In “Culture Wars: Episode One” we examined how sucky it is to be gay in America and some of the flimsy basis for the widespread discrimination experienced by the LGBT community. In “Episode Two” we witnessed the tragic ineptitude of the “arguments” against gay marriage. In the exciting conclusion to this epic trilogy packed with love, romance and exploding planets, we will bear witness to frothing hate exposed like a small thermal exhaust port, right below the main port. Guess who’s got a proton torpedo ready and loaded?
What follows is a sampling of “facts” that fuel rabid homophobia. They’re all devoid of anything resembling rational thought so take a deep breath, buckle in and try not to vomit.
1. Gays want to shove their homosexuality down our throats – What an…interesting choice of words. Not only does it invoke a visceral revulsion, it also ties gay rights to an act of sexual violence. Damn, homosexuality is just wrong! I suppose the same thing could have been said about the Civil Rights movement back in the 50’s. I can just see a time traveling Rush Limbaugh now, “These Negroes want to shove their long, hard blackness down the throats of our white women! Who do they think they are?!”
If demanding the rights and privileges due to them as citizens is all they are guilty of, then homosexuals are no worse than your beloved Founding Fathers shoving their independence down England’s throat. Why do you hate the Founders? Why do you hate America?!
2. Gays are pedophiles – This is an attempt at linking homosexuality to something universally abhorrent. Some use the ongoing Catholic Church scandal to “prove” that homosexuals are pedophiles and vice versa. There are two problems here. The first is that if male pedophiles are “gay” and therefore assault male children, how does that account for male pedophiles assaulting female children or the ones that assault both equally? According to this logic, the stigma of pedophilia should be upon heterosexuals just as much as homosexuals or, as we’ll see, even more so. The second is that it ignores the reality of what a pedophile is. They are attracted to the age of the child. The sex of that child is a secondary consideration. According to different studies, adult homosexuals account for anywhere from one to ten percent of pedophiles. Coincidentally enough, ten percent is roughly the prevalence of homosexuality among the population to begin with. If sexual orientation (being gay) was the primary motivator behind pedophilia, we would expect this to be reversed, with the majority of pedophiles being attracted to adult males. Unsurprisingly, we don’t. Homosexuals are such jerks for not going along with unfounded, ill-informed hysteria! Fabulouuuuuussssss but still jerks.
3. AIDS is punishment – This is one of my favorites for its sheer willful ignorance. I’ve covered this before but it bears repeating. While the original name of HIV was GRID (Gay Related Immunodeficiency Disorder) and it disproportionately affected male homosexuals at first, HIV/AIDS doesn’t care who you have sex with. Its transmission has to do with the nature of the sex, not who you’re having it with. Unprotected penetration is a key culprit. Use condoms, kiddies! As proof of this direct repudiation of religiously inspired dumb, I give you the “Lesbian.” The Lesbian is just like the male homosexual except that they are female! To compound this stunning breakthrough is the proven fact that the Lesbian is the safest among all sexually active groups where HIV infection is concerned. So any “punishment”, presumably by a grumpy magical sky god, visited upon homosexuals that misses a full 50% of the evildoers suggests that either the punishment is nothing of the sort or that the grumpy magical sky god is not very good with the smiting. This failure in basic logic often leads us back to “The Lesbian doesn’t really exist.”
4. Lesbians aren’t really homosexuals – This one is significant for the pure arrogance involved. It is a well-known fact that heterosexual men love LOVE watching two women together. It plays into our fantasies of having sex with multiple partners at once. We all do it, accept it, move on. Women, on the other hand, are not particularly interested in watching two men making out. Women, generally, do not fantasize about sex with more than one guy at a time unless they happen to all look like Brad Pitt. So this presents a problem for the people, mostly men, who decide that homosexuals are evil but can’t really bring themselves to condemn the awesomeness that is Sapphic erotica. Solution? Lesbians aren’t really homosexuals, they’re just confused. Or they’re rebelling. Or that just haven’t found the right guy. Or they just need “fixing”. This last is especially heinous. “Corrective rape” gives rapists a license to violate women because it’s “for their own good.” Just as little side note to the people who still think that it’s a lifestyle choice: What do you think the odds are that lesbians in South Africa WANT to be brutally raped? Still think they “choose” to be gay? If you said “No,” congratulations! You’ve had an epiphany! If you said “Yes,” congratulations! You’re a piece of garbage!
5. Gays just need to find the right woman – This is the flip side to the previous entry. Women are just as guilty of the mindset that they can turn a gay man straight if they just show him how much better the alternative is. “You’re not really gay, just give me a chance and I can fix you right up!” He’s just not that into you…
6. Acceptance of gay sex will lead to acceptance of pedophilia and animal sex – Not exactly. As sexual norms change over time, things that were once frowned upon become accepted or even dull. Homosexuality, sado-masochism and sexting are not the “eeeek!” provoking behaviors they once were. So the concept that normalizing a sexual outlier will lead to further drift away from “traditional” sexual norms is not without merit. The difference is that those outliers are between consenting adults (or not too bright teenagers, extremely stupid Congressmen and egotistical football players) whereas pedophilia and zoophilia involves those who cannot consent. It is inconceivable to me, at least, that such behavior will ever become acceptable in our society. If there is ever a real movement to make it legitimate I will acknowledge that conservative hate-mongers have a point. Until then, homophobes are very sick people to think about this stuff at all.
7. Gays are trying to recruit children in schools – Well of course they are! Homosexuals are recruiting an army of open-minded children who will grow up to accept others for who and what they are. Can you think of anything scarier to the conservative fear machine? You know the conservative movements’ motto: “Teach’em to hate while they’re young and you’ll have a conservative vote for life!” I wonder if Sarah Palin has trademarked that yet? If not, I call dibs on the T-shirt rights!
8. Gays want to destroy traditional marriage – Whose tradition would we be following? Would that be arranged marriage? How about Dynastic? Shotgun? Forcing your virgin daughter to marry her rapist as the Bible dictates? Do you pay a dowry and a bride wealth? Should we ban power marriages? How about child brides? Those were popular for quite some time in Jewish and Muslim customs. What’s that? Good Christians would never support such a thing? Then perhaps you can explain why the GOP, you know, the party of God, voted against the Child Marriage Act of 2010 with terrible excuses like “it will cost too much.” So much for traditional marriage protection…
9. Homosexuality is a mental disorder – Honestly, this one is too complex to tackle here. Up until the 1970s, homosexuality was considered a psychiatric problem. It has, since then, been reclassified as a normal variation on human sexual norms. Still, there are “rehabilitation” clinics that can “cure” homosexuality. Their long-term success rate is dismal but there are some who claim to have been cured. Definitive data is hard to come by since the underlying cause or causes of homosexuality remain elusive. Is it biologically hardwired? Is it a result of traumatic childhood experiences? Do those experiences necessarily need to be traumatic? Do certain stimuli trigger a latent inclination? For the time being I accept the fact that every reputable medical association has declared homosexuality to be a normal occurrence and anyone claiming otherwise should be viewed with the same disdain reserved for Creationists.
Knowledge is power and knowing how to answer a homophobe’s hysterical outbursts is the first step in moving past the conservative mindset that infects our public discourse. Our best weapon is to be out and proud or support those who are. Even if you’re not gay and know someone who is, encourage them to be open about it. I never let a homophobe spout their gibberish without stomping on them and neither should you. If it truly makes you uncomfortable and you can’t get over it, that’s fine but keep in mind, some homosexuals find straight sex to be just as unpleasant and icky but you don’t hear them complaining about it all the time, do you?
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