Created By: ShyamalanisEdWoodJuly 28, 2013 Last Edited By: 69BookWorM694 hours ago

Useful Notes: Homophobia

Hatred of gays, lesbians, cross dressers, transsexuals, etc.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
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.

According to Wikipedia, “homophobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersexual (LGBTI).” Those negative attitudes motivate a full gamut of hostile actions, from ridicule and shunning, to bullying, vandalism, assault, “corrective rape” and murder.

The term was coined in the 1960s by psychologist George Weinberg, taking the ”homo-“ prefix from “homosexual” and joining it to the suffix “-phobia” meaning “morbid or intense fear”. Initially the word referred to a fear of being perceived to be gay, but by the early 1970s it was used to mean a psychological aversion to queer people generally. Common uses of the word now tend to include elements of heterosexism, the idea that opposite-sex attractions and relationships are the norm and therefore superior. The word “homophobia” has its critics. Some find it misleading since it implies fear rather than disgust or anger. It can also be argued that it implies an individual psychological problem as the root of negative attitudes towards queers as opposed to a socially reinforced prejudice. That said, “homophobia” has a linguistic staying power compared to other terms, which tend to be more obscure and often present pronunciation difficulties (try these on for size: “homoerotophobia”, “homonegativity”, “heteronormativity”, "sexual prejudice”, “internalized sexual stigma”).

For purposes of this wiki, Homophobia is defined as negative attitudes towards or stereotypes about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and/or gender non-conforming people.

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

Homophobia is ostensibly about sexual orientation (who do you want to date/sleep with/marry?), but because people conflate sexuality and gender, it often involves questions of gender performance (what are you, a man or a woman?). As noted on our Useful Notes page on homosexuality, a number of tropes point up the association some people make between performance of gender roles and preferred sexual partners. This may reflect an idea current in the culture at large as well as one depicted in media, or to put it another way, there may be some Truth In Television in this. At least one legal scholar has held that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires same-sex marriage to be legal based on the "original" meaning of the amendment's wording. On July 16, 2015, the United States' Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (a federal agency that interprets federal law on these matters) issued a ruling that said discrimination against someone on the basis of sexual orientation was already illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and their ruling specified that this was because discrimination against someone on the basis of sex (gender) is included in the text of the act. In December 2015, a U.S. District judge gave a preliminary ruling allowing a Title IX case to go ahead, concluding that the distinction between discrimination based on gender stereotyping and discrimination based on sexual orientation is "illusory and artificial, and that sexual orientation discrimination is not a category distinct from sex or gender discrimination.”

Anyone who fails to follow “normal” social rules for their gender can prompt a homophobic response. Specific social rules vary across cultures and historical periods An example: , yet such rules often mandate categories for clothing and hairstyles, speech and body movement, behaviour and deportment, even career choices. Failure to adhere to these rules can be associated with homosexuality, and homophobic responses to such “violations” can be seen as attempts to enforce so-called “traditional” social norms (see the infamous “the way you walk” scene from the 1956 film Tea and Sympathy, excerpted in the 1995 documentary The Celluloid Closet). As these rules contain a certain amount of misogyny, double standards apply; women who cross gender lines may be given a grudging respect (since they can be seen as trying to remedy their inferior femininity), while men face severe condemnation for lowering their status by being effeminate. That's why a Tomboy gets less criticism than a sissy.

There are people who feel an intolerable discomfort with the presence of other people (be it in media or on the street) who cannot be quickly and easily placed in the gender binary. The (at times false) equivalence of gender non-conformity with homosexuality generally serves to compound the dread. This is part of the nostalgia of the opening theme from All In The Family: one couplet runs, “And you knew where you were then/ Girls were girls and men were men”. The book Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States chronicles gender policing by law enforcement, from sumptuary laws ”requir[ing] individuals to wear at least three articles of clothing conventionally associated with the gender they were assigned at birth”, to the arrests and harassment of gender non-conformists for the “crime” known colloquially as “walking while trans”, a concept and phrasing derived from the racially motivated charge of “driving while black”. Such policing is often done in the name of protecting an area's “quality of life”, again because those breaking gender norms are presumed to be involved with an outlaw sexuality (entailing “public lewdness” and/or prostitution). As the authors of Queer (In)Justice put it:
...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.
Thus, any fear there may be lurking in the concept of homophobia may have less to do with homosexuality per se than with fears of disorder and/or loss of social status.

Stereotypes and Erasure

Tackling 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.

Of course, trying to avoid one can easily lead you to another, like trying to avoid the hypersexuality so much that queer characters have no sexuality (which tends towards erasure). It's rather like steering a boat among shoals—overcompensate and you just run aground somewhere else.

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

Institutionalized homophobia refers to policies and laws against LGBTI people that are enforced by governments, religious authorities, and other powerful groups, using whatever persuasive and coercive powers are at their disposal. Such laws and rules may vary in detail and severity. They may criminalize same-sex relations, set a higher age of consent for same-sex conduct, mandate or forbid certain topics of discussion in regards sexuality, even prescribe standards of dress and grooming. They include anti-sodomy laws (often referring to “crimes against nature”), the above-mentioned sumptuary laws, and charges of “public lewdness”, prostitution and fraud (for “impersonating" another gender). The Queer (In)Justice authors also describe how some law enforcement and corrections officials abuse their authority to shame, humiliate and degrade LBGTI people with whom they interact: publicizing or threatening to publicize arrests, subjecting people to invasive and often unlawful searches to touch or inspect their genitals, denying people protective custody (leaving them vulnerable to sexual assault, for which victims are often punished) or else offering the “protection” of solitary confinement, as well as beatings or demands for sexual favours. Civil and family law codes can offer their own difficulties: lack of protection against discrimination in housing and employment, limiting marriage and adoption to opposite-sex partners, and onerous restrictions in child custody agreements, if not outright loss of custody and/or visitation.

