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How Homophobia Hurts Everyone

Posted by Kohaku , in BZPower, FABULOUS, Real Life Sep 21 2012 · 2,463 views

Tolerance Love not hate
First off, before I start I would like to point you all to a fantastic entry by Gato on the problem with the redefining of homophobia.

Let’s face it, homophobia can be really damaging for LGBT youths and even for people who identify as straight. Intolerance hurts everyone. Even if you think you are right in terms of using religion. To tell someone that you don’t accept a part of them means so much more to that person, it means you don’t accept them.

There has been a lot of homophobic bullying in the world and it leads to a lot of tragedy. Intolerance accounts for the reason so many LGBT youths are homeless and it is a leading cause as to why LGBT youths have one of the highest rates of suicide. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center synthesized these studies and estimated that between 30 and 40% of LGBT youth, depending on age and sex groups, have attempted suicide. That is an alarmingly high amount of youths considering that the rate in the general population is around 1-2%.

Even such phrases as, “That’s so gay!” are proven to be harmful towards LGBT youths. Just recently there was a study on the effects of the phrase conducted by the University of Michigan. Those who heard it more frequently were more likely to report feelings of isolation, as well as negative health symptoms, such as headaches, poor appetite, or eating problems.

Study author Michael Woodford, assistant professor of social work at U-M, describes the results:

“Given the nature of gay-lesbian-bisexual stigma, sexual minority students could already perceive themselves to be excluded on campus and hearing “that’s so gay” may elevate such perceptions. “That’s so gay” conveys that there is something wrong with being gay. And, hearing such messages about one’s self can cause stress, which can manifest in headaches and other health concerns.”


Clearly even simple phrases can be so hurtful. I ask you, please think before you speak. Or type as is the case on BZPower.

Homophobia Hurts All of Us

(The following list has been adapted from Warren J. Blumenfeld, ed. Homophobia: How We All Pay the Price.)

Within the numerous forms of oppression, members of the target group (minority groups) are oppressed, while on some level members of the dominant group are hurt. Although the effects of the oppression differ qualitatively for specific target and dominant groups, in the end everyone loses.

1. Homophobia locks all people into rigid gender roles that inhibit creativity and self-expression.

2. Homophobia compromises the integrity of heterosexual people by pressuring them to treat others badly, actions that go against our basic humanity.

3. Homophobia limits our ability to form close relationships with members of one’s own sex.

4. Homophobia generally limits communications with a significant portion of the population and, more specifically, limits family relationships.

5. Homophobia prevents some lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people from developing an honest self-identity, and adds to the pressure to marry and/or have children, which places undue stress on themselves and their families.

6. Homophobia results in the elimination of any discussion of the lives and sexuality of LGBT people in the curriculum, keeping important information from all students.

7. Homophobia can be used to stigmatize, silence, and, on occasion, target people who are perceived or defined by others as lesbian or gay, but who are, in actuality, heterosexual.

8. Homophobia prevents heterosexuals from accepting the benefits and gifts offered by LGBT people: theoretical insights, social and spiritual visions, contributions in the arts and culture, to religion, to family life, indeed, to all parts of society.

9. Homophobia (along with racism, sexism, classism, etc.) inhibits a unified and effective governmental and societal response to HIV transmission and AIDS.

10. Homophobia takes energy away from more positive activities.

11. Homophobia inhibits appreciation of other types of diversity, making it unsafe for everyone because each person has unique traits not considered mainstream or dominant. Therefore, we are all hurt when any one of us is disrespected.

(End list, back to Kohaku’s ranting.)

Why did I choose to add this list? Honestly, in its current form, I can’t really see a way to improve upon this list. It shows the ways that homophobia hurts everyone. It hurts me, it hurts you, it hurts your best friend. It just plain hurts.

Now, I’m going to tell a bit of a story that I haven’t told anyone. Ever. I’ll keep it short and to the point.

When I was in middle and high school, I was bullied. I was bullied all the time, I was called derogatory names and in some cases physically assaulted. At the time I honestly didn’t know why I had been singled out. I didn’t even know what being gay was. I lost a lot of innocence back then and it continued for years. I hated school and I honestly hated life. I thought about suicide plenty of times. And came close to attempting it.

