Homophobia is a word that gets thrown around much, much too often. That's quite a distinction for a five-syllable word; most overused words are, like, totally, well - short.
Its various synonyms are equally overworked: gay-hating, gay-bashing and probably a few others that won't come to me now. I don't deny that homophobia exists - it does. And like any hatred of any class of people, it is repugnant to me. Where I start objecting is when the term "homophobia" enters the conversation as soon as you express any moral objections or concern about homosexuality.
This is unjust. I have real concerns about SUV's, but I don't hate the people who drive them. I'm truly not suvophobic. Hmm, maybe I am. OK, I'm not SUVodriverphobic... Neologisms are obviously not my forte.
My doctor has expressed concern about my weight - she really doesn't think it's good for me. Somehow, I've managed to accept that this is not an indication of deep, fanatical hatred on her part towards overweight people.
But far too often in discussions about homosexuality, any expression at all of the idea that it might not be normal or desirable, brands you immediately as homophobic, and you are promptly labelled, boxed, and dismissed. The person you're talking to has concluded that because he knows "A" about you, he automatically knows "B, C, D" and all the way to "Z." And what he knows about you is that you are a hate-filled, intolerant, sign-waving, unthinking fanatic.
Stop and think about it a moment. Doesn't this have all the earmarks of bigotry and prejudice? "Prejudice" means to pre-judge someone. On the basis of a shred of "evidence", the entire case is wrapped up, judged and sentence is served.
Don't try to protest. It won't work. If you try to tell people that you have homosexual acquaintances, colleagues, relatives; that you live and work with them with perfectly amiable relations; that your skin does not crawl when you see them; that you genuinely care for them but are concerned about their lifestyle - well, save your breath. You are too obviously obsessed with hatred to have the right to speak.
You are a victim of bigotry, but there is no tribunal that will accept to hear your case.
Technorati tags: Homosexuality, Bigotry, Prejudice
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