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How Homophobia Hurts Everyone

Posted by Kohaku , in BZPower, FABULOUS, Real Life Sep 21 2012 · 6,208 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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Skarloth, on , said:

I would rather not be forced to accept these people for who they are
Skarloth, on , said:

I am perfectly tolerant with gays and lesbians themselves

i dont think you understand the point of this entry

Skarloth, on , said:

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

It's not just here, this is just one place. And am I wrong to come here and debate about this topic? This place seems oddly appropriate to host a debate for said topic. I'm not trying to say that's why this entry exists, but I will say I doubt Kohaku expected zero debate in a topic such as this.

I came here to express my views on the subject. That is all.

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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.

okay, and youre right, that is important! but the thing is, the point of this entry is about the acceptance of lgbt people, and skar has specifically point out that he doesnt like having to accept it, which is an incredibly hurtful mindset to those it affects.

that said, there are some beliefs that shouldnt be tolerated. things like racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. those kinds of beliefs are things that we as a society need to be rid of, because they lead to very bad things, because they can be very harmful to people who arent straight white cisgendered christian men.
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Kevin Owens
Sep 22 2012 02:27 AM
I wake up at 3:30AM to this.

Really guys.


I'm debating if I want to wade through it.
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Okay, I actually have one question. And for those who don't know this, I'm being serious.

How would you feel about a person, who doesn't think homosexuality is right, for whatever reason, but doesn't really care enough to say "that's wrong" or go to anti gay rallies?
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Kevin Owens
Sep 22 2012 02:42 AM

Okay, I actually have one question. And for those who don't know this, I'm being serious.

How would you feel about a person, who doesn't think homosexuality is right, for whatever reason, but doesn't really care enough to say "that's wrong" or go to anti gay rallies?

Regardless of whether or not they're vocal, if they still dislike homosexuality or even consider homosexuality to be wrong then they are homophobic. They do not need to be vocal to be considered homophobic.
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Sep 22 2012 03:50 AM
this is silly
like is loving people for being themselves really that problematic?

i mean like, i'm trans and i have a boyfriend who knows i'm trans
and he doesn't care
he completely looks past that and treats me like a person and loves me for who i am

people should be more like him
is that really so hard?
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Kohaku, thank you very much for some more rational reasons to stop being a homophobe. You continue to be The Man (the cool kind, not the authoratarian one),
So can someone explain to me why this is controversial again? We went over this last week. *blugh*

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'd like to repost what I said in Gato's excellent blogpost. You may find it relevant:

To everyone playing devil's advocate: being tolerant of intolerance isn't just incoherent, it's cowardly. All you're doing is letting intolerance fester and hurt while you try to defend inferior arguments in the interest of fairness. Just because there are two sides to an argument doesn't mean they both hold the same weight or reason, so please stop acting like they do.

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Okay, I actually have one question. And for those who don't know this, I'm being serious.

How would you feel about a person, who doesn't think homosexuality is right, for whatever reason, but doesn't really care enough to say "that's wrong" or go to anti gay rallies?

I'd feel the same towards them as someone who believes being a different race is "not right." It's an archaic standpoint that has only ever served to hurt people and isn't a position that promotes safety for individuals who do need safety (e.g: LGBT youth -- many of whom, in the city of Denver, are homeless due to their families believing it's "not right" and having that standpoint reinforced by people who also passively believe it is not "right." It's appalling. I know this because I worked at a local LGBT Center, which consists -- by and large -- of people who are seeking a safe haven from those who would otherwise ostracize and dehumanize them for such a petty excuse for a reason.)

Additionally? Passive disagreement is rarely ever only "passive." I've had people, parents even, at my own school berate me over an article I wrote for the school paper two years ago (*on the repeal of DADT and how this may affect LGBT high school students looking for a military career). Many of whom used quite colorful language to make their points, and used incredibly hurtful rhetoric. Plus, the posters for the LGBST club have been defaced, torn down, and vandalized so many times that we now only use flyers. Want to know what sucks my morning into a pit? Walking by a group of students, some of whom I *know* well, to hear them immaturely insult (and simply "insult" is hardly an accurate word, something a tad more extreme would work) a club that aims to provide a safe haven for other students on such superficial grounds. (And, in extension, insulting an aspect of who I am).

Want to know what sucks even more?

Coming onto a family friendly site, one I have been with for years and even staff, to see a friend make an entry about a life issue and to see people, who claim "I'm not homophobic, I'm just going to spit at you while you're down" turn the turmoil of his life into a political and/or religious issue. I'm sick of it. His entry was not religious, was not political, was not against rules or BZPower regulations, yet people seemed to decide "I'm going to go ahead and break the rules, in a staff member's blog, just to reiterate my disagreement with homosexuality." Is that really so passive? Is it really so harmless?

And even here, with the intent to simply say "be decent human beings, and stop needlessly hurting people" others come on in turning it into "oh I can't do something like that, pffft."

But, that's how passive homophobia is hurtful and how it simply fuels those who are not so "passive." Because, all the instances as iterated above, come from people who claim "I'm not homophobic, I just disagree with how you live your life."

Sorry if it sounds like I'm a little peeved, and while I've reread this many times to make sure it is respectful while still getting my point across, I am a bit ticked off by the vitriol people spill into entries like this.
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Havelock Vetinari
Sep 22 2012 01:30 PM
I find it immensely confusing that someone who is an avowed fan of a show that's all about friendship and tolerance is taking this stance on homosexuality. Quite a contradiction.
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Spink, Bio D, Gato, Aho, Emkay, Hahli Husky, Deevs. Thanks for stepping in and being awesome.

Furthermore, for some of you I suggest that you reread the entry itself. Just the simple act of saying, "you don't agree with it but still accept someone as a person" it still hurts. For us it is not acceptance. You are denying a fundamental part of our being. This is not something that we can change, we are born this way.

As I was reading some of what was said both here and the other day, it hurt. It hurts on an emotional level. I felt depressed after seeing some of the comments on my entry here. You know what though? I'm pushing through that. The good that this entry is meant to show will ALWAYS outweigh the bad. This is an entry about tolerance and change. To those of you who believe that you can't change and that you must stick to your beliefs, well, I've got news for you. Change is possible. It isn't right to hurt someone because of something that they are born with.

Honestly, reread the entry as some of you have missed the point of it.
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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.


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'm not actually gay but i still think i love you
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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.

Let's put this into a different concept.
"I'm fine with there being women in the world, but they need to stop shoving their womanliness at me! Stop forcing the existence of women on me! It's not right!"
or maybe
"Dude, get those African-Americans out of here! I have nothing against them, but this is a family friendly atmosphere! We don't need to see any of that!"
Would you say those people aren't sexist or racist? Would you say there's nothing wrong with saying they need to hide who they are because if they do they're "forcing it on you"?
It's the exact same in this context.
(And if you'd like to protest that there's a difference, my two example statements could probably be found just about anywhere in the early 1900's.)
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Okay guys, any discussion PRIOR to this point is done. Over with. Do not continue it.

Any further discussion is to be on the entry itself. No exceptions.

Any comment that tries to continue the previous discussion on either side will be deleted.
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Sep 23 2012 10:30 PM
wow what a hot entry
so sessy bby hot hot hot
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Username: Kohaku
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