I know a lot of straight people that are homophobic, but I have never heard of a gay person that hates straigts (the same way).

Is there such a thing?

In a sense, this is unknowable, unless you are the one, because no man knows what another truly thinks.

But certainly there is a class of homosexuals who use “breeder” as a strong dyslogism.

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

It depends on what you mean by “the same way.”
One of the underlying tenets of a homophobe’s irrational fear, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuals is they are indulging in a sexual aberration. I find it highly unlikely many gay people consider a sexual orientation that is responsible for the ongoing survival of the species to be either sexually aberrant or abhorrent.

Also note that the word “homophobe” does necessarily indicate a hatred of homosexuals.

I’ve always gotten a laugh out of the term “homophobe” as it implies (to me, at least) someone who is irrationally afraid of primates.

Monty posted:

Ummm… how can I put this gently… no.

But, I’ll grant you, the word ‘homophobe’ is a word that was coined incorrectly. ‘Phobia’ comes fromt the Greek word for fear, and so, the suffixes (should) also come from Greek word bases rather than the Latin. Thus, fear of height is acrophobia rather than altophobia (in Latin, ‘high’ is ‘altus’).

‘Homo’ in Greek means ‘same’. It is from this we get homosexual (attracted to the same sex) and homogenized (mixed so it’s all the same).

In Latin, ‘homo’ (hominis) means ‘human being’ (and not a male ‘man’ – ‘vir’ is Latin for ‘man’). From this we get ‘homo sapiens’ (wise human) and ‘homonculus’ (tiny, tiny human).

So, why is ‘homophobe’ incorectly coined? Because it literally means ‘fear of sameness,’ something which a worker at a factory conveyer belt might fear. :slight_smile:

‘Fear of homosexuals’ should have been ‘homophiliaphobia’ or ‘homoerotophobia.’


Homophobia is taken to mean a dislike of homosexuals. The same way Anti-Semitic means dislike of Jews. I never heard of Anit-Semitic meaning dislike of Arabs though they clearly are Semitic People.

(semitic - sp??)

Markxxx posted

<sigh> The word ‘homophobia’ is a word that is so misused, or, used in so many different ways, that it almost no longer has any meaning left.

Technically, it was coined to mean fear of homosexuals (though, that’s not its literal meaning, see the post above). But you use it, like many people do, to mean hatred of homosexuals.

It is also used to mean fear of being thought gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that…). Or, fear of same-sex intimacy between heterosexuals (guys who don’t like hugging guys get accused of it). Or, discrimination against gays (those who oppose same-sex marriage are accused of it, even though they may not fear or hate gays – they have other reasons).

So, it’s important to clarify what you mean by ‘homophobia’ and what you would mean by ‘heterophobia.’

In short, yes, there are homosexuals who fear straight people, who are afraid of heterosexual intimacy, who hate straight people, and who discriminate against heterosexuals. It’s not uncommon to see members of an oppressed minority turn the tables on the oppressors. And, it’s not all of them – can’t generalize, that would be prejudice.


I’ll agree that the term is often misused, but let us look at the dictionary definition.
From Merriam Webster:

Main Entry: ho·mo·pho·bia
Pronunciation: "hO-m&-'fO-bE-&
Function: noun
Date: 1969
: irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals

  • ho·mo·pho·bic /-'fO-bik/ adjective

I pointed out that “aversion” does not necessarily mean “hatred,” however, aversion can certainly include that sentiment, so strictly speaking Mark was correct in using it in his narrow definition of the word.

I submit that a word does not “lose meaning” because it can be used narrowly within the dictionary definition, quite the contrary. It’s only when people seek to redefine a word with an accepted definition to suit their own purposes, a la Humpty Dumpty in Alice in Wonderland does this sad state of affairs take place. Mark has not done so. His “misuse” of the word is only a function of our pointing out it does not necessarily mean “hatred” and and certainly does not mean hatred alone.

A case in point: I once got involved in a discussion of atheism in the days before the Great Debates forum. I walked out on it because a few of the debaters were arguing that the word “atheist” does not mean “someone who denies the existence of a God or a deity.” What they wanted it to mean is “someone who doesn’t think God exists right now, but is not sure, and thinks the possibility might exist.” I trust you see the difference. The word was meaningless in the context of that debate, because nobody who so ardently professed atheism actually believed in it.

The word homophobe has lost meaning only to the people who did not know what it meant to begin with.

I don’t know about heterophobia among gays, but there is definitely such a thing as biphobia among gays.

Now while I understand where you are going here, do you really have knowledge of all of these attitudes in the gay community? When we talk about oppressed minorities, there are some important differences to remember when it comes to homosexuality. The obvious major difference is that you don’t wear your sexuality on your skin. The second major difference, is that it is quite possible for a person to be unaware of or deny their own homosexuality. It’s pretty hard to be unaware of your own race.

A big part of prejudice comes from a lack of understanding. With races, this lack of understanding is a two way street, but in the case of gays, they understand the straight community far better than the straight community understands them, mostly for the reasons I mentioned above.

My dad is gay, as have been a number of my close friends. Definitely some gays will discriminate, but in my experience it is not much like racial discrimination. I haven’t seen a view that straights are inferior, but they aren’t “in the club” so to speak. I have never met a gay man who fears straights beyond the fear of homophobia. I have also never met a gay man who is afraid of heterosexual intimacy. Gay men I know generally have women friends that they are affectionate with, and although I’m sure there are some out there, I have yet to meet a gay man who has not tried heterosexual sex, at least as an experiment. There is definitely some hate to be found in some folks in the gay community, but I have never noticed it to be generalized to straight people as a whole. I would say that there is some hatred by some gays towards certain institutions, such as religious and/or political groups.

