Ranging from physical violence to political hate-mongering in their war against sexual minorities, characters cast in the role of Heteronormative Crusader are a diverse lot. They can be anything from specialized Moral Guardians or Principles Zealots, to any bloodthirsty mob equipped with torches and pitchforks. Sometimes it is ideologues from one of the first two groups who use hate-mongering to bring decent people under their influence by turning them into the third group. Might use a bad kind of pity as one of their primary weapons, trying to impose a negative self-image on the non-normative characters.
In fiction, the wars on homosexuality and sadomasochism is more and more often played for laughs or as a way of highlighting how unsympathetic the antagonist is. Such an antagonist is likely to either be a Straw Hypocrite, who uses a rival's sexuality as an excuse to attack him, or a hypocrite of the Sex Is Evil and I Am Horny kind.
open/close all folders
In the Grant Morrison run of Doom Patrol, an entire secret branch of the Pentagon existed as Heteronormative Crusaders wielding bizarre and Dadaesque technology. This naturally made them Straw Hypocrite villains as well.
In Lucifer, one side character starts out as a Armored Closet Gay nazi who beat an Indian man almost to death for flirting with him. The man gets disabled for life, but they end up as lovers anyway - once the first guy realized that Those Wacky Nazis wasn't such a good crowd to hang out with after all.
Discussed in Preacher, with the main characters taking a very negative stand on this kind of behavior and certain villains implying that they do some normative crusading along with their racist ditto.
As for the attitudes of our hero: At one point, Jesse Custer visits a party hosted by a guy specializing in decadence. This host gets to be surprised twice. First when the preacher approves of the kinky stuff between consenting adults, then when the same preacher beats the crap out of him for molesting children.
Chick Tracts: Several tracts are about homosexuals being possessed by demons or generically evil. Sometimes fetish clothes and BDSM tools are used to show just how "evil" the gays are. Heterosexual BDSM doesn't seem to exist in the world of Chick.
Mary Worth is rather infamous for this - anyone young who isn't married to someone of the opposite gender is quickly paired up by Mary.
Bitchy Bitch: One of the coworkers is a evangelical homophobe — whose prejudice only serves to infuriate Midge further.
Bitchy Butch: They are everywhere (but only some of them are real — others are Windmills in Butchy's own mind).
City of Dreams: The white prince, trying a little bit too hard at the Knight in Shining Armor routine and coming up as nothing more than a selfish, conceited, jealous, self-righteous, patriarchal... well, you get the idea.
Show Me Love: Viktoria chose to assume this role, harassing her former friend Agnes for being homosexual. It's all an openly calculated plot designed to use homophobia as a means to gain popularity... And it backfires completely.
The SM Judge is all about this trope. The main character isn't even a sadomasochist himself, it's his wife who is a masochist. But his political enemies finds out, and uses it as a excuse to persecute him - claiming that he has "abused" her.
The main character in Boys Don't Cry is a young transgender mannote There's some debate as to whether Brandon Teena suffered from Gender Identity Disorder, which can only be positively diagnosed by extensive psychiatric evaluation, or was a lesbian who chose to pass for a young man. who hangs out with some redneck homophobes who accept him as one of the guys. He even starts dating the sister of one of these new friends. Of course, when they discover that he is biologically female, they consider this relationship to be lesbian. Homophobic hate crimes ensue, ending in his murder.
Played for symbolism in Female Perversions: Eve, a bisexual sadomasochist, get attacked (twice!) by a very judgmental man. However, this man comes out of nowhere - in all likelihood he is not to be taken as a literal person, but rather as a manifestation of her anxiety.
Anita Bryant plays this role through archival footage in Milk.
Inverted in Female Trouble, where a character's aunt tries to coerce him into being gay, and describes heterosexuality as "sick" and "boring".
Very self-consciously averted in The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the chapter on pirates and wenches. This main text of chapter takes for granted that Pirates (the chosen people!) are male and heterosexual. However, little footnotes exclaim that women can be pirates too and that same-sex relationships are entirely okay in His eyes.
Turns out that this story was false from start to finish later on in the book, however. Atlantis wasn't a paradise, and the Illuminati at the time wasn't pure evil - in fact it and the Discordianism were essentially the same for a quite long time. There are plenty of conservative religious organizations with amusingly acronymic names in the book however, mainly playing the role of a Butt Monkey, or underlying reason for the protagonists' embrace of the counterculture in their backstories.
The Turner Diaries use public acceptance of fetishism, sadomasochism and homosexuality as a example of why society is decadent and has to be destroyed.
These were widespread in the 19th and early 20th century. They were produced by doctors who witnessed deeply disturbed mental patients masturbating chronically, and mistook cause and effect rather thoroughly.
In this case the doctor appears to have not noticed the individual was suffering from syphilis. Masturbation can't give you syphilis, seeing as it's a sexually transmitted disease.
Bob Altemeyer showed that certain personality types tend toward this in his non-fiction study "The Authoritarians", noting that some big characteristics of an authoritarian follower are conventionalism and aggression in the name of and submission to established authorities. They have a need to be seen as normal and want to surround themselves with people who reinforce their beliefs. Hence, they tend to exert a lot of pressure to "normalize" others and punish deviancy.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit often plays with this trope, with detectives reminding themselves and each other that bruises aren't necessarily caused by abuse, they could also be caused by BDSM. In some episodes, the trope is played completely straight.
In one episode, a homosexual suspect gets his career destroyed because he was surrounded by heteronormative people who started crusading against him after Olivia accidentally outed him.