However as time went on I gained two important friends on BZPower, Alku and Kinali. How important were these friends? Honestly, they helped me keep things together more than they know. Even after I became staff here they helped me keep it together. If it weren’t for them and their support I might not be here. Those two friends gave me some much needed support and through every experience with them we have grown as people and as friends.

Homophobia in any sense hurts us all. So please think before you speak.

Think about it.

“How will this hurt people around me?”

“How will this hurt myself?”

“How would I feel if I was in their shoes?”

Please, think about how the words you say can hurt others. Think about your beliefs and how they can be hurtful. Think about it.

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Peter Quill
Sep 22 2012 01:21 AM

Look, I don't hate any one person who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transsexual. I harbor no hate or ill will for them, but I do not support them either.

What I do not like is the fact that their sexuality is continually being forced upon me. People act like I NEED to accept this, and that I need to know that this one person is gay, or lesbian, or whatever.

If people would just let it be, I would not have any problems with it whatsoever.


the thing is though is that its not being forced on you? like, you act like theyre forcing you to turn gay/lesbian/whatever or something

you DO however need to accept that there are non-hetero people, because yknow, its there. you cant sit there and sweep it under the rug and pretend the "icky gays" dont exist

the fact that youre sitting there acting like its totrture for you to just accept that some people are gay and move on just shows how long you have to go for maturing as a person, and the fact that there are so many people with your intolerant mindset sitting there saying things like this is probably exactly why people are fighting for acceptance.

also, transsexualism isnt a sexual orientation kiddo
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Aho, wake up. There's people out there shouting their gay all over the place, and getting all angry when someone doesn't care. That's what he meant.


@Skarloth So being happy about who you are is a bad thing now? Would you say the same thing about natural blonde-ness? Or female-ness? Would you dare to say that you do not support someone being a natural blonde? That you do not support someone being born a woman? Just wondering.

How'd you even get that out of his post?
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What if I naturally loved Jesus, like you naturally love guys?

You don't. And there's not a single theological concept that allows for that. So sorry, but no.

It is a bad arguement, because some people see homosexuality as unatural.

And just like that this isn't a topic that one can have "differing opinions" on, you also don't get to disagree with science and facts. Your religious views do not get to trump established fact.

Not to mention that it continuously baffles me that you guys DO NOT GET IT.

Your comments are AGAINST THE RULES.

You are bringing religion into a conversation where it DOES NOT BELONG.

Your comments are HURTFUL AND MISGUIDED AT BEST, HATEFUL AT WORST.

You are being RUDE. You are being MEAN. You are being INCONSIDERATE.

And I will NOT allow it.

Not now, not EVER.

I have said multiple times in the past week that I will NOT TOLERATE INTOLERANCE.

Everyone who comments on this entry stating anything I DEEM INTOLERANT from THIS POST ON will LOSE A POINT OF PROTO FOR EVERY SINGLE COMMENT.

That means if you make TWO NEGATIVE COMMENTS you will lose TWO PROTO POINTS. Etc and so on.

If that is not enough, further action WILL BE TAKEN.

I am DONE PLAYING GAMES. And I am DONE PRETENDING THAT YOUR DISGUSTING ATTITUDES ARE CONSCIONABLE. They are against the rules, and they will STOP.
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@Skarloth So being happy about who you are is a bad thing now? Would you say the same thing about natural blonde-ness? Or female-ness? Would you dare to say that you do not support someone being a natural blonde? That you do not support someone being born a woman? Just wondering.


I don't believe I said anywhere in my post that being happy about who you are is a bad thing. I simply said that I am neutral on this subject. I don't support, nor hate any LGBT person.

Whether I do or do not support femininity is off-topic, I believe. This is a different subject we're talking about here.

All I want is for stuff like this to go away. If people would simply just leave me be about this entire thing, I would be perfectly fine with gay people, lesbian people, etc.

It is the fact that you all are so relentless to prove that you are normal that drives me insane, and the fact that you have to go about it like this. If you want to be a man, and love another man, then fine, I have no issues with that. You don't have to put it in my face, and tell me that I have to accept you for who you are, or who you want to be.

-Skar
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Makuta of Xhini Nui
Sep 22 2012 01:27 AM

@Skarloth So being happy about who you are is a bad thing now? Would you say the same thing about natural blonde-ness? Or female-ness? Would you dare to say that you do not support someone being a natural blonde? That you do not support someone being born a woman? Just wondering.


