Homophobia’s Many Faces

Homophobic, and Queerphobic people in general, are an odd bunch. Many are closeted about their own identities, only belittling to throw others off their own trail, while others still deride for no reason other than petty cultural inclusion (a la high school). Of course there are many other reason why people attack non-heteronormative conforming individuals; sometimes it seems like the variety of bigots are as numerous as colors in the rainbow. And so, though homophobes are easy to spot once they open their mouths, enabling their vocal cords to double-function as both sound emitters and stupidity search lights), it can sometimes be handy to have a list of the kind of homophobes there are so you know what you are getting into once you encounter someone of the “hetero-sapien” persuasion.

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Middle-of-the-roaders

These people are what I like to call “petty homophobes” because they are the so-called “moderate homophobes.” They are not likely to support ultra-conservative efforts to crackdown on gender and sexual edicts, but they tend to express disgust at the prospect of gay marriage or at the sight of two men kissing. Heavily influenced by hetero-patriarchal ideas, yet too timid to express their views risk they become associated with the social anathema which is associated with a community which, for whatever reason, they do not wish to be connected to, they prefer to remain in the shadows of their intolerance content to making an occasional nasty remark or disconcerting vote.

People from both the left and right can be petty homophobes; this includes revolutionary left as well as those of the bourgeois left. Ultra-left remarks against marriage equality, aversion to same-sex moments of affection, preference to remain with other heterosexuals, and a tendency to believe heterosexist myths regarding ay people while voting/voicing sentiment against equality, marks the petty-homophobe.

The proper way to handle these people is with education. They are not the kind of homophobes you expect when you think of someone who is homophobic; they will not attack a gay person. If they use politically incorrect language when referring to a gay person it is when they know no such gay person is around. Many are even sociable when gays and lesbians are present so as to appear fine with everyone; some even believe that they have no problems with gay people. Certainly many would not believe they are homophobic as it is traditionally seen. For these reasons education is the best way to handle these people. When they are showed their misconceptions about homosexuals are wrong and that their intimacy is no different from their own, they will acquiesce in their intolerance.

 

The Gorilla

Our first archetype is the stereotype most often seen: the macho-man. These people feel “threatened” by homosexuals because they, oddly enough, see homosexuality as emasculating (despite the fact that there be no women whatsoever in gay-male-relationships; if any relationship is “emasculating” for men it would be spending every day with a woman, someone, who by the way, couldn’t possible understand this strange concept of “manliness” as they are not men). These people are very self-conscious. They respond to peer pressure and are slavish in their adherence to cultural and societal norms, the routine and procedure which they were raised with and demanded to identify towards.

While most often found on the sports field or armed forces, “The Gorilla” can be found in any social setting. They are not exclusively found in one area over another (provided, they are likely to appear in one area more than another). They are omnipresent creatures who associate the fictitious concept of “manhood” with any practice or hobby. Sports, gaming, intellectualism, even home caring possess Gorilla variants. This is because these people are often sexists- whatever sphere they find themselves in they create aspects which, to them, are better suited to men while others, women. So when that imaginary line is crossed (a construct which existed unbeknownst to everyone else) they react violently and lash out irrationally at the object of their rage who was so bold as to dare and associate penis-oriented activities with vagina-oriented activities.

The best way to handle Gorilla types is to ignore them. They like the attention. Though they express genuine disgust at anything not heterosexual, they are not likely to violently harass or assault people. Refusing to give these bigots the time of day and forging interpersonal alliances with other members of the group to shut down the Gorilla’s reactionary practice of gendering everything with their theoretical poison, should remain the primary goal. After all, the Gorilla is most often a deluded and ignorant person who sometimes simply doesn’t know any better. Education can go a long way with them; and when that fails, a united front destroying their nonsense will accomplish “Operation: effacing the hate.”

 

Non-Platonic Book Lover

The Non-Platonic Book lover takes reading to a whole new level. You or I would read a book and be happy to know that a carpenter stayed true to his beliefs and though as unjustly executed, nonetheless was honored as a caring man who advocated for the poor and fought against the rich; our book lover friend, on the other hand, would read the same story and turn it into a religion. They don’t as much enjoy fiction as masturbate furiously to it while proclaiming every word as immutable law; with all deviants thrown into the lake of un-pleasantness. It can be an awkward situation to be in, especially if you are one of the unfortunate billions who are not living according to their words.