Okay, c’mon. ONE of us must be gay, and outed. No?? A little firsthand commentary might be good here. My gay friends run the gamut from a bit angry, to not really caring about straights.
As for “the club” , god yes. Try “the ghetto” instead ( Jewish, African, or otherwise). Exclude a minority, and it will become exclusive…
I for one kiss my male friends on the cheek, as I am hugging them. But then- I don’t kiss my FEMALE friends on the mouth when I greet them, they get the same good bear hug and smooch that my male friends get. Kisses on the mouth, in my life, are the domain of…the One and Only.
Quid Pro Quo.

I often have trouble piecing Nickrz together. At the end of his first post here he says:

In his later post here he says:

Does this mean Nickrz inadvertently left ‘not’ out of his first post, that he learned something in this thread since he first posted, or that he is just being inconsistent?

As to the following,

I say that this politically concocted word never had logical or consistent meaning in the first place. To me, it was politically contrived from the beginning to refer to hate and threatening against gays, but deliberately picked the Greek root for fear, as sort of an ego-saving tactic. You don’t just say an antagonistic group doesn’t like your group; you detect a weakness, or insert a perceived absent one, in that group that is to underlie its side of the antagonism. While I admit that, in some types of application of the word, it correctly brings in a sort of fear (of nonhostile acts requiring reaction, I’d say, rather than of persons), but in other types of application fear is not involved.

And those who still make money off the name of old Merriam (who would roll over in his grave at a word like, I think) come along last and try to make the incoherent coherent. Well, that’s there job, I guess. My dictionary, having come before this political jewel, has nothing to say on the matter, but I doubt that Merriam Webster’s reports the only interpretation of this thing that is basically an epithet.


My point is that it loses meaning because its definition is so broad. You may be using one of its narrow definitions in the same argument with someone using a different narrow definition and not even realize it. Having an hatred for a group can be very, very different from having a fear of that group. Making a poorly coined word serve double duty is chaos.

And keep in mind that it’ll take a while for Merriam to catch up with how a relatively new word is being used.

Yes. Personal experience and encounters; reading and viewing works of gay authors and filmmakers.

Again, it’s certainly not all or even most or even many homosexuals. But it only takes one gay man with a consistent negative attitude toward heterosexuals to answer the question of whether heterophobia exists.


Or, are you saying I’m gay!? Not that there’s anything wrong with that…


Actually I must say, I haven’t ever seen an instance of a gay person being afraid of a heterosexual or of heterosexuality, I do see, quite often, examples of them being very bigoted and biased against them.

Especially in the Boradway/Queen Anne section of Seattle, there are quite a few times where i have seen a family of tourists referred to a “F**king Breeders” when they happen to come to a resteraunt or coffee shop frequented by a certain contingent of the gay population.

I think it may be because certain straight people have, for so long, harrassed the gay people’s lifestyle choices that some of the more outspoken have decided to act the same way in their “element” as it were.

As for out and out fear, i have never seen it.

To deal with men by force is as impractical as to deal with nature by persuasion.

Yeah, I have heard the term “breeder” thrown around before, but rather mockishly. I haven’t heard it spoken with real anger. I suppose it is probably used with real anger by some at some times.

BurnMeUp had the answer I was looking for. I had never heard of a gay person discrimnating or hating someone simply because they were straight. But I will take your word now.

It’s kind of like, why do we not see female transvestites(sp??). I’m sure they do exist but are rare. Also like straigt male flight attendents. I worked in a airport hotel (more than one) and even the one’s who swore they were I would see them taking men back to their rooms.

Finally a gay person to respond to this question, me. I should preface this statement with the knowledge that the majority of my friends are gay, I live in a gay city (Washington DC, also known as the Black San Francisco), and live in a gay neighborhood (some call it the ghetto). The instances of heterophobia that I have seen are mostly from people who were living in an antigay area before coming out. Usually coming out involves an exodus to a major city where gay life is easier to come by. These people had to deal with irrational, hillbilly sentiments and now have to deal with the consequences of them. Since they were essentially brought up to hate themselves as they grow older they have turned the tables to hate the group of people who originally hated them, usually straight men.

Whence I lived in San Antonio, Texas, where I grew up, I had many friends both gay and straight, men and women, who saw no problem with me or others being gay. I had one particular friend who always felt like he was being oppressed because he is Hispanic and then put every white person down because they could not associate with his plight. That was until I told him that I have been oppressed and not only that, he would often start it because the first word out of his mouth when he believed someone was taking advantage of him was “faggot”. That realization stopped that behavior right away.

Most gay men (not sure about women since the lesbians I know tend to stick among themselves) are pretty accepting of other lifestyles, races, preferences. They usually understand how it is to be oppressed. I have lost friends by coming out. My ex-lover was passed up a promotion because it would put him more in the public. And, I have had several friends fired because they are gay. This does not make me hate straight people, just ignorant people.

In conclusion, yes there is a sentiment of heterophobia in the gay community; however, it is nowhere near as prevalent as homophobia is in the straight community. Oftentimes, homophobia is so ingrained into everyone’s minds that even gay people hate themselves. This statement is supported by the abnormally high gay teenager suicide rate and the generally high suicide rate of all gay individuals. These people typically do not have a support network of gay friends or family and tend to feel very alone. Television up until recently has been devoid of any prominent gay characters. (See my thread on the MPSIMS http://www.straightdope.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000947.html , sorry I don’t know how to do the links.) Heterophobia often surfaces most in the individuals who are (1) just coming out of the closet, (2) have just been recently gay bashed, or (3) just moved into an all gay area.

My $0.02