My Hop Against Homophobia post – I Don’t Get It

In case you don’t know, a bunch of us bloggers got together today, the International Day Against Homophobia, to talk about it. The linkage is right here: Hop Against Homophobia.

And in my post, I admit to a personal failing.

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What are you afraid of?

I must admit, I always wanted to ask that question of a homophobe (or a transphobe – even a xenophobe). What exactly scares you about gay ( or trans or foreign) people? That they’re contagious, and you’ll catch it? Because, let’s face it, what you’re afraid of says a lot about you. A fear of falling, of fire, of drowning, of animal attacks and natural disasters, speaks to our own fears of losing control or being helpless in the face of something greater (stronger, faster, meaner, more indifferent) than ourselves. But that doesn’t work in this context.

So that brings us to the second option, the place where fear gets mixed up with hate, and it’s easy to guess where this one is going. You really hate things that remind you of something you don’t like about yourself, and that’s probably why most people expect there to be a gay Rick Santorum sex tape leaked within five years. Yes, it’s a cliché that all the virulently anti-gay are secretly gay, but that’s because it’s so reliably true. It’s gotten to the point where I assume that most of NOM, FoF, AFA, and all those other hate groups are staffed by closeted gay people who will never be happy with themselves, and live in fear that more well adjusted gays will be happy.

Still, let’s give some haters the benefit of the doubt, and say they aren’t all secretly gay and self-loathing, or unable to deal with how they felt about that one jock (or cheerleader) back in high school. What does that leave? People afraid of who someone else decides to date. People who lay awake at night obsessing over who a stranger might be having sex with. That’s just mentally ill. Maybe a good round of anti-depressants and a hobby is called for. Have they tried macramé? I hear scrimshaw is making a comeback in Portland.

I’m instantly dismissing the “think about the children” argument, because, along with patriotism and invoking the name Hitler, it’s the last refuge of a scoundrel. So, where does that leave us? Self-loathing and severely closeted, or mentally ill. Oh, I guess there’s a third option: ignorant, bigoted asshats. There’s no shortage of them, certainly on the internet. I think they breed in the YouTube comment pages. And if your religion and/or marriage is so fragile it can’t handle a gay person, it probably shouldn’t exist. It’s a big, bad world out there, and there are much worse things than a couple of women getting married.

I’m not suggesting you pity the haters, although you could, nor am I suggesting you should tolerate them with good humor, because fuck that. I’m just struggling to understand something that makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. As a writer I hate that there’s a point of view that I can’t quite grasp, not even in a purely theoretical way. I realize I should end this with something wise or inspirational, maybe even funny, but all I can think to say is fuck your fear. And hey, while we’re at it, fuck you too.

(And if scrimshaw isn’t your bag, how about building tiny furniture? I’ve heard that’s relaxing.)

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