On Homophobia Within The Gay Community

Flickr / Pierre-Selim
Flickr / Pierre-Selim

Homophobia isn’t just reserved for those crazy-Christians that we all just love to hate anymore. You can now find them conveniently located in your own backyard: your friend, significant other, maybe even you.

Spend any amount of time in the gay community and you’ll quickly learn we have our own infrastructure problems, complete with a shotty internal review process. Trying to logon to Grindr, or any other gay dating app without seeing “masc for masc” or “straight acting only” on some bros profile is like wandering through a minefield. By definition, none of us fit into society’s gender or sexual norms. You’re not any better than someone else, just because you’re able to “pass” more easily for being straight, as if that is deserving of some sort of prize. Those who think it is are essentially placing heterosexuality above that of homosexulity, the same way sexist place masculinity superior to femininity. Whether you see it that way or not, you’re doing just as much damage as any run-of-the-mill homophobe, maybe even more, because you’re delivering judgement from within, rather from out. You not an exception to the current and future anti-gay laws just for being a top or because you can bench press a minivan.

Pride is counter-narrative to this conservative, rigidly constructed movement, that fights to deny rights to anyone who isn’t cis gender, and heterosexual. I like to think of it as the biggest Basic Bitch movement our nation has ever seen. Obviously they all agree on everything, because there is no room for original thought. Since the beginning Pride has been over-the-top and hypersexual, because it has to be. The homophobes denying us our rights are saying, to no uncertain terms, that we shouldn’t be (as consenting adults) allowed to have sex with who we choose. If we were to white-wash Pride into being only something that those very conservatives would be comfortable with, then we would be doing the entire LGBT movement a disservice.

If you don’t want the government having the right to police your sex life, then you have no right to police anyone else’s. You can’t ask someone else to conform to your idea of masculinity and other societal constructs, to make yourself more comfortable. It’s hypocrisy, at a time when we have more pressing issues to deal with.

We still live in a country where we are fighting for our right to marry the person we love. We have deplorable people in power denying us our rights; taking children away from loving parents, and those who should never have been allowed to be parents in the first place, kicking their own flesh and blood out on to the street. History has proven time and time again that you can’t defeat your enemy, when your own army is divided.

At the end of the day, the LGBT community is just a subsect of our society, made up of dozens more within itself. Being a white, cisgender, gay man affords me certain opportunities that others in our community are not. I have less to worry about as far as retaining employment, earning a living wage, finding non-discriminatory housing, avoiding violence, and even the criminal justice system compared to others less privileged. While my rights, and yours, are limited, others in the community don’t even have the time to worry about marriage equality because their lives are a battle for survival on a daily basis. We need to start admitting that our community has fallen victim to the same sexism and slut (read: bottom) shaming that infects the society we’re trying to change. Modern Family isn’t an accurate depiction of the problems facing our extended family at large, in the same way Will & Grace wasn’t (not to say that you can’t enjoy them for what they are, respectively). We need to be aware and willing to admit that not all voices in our community are being heard, but that nonetheless all their voices matter. No matter the outcome of the pending SCOTUS vote, our fight doesn’t end when we achieve the right to marry in all 50 states or when we can adopt without an obligatory legal battle. It ends only when all of our brothers and sisters in the community are safe and protected under the law.

Coming of age and coming to realize what you are, we have all at sometime or another felt the same sense of otherness. That otherness that causes some to contemplate suicide (or worse, act on those feelings). That otherness that drives some to seek out dangerous religious treatments, based on Pseudoscience, with damaging effects some never recover from. This list goes on. Why anyone, knowing this, would choose to continue lending a hand to the growing fracture in our community with negative fear based reinforcement, is beyond my realm of thinking. TC mark

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