While legal sanctions can have the most severe impact on individuals, other institutions can pursue homophobic and/or heteronormative policies in different, even subtle ways. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rates theatrical films prior to release in the U.S. supposedly to advise parents on the movies' content. Kirby Dick's documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated discusses how films with gay content are consistently given stronger ratings by the MPAA, thereby limiting the numbers of younger viewers who can see them. The film illustrates the point with a side-by-side comparison of films; the actors are performing the same acts in case after case, yet in case after case the depictions of homosexual couples are given R and NC-17 ratings while the heterosexual depictions get PG, PG-13 or R ratings. The more stringent ratings can reduce the audience and box office receipts of queer films. Whether the officials of the MPAA actually hold homophobic views or are simply catering to "mainstream" prejudices, the chilling effect on filmmaking is the same.

Some religious leaders (usually those of a conservative or fundamentalist stripe) castigate LGBTI people from their pulpits and in any media outlets their social status can open for them. Sometimes religious groups (again the conservative/fundamentalist sort) campaign for laws that penalize LGBTI people, while others have no need to lobby the government since they are the government, or at least an influential part of it. Such religious folk use passages in their holy books (the “gotcha” verses in the Christian Biblenote , for example) plus church dogma to support their views; they generally assert those books to be at least divinely inspired (if not the inerrant Word of God), and on that basis they hold those books' authority to be unquestionable.

Stereotypes and Prejudice

Many 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).

Of course, for people who disagree with any or all of these items, the professions of “love” ring hollow.

As LGBTI people have become more visible, some people who express homophobic bigotry claim the mantle of victimhood for themselves, as if allowing LGBTI people to engage in commerce and civil life on an equal footing would also force them to violate or renounce their religious beliefs. Such claims imply that their religious practices take absolute precedence over the beliefs and interests of everyone else, and it's tempting to ask if the same kind of blanket religious exemption could be extended to, say, outlaw the production and sale of pork products.

Even people who themselves experience homophobic bigotry can express it against others. Flamboyant gay men, “butches” (lesbians who present a masculine appearance), bisexuals, transgender people and gender non-conformists (even performers such as drag queens/kings) experience specialized forms of homophobia from others in the LGBTI community as well as from members of the general public. A mild form is the wording of some personal ads that includes phrases like “no butches” or “straight-acting men only”. Pew Research found in a 2013 survey that bisexual people are more likely to remain closeted than gays or lesbians (two-thirds would not out themselves on social media versus one half of gays and lesbians). A bisexual man named Jeremy Stacy recounted being confronted while participating in a West Hollywood pride celebration:

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.”

It seems likely that gay man would object (rightly) if someone told him, “You don't know your own mind. You're not gay, you're really sick/crazy/evil,” yet he seemed to have no qualms about strongly implying that a bisexual man doesn't know ''his'' own mind regarding ''his'' orientation.

It's rather less surprising to find examples of heterosexual people facing homophobic bigotry when they break the rules of heterosexist culture. Once Julia Gillard became the first female Prime Minister of Australia and her partner former hairdresser Tim Mathieson found himself spotlighted as the country's “first bloke”, it was probably only a matter of time before someone questioned his sexuality as radio presenter Howard Sattler did in a June 2013 interview with then-Prime Minister Gillard. Though the incident cost him his job, Sattler didn't seem to think the question was beyond the pale: he was quoted later saying, “She should have known it was coming.” It's difficult to see why she should have expected such a question without factoring in some combination of heterosexism and homophobia, specifically the first bloke's former employment in a “pink collar” job.

"Internalized homophobia" describes the troubling combination of same-sex attraction and prejudice against homosexuality in a single person. It can be highly destructive to those who suffer from it as well as to other people. It is thought to be a major factor in the high suicide rate among LGBT youth (up to 30 percent attempt to kill themselves). It can also drive sufferers to engage in extreme repression and denial coupled with forced outward displays of heteronormative behaviour, attempting to at least appear “normal”. Some of these people rise to leadership positions in politics and religious organizations, from which they promote anti-LGBT laws and policies, and their self-loathing fuels their fervour and goads them to political success. They can be ferociously effective opponents of gay rights because their sense of self-worth depends upon it.

Tropes that are influenced or underpinned by homophobia are listed in the index.
Community Feedback Replies: 97
  • July 29, 2013
    kjnoren
    This is an incredibly broad trope, and would likely need to be an entire set of tropes (similar to all the various tropes we have here on sexism and misogyny) - homphobia likely should be an index.

    I think one should be very careful about tying the term homophobia to hatred, however. Hatred implies an active and often violent reaction, and homophobia can take many other guises. Stereotyping, othering, and denial of rights can all be said to be included in homophobia, while not being outright hatred.
  • July 29, 2013
    m8e
    Right, -phobia does actually means fear.

    I'm not sure we need the "cross dressers, transsexuals, etc." in the laconic. Gay people are gay so they are already covered by gay, and people who's not gay might not fit. Or maybe they do as homophobic people can't tell the difference?
  • July 29, 2013
    m8e
    But lesbian, gay and bisexual are all "same liking", all are homophiles and covered under the homo in Homophobe. Well, bisexuals like the opposite gender too, but that's not the 'odd' thing homophobes don't like, and being homo is a common side effect or being trans, so they are covered to by homo.

