Homophobic and Damned Ashamed of It

So as not to highjack the thread about having one’s choice of sexual preference…

Indoctrination, largely. The cultural/media/pop image is of some influence in this. I know a lot of guys who have a severe fear of being hit on, and, to me, that’s utterly nonsensical. If anything, it reflects their own insecurity, as if they are afraid, upon being propositioned, they would (involuntarily?) say yes!

I remember going to an erotic film festival. The audience exhibited the very commonplace double standard. Lesbian scenes? Cheering and applause. Gay scenes with two men? Booing, hissing, obscenities.

This is the culture I was brought up in…and I detest it. I hate that it settled deeply into my veins.

When I see two men kissing, my intellectual soul says, “Great! Civil rights! Cultural advance! Let us put aside the bronze-age prejudices and recognize the value of human diversity.”

But…my animal soul says, “Ew, Ick.”

My gay-rights voting record is impeccable. My activism is in the right place. I’ve carried signs in the local Pride Parade. (“I May Be Straight, But I’m Not Narrow!”) I have gay friends…

And, to my bitter internal shame, I’m not wholly comfortable with them.

Are open confessions like this good for society, or harmful? Would I be doing a better service to my gay friends and gay countrymen and gay humanity worldwide by not admitting to my failings? Or is honesty, even when unpleasant, part of the “Truth and Reconciliation” process?

I don’t think you’re alone. I feel the same way, though I wouldn’t say it’s homophobia.

No, because it doesn’t have an influence on your behavior. You may struggle with certain feelings internally when you see two gay men kiss but you don’t struggle with whether they should be allowed to make you feel that way.

In my opinion, homophobes tend to be misogynists. They hate homosexuals because they’re afraid a man would treat them like they treat women.

The hallmark of a closet misogynist/open homophobe is their answer to this simple question: why do you hate homosexuals? The responses are nearly categorically similar:

  1. I don’t want a man to whistle at me on the street.
  2. I don’t want to be raped.
  3. I don’t want a man to view me as a sex object.

In other words, they don’t want someone to treat them like a woman.

I haven’t met many men who would openly admit to their homophobia, but pretty much 100% of a time if I meet a man who is obviously misogynistic about their attitudes towards homosexuals, their responses are always negative and sometimes violently so.

I’ve met a number of homosexuals in my life and my main emotion has been pity actually. I pity lesbians for having to deal with women (as men will tell you how hard it is,) and homosexuals for having to deal with men (as women will obviously attest.)

Therefore, if you wish to stop being homophobic, I would say take a second, step back, and take a good hard look at your personal attitudes towards women first.

I know plenty of gay people and by and large I have no problems with them. What I do have a problem with is walking into a gay bar and seeing 8 guys immediately start melodramatically making out with each other just to try to make me feel uncomfortable. Or when I’m talking to a gay guy and he’s just some dude and then anOther gay guy shows up and he starts lisping and limping his wrist and acting like a poor sitcom version of gay just because there’s another gay guy in the room.

There’s a difference between seeing something and going “ew” and being homophobic in the sense that most people use the phrase now.

Technically, it means that you’re afraid or disgusted by homosexual displays, but in common usage, it has moved into being more of a “you hate the gay” shorthand.

It is entirely possible to have instinctual/base reactions to something and think completely differently about it intellectually. It happens to everyone.

Check out the The Stoop Effect for a funny example of our minds working against us.

People also are unconsciously racist and prejudiced, and there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s culturally indoctrinated into us, and we pick it up. We can consciously choose our actions, but it’s becoming more and more obvious that we really have very little control over our subconscious thoughts.

I feel bad that this bothers you, but if it were me, I would attempt to be Zen about it - focus on your actions, and your conscious thoughts, because that’s what you can do something about.

I’m almost certain it isn’t about you. The overdramatic stuff I encounter is typically situational, like at the gay bar, or salon, or other social atmosphere. Not so different from the deep voiced exclamations and high fives as a sports bar: it’s cultural, and fun. Are you equally uncomfortable with PDAs among straight couples, and if so, do you feel they are showing affection just to make you uncomfortable?

Trinopus, are you uncomfortable because you can’t relate, and wouldn’t know how to join in conversation? I would be lost backstage at a child beauty pageant. Completely outside my sphere, but I don’t feel badly that the best I could offer is polite small talk.

