Homophobia: Hypocrisy Optional

Here’s something you wouldn’t hear on the street without a few heads turning: I’m not racist, I just don’t think black people deserve to get married! Lately I’ve encountered several statements from various individuals – ranging from online posts to acquaintances in real life – that have offended me in a way akin to the example above. Here’s the definition of homophobia, in case anyone has forgotten.

Antipathy (noun): A deep-seated feeling of dislike; aversion. Example: I have an antipathy toward hypocritical homophobes.

Antipathy (noun): A deep-seated feeling of dislike; aversion. Example: I have an antipathy toward Calculus and cat-haters.

At least people who recognize their resentment toward homosexuals don’t deny their beliefs. Others, however, adopt a “holier than thou” attitude under the pretense that they actually accept gay people… for the most part. Allow me to share a few examples.

“I love gay guys and I totally support homosexuals, but lesbians making out in public or having sex grosses me out.” – straight, homophobic female.

“I’m gay and of course I accept gay people, but the gay guys who act so girly and feminine really piss me off; they’re just reinforcing what everyone else already thinks of us.” – gay, homophobic male.

“I don’t have a problem with gay people, it’s just that I think they shouldn’t have the right to get married. That’s my opinion and everyone deserves an opinion.” – religious, homophobic individual.

These quotes comes from various people, but they all have one aspect in common: they’re homophobic. No matter how much semantic manipulation occurs, if the layers of these words are stripped away, their true meaning emerges. If you have an issue with two women engaging in a romantic relationship, you still are homophobic, because that belief casts doubt on the nature of homosexuals having affection for one another in the first place. I already wrote a post about people hating on feminine gay guys, but in the end any feelings of ill will toward a certain segment of a sexual population still constitutes sexual discrimination – aka, homophobia, in this case. It’s like if someone were to say “I really dislike women who cook and clean because they perpetuate the stereotype that women can only cook or clean” or if someone were to say “I honestly hate Asian people whose favorite subjects are math and science, they’re just showing that Asians are so one-dimensional.” Prejudice is prejudice no matter how a person tries to justify it.

Marriage does not always indicate that a couple has a stronger commitment to one another than an unwed couple – however, the right to marry the person you love provides you with a basic human right that all deserve. By saying that gays shouldn’t get married, people imply that homosexuals are lesser than those who can. It’s not “all gays are going to hell” or “I hope all homos get AIDS and die”, but it’s still homophobic, no matter how it is twisted.

There may be a varying shades of sexual discrimination, but it is still homophobia, heterophobia, biphobia, etc. Sometimes these prejudicial thoughts sneak up on you; sometimes you can’t even tell you’re saying something bigoted. The good news is that the first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one. And once it’s out in the open, all it takes to change is time and effort.

Brian Kinney and Justin Taylor, the one true pairing of television. You know you're obsessed when your mood is determined by the romance between two fictional characters...

Brian Kinney and Justin Taylor, the one true pairing of Queer as Folk and all television. You know you’re obsessed when the romance between two fictional characters determines your mood. Image via potipelotas.tumblr.com.

Agree or disagree? Have you ever heard someone say something that wasn’t outright racist or homophobic but still had that heavy prejudicial connotation?

Now for some personal tidbits: high school ended for me yesterday, I’m officially graduating next Tuesday, and I’m almost finished with season four of Queer as Folk (out of five)! Expect that review/fanboying post about the show in a week or two, as well as more book reviews and other random posts. Now that summer is here I can focus on reading, writing, and commenting on society. Also, you guys should listen to “Same Love” by Macklemore if you haven’t already – I heard it a few months ago and was blown away, I’m so glad it’s finally getting time on the radio where I live! Hope you’re all well and I will write more soon.

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24 Comments

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24 responses to “Homophobia: Hypocrisy Optional

  1. Reblogged this on JerBear's Queer News, Views & Memories and commented:
    Great post from a blogger with consistently high quality posts.

  2. Those people drive me crazy. If you’re going to hate an entire group of people for no reason, at least be honest about it. My boyfriend’s parents are a lot like that. “I don’t have a problem with gay people…I just don’t see why civil unions aren’t good enough.” Um, maybe because it’s not marriage?