    The thing is, I don't really have a problem with using LGBT in he laconic. The problem is that the current laconic says "gays, cross dressers, transsexuals, etc. " instead of LGBT, homo trans, gay trans or simply gay or homo.

    The YKTTW is behaving a little oddly now, I replied to a post. It disappeared, reappeared, I edited it and now the post I replied to gone.???
  • July 29, 2013
    DAN004
    Better description plz. The current one sounds more like an opinion.
  • July 29, 2013
    godofgamers
    I agree with the idea that homophobia doesn't necessarily mean hatred or violence. If you've ever merely felt uncomfortable around homosexuals then that's homophobia, too. Same with not looking during scenes of homosexuals kissing.
  • July 29, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^^^ Yeah, it seems my post was eaten by Data Vampires. I hope they at least enjoyed the meal...

    Anyway, I agree that using the words "lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender" (or its abbreviation) in the laconic would be a good idea. Though I didn't say that the LGBT community in total isn't covered by the word "homo", I said it isn't covered by the word "gay".
  • July 29, 2013
    kjnoren
  • July 29, 2013
    CaptainPeregrin
    If this gets a page, it should definitely be a No Real Life Examples page. This is a very touchy subject, and calling someone a "homophobe" is universally considered an insult, since it implies "bigot".

    There needs to be an explanation of how this is a trope, not just the real life connotations. I think there might be two separate tropes involved, one about people who are genuinely "homophobic", and one about when people are actually called homophobes (since there are plenty of characters who might be homophobic but don't get called out on it, and vice versa).
  • July 29, 2013
    azul120
    A Useful Notes page, perhaps?
  • July 29, 2013
    DAN004
    Let it just be said that "Homophobia" has turned into a misnomer, but still relevant.
  • July 30, 2013
    MorganWick
    Yes, if this isn't Useful Notes or an index it flirts with both People Sit On Chairs and Flame Bait.
  • July 30, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    The way it's written up it's an index with some In Universe examples of homophobia sprinkled in. I guess using it like Double Standard might work.

    I note that homophobia is only for gays and lesbians. Trans and the other affiliations are covered by their own phobias.
  • July 30, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ From The Other Wiki: Homophobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).

    [...]

    Forms of homophobia toward identifiable LGBT social groups have similar yet specific names: lesbophobia -- the intersection of homophobia and sexism directed against lesbians, biphobia -- towards bisexuality and bisexual people, and transphobia, which targets transsexualism, transsexual and transgender people, and gender variance or gender role nonconformity.
  • July 30, 2013
    DAN004
  • August 1, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    I think this should be a Useful Notes page. I also think the thing which ties all these categories of people together is some kind of failure to adhere to heteronormative social roles in their behaviour, dress, and so on. The book and the film The Celluloid Closet make this point, particularly in describing "the sissy" character. Perhaps this is one reason why people use the term "homophobia" to describe feelings of animus towards people who are (or are perceived to be) members of any of the sexual minorities, not just homosexuals. Another reason may be that people who don't know any better conflate all the sexual minorities into one category, not knowing (or not caring) that gender and sexual orientation are not the same thing.
  • August 8, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    I'm working on an explanation that could be either a Useful Notes page or go atop an index. I'll put it up later today or tonight, and I'd like to know what you lot think of it.
  • August 8, 2013
    Sackett
    Homophobia means fear of homosexuals, not hatred of them. The two are often conflated, because of the assumption that fear leads to hatred, but they are not actually the same thing.

    There may be those who hate homosexuals but do not fear them, and there may be those who fear homosexuals but do not hate them.
  • August 8, 2013
    IAmATropist
    In Season 1 of South Park, Mr. Garrison believes that homosexuals are "evil people with a black fluid flowing through them instead of blood", only to admit that he's gay in season 5. He then undergoes a vaginoplasty in season 9, and becomes a straight man again in season 12 with the help of a "penis mouse". It's complicated.
  • August 8, 2013
    jthayne
    ^^ And there may also be those who, for religious reasons, disapprove of homosexual conduct, but do not fear or hate homosexuals.
  • August 8, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    ^,^^^ Wikipedia doesn't agree with you:

    Homophobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). It can be expressed as antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, or hatred, may be based on irrational fear, and is sometimes related to religious beliefs.

    Emphasis mine.
  • August 9, 2013
    Bisected8
    As I understand, homophobia was coined by simply appending -phobia to "homo" and wasn't intended to literally mean "irrational fear of homosexuals" in the scientific sense (indeed, if you read it that way, the word should mean "irrational fear of things which are the same").
  • August 9, 2013
    arromdee
    If you create this it's going to be a trouble magnet for people 1) calling real-life people or groups homophobic, and 2) calling characters or works homophobic based on flimsy rationalizations.
  • August 9, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    ^I did a bit of research to do a Useful Notes thing and address this problem of terminology:

    That said, "homophobia" has a linguistic staying power above that of more accurate terms, which tend to be more obscure and often present pronunciation difficulties (try these on for size: "homoerotophobia", "homonegativity", "heteronormativity", "sexual prejudice", "internalized sexual stigma").

    The whole thing is too big to put in a reply box, so I appended it to the existing write-up, under a line.
  • August 9, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    BTW I think Internalized Categorism belongs on the index for this.
  • August 9, 2013
    kjnoren
    Yeah, useful notes would be valuable, and so would an index. But we already have plenty of tropes covering various ways in which homophobia can express itself, so I see no reason to have extremely generalised examples.
  • August 9, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    ^ I didn't want to just drop all that stuff and bung in my text, so i left it in situ and tacked mine on the bottom (below the index).

