What Do Homophobic Bigots Really Think?

31

How to debunk the most revolting arguments.


here were thousands of comments in response to my last piece at Slate, in which I lashed out against Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy’s policy of funding anti-gay causes. I tried to dip in and out of the comment thread as often as I could while they were piling up, scanning them for interesting points (of which there were many). But I quickly lost track and had to get back to work on other projects.

Then a reader sent me a link to a discussion of my article at the popular conservative website Free Republic. It’s pure masochism for someone like me to wander such halls; I don’t need to read their posts to know just what ultraconservatives think of my “homosexualism” and me. But curiosity got the better of me. And my, my, my, they really do hate us queers over there. It’s not just Free Republic, of course. Similar anti-gay sentiments are a staple of many gathering places online, not to mention those in the real world.

People are free in this country to say what they will, nasty though it is, about gays and lesbians. What to do about it, then? I believe that treating bigots as scientific specimens is the best way to disarm their hate. I can’t tackle all such propaganda in a single article (I won’t be able to cover the all-gay-men-are-pedophiles argument, the-all-lesbians-just-hate-men argument, or the next-thing-you-know-we’ll-all-be-marrying dogs-and-horses argument), but for now I’ll dissect some of the other common rhetorical devices deployed by those with an anti-gay mindset.

So without further ado, let’s put these mean bastards under the psychological knife.

The homosexuality-as-choice argument: Those who repeatedly make this claim are actually revealing something about their own sexuality: they are bisexual. Since human beings use a form of mental analogy whenever trying to understand another person’s behavior, the “choice” argument reflects the reasoning process of an individual who has experienced notable arousal to the same sex in addition to the opposite sex, but has chosen to act only on that inspired by the latter. A true heterosexual, by contrast, has never experienced meaningful same-sex desires and understands that one cannot choose to act on what is simply not there.

Written By: Jesse Bering
continue to source article at slate.com

31 COMMENTS

  1. Very nice article. The comments section is an interesting one as well. Some comments are prime examples of the ‘funny’ rhetoric employed by homophobic groups.

    Edit: Some just have to be saved here for all to see.
    -Nunya Bitness
    I didn’t waste my time to read this nonsense, but it shows that these people are obsessed with one thing; SEX … Jessie is just a professional pervert, as far as I can tell. And he is promoting his illness with the blessings of the Liberal left.
    -ReZ
    Why are you so concerned about how it might benefit to society? Are you a socialist?
    -godlessman
    What it is in it for someone who is not gay, does not know anyone who is gay, and does not expect to get anything it return for voting for your side?

  2. “I can’t tackle all such propaganda in a single article (I won’t be able
    to cover the all-gay-men-are-pedophiles argument,
    the-all-lesbians-just-hate-men argument, or the
    next-thing-you-know-we’ll-all-be-marrying dogs-and-horses argument)…”

    Here, let me handle those ones for you.

    Here we go. Ready?

    Hahahahahahahhaah!

    There. All  sorted for you. We can go outside and play now.

  3. The “Homosexuality-As-Choice” argument is one I’ve used several times in on-line debates. It seems to be fool-proof. I’ve never heard anyone try to argue against it. They usually just disappear from the debate. Of course, it’s not necessarily the case that those who argue that homosexuality is a matter of choice are really bi-sexual, it just shows that they haven’t thought through their own silly argument.

  4. What Do Homophobic Bigots Really Think?

    “If I shout loud enough, maybe people won’t find out that I’m a homo myself.
    “Now, time to work on tomorrow’s sermon before Shirley brings me my supper.”

  5. I have been working at this since 1969.  The most common arguments are:

    1. the bible says we are supposed to kill you gays. 
     I respond:
     I point out what else it says in the nearby paragraphs that they ignore.

    2. if gays are allowed to marry it ruins my marriage.   I respond:  If you blame a gay couple you have never met for your failed marriage, you are scraping the bottom of the barrel for excuses.

    3. gay people molest children.   I respond:  Not nearly as often as heterosexuals. Look at the stats. It is logical. Gay men like masculine things.  Heterosexual men like feminine things. Children, even boys, have feminine characteristics like high pitched voices, no body hair, small size, lack of musculature.  Pedophiles are nearly always heterosexual.

