Abe Sargent, a renowned Magic: The Gathering trading card game player, writes an interesting blog post about the alarming ignorance of some members in the competitive Magic TCG community.
He discussed how, as a person who lives with Huntington’s disease, he deals with very similar ignorance or assumptions about his daily life. He mentions how people assume he wants children or a wife, a career path that has end goals, or that he will even live to achieve all of this.
This is a very interesting comparison– and at times, contrast– to homosexuality. People label things as “gay” or blame “homophobia” on many instances. The truth, that Abe is trying to share, is that people need to be wary of what they say or who they may offend. Not simply for gays but, for people who may support the community or steer away from social norms.
Abe writes about the typical trash talking that has plagued the Magic community, as it does every competitive field, and how the officials need to be on the forefront of putting an end to this behavior.
Abe is sure to comment on the fact that this epidemic will take some time to come to light but, despite the inevitable relapse now and then, he believes it can be done.
Sargent writes, towards the end:
“Every community tries to keep dissent down, and we often promote bigotry by not speaking out and allowing these environments to continue. This must end. And it must end now because we need to move beyond these issues. We are so much better than this.”
Any community has a lot to learn from an insightful piece like this.
Abe adds: “P.S. The term “homophobia” is a very poor term to use. First of all, the homo- prefix refers to homosexuals and thus does not include many different sexualities such as transsexual or transgendered people. Secondly, the -phobia suffix means fear of, when countless people who are discriminatory towards these groups are not doing it out of fear but out of ignorance, cultural indoctrination, and so forth. Therefore, the term is very inexact. It’s only used in the title to bring you into the article and does not accurately reflect the discussion therein.”