He asks, 'Why do people fear the gay?' And then he answers his own question.

Let's talk about equality.

Watch Henry Rollins share his thoughts with Big Think:

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If you want a quick recap of what he discusses in the Big Think video, here's the long and short of it:

"Why are some Americans, people in the world, homophobic?" asks Henry Rollins.

He wants to know: "Why do they fear the gay? And why do they oppose, at least in America, so strongly, gay marriage, gay unions?"


Wait, people are still homophobic?

I know. It's hard for a lot of us to understand why anyone would be opposed to everyone having equal rights — and even worse, hateful of those who are "different."

But it's a fact. LGBTQ people are still fighting for the right to marry in 13 states and for equal treatment in general everywhere.

Rollins' first answer to his own question is simple but poignant:

"What makes people fear the gay and gay marriage? It's because you're giving these people equality. And that's the biggest fear that people with power have: that you'll get some too."
— Henry Rollins on Big Think


It makes sense that some members of the group in power fear losing it. But what power will straight people really lose if our gay friends and family members have the same rights we do? (Spoiler alert: none.)

And guess what? Gay marriage doesn't mean you have to get gay married!

"I don't want to be married. But if two people are crazy enough to be that in love with each other, damn, that's a great thing. Give them a break. Life's really short.
...
If you don't want a gay marriage, then don't have one."
— Henry Rollins on Big Think


I know. Duh.

But I think we need to keep talking about how ensuring that one group has equal rights does not make the dominant group do anything differently.

Let's all go "real hard" against homophobia, Henry Rollins style.

"I don't know how you say it, but gay rights to me, it's civil rights. ... [W]hen I see homophobia, it's the straw that breaks the camel's back, and I'm the camel. I go hard against it. Real hard. Real loud. Real flagrantly. Real right now...

I believe things are getting better. I think homophobia is an endangered species in America. As long as I'm around, it is. And I know I'm not the only person pushing against it."
— Henry Rollins on Big Think


What the great Maya Angelou said about racial equality applies here as well. "Because equal rights, fair play, justice, are all like the air: We all have it or none of us has it. That is the truth of it."

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