I don't mind blondes or females, but when they're going "HEY THIS ISN'T RELAVANT TO ANYTHING BUT I'M A BLONDE GIRL BTW LOL DON'T YOU LIKE ME WHAT DO YOU MEAN I'M BEING ANNOYING IF YOU DON'T LIKE ME THAT MUST MEAN YOU'RE PREJUDICED AGAINST ALL BLONDE GIRLS" it can be a bit irritating.



@Rarity Firstly let me say that religious points of view aren't something that happens naturally. They are something that is taught. Someone's sexuality is not taught, it is inherent and comes from one's inner sense of self.

Secondly, they've proven that there is homosexuality in the animal kingdom. The animal kingdom is part of nature. So let me get this straight. Naturally, something that happens naturally in nature is not natural even though it naturally happens? In. Nature?


I don't want to stir anything up, and I'm the biggest supporter of same-sex marriage (as well as polygamous) there is, but I don't like that argument because there are all sorts of nasty things in nature like cannibalism and murder, so just because one thing is there doesn't automatically make it a selling point. We must instead use logic and reason, not talking points to change people's minds and perceptions.
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What if I naturally loved Jesus, like you naturally love guys?
You don't. And there's not a single theological concept that allows for that. So sorry, but no.


Quote

It is a bad arguement, because some people see homosexuality as unatural.
And just like that this isn't a topic that one can have "differing opinions" on, you also don't get to disagree with science and facts. Your religious views do not get to trump established fact.

Not to mention that it continuously baffles me that you guys DO NOT GET IT.

Your comments are AGAINST THE RULES.

You are bringing religion into a conversation where it DOES NOT BELONG.

Your comments are HURTFUL AND MISGUIDED AT BEST, HATEFUL AT WORST.

You are being RUDE. You are being MEAN. You are being INCONSIDERATE.

And I will NOT allow it.

Not now, not EVER.

I have said multiple times in the past week that I will NOT TOLERATE INTOLERANCE.

Everyone who comments on this entry stating anything I DEEM INTOLERANT from THIS POST ON will LOSE A POINT OF PROTO FOR EVERY SINGLE COMMENT.

That means if you make TWO NEGATIVE COMMENTS you will lose TWO PROTO POINTS. Etc and so on.

If that is not enough, further action WILL BE TAKEN.

I am DONE PLAYING GAMES. And I am DONE PRETENDING THAT YOUR DISGUSTING ATTITUDES ARE CONSCIONABLE. They are against the rules, and they will STOP.

Dude. You can't ignore people who don't agree with you,nor can you try to scare people into agreeing with something by threatening to ban them, or proto zap them. -_- C'mon man.
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Dude. You can't ignore people who don't agree with you, nor can you try to scare people into agreeing with something by threatening to ban them, or proto zap them

I am not ignoring you (in fact, it seems it is you who is ignoring reason and common sense, not to mention the rules). I am also not threatening you to get you to agree with me. It is very clear you will not allow yourself to see past what you wish to see. I am threatening you because you are breaking the rules. I am unconcerned if this bothers you.

I am not ignoring you. I am telling you how it will be and how it is. I do not have to answer your arguments, I do not have to discuss this with you. You are breaking the rules, you are being rude, hateful, and purposefully stirring up something that has a very real affect on others. That you cannot, or will not, see how your actions and words affect very real people around you makes me sad for you. It makes me angry for those you hurt.

And I'm not going to tolerate it further.
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A few of you are missing the point. This entry is about TOLERANCE and ACCEPTANCE for LGBT people, including members of this very website. Keep it that way.
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Dude. You can't ignore people who don't agree with you, nor can you try to scare people into agreeing with something by threatening to ban them, or proto zap them
I am not ignoring you (in fact, it seems it is you who is ignoring reason and common sense, not to mention the rules). I am also not threatening you to get you to agree with me. It is very clear you will not allow yourself to see past what you wish to see. I am threatening you because you are breaking the rules. I am unconcerned if this bothers you.

I am not ignoring you. I am telling you how it will be and how it is. I do not have to answer your arguments, I do not have to discuss this with you. You are breaking the rules, you are being rude, hateful, and purposefully stirring up something that has a very real affect on others. That you cannot, or will not, see how your actions and words affect very real people around you makes me sad for you. It makes me angry for those you hurt.