    I've also avoided any pics at this point. An image of a house with gay slurs spraypainted on it would visually get the point across, but could be a trigger for any readers who've had that experience, as well as offending others.
  • August 10, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    Just for the record: We have Double Standard for gender-based stereotyping. I have no issues with having a sexual orientation-based one.

    Also, to address ^^ and ^: I am undecided on whether having a trope for In Universe homophobia is warranted. As for ^, none of the existing "homophobic" tropes images have triggered such a reaction.
  • August 10, 2013
    Madrugada
    Moderator note: I removed the hat this was given. It is nowhere near ready to launch in its present state, and that's what a hat means.

    Please do not give hats unless the write-up, exactly as it stands is ready to launch. A Hat does not mean "I think this is a good idea in general" or "I like this" or "We should have this." It means "I think that this could be put onto the wiki as a page right now, in the condition it's in at this moment."
  • August 10, 2013
    Madrugada
    As it stands, this is not a trope. It's sociology paper.
  • August 10, 2013
    StarSword
    ^We're still apparently trying to decide if this wants to be a supertrope or Useful Notes. But it has to be one or the other, guys.

    If it does become a trope, it needs to be much shorter and be In Universe Examples Only.
  • August 10, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    Why not make it into something akin to Double Standard?
  • August 11, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    ^ I think it could work that way, but a Useful Notes page came to my mind foremost because, well, homophobia is complicated. I know There Is No Such Thing As Notability here, but this topic seems so complex and contentious that I decided to cover my ass with citations. (Well, I am rather attached to my ass, thank you very much, so I don't want to see it get chewed out unnecessarily). : )

    I started my text as I did since Wkikpedia's definition of the concept was quoted not once but twice in this discussion (you could say I took that as a hint). The Other Wiki also includes the subspecialties (like biphobia and transphobia) under the broad concept of homophobia, and I happen to concur in that view, so I followed that site's consensus. In other words, I think (and it seems Wikipedia agress) that those things are The Same But More Specific.

    I was also trying to address the problems with the "what does the word really mean" dispute, as well as the point that sexual orientation (who do you sleep with?) and gender performance (what do you act like outside of the bedroom?) are inextricably tied together; the way a person goes about the latter is held to indicate the former (watch The Celluloid Closet as a whole if it helps to see that point, that's why I cite it so much).

    I further tried to address the idea that no one likes to be called a homophobic bigot (especially people who oppose open expressions and/or legal recognition of homosexuality for religious reasons), yet people who are on the receiving end of such religious views are quite likely to take them as proof of negative attitudes (back to that definition again). I went to some trouble to explain the "love the sinner, hate the sin" idea because it's integral to that conflict: people who object to homosexuality on the basis of religious beliefs (about the purpose of sex and proper social roles) don't see themselves as being hateful, but people who suffer consequences from the expression of such views (like losing jobs, being denied services, getting arrested and jailed) do not regard such expressions as coming from "love". Perhaps it's a deep difference of worldview, the same way some people cite, 'Spare the rod and spoil the child," and others immediately think "child abuse".

    BTW I don't expect the material above the line to be the beginning of the article when it's finished, though some of the bullet points might be used (with revisions), rather like the Useful Notes/Cricket page has a list of famous real life and fictional cricketers.
  • August 11, 2013
    arromdee
    This wiki is supposed to be about works. Even useful notes pages are supposed to be there for understanding works. While there is some leeway in including some information that isn't directly used in works (how often does a work depend on the exact population of Baltimore?) that shouldn't be the main reason for the entire useful notes page to exist.

    It's clear that this is an essay about homophobia first and foremost, and any relevance to tvtropes is tacked on. Political and social causes seem very prone to this kind of thing.
  • August 11, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    ^Aye. That is why I do support making this into something like Double Standard. All this essay stuff is essentially a duplicate of the Wikipedia page.
  • August 12, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    ^^ I beg to differ. The conflation of effeminate behaviour in men with homosexuality is why Camp Gay is a trope, and hostility towards gays has a lot to do with how and why it gets used. The homophobic (and incorrect) assertion that gays turn kids into more gays underpins the trope All Gays Are Pedophiles. Societal hostility towards gays is why there's a closet to be in (or be sent back to). It's even why there are people who keep wanting to say Hugh Jackman is in a Transparent Closet. (By the way, Transparent Closet should go on the index of tropes for this).

    Besides, works don't happen in a vacuum; they are part of a culture and often reflect it. I think that's why we have Useful Notes pages to begin with.

    @ SeptimusHeap I've read the Wikipedia page, and I don't think it makes clear the link between failing to act/dress like one's gender and having a homosexual orientation. I also think it's vitally important to explain this because people get assigned to the gay category without their engaging in sexual behaviour. Again, it's about bunging together sex and gender.

    Also, as I said before, much of the rest of it is about addressing things that have come up in this discussion (what the word "really means" and how it's actually used by the public), fear vs. hatred, religious people rejecting the homophobic label) as well as tensions between "straight-acting" gays and obvious gender non-conformists, Internalized Categorism of the homophobic variety, and straight people getting burned by the same social rules (like Miley Cyrus cutting her hair short and being called a lesbian as a result).
  • August 12, 2013
    lakingsif
    This would be best as a Useful Notes page, with a summary of tropes implying or dealing with Homophobia and the incorrect assertions. The article itself needn't say things twice. Just tropes about assumptions possibly based in homophobia.
  • August 12, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    ^ So you're thinking a sentence after each trope on the index to explain the homophobic aspect(s) of it, as has been done elsewhere?

