Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Excuses of Homophobes again ring hollow

Hate Group is hateful – are we surprised?

Well, here’s the thing, NOM often goes out of its way to deny its homophobia and obsess about how it’s only against marriage equality (which is homophobic anyway), until relatively recently when they’ve decided to climb into bed with the FRC (well, they’ve already been on the same team but they’re often careful about distancing themselves).

And it’s a lie too many people buy.  There is too much willingness to ignore homophobia, homophobic positions and homophobic hate speech. And NOM is one of the biggest pushers of the whole “we’re not homophobes, but…” crowd.

This just shows who they really are.

But it should also be a call to action. Any time someone says “I’m not a homophobe, BUT…” then you know they’re lying. You know what they really are, you know their bigotry – and they should be called on it.

No more “I’m not a homophobe, but I oppose equal rights/marriage equality/hate crime protection/anti-bullying laws”. They are homophobes. ANY treatment of gay people as less than straight folks is homophobic. End of. No more weasel words. You’re a homophobe, stop sugar coating.

No more “I’m not a homophobe, but my holy book/culture/history/pet cat says…” it doesn’t matter where your bigotry comes from, it’s still bigotry. And so’s your source as well. You’re not going to convince me you have a legitimate reason for regarding me as less. You’re a homophobe, stop sugar coating/

No more “I’m not a homophobe, but gay people make me uncomfortable/are icky/whatever” then you’re a homophobe. Seriously why, in the name of all that is holy, would you consider this ok? You’re a homophobe and there’s no way in hell you can sugar coat that.

No more “I’m not a homophobe, but why do you have to be everywhere/so flamboyant/ram it down our throat?” this just convinces me we need more and wilder Pride parades. If you object to our presence, if you object to not being able to pretend we’re not there – then you’re a homophobe and a bigot. Stop sugar coating.

No more “I’m not a homophobe, but gay people are so….” Gay people are people. We are no more or less anything than straight people. If you’re going to make sweeping statements about the lot of us, that is reductive of our humanity and our being – something that marginalised people constantly face. To remove our individuality is to regard us negatively – and is homophobic. Stop sugar coating.

No more desperate attempts to change the definition of homophobia or soft-peddle the definition of it. Homophobia does not just been “irrational fear” it means hatred, disrespect or any kind of negative attitude towards gay people. Don’t conflate the clinical definition of psychological phobias with the prejudice phobias. That’s any kind of negative attitudes towards people just because they’re gay – don’t soft peddle and say something is prejudiced by not homophobic, or it’s heterosexist (which is more appropriate when referring to privileged blinkers that forget or deny the existence of gay people. So saying “When my son grows up and has a wife,” is heterosexist. Saying “I don’t want my kids to see representations of homosexuality” is homophobic). Stop trying to find a new word for homophobic which doesn’t sound so bad. It sounds bad for a reason. It is bad and, if you’re a homophobe, you are bad. Wear your label with shame, bigot, I’m not going to pet your previous fee-fees.

And negative attitudes don’t have to just be hatred, it can be the contempt that comes from stereotyping, that comes from denying personhood – such as assuming all gay people like the same thing or act the same way or believe the same thing (or even will automatically like each other. Especially the idea that 2 gay people in the same room MUST FALL IN LOVE, damn it TV please deal with that – yes, True Blood, I’m looking at you).

And I don’t give a damn if you’re less homophobic than someone else. You’re not as bad as the Westboro Baptist Church or at least your stereotyped portrayal is better than erasure or a villain, or you’re not going out killing gay people or at least you don’t have gay people hanged. So. What? Since when do we hand out cookies for arseholes who are not quite as bad as other arseholes? I may try that in court “hey, my client killed three people, but he didn’t kill four! Clearly his murders are fine – go prosecute those bastards who kill 4 people and leave my guy alone!” Sound ridiculous? Because it is! Playing the “there’s worst out there” game does not make you less of a bigot, any less responsible or any less reprehensible.

There are many ways to be homophobic, many manifestations of homophobia – and they’re all wrong and need slapping down. Preferably with an axe.