That’s interesting! I don’t think it applies to me, but a lot of this stuff operates at an unconscious level. I measure up pretty well to feminist ideals; I can almost always separate “sexual” social content from non-sexual content. Like many men, I do have a little problem looking at a woman’s face and not her chest, but I fight that sort of impulse.

I’m a writer, and I have had many women tell me that I write women characters well. But that’s easy! I write them as “people” and not as “women!”

And yet…I do not know if I would succeed in writing a gay character. The same approach ought to work, right? Yet…

My father was racist, misogynist, and probably would have been homophobic, but, to be honest, I don’t think he ever even knew that gays existed! I’m afraid to say, he was the sort of man who, if he’d ever been propositioned by a man, would have lashed out with his fists.

I guess it mostly bugs me to find that I don’t have complete conscious control over things that I really do care about. It’s a lot harder to live up to my own standards than I think it ought to be.

I definitely try to screen my “cultural inputs” to try to protect myself against bad influences. But media stereotypes are remarkably prevalent. (The good news is that society in general is becoming more tolerant, and the worst stereotypes are, themselves, fading from sight.)

Aye; good advice. “Zen” is hard to do…except when it isn’t! I’m pretty comfortable with my actions, and I’m not ashamed of most of my conscious thoughts.

And the unconscious mind is such a cesspool anyway!

In my experience, that’s pretty spot on.

One of the homophobes I have regular contact with (husband’s family, can’t do anything about it :-/) has the INSTANT reaction to Don’t Ask Don’t Tell coming down that he hoped the military was ready for a LOT of sexual harassment and abuse suits that would no doubt be on the way, and how it was completely unfair to force straight soldiers to shower and bunk in the same rooms as gay soldiers because there’d be no way to stop them from LOOKING at you, which would automatically lead to touching and forced contact. His opinion was basically that it was exactly equivalent to making the entire armed forces co-ed.

And of course, the implication is that men would naturally look at, and then rape, women they were forced to bunk with.

hmm…I’m apparently a high-grade non-homophobic. I don’t like gays kissing in public but I don’t want people to be mean to them, either.

Take the test. How does the OP measure?

Do you get the same feeling when two ugly people kiss? Or when a man kisses a really unattractive woman?

If so, then it’s really when “two people I am not attracted to are kissing”, right?

Wait not wanting to watch gay porn and not being interested in gay sex is homophobic?!:confused:

I don’t think it goes that far, otherwise there are a LOT more homophobes than you could imagine. I don’t think anyone needs to enjoy watching porn or enjoy the thought of gay sex to support gay rights.

I am a gay man. You should understand that there are things that straight people do that make me go “ew.” That doesn’t make me heterophobic. You are what you are, and aren’t responsible for your emotional reactions; they don’t make you homophobic. You are only responsible for the beliefs you have chosen.

I agree with panache45.

A lot of people say things like “the thought of two men having sex makes me feel sick!” But go out onto the street, and look at all the straight couples you see. Picture those couples having sex. I’m sure 90% of them would make you feel sick too! :wink:

As long as you don’t discriminate against people based on your gut feelings, there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Eh, I’m use to seeing two men kiss now, but it wasn’t always that way. I may do a double-take if I saw it on the streets. Even two men having sex doesn’t “gross me out” anymore. I wouldn’t worry about it Trinopus.

You’re not homophobic, you’re just not gay.

That’s not homphobia. You’re just not into gay sex, nothing wrong with that.Bill Burr NSFW explains it better than I can.

Is it wrong that I find it hilarious when I encounter a gay man who acts like a bad stereotype? It’s not intentional and it’s something that I don’t particularly like about myself but there it is.

For example, one time at a restaurant we had a lisping limp wristed waiter who was like a bad stereotype from a 60s sitcom. Think Paul Lynde or Charles Nelson Reilly. Every time he left the table I would grin and chuckle while trying not to laugh out loud. My girlfriend even gave me a mild berating about it.

I felt no animosity towards the man, he seemed like a decent guy, he was just such a stereotype that I found it difficult not to be amused.

The problem, of course, is that if everyone had that reaction then no one would ever take the guy seriously, which could make life very difficult for him.

I guess those comedic stereotypes have done a real disservice by making us see such people as ridiculous.

I admit that I’m a bit of a homophobe.

On the one hand, I think homosexuals should have equal protection under the law, and I have no problem with gay marriage. OTOH, I am 100% hetero, have no gay friends, am disgusted at even the thought of sex between two males, and am uncomfortable being around a male whom I know (or suspect) is gay. I don’t know why I am this way. I just am.