That kind of love.

Archive for the ‘Homophobia’ Category

Subtle homophobia

Thank god for the sexual revolution of the 60s and 70s. Where would we be today without those brave rebels? I’m glad it doesn’t entirely devolve upon my generation to advance the lgbt cause and fight homophobia. The bitter acidity with which people in the lgbt community were forced to embue themselves with was unfortunate.

It’s easy to believe that certain mannerisms are more just and rational depending on your own sex. I think that’s not true. Taste and sensibility are just as inflected by the way your personality blooms as by the way your body is constructed. I just don’t think there’s a tremendous connection between gender and personality. The more I meet people who are aware of themselves, the more that seems to be the case.

I’ve been very lucky to be liberated from the gender roles that American society would have be fit into. It’s not that I don’t like my gender, not at all, I love being myself. I just want the freedom, the internal freedom especially to like what I like, and acknowledge what I do and do not want.

This is a key anti-homophobia argument that makes a lot of sense to me. If I force myself to go by some set of rules about what I should and should not like, and what I should and should not want, then how can I use my desires as a compass? I think it makes a ton of logical sense that our desires evolved to guide us to the things that make us healthy, mentally and physically. It doesn’t always work, but compasses aren’t always precise either.

It is easy to see expressed homophobia as an index of sex-identity confusion

Your family is awesome

Your family is awesome!

Let me break that title down a little bit. There’s lots of homophobia in the world. (For clarity’s sake, I’m defining homosexual here to only include men, for the simple reason that there is a distinct difference in American culture between male-male homophobia, and female-female homophobia.)

Homophobia is a complex fear, with several layers, several contributing factors. First off, and most generally, there’s the fear of other, kinda like a xenophobia situation: the hate is as simple as “they’re not my tribe”. Then there’s moral fear, wherein the homophobe thinks something along the lines of ‘the purpose of sex is reproduction. therefore, homosexuals are morally perverse.” (I’m not saying it’s this clear at all. There are many branches and variants of this thought, and most of the time it’s not exactly put in words, more like a tone in the brain.) Then there’s the fear of one’s own feelings and desires. The homophobe recognizes at best there’s not a lot of clarity of what they do not desire. The evidence of history seems to indicate that people are not born closed to new experiences, and if all of these sex polls are right, then many men have actually experimented with homosexual activity of some variety. But let me cut to the chase here. Most of this stuff remains implicit. But when this kind of mind-numbing, unenlightened, self-loathing, horse shit gets expressed,  it gets nasty quickly.

Usually there’s a lot of psychological force behind homophobic expression for a variety of easy to understand reasons. It is very tempting for the target of those expressions to think that the homophobe who is moved to express their fears is so moved because they are actually part of the LGBT community, and are in the closet, or in denial. That’s probably right maybe say, 20% of the time if we’re all being generous.

Not all the reasons people rant about teh gheys are because they are in fact, interested in the dick. It just ain’t the case. It’s likely that more people are not closed to the experience than say so, and it’s possible that the pressures in our society to forcefully deny homosexuality cause people to go the extra mile to do so. But it’s as likely that the majority of folks out there really aren’t gay. It’s not that they aren’t correctly sex-indentifying themselves. It may be more like the reasons for homophobia are so nuanced that there’s bound to be a lot of psychological force behind expression. Think about it in terms of a metaphor. There’s lots of steams and creeks flowing into Homophobic Lake. When the dam bursts, theys gonna be some floodin’ going on. Just because the force of the leak is strong doesn’t indicate something about the nature of the lake itself.

Which is good to remember when the hot guy at work cracks gay jokes all the time. 😦