    I actually unfollowed a blog because the author was like this. I’m paraphrasing here, but the basic gist of her post was “I’m not homophobic; I just don’t think that gay people should be protagonists in books.” I think I just sat there, staring at the screen for a few minutes, before I was finally able to do something. People are so ridiculous I don’t even know how to respond sometimes.

    On a positive note – congrats on graduating! :)

    • I agree with you. While sometimes people honestly make an effort to be more accepting other times it appears hypocritical and condescending. It’s sad that that author believes that not including gay characters as protagonists does not indicate at least some level of homophobia – but, if we continue to promote the message of complete acceptance as opposed to halfway tolerance hopefully it will get better! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

  3. Congrats on graduating!

    Well said, too. Looking forward to the day when there is true equality in this world . . . hoping I live to see it.

  4. I don’t consider myself homophobic (I have a sister who’s a lesbian, and i’m perfectly fine with it… i’ve also taught my daughter that there’s nothing wrong with it and told her if she wants to marry a girl and bring her home, that’s fine.) but I’ll admit I’ve said: “I don’t mind gay people but I don’t want to see them making out.” I don’t think that makes me homophobic.. just inarticulate.. because just like I don’t want to see two gay guys kissing in the mall, I really don’t want to see a straight couple kissing in the mall either.

    It’s just common courtesy to keep the heavy displays of affection out of the public if you ask me. Did I say that at the time? No, because what was in front of me was a gay couple, not a straight couple. Also, I really don’t want to watch movies or read books with gay protagonists. It’s not that I have a problem with it.. It just doesn’t interest me to read about.. just like I don’t care for military stories or memoirs that seem to drone on and on. It doesn’t relate to me directly, and I rather go watch/read a straight couple movie/book so I can sigh over the dramatic love scenes and pretend i’m a character. Would I watch/read the gay/lesbian movies/books if they were super-interesting? Sure.. but I don’t go searching it out because my interests lie elsewhere.

    Maybe it’s just because I’m not easily offended and I understand my own viewpoint so thoroughly… but your quotes in this article didn’t bother or offend me because I see them a little differently.

    The first: not necessarily a homophobic person, but possibly one uncomfortable with PDA’s. I’ve been there.

    The second: Not an attack against gay men in particular, but the way certain men act. That’s like me saying I hate bitchy girls. it has nothing to do with them being women and everything to do with their bitchiness. The person who said it probably wouldn’t like girls who acted super effeminate either.

    I can’t argue with the third one. I’ve signed too many petitions to allow gay marriage :3 That person needs to grow up.

    Just my 2 cents and a different viewpoint for the sake of discussion :3

    • Thank you for leaving such a thoughtful comment! I agree that it’s perfectly fine for individuals to have preferences – similar to the example you used, I suppose I’d rather watch a TV show with primarily gay characters, but I don’t castigate or criticize other TV shows that have mostly straight characters either. If it’s a matter of preference that applies equally to any sexuality/ doesn’t prevent one sexuality or the other from accomplishing what they would like, then I think that’s okay.

      Perhaps the first two examples I provided were not worded as strongly as they could have been. Your interpretations are valid – what I was trying to point out with #1 was that certain people are comfortable with the idea of gay guys having sex but not girls, while with #2 I meant it in a way that shows that the person who said it doesn’t mind feminine girls or masculine gay guys, but has a problem specifically with feminine gay guys. This type of hate does exist (and can be viewed on message boards across the internet) so I’m not just pulling at straws here.

      But, yes, homophobia and statements that may seem homophobic can be subjective; we should just be careful not to hold any actual homophobic beliefs.

  5. I’m afraid my mom falls into one of the categories… I admit, when I was 12 or something I was like ‘ewww gays!’ but that’s because until then, we in the family never talked about it. My mom admonished me each time and told my 12-year-old self that there was nothing wrong about being gay. Now I’m a more open supporter than my mom is. Oh, the irony. The thing is, she doesn’t mind gay or lesbian people, she just minds seeing them making out in real life. Now I scold her that if she has no problem about seeing a heterosexual couple kiss each other, why should she have aversion against a homosexual couple doing the exact same thing?
    I think she’s more relaxed now about her squirmishness.

