Homophobia. I’m sure everyone’s heard that word being thrown everywhere. So, what is homophobia? Well the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines it as ‘irrational fear of, aversion to or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals.’ Such a nice and compact definition. I’m sure most of the people reading this must have taken a breath of relief and said to themselves that ‘well, I have no problem with gay people, I’m not homophobic.’
Maybe you are really not homophobic, but maybe you are, without even realizing it. It is very similar to the notions of racism and sexism, leaving the extremely conservative boomer generation out of this, nobody is climbing their rooftop and screaming at the top of their voice ‘I Hate Black People’ or ‘I Hate Women,’ similarly a lot of people do not go like ‘I hate anyone who’s not cisgender and heterosexual,’ but as a matter of fact they do, and it is not displayed by lynching or stoning like it used to happen back in the day, instead it becomes clear through all the micro-aggressions and prejudices.
Microaggression- a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group.
Prejudice- preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.
If you still don’t understand what this means, here are some examples:
- Assuming a gay man would hit on any breathing male, thus keeping distance from them out of fear and disgust.
- A bisexual man is just gay and is afraid to show it, a bisexual woman is just straight and hasn’t found the right man yet.
- Bisexual people are more likely to be cheaters as they are undecided on their sexual preferences.
- A gay man must be feminine or a lesbian woman must be masculine.
- If a man cries or shows feelings, he is assumed to be gay.
Now, these things aren’t that uncommon right? They happen everywhere, our society is filled with these notions, and harmful presumptions like these won’t go away overnight. Just like they didn’t form overnight, they developed over a long period of time, believe it or not homosexuality wasn’t always a taboo, at least not in India. It only became illegal in India, when the British came and made the law making it illegal, before that India was very flexible with sexuality, so no, homosexuality isn’t a western concept as many believe but homophobia is.
There are many arguments against homosexuality, let’s see some of them and also why they’re not valid at all:
- ‘Homosexuality is unnatural’ – No, actually it’s not. By saying that homosexuality is unnatural, people are saying that it doesn’t exist in nature and is this concept made up by humans. However, it does exist in nature, as many as 150+ animal species are known to have displayed homosexual behavior within their kind. Technically, humans are just another kind of animal, therefore it is indeed natural.
- ‘Sexual intercourse/Marriage was created for procreation’ – Sure, maybe it was. No arguments against that, but does this mean that heterosexual people only engage in it if they intend to have a child? Are infertile, elderly people who are unable to bear a child stopped from it? Then why should people in same sex relationships be stopped?
- ‘Homosexuality goes against evolution’- Often times people use the argument that because homosexual people cannot procreate with each other, they would bring an end to evolution and the human race will become extinct if everyone turned gay. That’s the thing, not everyone is gay. There will still be a majority of straight people to make the human race move forward. However, it is very much possible for same sex couples to have a child, either by advanced medical processes or even by adopting the same children that the straight couples gave up. Anyways, in this time where the planet is suffering majorly from overpopulation it won’t be that much of a problem if a few people don’t have kids.
- ‘Religion goes against it’- Many people justify their homophobia by stating their biggest reason as their religion doesn’t allow it. Yes, many religions are against homosexuality, and if one wants to follow that then it’s fine. Although no religion says that you should attack people with different sexual orientations, everyone is supposed to be respected regardless of how they live their life. People’s hate doesn’t come from religion, it comes from fear and ignorance which are the two worst poisons there can be.
June is the month that is celebrated as pride month to commemorate the Stonewall riots which took place in June 1969. So, this Pride Month, take time and educate yourselves. Do not give in to hate, fear and ignorance. Be Better, Do Better.