    4. gay people are promiscuous. Therefore we should kill you or at least stop you from marrying.  I respond:   Discrimination frightens many gays into avoiding living with a fellow male.  They avoid telling anyone else their name, and where they live, from having friends. Discrimination is driving the promiscuity. Marriage is the #1 antidote to promiscuity. Why are you refusing to use it?

    5. When I think about gay men having sex, I feel really icky. They should not be allowed to do it. 
     I respond:
    I used to feel that way too, but it was because I was conflicted, both simultaneously attracted and repelled. Nobody is demanding you watch. Just stop interfering.  Did it ever occur to you that heterosexual porn is revolting to gays, but we gays can’t get away from it.  It is absolutely everywhere.  Every movie goes on and on and on with boring, revolting heterosexual coupling. Most ads drip with it.  We gays don’t do that to you.

    6. If you are gay, you must have HIV.  If you come near me, sit beside me on the bus, give me a cup of coffee, hug me … I will get it.  I must therefore have you killed to protect myself.  I respond: If HIV were that easy to get, you would gave got it decades ago.  There are special receptor cells in a very few spots on your body. If you avoid unprotected anal or vaginal sex, you won’t get it. 

    7. homosexuality is contagious.  We must isolate you, especially from children, or anyone who comes in contact with you will be instantly converted. I respond: I see you subscribe to St. Paul’s prairie fire theory than homosexuality is more appealing even to heterosexual males. It simply has not happened. Darwin can explain why it can’t.  Consider that I was raised surrounded 100% by heterosexual people, and it did not flip me. Nearly all gay people are the spawn of two heterosexuals. Sexual preference is hard-wired into the brain while you are still a toddler.  If homosexuality seems all that appealing to you, consider the possibility you are gay, and this fierce attraction is not universal.

    8. Some day we are going to castrate you all to keep you from reproducing your kind. 
    ~ Bert Price, cabinet minister in the Socred Government at an all-candidates meeting 1972
    I respond: Mr. Price needs a lesson in biology about where homosexuals come from.

    9. AIDS is God’s punishment on gay people.  I respond: Lesbians have much lower rates of HIV than heterosexual men or women.  The fastest growing group are young heterosexual females. Especially when you look at the whole world, blacks are disproportionately represented.  Are you telling me your Jehovah likes lesbians better than straights and has it in for blacks?

  6. “We now know that the human penis possesses its unique shape
    because the coronal ridge (that umbrella-like lip beneath the glans) is
    designed to remove from the vaginal canal the sperm cells of other
    males who had sex with that same woman within the past 48 hours, the
    shelf life of spermatozoa.”
    OK. I just learned something! Excellent article.

  7. “Sexual preference is wired into your brain while you are still a toddler”.

    What happens when they ask you for proof? For a scientific study that proves homosexuals are born that way? Sometimes I say it’s obvious but I can’t find anything concrete.

  8. I have never understood bigotry of any kind, including that
    towards others sexuality.  It all seems
    such a waste of time, to miss life as it passes you by.  There is so much to learn, enjoy and participate
    in, and all these bigots can do is miss it all by hating others.

  9. Back in the 70s when I was debating this on a daily basis, I would have referred them to Dr. John Money. Since then there have been studies published in SciAm on how gay people’s brains differentiate in the womb. There certainly should be studies debunking frauds like the Bachmans.  I also refer them to Christian literature about the pathetically insane suffering they put gay men and sacrifice wives through vainly trying to change sexual preference.  All they can do is white knuckle with frequent backsliding. They cannot manufacture sexual interest, or make it go away.

    One time I was lecturing at Matsqui prison and I said something like this: “Why would I put up with all  this shit from the Christians?. If I could simply choose to be straight why would I stay gay?  Why would anybody choose to be gay?” One man put his hand and said “I would. I’m straight.  Most other guys have gay sex while they are in jail, but go back to straight sex when they leave. I just can’t get into it.  I feel left out.  I would be happy to turn gay, so long as I could turn back when I got out.”

