The recent protest by a hateful, gay-bashing group that invaded our campus was disturbing. Indeed, as a gay man, I could even say that it was hurtful. But you’ll be surprised why.

No, I wasn’t hurt by the invaders. They are just a bunch of haters. Every minority has one. After all, it’s that time of year — along with the beautiful Brodea, some bigots blossom too. The painful thing about their protest was the reminder that the hate that they were loudly and proudly expressing is silently held by a majority of the heterosexual men around me.

Yes, in surveys and conversations, few will admit to their repulsion and disgust toward homosexuals. And indeed, some men are sincerely indifferent and even supportive. You only had to look at the large crowd that always gathers to dam the invaders’ flood of hate to prove that point true.

But if you delve deeper, as social scientists have, you will find that the individuals who gather to form the dam are in the minority. The sad fact is that male homosexuality is deeply disturbing to most heterosexual men. Indeed, science tells us that men are more disgusted with and disapproving of male homosexual relationships than just about any other relationship.

And if you’re surprised, you shouldn’t be. How many times have you heard the word “gay” used in derogatory terms? Perhaps, how many times have you used it that way? How about “homo” or “queen” or “fairy” or the countless other words used to express bigotry toward gays?

These people, maybe even you, are doing the same thing that those invaders were doing. The only difference is that the loud bigots inflict pain with a large dagger, while the more silent bigots — the ones that say, “That’s so gay,” to describe something stupid, awful or ugly — inflict pain with a small dagger. But make no mistake, both are forms of bigotry, both produce gashes and both can be just as deadly.

Indeed, blood spills both ways. The gashes produced by small daggers might not bring the beast down with one hit, but after multiple stabs, even the thickest skin is bloodied.

Unfortunately, by now, most of the preaching is to the choir. But if you stuck through the last paragraph and feel even a quiver of guilt because you think you may have inflicted these gashes, perhaps even contributed to murder — congratulations! It’s OK, because you’ve reached the first step in trading your small, hideous dagger for a large, beautiful Brodea.

To the women: the next time you hear your man bash gays either with a small or large dagger, make some disincentives for him. After all, who wants to be in bed with a bigot?

Just something to think about.

– Aleksandar Vukasinovic is a sophomore triple-majoring in integrative neuroscience, political science and computer science.