And I'm not going to tolerate it further. Another comment and you will be docked.

How am I purposefully stiring anything up? I'm not.
Also where have I broken the rules? I don't even think I've said my stance in this topic.
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Makuta of Xhini Nui
Sep 22 2012 01:43 AM

A few of you are missing the point. This entry is about TOLERANCE and ACCEPTANCE for LGBT people, including members of this very website. Keep it that way.


I think an important thing we should remember is that tolerance and acceptance extends to everyone, both people we agree with and those we don't. I disagree with racists, but I still accept the fact that they will not change their beliefs. In this sense, we should tolerate everyone, regardless of whether or not they show tolerance back.
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Kohaku, on , said:

A few of you are missing the point. This entry is about TOLERANCE and ACCEPTANCE for LGBT people, including members of this very website. Keep it that way.

I think an important thing we should remember is that tolerance and acceptance extends to everyone, both people we agree with and those we don't. I disagree with racists, but I still accept the fact that they will not change their beliefs. In this sense, we should tolerate everyone, regardless of whether or not they show tolerance back.


I oddly agree.

I'd rather everyone just said "so what?" and everyone would quit the fighting. I'm tired of seeing it everywhere I go, if someone is gay, so what, if someone doesn't like that, so what.
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Skarloth, on , said:

Look, I don't hate any one person who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transsexual. I harbor no hate or ill will for them, but I do not support them either.

What I do not like is the fact that their sexuality is continually being forced upon me. People act like I NEED to accept this, and that I need to know that this one person is gay, or lesbian, or whatever.

If people would just let it be, I would not have any problems with it whatsoever.

the thing is though is that its not being forced on you? like, you act like theyre forcing you to turn gay/lesbian/whatever or something

you DO however need to accept that there are non-hetero people, because yknow, its there. you cant sit there and sweep it under the rug and pretend the "icky gays" dont exist

the fact that youre sitting there acting like its totrture for you to just accept that some people are gay and move on just shows how long you have to go for maturing as a person, and the fact that there are so many people with your intolerant mindset sitting there saying things like this is probably exactly why people are fighting for acceptance.

also, transsexualism isnt a sexual orientation kiddo


>Implying I'm homophobic

All I'm asking for is peace and quiet. And it's debates like this, and entries like this, that shove this all in my face.

Sure, I could have decided not to click on this entry, and not to comment, but I did.

There's a difference between torture, and discomfort. I would rather not see all this, I would rather not be forced to accept these people for who they are; if everyone would just leave me alone about it, I wouldn't have any problems with them.

>"intolerant mindset"

I am perfectly tolerant with gays and lesbians themselves. I don't see any problem with them, nor their wish to marry, if they want to.

-Skar
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Peter Quill
Sep 22 2012 01:50 AM

I would rather not be forced to accept these people for who they are

I am perfectly tolerant with gays and lesbians themselves


i dont think you understand the point of this entry

All I'm asking for is peace and quiet. And it's debates like this, and entries like this, that shove this all in my face.

Sure, I could have decided not to click on this entry, and not to comment, but I did.


yes, rather than avoid an entry about being tolerant and accepting of lgbt folks, you decide to click on it and have it shoved in your face, and proceed to complain about it being shoved in your face. a+ gold star for you
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Makuta of Xhini Nui
Sep 22 2012 01:53 AM

i dont think you understand the point of this entry



The point Skar was trying to make is that we should accept everyone regardless of their beliefs or orientations, and that we should be secure enough in ourselves that we aren't destroyed if someone happens to disagree with us.
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Hahli Husky
Sep 22 2012 01:59 AM
Rarity, -1 proto for disrespecting staff and members and ignoring staff. If it continues, you're suspended and possibly worse.

Skarloth, no one is making you read or listen to this stuff. I understand if you're overwhelmed by it, but please be careful not to let it get out of hand on BZP.

Everyone else (aside from staff, whose job is to deal with this sort of thing), if someone is breaking rules like the tolerance rule and the religion rule, please don't feed the argument further. I know you guys want to help and express yourselves, but it would be so much more helpful if you would simply report them. I promise we can deal with this sort of thing. :)
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