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Homophobia - the new leprosy?
For centuries, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people have been on the face of this earth and all the way down the line, they have been persecuted.
Although treatment of these individuals is getting better, it's still something that is a problem as people don't generally like that which is different; that which flies in the face of what's 'normal'.
Sadly, the concept of what is normal is becoming an increasingly grey area, one which many do not hold with and coupled with many people's difficulty to accept change, the situation is only being exacerbated.
Gay lesbian and bisexual individuals can often face ridicule, persecution, physical harm and even death for what they are and what's worse is, in many ways society is encouraging this behaviour. They are treated worse than lepers, since at least the lepers were herded out, as people would rarely go near them for fear of catching the disease.
What is a homophobe?
A homophobe is someone who has an unreasonable or uncontrollable fear of homosexuals - which includes gays, lesbians or bisexuals.
Homophobic behaviour can range from being uncomfortable around people of that persuasion or can be as bad as going out of their way to cause them harm.
Often it's sad to say, homophobes can do what they do under the banner of religion.
They will quote passages from the Bible in justification of beating the living crap out of someone even though that person or those people will have no effect on the perpetrator's life whatsoever.
Mostly though in my opinion, homophobes are ignorant of the facts.
What are Gay, lesbian or bisexual people doing that's so different?
When you think about it, many so-called straight people are far worse deviants than gays lesbians or bisexual people.
Many 'straight' people are promiscuous, indiscriminate in their sexual activities and can often engage in sexual practices such as paedophilia, bestiality, necrophilia, adulterous affairs and worse, yet, these people would pass for normal, upstanding members of society that are more often than not, above reproach.
Conversely, a monogamous gay, lesbian or struggling transgender, who wouldn't harm anyone, least of all a child or an animal, will come under the hammer and their lives made miserable, when they have actually harmed no-one.
Their persecution is merely a result of their honesty in being open about the fact that they prefer to be in love with someone of the same sex or have no preference as to the gender of their partners.
A sad fact
Despite many moves by various governments around the world to go further than simply to legalise homosexuality and lesbianism, it is not changing the opinions of a great many people.
Many feel uncomfortable and I'm sure are afraid of 'catching' gayness; of contracting lesbianism.
Nothing could be further from the truth. This concept is as bad as believing that you can catch STD's from the toilet seat or if you pull a face and the wind changes direction, you'll stay like that.
You either are or you're not.
It is my contention that many straight people fantasise about being with partners of the same sex or participating in an orgy where men and women are all getting it on together with other men and women regardless.
Seeing people who actually do this by choice and are open about it, I feel, raises questions in the heads of at least some homophobes and this is where the fear comes from. In fact it's not fear in many cases, but jealousy.
The saddest fact of all is that people are afraid of the unknown and it's entirely likely that many homophobes have had no interaction with gays, lesbians or bisexuals on any level and are reacting to what they have been told by those no more qualified to talk on the subject than them. In fact, it's altogether possible that these people have had contact and didn't even know it as some gays, lesbians and bisexuals prefer not to shout about it.
The misguided concept that gayness can be cured should by now be a thing of the past, but it isn't.
I am painfully aware of the fact that some gays, lesbians and bisexuals who have come 'out' like nothing more than to ram this fact down the throats of anyone and everyone who will listen and many who would have preferred not to have known too.
This can be embarrassing and make people uncomfortable. Sometimes, people are better off not knowing, or at least not being forced to hear about things they don't need to know about.
Although I don't feel threatened by by being around gays, lesbians or bisexuals, I would prefer not to have to listen to them talking about sex and their sexual preferences in public.
I do not believe that a homophobe is someone who fails to agree that gays, lesbians and bisexuals should be allowed to date and have sex with whomever they choose, but that homophobes are similar to racists and anti-semetics.
In my opinion, homophobes are people who cannot tolerate the thought that same-sex relationships are natural for some in the same way that Hitler and his regime felt that people who weren't born with blonde hair and blue eyes were inferior to those who were, or that the Jews should be eliminated. Indeed, the KKK's continued treatment of African Americans is just as intolerable so God help you if you are a black, Jewish gay or lesbian.