Homophobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). It can be expressed as antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, or hatred, may be based on irrational fear, and is sometimes related to religious beliefs. Homophobia is observable in critical and hostile behavior such as discrimination and violence on the basis of sexual orientations that are non-heterosexual. Recognized types of homophobia include institutionalized homophobia, e.g. religious homophobia and state-sponsored homophobia, and internalized homophobia, experienced by people who have same-sex attractions, regardless of how they identify.
Heterosexism is a system of attitudes, bias, and discrimination in favor of opposite-sex sexuality and relationships. It can include the presumption that other people are heterosexual or that opposite-sex attractions and relationships are the only norm and therefore superior. Although heterosexism is defined in the online editions of the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language and the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary as anti-gay discrimination and/or prejudice “by heterosexual people” and “by heterosexuals”, respectively, people of any sexual orientation can hold such attitudes and bias. Nonetheless, heterosexism as discrimination ranks gays, lesbians, bisexuals and other sexual minorities as second-class citizens with regard to various legal and civil rights, economic opportunities, and social equality in many of the world’s jurisdictions and societies. Heterosexism is often related to homophobia. The LGBT rights movement works towards ending heterosexist discrimination.
Response to Homophobia Part 1 of 3
Interesting that I would have any inclination to comment here. Because I'm not on any side in this issue — I have no dog in the fight. Long removed from any religiosity, my philosophical label would be agnostic if anything. I have no church or group or philosophy into which I would (or could) proselytize you. I have no idea what any omni g-d or other supreme being you might believe in wants for you or for me. It makes sense for all of us to aspire to be decent human beings towards each other; and, since I'm libertarian (note the lower case "l") by philosophy, I suppose I'd have to reveal to you that I wish you would not engage in partisan politics or voting. As I see it, voting serves no earthly purpose except to support Leviathan — the psychopaths of which are going to do what they want regardless of the well-being of you or me. But that's another argument for another thread at another forum.
That said, I'm a gay man. No, I'm not "homosexual" in any sense of that word. I've suffered many of the same sexual frustrations you have (whoever you are), and I can fantasize and understand homosexual experimentation (although at 80 I think I'll pass for now :-] ). But I often like to raise religious and other hypocritical eyebrows by announcing myself as a "gay man". I don't even have to come out of any "closet" to own that. Sometimes I'm glum, morose — but not often. I'm usually gay.
Response to Homophobia Part 2 of 3
And I'm not going to allow you to usurp or co-opt or monopolize that term for your own use as a euphemism for homosexuality — presuming a delicate substitute is needed (I don't think it is). I saw that phenomenon unfolding in the 60's and it's still ongoing. It's not that I resent your use of the term to imply homosexuality — you're certainly free to do that. It's just that I retain my "right" (whatever that's supposed to mean) to also use it to describe my general demeanor.
A friend and former colleague who is religious sent me a newsletter (religionists tend not to give up on anybody). In it was a link to a site that denigrated this site in a way only the religious can carry off. They claim to be a "split" or "splinter" from Exodus International. I have no ax to grind with them; other than I don't believe that I have any business being rude or unkind to anybody as long as they stay out of my face and don't try to change my "orientation" (pun intended, sort of). I'm neutral on the matter — and that does not mean I approve (or disapprove) of their stance in any way.
I'm a father of 7 (5 now over 50), grandpa of 25, great grandpa of more than I'll admit. My philosophy is that the family is the only governing unit that has true legitimacy. All others are coercive in nature — interlopers. The human newborn is the only being that comes into life without instinct, and is totally dependent upon adult human caregivers for survival. All human knowledge and skills must be learned, other than to suck, poop and pee.
Response to Homophobia Part 3 of 3
Human sexuality cannot be compared with animal reproduction (although sex educators often try to engage in that silliness). To be assured, warm-blooded males of the animal kingdom have a penis and spermatozoa, etc., females have a uterus and depend upon connecting with a male in order to reproduce. But that's where it ends. Males are not interested in females at any times other than during heat cycles. The human female rarely knows for absolute certain when ovulation is upon her.
So the frustration. Most old country and pop songs deal with sexuality in one way or the other. "You done left me fer another!" Sexuality is perhaps the greatest mystery many of us will ever deal with in our lifetimes. So it's rather natural that those who constantly aspire to seek "power" over the masses would use this homosexual issue as a major divide-and-conquer tactic. It’s working.
Never have I seen so many folks at each other’s' throats over specific issues of a highly personal nature until this one. It began to show its ugly head in the 1960's. Prior to that I don’t remember ever having heard the term "sexual orientation". So forgive me if I come across as stupid along those lines. I do not understand the difference between various terms such as "transgender" or "transsexual", et al. But I'm not "homophobic", and I don't admit to being "hetrosexic" (my new term). Phobia implies fear — and I have no fear of anybody who agrees to leave me and my cup cakes alone.
I steer totally clear of all "ism's", and I am not “hetrosexist”.
Sam I am, and that be all I be.