Religious fanaticism, like many phobias, has two angles: a moderate and extreme. Both are homophobic. Yet one is more worrisome then the next. While the former may mutate into the latter with added pressure, and so must be combated with rational argument and progressive alliances, the latter extremist angle is the one which need be directly addressed.

The fanatic is not merely the Westero Baptist Church. It is truly most religious organizations. Any group which is anti-gay marriage, any platform which pushes the supposed reality of a decadent “gay lifestyle,” and any who see non-heterosexuality as “unnatural,” “inferior,” “perverted,” “dangerous,” “mentally ill,” or “a choice” is part of the fanatic angle when merged with any superstition. The “sinful” claim, while backward in its own right, when seen in the wavering moderates, is usually harmless if left alone by Rightist tendencies; the Orthodox nature of most such people means that their commitment to heteronormativity runs only as deep as an alternative is foreseeable.

Luckily, book lovers are relatively easy to avoid as they tend to congregate in both lavishly opulent palaces of marble and political parties decorating the elephantine phallic (with occasional backtracking to the Ass). While they have purposes outside of their gathering halls, the fanatics tend to remain clustered in their circles with the moderates venturing out only to specify a certain watering hole; when the moderates do rear their failing logic it is best to treat them as Gorillas.

 

Cultural Rightists

Some people are conservative because they have fond ideas of liberty and freedom, because they believe it is only through an old-fashioned system of checks and balances were everyone is given an equal opportunity will justice be allowed to triumph over tyranny. Most people (99% of the contemporary political establishment), however, are conservative because they are ignorant; those beliefs regarding freedom have now been mutated into pathetic excuses to defend capitalism. Taken to its logical extreme such conservatism manifests during a period of capitalist decay as Rightism: or, the ultra-irrational defense of cultural and social icons (heterosexism, bourgeois democracy, the Founding Fathers, wage-slavery), traditions (property rights and two parent households), as well as beliefs and superstitions (militarism, American exceptionalism, religion) which serve as ideological cornerstones for the bourgeoisie as they rebuild the image of capitalism itself.

Rightists float in this ethereal delirium whereby everything which they weren’t raised to believe takes shape as “the enemy.” Homosexuals (and Queer people in general), racial and ethnic minorities, alternative modes of social organization, political difference, and just simply the conviction that everyone deserves a meal in their belly and roof over their head become “evils.” Ergo, it is not surprising that these people are the most rapacious homophobes.

Such social extremists propagate the beliefs of homosexuals “recruiting” children, that there exists something called a “gay lifestyle,” and that, among other pitiable absurdities, that gay people, either through individual choice of because of their environmental conditions, choose to be gay; the remedy to their “illness” being to rectify their altercations with masculinity and femininity.

Creatures like they are first and foremost a political problem. Eliminating their corrosive influence on society will require more than trite alliances between groups, it will demand coordinated social action and education. Inter-minority liberation struggles must be fused with revolutionary ideology producing a firm programme by which the masses of workers replace the decadent Rightist agenda with one of their own, an undertaking which amounts to a complete moral-cultural revolution.

 

The Demon

The Demon is the most frightful homophobe on this list because they are the most deadly. Being a sub-set of the Cultural Rightist, Demons are Rightists taken to fascistic indulgences. Their method of activism is violence against minority communities. Harassment, beatings, and even murder are acts which comprise the entirety of their existence. Combating them in non-revolutionary times is difficult: being a law-abiding citizen, you cannot match their violence with an equal level of your own (not outside a revolutionary period. Not unless you anticipate a prison term). So the natural result is to combine the macro-level approach to dealing with Cultural Rightists with a Micro-level approach: defend yourself when attacked and, if possible, travel in groups; this presuppose coordination and organization, as well as armaments, but in order to precipitate the kind of action needed to resolve this social-sexual contradiction, strong measures must be embraced.

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Well, there you have it. A handy list of the most prominent kinds of homophobes. While the list is not exhaustive as it is only meant to sketch out the most visible impediments to Queer progress, I hope that you enjoyed reading this quick, and mildly amusing, post. If you have a homophobic archetype of your own which you wish to share, please, comment below.

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One thought on “Homophobia’s Many Faces

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  1. I stumbled on this while googling “reactionary religion”. I am a religious reactionary and I am glad to see that my category is not on your list. I hate modern culture, liberalism, feminism, and secular humanism. But I couldn’t care less about homosexuals, so you are right not to have religious reactionaries on your list of homophobes.

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