    Here is an argument I have tried that logically I think should work, but it doesn’t. If being gay is a choice, then being straight must be a choice too. I don’t recall ever choosing to be gay. It sort of snuck up on me. Do you recall choosing to be straight?  No, I did not think so.  How about we do an experiment.  You CHOOSE to be gay for only 30 seconds.  You don’t have to do any thing wicked, just for 30 seconds prefer males to females. “NO NO that would be wicked.” No it wouldn’t. You would just sit quietly in a chair for 30 seconds.  That is not a sin. You are not having sex, just preferring a male partner.  “Yet it would be evil, and besides it would be icky and gross”.  Precisely.  You CAN’T choose to be gay.  Similarly, even the thought of heterosex grosses me out. I can’t chose to be straight either.  What is the matter with you that you want to force sex on me I find disgusting?. Isn’t that a form of rape? They reply “Your argument is invalid because being gay is wrong.  I don’t want to do something wrong. You could easily change if you wanted to, because everyone knows that heterosexuality is so much more pleasant. If it is more pleasant for me, it must be for you. You are just being perverse, for some inexplicable reason,  like putting a ring through your nose to freak out your mom. You are lying. You are just as horny for T**** as any other male.”
     

  10. On the other hand, while this kind of virulent homophobic bigotry is undoubtedly a problem, it is incredibly obvious and overt. It seems to me that the covert, subtle bigotries of everyday social convention are just as bad as the invective of the  frothing maniacs with the signs. Worse, perhaps, because far fewer people will challenge them. Or even consider that they need to be challenged.

    It’s the fundamental feeling that society doesn’t value your love as much as that of others that really gets me down. That it singles you out for lesser treatment and condemnation based solely on who you have fallen in love with. Especially the society of your friends and family. We try telling ourselves that we shouldn’t be swayed by what others think of us, that the social approbation of our families and friends shouldn’t matter, but it still gets to us in the end. We are social animals, and our friends and families are important to us. We gain comfort and support in a harsh world from them. We compare ourselves with them and use them as our yardstick for success in life. And we have an inborn sense of justice and fairness that rankles when they get things we don’t for no good reason.

    My friends talk to each other about their partners all the time, and in fulsome, happy, respectful, indulgent tones. “How’s your wife?” they will say to each other in conversation. “What’s your boyfriend up to these days?” “Congratulations on getting married” they’ll say. But nobody ever talks to me about the man I have loved intensely and passionately for the last eleven years. Nobody ever brings up my love for my darling James in conversation, even though he is just as much a part of our old childhood circle as any of them, and they’ve known us both since we were in primary school. When I bring up the subject of my love for him they shuffle awkwardly and go silent and change the subject. All I want is for my love to be recognised and acknowledged and cosseted and feted with exactly the same intensity that my friends use for the recognition and acknowledgement and cossetting and feting of each other’s relationships. Even my parents will send my brother anniversary cards, but refuse to give me one even though I have pointed out to them that I feel overlooked and treated unfairly. I make my own anniversary cards these days, every March 24th. The anniversary of the day I fell in love at the age of 19. It can be heart-rending sometimes, and makes me inordinately depressed. Which is not something I need at any time, let alone now when life throws all kinds of other rejections and disappointments and losses my way.

    Of course, none of these unfair double-standards are to do with my being gay. It’s not homophobia, it’s because my James is currently with someone else and we are not yet together. It’s because I have had to wait to be with my beloved, rather than getting him straight away like they have. It’s the inherent prejudice society has against people who love others they are not yet with. Somehow my love is considered lesser because we are not yet together, even though we will be one day, and this love is the very core of my being, the only thing that brings me happiness anymore and the fundamental meaning, goal and ambition that defines my whole life. I love just as passionately, just as intensely, just as powerfully as any of them. More so, perhaps. But they refuse to treat me equally. It really is horrible. So, although I  am lucky enough never to have  experienced homophobia, I think I have some idea what it’s like – the smiling, friendly, judgemental bigotry that sees nothing wrong or immoral with making your life a misery where you are most vulnerable.

