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
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.
- Played for Laughs and for Fetish Fuel in Small Favors: Only naughty people are into BDSM, and they deserve to be severely punished for it!
- 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.
- DC Comics have been dropping clues about this over the last five years or so, with the accompanying crusaders. Brad Meltzer has hinted more than once that there's a homosexual underground within the DCU villain community, and that being outed would result in being killed by some of the more dangerous racist villains. Unless you're so incredibly scary that even manly macho men are terrified of you, that is.
- Life With Archie: The Married Life: Wendell, the Mysterious Stranger taken in as a busboy for the Chocklit Shoppe by Jughead, is later revealed in Issue #36 to be a homophobic gunman who shot Kevin Keller's husband Clay Walker during one of his robberies in Issue #22 and went on a rampage by shooting down gay employees in the Southport Mall in Issue #30, and now seeks to end Kevin's life when his attempt to stop Kevin from becoming a senator on gun control failed. When Wendell discovers that his cover is being blown, he hides behind the crowd and pulls out a gun to shoot Kevin. However, Archie jumps into the fray to stop Wendell and ends up Taking the Bullet for Kevin, leading to Wendell's arrest.
- 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 find out, and uses it as a excuse to persecute him — claiming that he has "abused" her.
- Preaching to the Perverted plays this trope for laughs. The main character is originally working for a bigot, who sends him out to infiltrate a BDSM club. It turns out that the bigot is a sadist himself, and the main reason he hates the club is that they are having all the fun that he has denied himself all his life.
- The main character in Boys Don't Cry is a young transgender mannote 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.
- The infamous Perversion For Profit from 1965 (see the quotes page) isn't truly about homosexuality or sadomasochism as much as it's a general plea for the virtue of censorship and the evils of free speech. However, they assume that the audience has a unhesitating hatred for homosexuals and sadomasochists, and thus mention these minorities several times in order to make the attack on freedom of speech appear more legitimate.
- Mary Brown, the director of the reparative therapy camp "True Directions" in But I'm a Cheerleader.
- Janet's father in Shock Treatment. He expresses his hatred of Camp Gay and Camp Straight men in a musical number.
- 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".
- A relatively peaceful example in the film Saved!. When it comes out that Mary's boyfriend is gay, he gets shipped off to a camp to teach him to be straight, and Mary's classmates help by attempting to "pray the gay away." Given that this movie is a parody of hardcore Christian society, their attitudes aren't very surprising.
- McKenzie of GBF is one. She ditches 'Shley and Topher for "fraternizing with [a] Sodomite" (befriending the openly gay Tanner) and takes extreme measures to enforce Prom Is for Straight Kids.
- Very self-consciously averted in The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the chapter on pirates and wenches. The main text of the 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.
- Parodied in The Illuminatus! Trilogy: One of the theories on why Atlantis was destroyed is that the Illuminati hated the civilization's Free-Love Future enough to nuke it back to the Stone Age.
- 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 the 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.
- This highly amusing tract on the supposed deadly results of masturbation.
- 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.
- ''Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex: But Were Afraid to Ask.
- 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.
Mythology & Religion
- 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.
- One Mage: The Awakening plot hook features a mage with old-fashioned ideas of sexual morality casting a spell on a high school so that all the students would redirect their lusts to "more wholesome pursuits" and focus on good old fashioned missionary sex between a married man and woman, as the Lord intended. This has resulted in horrible, horrible side effects.
- Hunter: The Vigil compact the Long Night are typically cast as this trope. Though some members are liberal, the majority of portrayals in the books are of heavily conservative fundamentalists.
- This strip of I Drew This features a Straw Hypocrite who wants 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.
- This may be the character type of Doctor Heteronormative, the "main villain dude" from one of Jimbo's Romance Novels in Questionable Content. Of course, he only just heard the term when naming the character, and thought it sounded like a good name for a steampunk villain.
- 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 "a Republican whose record is so anti-gay, he's clearly secretly super gay."
- 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.
- American Dad!:
- Stan Smith though he gets better through Character Development mostly relating to his gay neighbors Greg and Terry. 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 bodyguard, 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 it's not a choice, he storms the RNC and proclaims that "It turns out being gay is not a choice. But you know what is a choice? Being a Democrat!"
- 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 it.
- In South Park, the other children bully and mock Kyle for not being metrosexual, beating him up, and calling him "straight boy", in a parody/subversion of the usual trope.
- 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 lets 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.