Category Archives: Homophobia
Ideas often come to me at the most peculiar times. The idea of this essay came to me while I was sweeping in the den of my house. I’m not sure what that says about the overall idea, but I am very fortunate that it did.
As I went about sweeping my den the nature invisibility, or rather visibility, as it pertains to those in the gay community appeared in my mind. I, and I am sure countless others, have heard the homophobic argument that homophobia isn’t an issue, or a serious issue, because unlike race or gender, it’s something that you can hide. These homophobes believe that because one cannot hide the color of their skin or the fact that they have breasts, homophobia isn’t the same as racism or sexism. The idea being that that gays choose to display their sexuality, and as such those who are victims of homophobia are often asking for it.
On the surface this seems like a somewhat logical belief. There is something to be said about the way skin color or sexual anatomy presents itself in an overt form making it easily identifiable for racism and sexism. But, I would like to suggest that homosexuality, or at least the characteristics that we associate with it, also presents itself in overt ways which make it easy for homophobes to marginalize and oppress homosexuals.
We are trained in this white supremacist patriarchal society to see race and gender. We are taught to associate certain characteristics with race and gender, and to pinpoint those characteristics when they are expressed. The way one walks, or talks, or who the person hangs out with, are all ways that racist and sexist people identify and discriminate against people based on their race or gender. However, this phenomenon is not unique to race or gender oppression.
Homosexuals, whether they choose to or not, are daily assaulted by the expectations and assumptions that we as a society place around sexual orientation. From an early age children have their gender expression policed in this society, and this often results in them being the victims of homophobia. If a little boy walks to feminine or if a little girls voice is too deep these are things used to police their gender, and are also used by homophobes.
As we get older the way homophobia pinpoints us does not change. I can think of countless occasions where I have been the victim of homophobia based on things outside of my control. I do not choose to hold my hands the way that I do, I do not choose to walk the way that I do, I do not choose to talk the way that I do. i also did not choose for these otherwise empty characteristics to be associated with my sexual orientation. In a homophobic society these characteristics of myself render me visible, and thus prevents me from being invisible. Of course, I could possibly do things to render myself invisible, I could try and walk and talk in a different manner as many do. As a gay person my sexuality is just as overt as my race and my gender.
The belief that sexuality isn’t visible the way race or gender is, is a myth homophobes use to diminish the realities that gays face. It is about denying our struggle and the oppression that we face. We live in a homophobic society where gender expression is linked with sexual orientation and that underlies much of the oppression that homosexuals face. As a child I longed to be invisible, and sometimes I still wish to be rendered invisible. I did not choose for my sexual orientation to be linked to my gender expression, but that is the way that homophobia works, and as such the myth that sexual orientation is invisible, unlike race or gender, is one that continues to harm those in the gay community.
The construction of heterosexuality has had many effects on the construction of homosexuality. This construction has meant that homosexuality has been associated with certain characteristics and many stereotypes. Homophobia makes it almost impossible for gays, or anyone for that matter, to be have an invisible sexual orientation. The time has come for us to realize that sexual orientation, like race and gender, is visible. The myth of invisibility must end.
I am more than the lowered expectations patriarchy sets for me.
I am more than the lowered expectations homophobia sets for me.
I am more than the lowered expectations religious fundamentalism sets for me.
Should we be satisfied with someone who is “accepting” of gays but draws the line at gay men or women who do not live or act according to the gender role society expects them to live?
Take this shining example:
“YO FUCK THAT IDK WHY BUT IMA SET AN EXAMPLE [I RESPECT HOMOSEXUAL BUT THIS ISHH RIGHT HER IS REDICULOUS] COMONE OVER DOING GAY JUST A LITTLE BIT BRUH! LIP STICK AND PURSES AND BOOTS AND HILLS IS FOR GIRLS MAN UGHH ITS FINE WITH BEING HOMOSEXUAL BUT SUM OF YALL YTAKE IT TOO FAR CUS [ U AINT NO FEMALE NIKKA REAL SHIT]” – James Basedgod Swaver
Do gay men find it satisfying that someone isn’t a homophobe but is definitely an effemiphobe?