    BTW who keeps adding the hat? We're nowhere near consensus yet.
  • August 14, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    ^^ I'm working the individual tropes as you suggested. Have also sent a PM to the OP about making this a Useful Notes page. Sorry the folder controls don't work in YKTTW.
  • August 15, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    Wow this has attracted a scary number of "motion to discard" tags. I like the form it's taken though, it's informative, and kind of doubles as a helpful index. Definitely liking this as a useful notes page.
  • August 16, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    Very informative, but are we sure it's not preachy? At least some bits come off as preachy.
  • August 16, 2013
    flamemario12
    So many Montion to Discard tags...
  • August 16, 2013
    DAN004
    Perhaps this YKTTW needs to be reborn?
  • August 16, 2013
    TheHandle
    Great page, keep up the good work, I'll be waiting for it. An aggressive review of Modern Family would also be interesting.
  • August 16, 2013
    kjnoren
    Yeah, I think it to be solid work here (though I still think a Homophobia index page would be valuable). Only issue I have is the wall-of-textness.
  • August 16, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    ^, ^^ Thanks for the kudos. It's nice to be appreciated.

    As I said earlier in this thread, I was trying to address issues raised in the other comments. I'm also trying to be evenhanded (explaining the "love the sinner, hate the sin" meme, for example), though I don't hold with bigotry (I have too much empathy to be a Supreme Court justice). I'll also cop to some ass-covering with citations, but I hate to just say things like, "Straight people can be hit by this too" or "Gay people can do this to other queer people" without evidence to back it up (FWIW i've already cut an example of a transgender woman getting hassled by a gay cop).

    @ Septimus Heap Which bits are preachy? I know there's some Values Dissonance inherent in the concept. If you're referring to the remark about forbidding pork production, I must point out that the consumption of pork is an abomination according to the Torah/Old Testament, just as homosexual sex is. At least i didn't quote Harvey Fierstein on the matter: "You get the sausage out of your mouth and I'll get the sausage out of mine." (from the "Amos and Andy" portion of 2000's Common Ground) I was tempted.

    @ TheHandle I confess I haven't seen Modern Family. I have no working television, and my computer is geriatric and apt to crash the browser (like it did this morning while I was watching a twelve minute Crash Course US History video on YouTube). I'm also wondering how to go about addressing specific works. The last section in the write-up is the text from the OP, who has yet to answer my PM of two days ago. I'm not sure what to do with it at this point.

    As for the multiple motions to discard, I don't know what's prompting them. Maybe some people really don't like Useful Notes pages at all, despite their usefulness. Maybe some people don't want to touch it due to controversy, as if by not talking about it, they can make it go away. I also don't rule out any other motives...

    Am looking for a vandalism picture to go with this. Sadly, there are a great many to choose from.
  • August 16, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ For the Motions To Discard, this YKTTW has been here for really long and with so many debates around it. That's why I suggest making a fresh one.
  • August 16, 2013
    abloke
    "I also don't rule out any other motives" dot dot dot.

    There you go. That seems, to me, in keeping with the "they've all got it in for them" theme of the article. It's not at all even-handed, and it trips over itself trying to make statements. I'm not saying a Useful Notes page about how LGBT people have been depicted couldn't work, but this is an opinion piece.
  • August 16, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    ^ The subject of the article is negative attitudes/hatred/fear/condemnation, so how can it not have some tilt that direction? Other unpleasant things (like death generally) also exist, and we mention them here, because real life and the culture does. When people advocate that other people should be tortured and or killed for being gay(which happens, as in phrases like "Die Faggot" spraypainted on cars and buildings and some trending hashtags on the French version of Twitter), that's hatred pure and simple. It's also more common than some people want to admit. Since I cannot read minds, I cannot say definitively that absolutely no one here is homophobic, hence the sentence you quoted.

    @ DAN004 I don't know that a fresh YKTTW would avoid the debate--not that I think the debate should be avoided, come to that.
  • August 17, 2013
    Evergreen215
    I don't feel that transphobia is included in homophobia- they're separate issues, and while they are often present at the same time, to say that transphobia is a form of homophobia is dismissive of trans people. Also, it's not good to put "cross dresser" and "transsexual" so near to one another, as that implies some offensive things, and in any case it's better to avoid the term "transsexual" in favor of "transgender person", as it's a much less loaded term.
  • August 17, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    ^ As to why transphobia is included under homophobia, see the comment by Paradisesnake of 2013-07-30 01:40:01 above (quoting Wikipedia on the subject, about 36 replies above this one) and the trope Trans Equals Gay. We could have two pages, but I'm not sure this one will get launched, and I think two pages would be a heavier lift.

    I have put gender non-conformity tropes in the same folder as transgender tropes because the appearance issues are similar; as I understand it, a big issue for transgender people (youth particularly) is the tendency of some people to fail to recognize the gender identity trans people assert for themselves (school and security officials insisting on using birth name and requiring their gender to match that assigned at birth). Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't appearance key to that, especially for people who transition after experiencing puberty?

    I've been considering opening each of the folders with a sentence or two outlining the specific stereotypes against each group. Would such an explanatory intro help? I could also split transgender and gender non-conformity into two folders, though that will likely mean some repetition (putting Unsettling Gender Reveal in both places, for instance).
  • August 17, 2013
    surgoshan
    One of the things that differentiates homophobia from clinical phobias is the nature of the response. With a clinical or diagnosable phobia, it's a fear response: "Get me away from that!" With homophobia it appears to be a disgust response: "Get that away from me!"