    And, what’s worse, nobody condemns my friends and family for it. If it were homophobia then there would be fulsome condemnation for their bigotry all over society. There would be campaigns and support groups and articles written about their prejudice. But no, everyone sides with them. Everyone says I am somehow in the wrong, and they are perfectly justified in treating me differently. It’s like what  gay people must have experienced in the 50s and 60s, or still do in the islamic world and parts of the US. Having society against you, with nobody to turn to for support… that’s not something a social primate should ever have to endure.

  11. Okay Carto’,

    As usual the brilliance of your writing shines like a star, each word making the next irresistible to the eyes.

    The twist in Paragraph four has, by the way, smacked me squarely in the face and has raised my intrigue-ometer to way beyond eleven.

    But then you knew that it would, didn’t you?

    Come on, Carto’, ‘fess up, who is James? Does he at least send you anniverary cards? When will you at last be together? What was the reason you weren’t? Do you have a favourite song?

    How will this beautiful love story end?

    Then again, perhaps we should all shuffle awkwardly, go silent, change the subject, and try and dismiss this image of you sat in a tree, at night, opposite someones house, with a flask.

    Anvil.

  12. Here is yet another way to answer that. I have never tried it on live bigots.

    If you ask most gay people when they became gay they will say “I have always been gay”.  Even when I was two years old I formed intense crushes on other males. In my teens I used to fantasise about sacrificing my life to rescue my beloved. I never occurred to me this was gay until I was 15. I just saw it as me recognising the inherent wonderfulness of some other being. It never occurred that these exalted feelings could be considered wicked by some.

    I certainly did not choose my orientation. In fact I planned a suicide on by 21st birthday if I had not yet found a “cure”. (Many gay teens commit suicide in frustration at not being able to convert.)
    I planned to attach rocks to my feet with coat hangers and slip off a raft into Deeks lake (a remote mountain lake). By my 21st birthday my horniness was becoming overpowering and was making me approach quite unsuitable partners in what I imagined was an extremely subtle way. I did not choose my preference but I did choose to act on my preference, though it was more like choosing to pee because of a full bladder.  It felt utterly impossible to resist any longer. I did not actually meet any gay people until a straight friend “kidnapped” me and took me to meet some.

    In grades four through six, I had a completely non-sexual attraction to a female who was intelligent, amusing, skilled at horsemanship,  socially adept and not in the least interested back. Some might say that lack of success contributed to my gay outcome. My mother was a rather cruel person, and because of that I decided when I was about 12 never to have children. I did not want to pass on her genes.  Some might say that too was a factor. There may be dozens of factors in any one case.

    The bottom line is, if being gay is a choice, Christians should be able to present someone who was gay and simply decided not to be.  They should publish the recipe he used and let others try it.  If all they do in become celibate, and white knuckle, that does not count. Their orientation and desire are not changed.  Being gay is about orientation, not sexual acts.  Straight men in jail perform anal sex while fantasising about their girlfriends. They are not gay.  Gay men who have vaginal sex with women while fantasising about Brad Pitt are not straight.  A straight man does not look around the room and say to himself “Look at all the hot guys!” the way these phony Christian “cured” gays do.

  13. gay people are promiscuous. Therefore we should kill you or at least stop you from marrying….Discrimination is driving the promiscuity. Marriage is the #1 antidote to promiscuity. Why are you refusing to use it?”

    Out of all the arguments against marriage equality, this is the one that most messes with my head: homosexuality is bad for society because gay people, gay men in particular, are indiscriminate when it comes to their choice of bedfellows, and the more sordid, squalid bathhouse encounters they have, the better.

    Such behaviour is apparently against God’s will as – putting aside any other reasons he might have for disapproving of gay – he likes his children to be in monogamous, committed relationships. This seems fair enough on the Almighty’s part; there are few things in life more rewarding to us than establishing a genuine, loving connection with another human soul.

    So, religious people object to same-sex marriage because homosexuals are by nature promiscuous and such unions would make a mockery of an institution which is the very embodiment of faithfulness.
    Gays shouldn’t be included in this tradition, in which they would be required to make  a vow of commitment, because the idea of monogamy  is completely alien to them, and allowing them to participate would legitimise their sort of behaviour, which would be wrong, because they don’t understand the meaning of commitment.
    And so on and so on, and the faithful don’t even get seem to get dizzy.