I personally don’t want you to accept my sexual orientation if you can’t accept all gay men and the ways they express and manifest themselves. Policing someone’s gender is only a step away from policing someone’s sexual orientation. It’s a dangerous denial of personal autonomy that all forms of hatred are rooted in.
I think cases like this are a good way to gage the way society and gay men view themselves. Are we a fan of the man who is “cool” with the gays but won’t have gay men doing “girly” stuff? What does this tell us about our views on gender and gender expression and sexual orientation? What does this tell us about who gets to do what? When they can do it? And how they can do it? Should we control or care how another person expresses their gender? Should we care how another person expresses themselves period?
I’m not a fan of policing another persons sexual orientation or gender but that’s just me. Perhaps others aren’t so enlightened.
Note: If you can, could you please report the user to Facebook for his hate speech and cyber bullying? Thanks in advance.
One of the favorite lies of homophobes, is that they are just really concerned for children and don’t want them exposed to awful things like homosexuality. Homphobes love to promote the false idea that they’re hateful bigotry is really all about protecting children from being corrupted by people of minority sexual orientations. Once most people hear the word child they automatically jump on board.
But what I find really ludicrous about the whole “think of the children” line of thought is how homophobic it really is. It assumes, very ignorantly I might add, that all children are heterosexual and thus need to be protected from homosexuality or the knowledge of it. But what about the little gay boys and girls! Who is protecting them? Who is shielding them from heterosexism? Or are we just to assume that little gay boys don’t need protection from being inundated with the message that only heterosexuals are appropriate to be exposed to?
If straight children need to be protected from homosexuality surely the same is true for gay children, or are we saying that one child is more valuable than the other?
In their rush to protect children from being exposed to diverse sexual orientations, homophobes fail to realize that the very children they think they are protecting have diverse sexual orientations. The notion that all children are straight is not only ignorant but also very dangerous.
Homophobes (gay and straight) who have bought into the hatred based lie of protecting children from something they “aren’t ready for,” should realize that some of those kids are the very thing homophobes claim to be protecting them from.
Only bigots feel the need to protect their children from diversity.
In the fictional world of the Boondocks created by University of Maryland graduate Aaron McGruder, the Uncle Ruckus character is the quintessential depiction of one who is consumed by self hatred, self loathing, and self denial. Uncle Ruckus is a self hating black man and disassociates himself from other African Americans as much as possible, and is an outspoken supporter of the white supremacist power structure.
Many people laugh at Uncle Ruckus and his ignorance, but while researching the Uncle Ruckus character it struck me just how much Uncle Ruckus embodies of the self hating gay man. While most people look towards Uncle Ruckus as an exaggerated extreme, I see in Uncle Ruckus so many of the qualities and traits that are taken on by self hating gay men. These are the gays who live and act as if there is something wrong with being gay despite being gay themselves.
These are the gay Uncle Ruckus’s. They take pride in distancing themselves from anything relating to the gay community or gay culture. They brag about not having any gay friends, not attending gay clubs, and their ability to pass in the eyes of straight society, is seen not as a condemnation of their own sexual orientation, but as a badge of honor. Their allegiance to heterosexism is one of the defining markers of their self hatred. Much like Uncle Ruckus, a black man supporting the white supremacist power structure, these self hating gays are supporters of the heterosupremacist power structure. They aren’t supportive of gay marriage or gay adoption. They often assert that being gay is a choice or the result of some traumatic childhood experience, thus denying legitimacy to their own sexual orientation and doing the work of the hetereosupremacist power structure to demean and belittle gays. They throw around terms like “the gay lifestyle” all in an effort to undermine their own sexuality. They are walking, talking embodiments of Uncle Ruckus. They list “Interested in: Women” on their social networking sites and even refer to their male romantic interests by female pronouns.
In the series The Boondocks, Uncle Ruckus has a hatred of black people and goes out of his way to free himself from his black identity. Many of the gay Uncle Ruckus’s follow a similar script if not an identical one. They cite the bible and its many archaic views on human sexuality as reason why they think their sexual orientation is sinful and believe that through prayer or other divine efforts they can become the straight person they so desperately believe will make them normal.