    The fear response prompts flight that turns violent only when flight is impossible. The disgust response can provoke immediate violence, though not necessarily.

    http://mentalhealth.about.com/library/sci/0602/blhomo602.htm

    In short, unlike phobias, this appears to be a culturally derived response rather than an actual mental pathology.

    This can tie in with the moral foundation theory developed by Jonathan Haidt and others. They found that one of the five principal foundations of human morality, seen across politics and culture around the world, is that of sanctity or purity, the drive to maintain physical and ideological purity. This response is mediated by the emotion of disgust and tends to be expressed more strongly in conservatives than in liberals, hence why conservatives are much more adamant about flag-burning, blasphemy, and homosexuality.
  • August 18, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    ^I heartily agree! I'm very partial to Martha Nussbaum's 2010 book From Disgust to Humanity: Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law. I think the theory you mention is behind the anti-gay laws in Uganda and Russia, and the the Cucinelli push to retain Virginia's anti-sodomy statute a decade after Lawrence v. Texas, among other things.

    Thing is, I'm also trying to address complaints about this article being a "wall of text" and cover the problems with the word (including the non-clinical use of a clinical-sounding term and the lack of a more accurate yet pronounceable term) and the concepts associated with it. I'm also working on the tropes list and searching for for an illustrative picture (probably graffiti) that fits the size constraints.

    I've wondered if I should have a folder with additional reading (including Nussbaum, Haidt et. al.) and viewing (The Celluloid Closet, Out at Work, But Im A Cheerleader, the 1968 Sinatra film The Detective, This Film Is Not Yet Rated).
  • August 18, 2013
    abloke
    "Since I cannot read minds, I cannot say definitively that absolutely no one here is homophobic, hence the sentence you quoted."

    It was insinuated, though.

    It doesn't need the "tilt", even if it's talking about attitudes or even condemnation. It doesn't need the snide suggestions about people's motivations, the generalizations about the causes, or the subtle mockery of disfavoured groups. Including those things only makes this an opinion piece.
  • August 18, 2013
    kjnoren
    Some ideas on editing and so on, to reduce the current wall-of-textness:

    1. The introductory paragraph has a long digression about the history and troubles with the term itself. I believe that discussion can be simply omitted here, or moved to a [[note]note since it's not critical to the concept].

    2. The text has several examples, eg the ones about religious texts and authorites, or about Hugh Jackman, that I think can be omitted. Not that they aren't true, but because I think they act as further digressions.

    3. I think the text misses one key area, and that is a further discussion about homophobia in the queer community. It is mentioned a bit, but the transgender and -sexual members has suffered a lot under that.

    That said, I think you've done a fabulous job so far, 69BookWorM69. I set up a sandbox where we can work on further editing easier than in the YKTTW format.

    I also still think an index page would be very very useful, with a shortened introduction to the concept. That would lessen the need to be concise in a page of useful notes.
  • August 18, 2013
    surgoshan
    If you want, you can bring up the issue of intersectionality. The gay movement has had significant trouble making in-roads in the black community, the existence of misogyny among gay men, the erasure of bisexuality, and transphobia in the gay community.
  • August 18, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    @ kjnoren Thanks for the sandbox. I never think to do that on these big jobs, I don't know why. In re your points:

    1. I've been fussing with the intro for a while (initially it was two paragraphs). So many comments were talking about how bad it is to refer to "fear" or to turn prejudice into a mental illness. The word itself bugs people, but as I said to close that paragraph, the alternatives are worse (less easily pronounced, glossing over the sex/gender conflation). I wonder which bits can go into a note; perhaps the formation and the meaning shift from the 60s to the 70s?

    2. When considering a "further reading/viewing" folder, I also considered dropping the MPAA paragraph into that because of This Film Is Not Yet Rated. Do you think that would work? I was thinking of putting the Jackman material into All Gays Love Theater and leaving the Mathieson one in this piece, with a direction to that AGLT page.

    Of the religious materials, what parts do you want to remove? They're there in the first place because they're true, and in the second place to build on the part about most people denying they're motivated by bigotry. Some people do claim divine sanction for their negative attitudes. Heck, some of them actually believe in demonic possession as a cause of homosexuality and put their gay kids through exorcisms. They actually want to be able to fire/evict/arrest people for being queer, and they really believe they're doing good when they do those things. Here again, we get into Values Dissonance, because people with more liberal religious beliefs (and no religious beliefs, for that matter) are less concerned with divine authority (and dispute what it says) and are more concerned with the concrete harms caused (the emotional costs, the financial penalties, the legal hoops and sanctions, the violence). I don't think we can leave religion out of it entirely, especially if the conflict with the black community goes in, since part of that is based on religion.

    3. I actually cut an example from Queer (In)Justice about a transgender woman getting harrassed by a gay cop in my efforts to reduce the length of the whole piece. I wasn't happy doing that. I also wanted to get some intersectionality (as surgoshan noted). It sometimes feels incorrect to speak of a singular LBGT community, although all of the subgroups have similar issues with the larger world.

    BTW How do we go about making an index page and a Useful Notes page? I wouldn't want someone to discard one or the other because they thought they were duplicates.
  • August 18, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    Have two different pages. They don't count as duplicates, no.

    That said, as-is this page combines both the Useful Notes bit and the index bit. I would split them, honestly.
  • August 18, 2013
    69BookWorM69
  • August 19, 2013
    abloke
    I know your reply wasn't directed at me, but I'll offer an example of how I think the article could be improved.

