Are racism and homophobia psychological disorders?

Did you hear about the two lesbian kids who wanted to go to the prom in Mississippi? The one girl wanted to wear a tuxedo and bring her long-time girlfriend.

The school board canceled the prom.

This couple has the right to be bored and let down by their high school prom just like heterosexual couples!

There’s been a lot of buzz on the internet about the right of the school board to make rules about uniforms and who can bring who. Many argue that it’s against the rules for a girl to wear a tuxedo to a prom.

At my prom in 1979 I remember one of the girls wore a tuxedo and she looked great.

What’s really the fear? Exposing other kids to lesbians? Allowing lesbians to go to the prom will make being lesbianism okay?

Many others say God intended for men to mate with women. Yet, there’s plenty of animals that do sexual things with each other and plenty of things people do all the time that go against what some people say are God’s wishes and people don’t get worked up over those things as passionately.

Here’s my theory. People tend to distrust and even hate something that’s different from them. Probably when we were cavemen that helped to keep us alive. We tend to flock towards things we’re familiar with and things that we connect with.

So if you’re white and you grew up in a neighborhood with no African-Americans or Latinos you might be afraid of them or believe stereotypes that you’ve been exposed to.

How do you get over it?

Well, first, you have to want to.

If you find power or solace in hating or distrusting others you probably will want to stay where you are in your beliefs.

If you want to not be racist or homophobic or ethnist (I think that’s the word), here’s my cure: Get to know people in that group.

You’ll find universally that people aren’t one thing.

You’ll find that humans share most emotions, fears and anxieties.

You’ll find people of these groups who you’ll like and ones that you’ll dislike.

Not liking a lesbian, gay person or a person of a different race isn’t being homophobic or racist. There are plenty of jerks in those groups like there are in your group.

Just don’t dislike them because of their group.

When you get a friend in a group different than yours, you find that you share the human experience more than you share anything else.

By the way, the state court said that Constance McMillan is entitled to attend her prom in a tuxedo with her girlfriend. Yeah Mississippi!

The school board has still canceled the prom.