Can we talk about homophobia?
Not the act. The word.
I hate this word. This word makes me angry. Wikipedia (the all-seeing, all-knowing) tells me the word was coined by psychologist George Weinberg, but was first used in print in a porno mag to describe a heterosexual man’s fear that others might think he’s gay.
I can’t. This. It just rubs me the wrong way. Labeling this act- this hatefulness, with a word that singles it out and classifies it as a fear? No, thank you. You don’t get to sit under that privileged little umbrella, spewing your hateful rhetoric. Nope nope nope.
Or if you do, you should be sent to counseling. Have some immersion therapy sessions and face your fear, head on.
Of course, nobody wants to make out with a bigot, so I can’t really see that sort of program getting up and running-
I mean, surely you’re just experimenting with hate? It’s just a phase you’re going through- everyone does it, usually in college.
Maybe you can go to camp? Yes! A religious camp, where you and all of your “confused” peers can “Pray away the gay fear!” Genius! You’ll come out of the program refreshed, with your mind set straight, ready to love and accept your fellow man-
Wait. That actually sounds like a good thing.
Can we do this? I think, as a society, we are, little by little. The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step, after all. Can we just be better people? Is that so much to ask?
Can we start by getting rid of this one word? This one word that manages to label an entire group of people as something to be feared and takes some of the blame from those of us who hate them, who want them gone, all in one little breath? Can we do that?
There are plenty of other words that work. Words that don’t soften things for these perpetrators of hate by suggesting a fear, a phobia, a goddamn psychological issue.
Of course, in this day and age, can’t we just call it like it is?
Can’t we just call an asshole and asshole?