    Take the bit where you analyze the "meme" as you call it. Two of the three points you claim it rests on are far from universal (and the other is mocked). What you're doing is generalizing, stereotyping, and attacking, things which are condemned elsewhere in the article. It would work better just to mention the catchphrase (if it is one), and point out some of the things that are sometimes associated with it.

    Apart from that, I do agree that the Hugh Jackman references are superfluous. I don't think any good would come from letting people call works out on their supposed homophobia, either.
  • August 26, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    ^ For the record, a meme is [[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme"an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture."]] The original kernel of the idea "love the sinner, hate the sin", by the way, comes from St. Augustine. For a more recent Christian take on how it's used heavily against gays, go here.

    I know none of the points the "love the sinner, hate the sin" meme (as applied to homosexuality) rests upon are universally held (actually, not all religious people condemn homosexuality), but religious objections to homosexuality often do rest on these ideas about the purpose of sex (or its proper use) and the fallen nature of man. (I could go do more research about doctrinal specifics if you want, but I'm trying to answer the "wall-of-text" objections.) People who believe such things don't consider themselves to be hateful, and they really do think heaven and hell are real and will be run on their deity's terms, so they really do think they're doing queer people a kindness by trying to save them from themselves. Some of them actually believe the demonic possession part as well, and you can find reports and videos of people subjecting themselves or their children to exorcisms to get rid of gay demons. That's why they object to being considered bigoted in the matter.

    The Values Dissonance enters the picture because other people don't believe those things. Just as much of the controversy over the recent Russian law against what it terms "homosexual propaganda" revolves around critics' claims that it's unfair to force gay people to be closeted in public and counterclaims from the Russian authorities and their supporters that 1) they're protecting children from exposure to something unnatural and 2) demanding that gay people refrain from self-identifying or engaging in any display of affection (while straight people are not equally limited) is not discriminatory.
  • August 26, 2013
    kjnoren
    Now that we have split the index from the analysis/useful notes, I think most of the wall of text comments should be viewed as editorial suggestions. Ie, keeping things short should no longer be viewed as an overriding goal.

    Of course, we still need to keep things focused and on the topic, but we shouldn't be afraid of exploring additional topics because of length reasons.
  • August 26, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    ^ Yes, that's probably true.

    I wonder if the tone problems are Poe's Law biting me in the backside. When you spell out some religious beliefs in simple words, some of them sound so far out there that listeners think ridicule must be intended.

    I also wonder if people realize just how deep the disconnects between belief and actual practice really go. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that lust, masturbation, fornication, adultery, using contraception, and all forms of non-procreative sex are sins, but something over 95% of Catholic women use birth control.
  • August 26, 2013
    kjnoren
    I edited in a link in the draft to the sandbox, and I've continued to do some editing and adding of stuff there. Main thing was the inclusion of a short discussion of stereotypes, and the role they play in prejudices. I'd like to include a bit about othering there too.
  • September 1, 2013
    AgProv
    Glad this has come up: I made a note on a long-defunct YKTTW that something like this was needed and necessary. The original YKTTW is dead and beyond saving, but there might be the germ of an additional idea here?

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=zeadjlwi7imnbtt7r7h2lzit
  • September 2, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    ^ Thanks for that. I'll take a look when I have more time (I'm packing to move, and I can't afford to take time off from work, so I'll be in and out for a couple of weeks.)

    I'd also like your opinion of the stereotype section over at the sandbox. I think it needs a bit more elaboration. Specifically, I think something needs to be said about the problem with extrapolating from some to all; in other words, when the smaller number of people who do fit a stereotype are the only or the majority of depictions of the group, it gives the impression that all of that group are that way (as in, the only gays depicted are Camp Gay, therefore all gays are Camp Gay). Obviously, it needs to be expressed more concisely than that.

    I was also interested to hear about

    Christians listened to a gay person praising progress in LGBT rights. They were told he didn't like spice but were allowed to give him as much "Xtra hot" chili sauce as they wanted for him to eat. They gave more of the painfully-hot chili sauce than to a "neutral" target who had spoken about technological progress instead of gay issues.

    @ kjnoren and AgProv: BTW Can you keep an eye on this so it isn't discarded again before we're done in the sandbox?
  • The stereotype section (which I wrote) certainly could use more elaboration. Basically, I thought it's a concept that needed to be explored deeper, and wrote what could be viewed as a minimal treatise. But I'm not that well versed in queer theory, so just wrote a barebones entry.

    I think Fab 5 could probably serve as a good example of that.

    I get a 404 on your URL, and couldn't find any fitting article on the site either when I searched.
  • September 2, 2013
    kjnoren
    Lets try this address: [1] for that one.

    The synopsis that is in the article was, to me, worse than useless. Eg, did they use a control group of self-selected atheists, and checked how prejudices shaped their actions? Did they check if the "drive" to hurt gays was stronger than against other groups (eg muslims, or family planners)? For that matter, how were the Christians found?

    No problem checking in on this from time to me.
  • September 2, 2013
    bwburke94
    Just to be clear: this is NOT a replacement for Westboro Baptist Church.
  • September 2, 2013
    arromdee
    If you need to quote a specific news article to make a point, you've pretty much demonstrated that that point doesn't belong on tvtropes. Consider what we should do to the tvtropes page if someone found a contradictory news article.

    Quoting a news article is normally the kind of thing one does when making an argument. Making arguments is not what tvtropes is for. Useful notes pages should be limited to established facts.

