sbwlguy saidHow would you/do you deal with [public displays of verbal homophobia]?
Depends on the circumstances. One time at a private dinner party a guy at my table started bashing gays, knowing I'm gay myself, and that my partner was seated at another table. I wouldn't get into a loud argument and offend our host, who knew we're gay, but I did direct my voice just loud enough that she became aware of the dispute. He was never invited back again to subsequent dinners held by that lady.
Another time a guy at a bar in a shopping mall struck up a conversation with me, that began friendly at first. But then out of nowhere he began bashing gays, clueless that I'm one, too. I tried to remain calm and noncommittal, knowing my partner had planned to meet me there following his Christmas shopping, so that I couldn't walk away but had to wait for him.
Just as my partner appeared the guy's wife also showed up following her own holiday shopping. Still cordial, we all said hello, and chatted more while my partner & I had a final drink. We said goodbye to them both as we started to leave the bar.
And then I added to him, loudly enough for his wife to hear, that I was glad he enjoyed having drinks with 2 gay guys who lived together, finishing with a jolly "Merry Christmas!" Their shocked expressions were priceless, stunned speechless! I like to think that his wife later asked him why he was striking up conversations with gay men in bars.
The few times I got yelled at from passing cars I blew kisses back at them. That included in front of a gay club, at which bullets had been fired through the windows previously. I wouldn't want to deliberately get into a truly dangerous confrontation, but neither do I stay silent or backdown in the presence of homophobes, my weapons tending to subtlety & humor.