thinking…(for themselves) called phronemophobia and a fear of knowledge called gnogiophobia. Yes, there’s a name for all kinds of fear. And I actually think homophobia contains both of those fears. An openness to think and openness to knowledge when it comes to those we see as difference. And when there are differences even within that subgroup we really have to open ourselves up to understanding or attempting to. Homophobia is something that more pisses me off than hurts me as an individual because if your content with yourself then there is no need to try to make someone else feel small or “Queer” for not being like you. And I’m going to say this as I know some are homophobic when it comes to my blogs (this one in particular). There is no worst phobia out there than the fear of yourself. Think about that.

About - Tarringo T. Vaughan always believed he had a love affair with literature. One of the first pictures he saw of himself was of him at maybe the age of three or four year’s old sitting with a book in his hand. But for Tarringo, growing up in the depths of the inner city both in Boston, MA and Springfield, MA made him believe that expression through the literary voice was un-cool and unattainable. As a very quiet and shy child he learned it became very valuable in his self expression. Born in 1976, Tarringo was the first child, grandchild and nephew in a family that had grown accustomed to struggle. His mother was a teenager who quickly lost the support of my father who today he knows very little of. These aspects of his life triggered the inspiration of his pen.

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