    Also, I would imagine a source named "Gay Star News" is probably a buased source--any studies that produce an opposite result wouldn't even get articles printed there.
  • September 2, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    @ kjnoren and arromdee I did notice in the piece that the study hasn't been published yet, so I took it as a sort of sticky note to look out for the full study when it does get officially released. Tough to take it completely apart until then; I'm looking forward to doing that when the time comes.

    FWIW the concept of "love the sinner, hate the sin" can be traced back to a letter by St. Augustine (Letter 211, c. 424 CE) "Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum", which translates roughly to "With love for mankind and hatred of sins."), though I think it's also been used by Gandhi, if memory serves. In re it's application to sexuality and sexual ethics, I found this interesting perspective on it from a Christian blogger, including this:

    And despite all my theological disclaimers about how I'm just as much a sinner too, it's not the same. We don't use that phrase for everybody else. Only them. Only "the gays". That's the only place where we make "sinner" the all-encompassing identity.

    I also found a bishop who doesn't like the concept either, so I'm not the only one to find problems with it in this context.
  • September 2, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    @ kjnoren "Fab 5"? Please elaborate, for it's not ringing any bells with me.
  • September 3, 2013
    kjnoren
    Sorry, I realised now the show was called Queer Eye For The Straight Guy.
  • March 17, 2015
    Noah1
  • October 14, 2015
    Noah1
    See also: Gay Aesop
  • October 15, 2015
    69BookWorM69
    I found a couple of interesting points in Eric Berkowitz's book Sex and Punishment: 4000 Years of Judging Desire. Late in the book, the author discusses an 1870 English court case against two young men (Earnest Boulton and Frederick Park) who were arrested when they were dressed as women and entering a carriage with another man (apparently dressed as a man). "The charge was impersonating women 'with the intent to commit a felony.' " Boulton and Park weren't convicted, perhaps because the felony they were allegedly intending to commit wasn't clearly established. Even so, "...the case also shows a critical early effort at defining a homosexual as a kind of person with certain telltale charcteristics, rather than just considering homosexuality a type of sexual activity."

    This suggests that the conflation of effeminate behaviour and dress in cisgender men with homosexuality may have started (at least in the UK) from this period, and it may also be a source for the idea that transgender people and gay people are one and the same. Berkowitz discusses Oscar Wilde's trial twenty years later and links the two:
    The Boulton and Park trial highlighted the existence of a group of dedicated transvestites, but the link had not been made between homosexual sex and cross-dressing. Soon it would be, however, along with upper-class depravity and an 'artistic' temperment....in the late nineteenth century, they [homosexuals] were seen as plagued, full-time, with what historian Michel Foucault later called a 'hermaphraditism of the soul.'

  • October 20, 2015
    69BookWorM69
    ^^ There's an associated index YKTTW. That should probably go on it.
  • January 22, 2016
    KingZeal
    Bump. Hows this coming along?
  • January 26, 2016
    69BookWorM69
    I'm not sure. Hats come and hats go. I had to retrieve this from the discards once, and the multiple motion to discard tags are all still attached. I'm afraid that ultimately it will be quashed due to unpopularity. OTOH the sandbox looks pretty good (this is a complicated concept, so it takes a bit of explaining). I think I want to rename this "Useful Notes: Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia" as well as have biphobia and transphobia as redirects.

    I also have to add a category to the related index when I get time.
  • January 26, 2016
    DAN004
    Because this is a hot-topic issue, I guess.
  • January 26, 2016
    KingZeal
    ^^ That title is too long. I think homophobia is fine because it's simple, but if you MUST go with a broader term, "heteronormativity" or "heterosexism" would be accurate...

    ...but then you'd get complaints from people who don't know/understand what either of those words mean, since they aren't commonly used.
  • January 26, 2016
    DAN004
    Just use "homophobia".
  • January 28, 2016
    69BookWorM69
    ^, ^^ I think you're right, though I could still have "Biphobia" and "Transphobia" as redirects, yes?
  • January 29, 2016
    DAN004
    ^ Why not?
  • January 29, 2016
    KingZeal
    Yeah, redirects are smart.
  • January 31, 2016
    69BookWorM69
    @ DAN004, @ King Zeal In re redirects, sounds good. BTW I found this in the discards again (discarded yesterday 1/30/2016), and I've restored it (again). What I said on 1/26? Yeah, that.
  • February 1, 2016
    69BookWorM69
    I've copied and pasted the latest sandbox description text into this YKTTW, and noted the redirects.
  • February 1, 2016
    DAN004
    Thinking: do you think homophobic expressions are worth troping? (like "ew you're gay" and such)

    Or is that already Heteronormative Crusader?
  • February 2, 2016
    lakingsif
    ^ I don't think that that is an example of Heteronormative Crusader, but I wouldn't suggest whether to trope it or not either way
  • February 2, 2016
    69BookWorM69
    ^^ Well, there's the fact that it's dialogue and there's the ban on stock phrases, so we can't really do a trope on it. It is a thing in the world, but...
  • yesterday
    69BookWorM69
    I've updated the associated index YKTTW as discussed over there. I'm trying to stay on top of this, despite staffing shortages at my job.

    FWIW I rather like the new scoring mechanism on hats compared to the old one.
  • 12 hours ago
    rmctagg09
    Would Acephobia and/or Arophobia fall under this, or are they worth creating separate Useful Notes pages?
  • 9 hours ago
    DAN004
    What is Arophobia?
  • 8 hours ago
    Bisected8
    Prejudice towards aromantic people.
  • 4 hours ago
    69BookWorM69
    @rmctagg09 Possibly, though as you may have gathered from the thread, the piece is already too long for some tropers. Separate UN pages for those topics might be better.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable