Homophobia Sandbox for editing and change tracking. Redirects: Biphobia, Transphobia
- It’s the awareness that even in Manhattan and even in 2013, you might easily encounter someone who will cast a disgusted look your way. Or say something nasty. Or, worse, throw a punch.
It’s All About Sex—Or Is It?
- There's no sin like being a woman. When a man dresses as a woman, the audience laughs. When a woman dresses as a man, nobody laughs.
- Quentin Crisp, in The Celluloid Closet
- ...an individual's mere presence in public spaces is experienced as a disruption of the social order. Queer, transgender and gender non-conforming people are threatening because they place in question identities previously conceived as stable, unchallengeable, grounded and “known”, which serve as critical tools of heterosexist culture.
Stereotypes and ErasureTackling any sort of prejudice is hard, and especially so if it's been around for a long time and has lots of institutional support built around it, of which a lot will be unthinking and made more as reflexes than anything else. Some basic concepts that will help here are:
- Assumed Heteronormativity: If a person is not identified as queer, that person is assumed to be straight.
- Erasure: If queer people aren't mentioned, they disappear. Related to the assumption above.
- Hypersexuality: The related ideas that sex is the sum total of queer people's identities, and that all they think about and/or do involves sex.
- Criminality/Evil/Decay: Associating queer people by definition with one or more of these undesirable traits. A similar association is sometimes made between black people and these same traits.
By the Book
- ...You went in a gay bar, you knew you were liable to be arrested, or the place be raided. I've been in those situations. There were still not just attitudes, there were laws against...one's being. The core of one's being.
- Jay Presson Allen, in The Celluloid Closet
Stereotypes and PrejudiceMany stereotypes and prejudice have at least a smidgen of Truth in Television; any degree of truth certainly makes it much easier for a stereotype to gain traction and become widespread. However, stereotypes can easily evolve into or reinforce prejudice, and they can act as a memetic transmitter that eases homophobic ideas into mainstream thought. They can also help to force LGBTI people to act in a certain way, and make it harder to see LGBTI people who do not conform to the stereotypes. The Butch Lesbian and Lipstick Lesbian tropes can serve as a good example. First, the tropes can serve to force lesbians into choosing between simplistic masculinity and simplistic femininity. Second, the tropes themselves are exaggerated versions of what is viewed as normal masculinity and femininity, i.e. the tropes put up a pattern for behaviour that is simultaneously judged as abnormal — it's almost right and normal and whole, but not quite.
Who's a Bigot? Who's a Victim?Most people don't wish to be seen as any kind of bigot, and many if not most people who express homophobic views don't believe themselves to be bigoted. People confronted over their homophobia are apt to claim they have known and befriended gay people or deny they intended any insult or criticism. For those with religious objections, the “love the sinner, hate the sin'' meme is the preferred defense. This defense rests on several key beliefs:
- 1) Sex is primarily for procreation, and any other functions (meeting emotional needs, experiencing pleasure or maintaining PC muscle tone) are incidental at best and sinful at worst.2) Same-sex desires do not come from a natural or healthy inclination, but rather from the fallen nature of mankind, mental illness, sexual abuse and/or demonic possession (Seriously: Watch Pat Robertson discuss this in this excerpt from his television program, ''The 700 Club'').3) By pointing out items one and two to LGBT people and trying to convince or coerce them to agree and give up gay sex lives, the believers are doing the gay sinners a big favour (saving them from Hell).
- One guy came up to me and said,”You're really gay.” I told him I had a long line of ex-girlfriends who would vehemently disagree. And he said, “That doesn't matter, because I know you're gay.”
Hello, Unknown Troper. You'll need to get known to lend a hand here.