Homophobia describes hostility or fear of gay (lesbian, bisexuals, intersex, and transgender are also included) people and homosexuality. For example someone might be called homophobic if they dislike gay people; or if someone is violent towards a gay person they could also be described as homophobic.
Homophobia comes in many forms: malicious gossip, name-calling, intimidating looks, internet bullying, vandalism and theft of property, discrimination at work, isolation and rejection, death threats or even sexual assault.
The Reasons Homophobes Give For Their Hatred
It’s not natural. Biologists frequently see homosexual behavior in other animal species, and in livestock ranching, homosexual behavior is so common it is considered a problem. Homosexual behaviors have been noted in every primate species so far studied, and in human’s closest living relatives, the bonobo chimpanzees, bisexual behavior is universal.
Among humans, homosexuality is found in all cultures and with about the same frequency it is found in America. Cultural norms seem to have little influence on the incidence of homosexual behavior. So the claim that it isn’t natural becomes rather difficult to support.
It’s a perversion. This is really a variation of the “it’s not natural” argument, and so there’s no need to reiterate what has been said in the above paragraphs, other than to say that it is the ‘natural’ argument with a religious overtone. And being essentially a religious argument, it has little place in a society that believes in the separation of the powers of church and state.
It’s against God’s law. Well, of course this is a purely religious argument, and it presumes that the homosexual is or should be bound by the religious principles that are propounded here by the religionist.
The fact of the matter is that since this society and its government were founded on the notion of the separation of church and state, to encode in a secular law an idea that has purely religious purposes, is a clear violation of the principle of the separation of church and state. Until the religionist can come up with a sound reason why society benefits by the outlawing of homosexual activity, then there is no moral basis for such a law if one accepts the principle of religious freedom as encoded in the doctrine of the separation of church and state.
It’s disgusting. Has the person who says that ever watched sausage being made?
There are many things that go on in society that we would consider disgusting, but we don’t outlaw them just because of that. In fact, many of these activities are quite essential to the functioning of a modern society, but we simply turn our minds to other matters and don’t concern ourselves with them.
Heterosexuals need to remember that they themselves are ‘disgusting’ to many homosexuals; it will come as quite a surprise for them to discover that the feeling is mutual. Yet it would be ludicrous for the gay person to suggest that heterosexuality ought to be persecuted; why shouldn’t it work just as well the other way around? Isn’t respect and tolerance a two way street?
The Real Reasons Behind Their Hatred
Us versus them: It is the subconscious belief that if someone else is granted rights, those rights come at one’s own expense. For example, one of the oft-quoted reasons why some oppose gay marriage is that it will somehow threaten the heterosexual institution of marriage. Just how that would happen is never explained, but those who agree with the notion don’t have to explain; to them it seems a reasonable proposition, because they feel the threat, even if they can’t put their finger on why.
Obviously, this reason is an emotional reaction rather than a reasoned argument. Yet the fact that it is simply an emotional reaction is not relevant to the bigot; he believes that since he believes it, it must be true. And that is good enough. No evidence is neccessary.
Loss of control: Someone who lives life in a manner quite different that oneself represents a threat to that individual. The threat is a threat to the ego in the sense that one’s own choices may prove not to be optimal; it is also a subconscious threat to one’s security in the sense that the other may prove to be more successful.
Again, the threat here is an emotional one, not a real, tangible threat. And again, there’s no real-world evidence to support it. But emotion is what drives the bigot.
The reason for the emotion is actually a primal instinct. When one examines the dominance-submission behaviors in other species, they often have sexual overtones, especially in other primate species. If a dominant male wants the food or mate posessed by a subordinate, he’ll often bite the subordinate, causing him to yelp in pain and drop the food or the female, and then present his rump.
It is the presentation of the rump that is key here. It’s saying to the dominant male and the rest of the troupe that the subordinant male is submissive and that the dominant male can have his way with him, regardless of the extent that may take. It’s essentially a submission to rape, should the dominant male desire to do so.
It is that instinctual fear of rape that drives much of homophobia. Straight men often instinctually see gay men as a threat, and they instictively fear that threat. It’s a fear of a loss of control, of dominance, of status.
The threat is very real – in some rare, isolated circumstances. This instinctive means of asserting dominance is the source of prison rape. It’s why men, who on the inside of prisons rape other men with brutal frequency become promiscuous heterosexuals on the outside. Such men almost never have sex with other men as a means of emotional sharing, it’s rather a violent act, intended to control, assert dominance and force other men into a subordinate position.
Threat to one’s world-view: When someone has held to the same ideas and has staunchly advocated them all of his life, someone else who says he’s wrong can be rather threatening.
The notion that “that old time religion is good enough for me” is one that is a lot more than just an old song, it represents a fundamental attitude towards one’s roots that make it difficult to accept that one has been wrong all of one’s life.
If a gay person comes along and says, “hey, look at me, I’m a productive, contributing member of society with values and ideals that make me little different than you,” that person is a threat to someone who has believed all his life what he may have been told since he was young; that gay people are somehow perverted, miserable, lonely people who live short, desperate lives.
Fear of rape: This is probably the most emotional and irrational of all of the homophobe’s fears, but is probably the most universal. It is the origin of the old saw about ‘covering your butt’ and numerous other similar admonitions.
Yet the fact is that there are very, very few gay men who would prefer to have sex with heterosexual men, particularly those who would not be willing to cooperate. Why go to the trouble? Only a narcissist would believe that forced sex with himself would be preferable to cooperative and appreciated sex with someone else. Yet it is amazing to me how many heterosexual men actually, subconsciously, at least, feel this way. Maybe this says something about the universality of narcissism!
This is obviously an emotional reaction. Again, there are very few incidents of homosexual rape of heterosexuals, and the chances of becoming a victim are far less than being struck by lightening. But that doesn’t assuage the fear.
Fear that one may actually be homosexual himself: Homosexuality is, by even the most conservative estimates, far more common than the number of open homosexuals would imply. And with the realization that bisexuality is actually fairly common, particularly among women, there is a genuine fear among the more conservative that they, themselves, may be homosexual, particularly if they have had a homosexual experience in their past which they actually enjoyed. And since surveys indicate that approximately 64% of adult males in the United States have, there are lots of candidates out there for that fear. Compounding this can be religion-based guilt, often promoted by televangelists who have made a career of promoting homophobia.
just something for everyone to read and ponder. there are way to many homophobic bands here!