In one episode, a shoe fetishist kills a woman for her boots. Dr Huang insists that fetishism is a harmless sexual variation, and a very tragic story is gradually revealed. It turns out that the murderer's mother hated her son for being sexually "abnormal." She tried to "cure" his fetishism by beating him in the head with frying pans and other hard objects, and eventually this abuse caused him permanent brain damage that made him unstable enough to kill the woman by mistake.
Both played straight and inverted in an episode where Kathy Griffin plays a militant lesbian activist. She's placed under police protection when she seems to be the next target in a string of crimes targeting lesbians. Played straight because the criminal turns out to be a guy who just really hates lesbians and inverted because the first man the police catch trying to sneak into her home turns out to be her male lover - and she's afraid to exonerate him because of how her lesbian supporters might react if they think she's heterosexual (for the record, she comes out as bisexual at the end of the episode.)
Probably one of the better examples of playing with this trope was the episode "Doubt", where a woman accuses a former lover (also her college professor) of raping her, while he alleges it was consensual and she simply likes it rough (thus explaining the bruises). Cue numerous instances of "He said, she said" leads, and the episode ends with the credits rolling before the verdict given, asking instead for the audience to decide which was the case. For the record - they decided not to convict the man.
Subverted in the Law & Order episode Panic: a man claims he shot his wife’s lesbian lover because he was this, however it turns out their teenage daughter was actually the murderer and did not like the fact another person was sleeping with her mommy. Once this revelation was made, the man chose to plead guilty rather than let his daughter go to prison, much to McCoy's chagrin.
Consider that normal Klingon sex is pretty kinky and violent by human standards. Or from Worf's perspective, human sex is pretty gentle.
Parodied Up to Eleven in one of the most popular episodes of the Swedish comedy show Grotesco have a protestant preacher blaming "bögarnas fel" ( = "the gay's fault") for everything bad including earthquakes, going beyond Westboro Baptist Church style by even blaming the war in Afghanistan and the dictatorship in Iran on the gay men. He is quickly joined by a Muslim, a Jew and a Catholic nun, who all agree that "crazy fundamentalism" and all conflicts throughout history (including all religious wars - especially all religious wars) are indeed the gay men's fault.
On Degrassi, Becky quits the School Play because the director, Eli, turns Romeo and Juliet into Romeo and Jules. When he tells her about the change, she says that she is surprised that the principal endorses "alternate lifestyles". Later on she meets Dave, who plays Romeo, and offers him religious counseling because he'll have to play a gay character. The hockey team also appears to be homophobic, though they are okay with lesbians.
God in some religions is occasionally interpreted as this.
Scarred Lands: The Lawful Neutral god Hedrara and Lawful Evil god Chardun are both merciless bastards with harsh and arbitrary laws condemning love, sexuality, and, well positive emotions in general. Hedrara is the one most prone to discriminate against homosexuals and promiscuous people. The laws of Hedrara's holy city Hedrad have the death penalty for homosexual love and heterosexual promiscuity. It even has strict punishments for public hugging. Granted, this city also kills monogamous heterosexuals who enter relationships without getting the blessing of the church first. However, as a monogamous heterosexual, you can get the blessing of the church, while homosexuals and promiscuous people cannot. Storytelling-wise, the blatantly homophobic etc. laws of Hedrad are used to highlight that the god Hedrara is in fact NOT a good god.
This strip of I Drew This features a Straw Hypocrite who want gay marriage banned but claim that "I'm not against gay people, I'm just for traditional marriage"... quickly followed by a flashback of historical guys who are against women and black people being allowed to vote but claim to simply be "for traditional gender roles" and "I'm not against black people, I'm just for traditional slavery!"
Penny and Aggie's Xena starts a loud rant about "sexual perverts" needing to be "quarantined" at Aggie's mere mention of having gay friends (Ironic since Fred had mistaken Xena for closeted) .
Homosexuality is one of many, many things that Seymour from Sinfest (seen in the page picture) considers inexcusable.
For bonus points God in this universe is rather laid back and thinks that Seymour is very Fan Dumb for him.
Briefly mentioned in the Flaming Moe episode of The Simpsons. Right after Moe is outed as a heterosexual in his campaign for mayor, his disappointed gay supporters complain that they now have to choose between voting for the phony gay and "the guy who's so anti-gay that he must be super-gay." note This is paraphrased: please change it if you know the exact quote.
In another episode, Homer was worried Bart was becoming gay and spent most of the episode trying to keep him straight by forcibly-exposing him to "manly" things like hunting and cigarette ads.
This is notable for being the only lesson that Stan learns which actually sticks, as he's notable for Aesop Amnesia, which he lampshades in one episode by stating he "doesn't learn lessons". And even then, learning to accept gay people and accepting that they have the right to have children and start families was the focus of two separate episodes.
In one episode he puts on a play about Abraham Lincoln's body guard, which due to some unintentional ho-yay attracts a largely gay audience and gets him invited to a meeting of the log cabin republicans. Initially horrified, he eventually tries to choose to be gay. When he realizes its not a choice, he storms the RNC and proclaims that "We should hate the democrats, not the gays. Democrats chose to be that way" note This is paraphrased: please change it if you know the exact quote.
And then a third episode where he had to learn to accept that some Heteronormative Crusaders are just intolerant: there's no Freudian Excuse, Armored Closet Gay, or even (as was the case for him) ignorance about homosexuality being contagious or a choice. These folks understand what being gay means and just hate
In South Park, the other children bully and mock Kyle for not being metrosexual, beating him up, and calling him "straight boy".
Moral Orel: Moralton has a noted amount of Fundamentalists, and Reverend Putty shows disdain towards Coach Stopframe's sexuality. Unlike other members of the town, Putty let's his prejudices go, and is quite accepting when he learns that his daughter is a lesbian. In one of the cut episodes he was comfortable performing a lesbian wedding, but could not as the marriage license was rejected.