Like Uncle Ruckus who prides himself on his white ancestry many Gay Uncle Ruckus’s pride themselves on their so called “masculinity,” and their ability to pass in straight society. They use this factor to demonize and demean other gay men who they see as not measuring up to the straight quality they possess. These gay Uncle Ruckus’s are also unsympathetic to victims of homophobia. They believe that those who experience homophobia bring it upon themselves, and that violence against gays is only a natural result of gays stepping out of line. They think that non gender conforming activities like wearing traditionally female clothing for gay men or traditionally male clothing for women are what produce homophobia. They think that gay men and women who are bashed experience such violence because they probably hit on a straight guy or tricked him. They never recognize or that violence against anyone because of their sexual orientation is wrong. These gay Uncle Ruckus are out to blame the victim for stepping out of line. They strongly believe that without feminine men the gay community would not experience the hatred it does and believe that more masculine gay men are the key to ending anti-gay sentiments. The notion being that the more straight a gay man is the better for society.
Unfortunately there are many Uncle Ruckus’s in the gay community who worship and idolize straight society and culture. They see straightness and the straight ideal as the standard and do not want to be associated with anything related to the gay community. Not it’s pride parades, its fluidity of gender, or its fight for social and political equality. These gay men and women are the enemy within are all too willing to help keep us marginalized and oppressed.
I recently started a new job and since working I have been able to confirm many of of my notions about the role that sexual orientation plays in the work place. A constant refrain that I hear from anti-gay bigots as well as many gay men and women themselves is that sexuality should not be discussed in the work place and especially not homosexuality. However, over the course of my days on my new job I have decided that once and for all the notion that sexuality should not be discussed at work is a SHAM! A complete and utter sham and nothing else.
Take my regional manager for example. On Thursday he told the a group of us new workers that his wife considers him to be a smooth casanova. Now as harmless as this statement was it did cue us into some things about my boss. He’s married, he has a wife, and he’s presumably heterosexual since he is married to a woman.
Another example was a shift manager on my job. She told me on Friday that her boyfriend attended the University of Miami and that she supported the Hurricanes as a result of this. Again on the surface this appears to be harmless but it did tell me a few things. She’s dating, she’s dating someone of the opposite sex, and she’s in a relationship with this guy.
Another of my managers mentioned to a co worker that her husband and her son would be coming by the job today. Again another harmless statement but it did tell me something. She too is married, she too is presumably heterosexual, she has a son, who I assume she conceived by sexual intercourse.
And the examples continued. Other heterosexual co workers casually mentioned their boyfriends or girlfriends and that was that.
Now in none of the cases above did I as a homosexual freak out and accuse the heterosexuals I work with of discussing their private sex life with me. I did not accuse them of forcing their sexual orientation on me. I did not accuse them of telling me sordid details about their sex life. I didn’t complain, I didn’t go into a fit of rage, I didn’t do any of those things despite my co workers referencing their sexuality at work.
As a gay person many gay men and women have been conditioned to believing that discussing their sexuality at work is somehow inappropriate and unacceptable. That bringing up their boyfriend or girlfriend is revealing too much information. That mentioning casual things about their homosexual relationships will send the work place into a rage and ruin the professional setting. Of course this is nothing more than internalized homophobia and heterosexism, which, teaches us that our sexuality by the very virtue of it being homosexuality is perverse, lewd, and immoral. Unfit to be referenced or discussed at work. Another mechanism for keeping gay men and women in an inferior status and mindset.
I’m here to tell each and every gay person that me casually stating at work today to another co worker, “Yeah I text my boyfriend sometimes and he doesn’t respond as fast as I want,” did not result in the complete and utter destruction of the work place environment. It did not tell anyone that I have sex, that I have sex in a bedroom, or that I play bingo on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
This notion that sexuality and especially homosexuality should not be discussed in the work place is in fact a sham. Of course individual persons can decide what they do and do not want to disclose about their personal life but this notion that no one does it and no one should do it just isn’t true.