    • When we’re young we know less about the world – I feel like even in kids’ TV shows and other forms of popular media we’re exposed only to heterosexual couples, which is why that bias is present. But it’s great that you’ve transcended it and have even helped your mom get through it too! You’re an example about how some gentle reminders/scolding can go a long way.

  6. Part of the problem is with the word. “I am not afraid”- no, it is more a disgust reaction.

  7. Great post Thomas. It makes me stop and think about how I feel and speak in regards to people. Any people. (How’s that 2 word sentence for articulate? :) )

    I believe your life will be spent making many think about their actions.

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

    • Thank you so much! I’m glad my post led to your rumination – and being concise is a sign of eloquence, one that your writing has loads of.

  8. Andreas

    Hey Thomas! First of all, I’d like to congratulate you on graduating! Finally, all the perseverance are paid off. And i was so shocked to know that you are watching the season 4 now!! I’m still watching the first season. Sigh. Anyway, I have this thought, I hate to see lesbians hug or kiss but am completely fine with gay guys hugging or kissing. Am I homophobic then?? I’m looking forward for that fanboying post! :)

    • Thank you Andreas! Yeah, I’ve spent a lot of time in these past couple weeks on Queer as Folk… making up for all the time I did nothing but study in high school, I guess. And you’re not homophobic as long as you realize that lesbians have every right to publicly display their affection as gay guys do – you don’t have to watch if you don’t want to, but you shouldn’t hate it just because they’re lesbians.

  9. Great post, Thomas! It frustrates me so much when people say, “I’m not homophobic/sexist/racist/etc, BUT…” There aren’t exceptions. You either support something or you don’t. I can’t understand why people say it’s OK to love the sinner but hate the sin – can’t they see that it hurts people, that it’s not love?

    I LOVE “Same Love”! It’s not my typical genre so I’m glad I listened to it. It’s so pretty and much more thoughtful than what I expected…

    • Yeah, it’s frustrating when people can’t see how spiteful they’re being even if they’re well-intentioned. And I usually don’t listen to that genre either but I genuinely adore this song – shows how we shouldn’t judge every song just by its genre. (: Thank you for reading and commenting!

  10. Congrats on graduating and being able to spend some time writing fluffy posts! This is not to say you shouldn’t do serious posts, just good to break up things every now and again, plus now that you’re about to graduate, you can think of things other than school for a few months at least. I thought this was a very well-done blog posts and as others have said, really gives you something to think about in the way that you respond to others .

    • Thanks Rachel, it will be nice to receive a reprieve from school and academics for a few months. Hopefully there will be more well-done blog posts to come!

  11. It’s depressing how many people say stuff like that. People make it seem like homosexuals are a whole other species. Here we are sitting and making decisions that affect their lives but what gives us the right to do that? It’s just so ridiculous that everyone is talking about their rights to get married but they are humans, human rights anyone? Just because you don’t like the fact homosexuals exist doesn’t mean they’ll stop existing. They’ve always been there.

    On another note its just sad when people judge other people based on stereotypes. I may not like stereotypes but that doesn’t mean I won’t like a person who reinforce a stereotype that’s just stupid.

    I actually have a friend who doesn’t support gays but I don’t sure whether I consider her homophobic or not. She says that it’s wrong in the biological sense and she isn’t an ‘anti-gay’ person. She doesn’t think it makes sense. I mean there is nothing wrong with her opinion (although there isn’t a right or wrong opinion… but you get what I mean right?) and it isn’t particularly offensive but I am not sure whether I am offended or not. :/

    • I agree Rashika, it is depressing that people display a dearth of sensitivity in that they devalue homosexuals to the point where they do not have the basic human right of marriage. As for stereotypes, utilizing them to evaluate a group of people is never appreciated.

      We are all entitled to an opinion, you are correct. Though I’m curious as to what your friend thinks about couples who cannot reproduce because one of the pair is infertile – there are myriad scenarios people have come up with to refute the claim that homosexuality is wrong biologically.

  12. Pingback: Why You Need To Quit Calling Homophobes Closet Cases. | Consider the Tea Cosy

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