I spend a lot of my time thinking about homophobia. The poisonous effects it has on both the gay and straight community, the way its reinforced by those who suffer from it, and the many parallels between it and other forms of hatred.
Earlier today I was having a conversation about homophobia and someone brought up a really good point concerning it. They compared fighting conditioned hatred to learning how to swim and I think that comparison is very adept. Homophobia is a lot like drowning. Its a painful and slow death of the psychological self. The years of self loathing, self denial, and self hatred slowly eat away at ones authentic self until you are left in a state of insanity, unable to recognize who you are and what you are. So many gay men are drowning, drowning in the torturous waters of homophobia.
Like many drowning deaths can be prevented by knowing how to swim, homophobia can be challenged and changed by rejecting self hate. If gay men just had the courage to learn how to swim, to learn to love themselves unconditionally we wouldn’t have so many deaths from homophobia drowning as we do.
I understand it’s a lot easier said than done sometimes, but one must consider that it’s free to love yourself for who you are and know your worth as a gay man, but the price of internalized homophobia is very expensive and will leave you with an over drafted life.
There are many gay men like myself living our lives authentically and open who are willing to teach our fellow gay brothers how to swim as well as support them on their journey.
So, to my gay brothers grappling with internalized homophobia, learn how to swim! It might just save you frown drowning.
It pains me and I mean truly pains me that people in 2010 still do not know what homosexuality is, and both uninformed gay and straight individuals are guilty of this. Information is at our finger tips and knowledge is just a google search away. It seems like ignorance is at the top of every gay mans list when it comes to conceiving their own sexuality.
Homosexuality is not:
A birth defect.
Or any other crazy demeaning and belittling thing homophobic people try to label it.
For the last time.
Homosexuality along with heterosexuality and bisexuality is a sexual orientation. A legitimate sexual orientation at that.
So please stop spreading this ignorant homophobic rhetoric that homosexuality is anything other than a sexual orientation.
When it comes to Human Sexuality people will fight tooth and nail to avoid the truth. And its no coincidence that a children’s book targeted at the most impressionable, would be everything but the truth. We know that child abuse is real and its poisonous, we know that millions of children over the world are abused sexually at the hands of adults. If the book were simply aiming to open a dialog about abuse with the young that wouldn’t really be an issue. But this should not be an excuse to mislead concerned parents by way of a homophobic book targeted at relying on outdated myths and misconceptions, but thats exactly what happens in the children’s book And Now I Realize I’m Not Gay.
We know that children are very impressionable and you can mold them to believe just about everything. Racist, Sexist, and Homophobes know this and thus try to begin the process of conditioning children to be hateful and bigoted towards those around them. This is the basic premise of the story in And Now I Realize I’m Not Gay.
One of the most common ways people discriminate against homosexuals is by denying them legitimacy. To deny us legitimacy in our sexual orientation is to deny homosexuals as a community legitimacy. Anytime a person or group isn’t seen legitimate the oppression, discrimination, and violence they face can more easily be passed off as acceptable.
The message of the book is simple and relies on many tried and true stereotypes used to debase and demean homosexuals.
Requisite Child Molester/Pedophile.
Add those all together and supposedly what you get is a sexually confused person who “claims” they are gay but are really just you know confused and in need of help. This notion that homosexuality isn’t a legitimate sexual orientation and thus not worthy of respect is one of the main factors of homophobia and heterosexism. Many people simply assume that no one is really gay that gay people are just confused and all the victims of past or present abuse.
Its interesting though that no one ever mentions the thousands of young men and women molested by women and who are still heterosexual. No one mentions the thousands of young men raised by single moms who are heterosexual. No one mentions the thousands of kids raised by two loving, married, heterosexuals and are still gay.
I’ve never been abused.
My parents have been married over 23 years.
They are both heterosexual and alas I am still gay.
There goes that theory.
Books like this are aimed at portraying gay men and women as helpless confused victims and not having legitimate sexual orientations. If this book deserves to not be in schools its because of its homophobia and that alone.
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