    I really wish that God had explained just why gay is wrong. It’s all very well to say it offends him, but a little bit of exposition would have been helpful, instead of leaving it up to his loyal subjects to figure out why he finds bum fun and Axminster mastication so objectionable.
    One extra line in the Old Testament is all it would have taken:

    “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind because it is an abomination.
    “And it’s an abomination because …………….  So sayeth the Lord.”

  14. I am very disappointed in this website.  I have always been a big admirer of  Mr Dawkins (I gave my daughter the book “The Greatest Show on Earth on her, I think, 14th birthday). Yesterday, I stumbled across the article here about a man who disagrees with Mr Dawkins re a right-to-die case, and is having some kind of exchange regarding that.  The result here is not an intellectual discussion of the ethical fine points, but, apparently a very nasty personal attack on this guy Carvarth or anyone else who may hold a different opinion, for whatever reason. I did comment, but being “late to the party”, it went unnoticed.

    Anyway, I opened the site today to check for responses and I came upon this bit: “What do homophobic bigots really think?”  With a title like that, one need not actually read the article to surmise what the author believes: that is, who is bigoted and what they think.  Actually, the writer states that he did not need to actually read any opposing viewpoints to know what they think.

    For a site supposedly based on “reason” and science, I find very little, at least in these two entries. The presuppositions guide the topics to conclusions right from the titles of the articles: anyone who questions the correct orthodoxies is “smug” or a bigot”.

    Does anyone beside me find this off-putting? The strictness of your politics is veering toward a religion in itself! Please don’t become exactly like the dogmatic cultists you so vehemently detest.

  15. Odgen Nash awoke in the middle of the night.  The secret of the universe had just hit him in a flash.  He dashed it down on a piece of paper by the bedside.  In the morning he eagerly read the paper.  It said:

    Higamous Pigamous,
    Man is polygamous
    Higamous Hogamous,
    Woman’s monogamous.

    Gay male relationships have a built in problem because you have two males.  Gay female relationship have an advantage because you have two females.  

    There are two completely different gay societies, that of couples and that of singles. There is almost no overlap.

    Very few gay male couples I have bet would dream of splitting up over an infidelity. That straight couples do  seems utterly ridiculous.  There are so many other factors more important.  It is sort of burning your house down because there is a stain on the rug.

    Most couples are quite domestic. The concerns are the kids (pets), house, garden, cooking, travel, entertaining with dinner parties. They simply are not out on the prowl like singles.  These are the people interested in formal marriage, not the bar-hoppers.

  16. It’s somewhat frustrating to see him miss out on an entire avenue of rebuttal to homophobia on the ‘it’s unnatural’ bent, what with the other 70+ species in which homosexuality has been observed.  Perhaps most importantly amongst a number of the other great apes.

  17. Follow-up: Please disregard this entry as the post in question was put up. Is there a way to delete a comment in its entirety?

    Hello Mr Moderator. Where is my comment?  I put it up (this was yesterday), then I noticed it needed a comma , so I engaged the edit function. It promptly disappeared, saying edited bits go directly to moderation. If I am stupidly overlooking it, sorry.

  18.  Well spotted.

    Maybe they wanted to preserve their traditional definition of Marrige as the joining together of a stupid man and a stupid women for the procreation of ever-more-stupid children – God willing.

    Then we can home-skule them.

    Anvil

  19. lcdlover
    Anyway, I opened the site today to check for responses and I came
    upon this bit: “What do homophobic bigots really think?”  With a title
    like that, one need not actually read the article to surmise what the author believes: that is, who is bigoted and what they think.  Actually,the writer states that he did not need to actually read any opposing viewpoints to know what they think.

    You seem to be under the false impression that Richard or members posting here simply agree or disagree with articles posted for discussion.

    There is no group-think here.  They are posted for analysis and comment.  Some however are so poorly thought out that condemnation comes from most rational and critical people. Others are commenting dubious actions and attitudes.

    For a site supposedly based on “reason” and science, I find very little, at least in these two entries.

    Perhaps you should look more carefully.

    The presuppositions guide the
    topics to conclusions right from the titles of the articles: anyone who questions the correct orthodoxies is “smug” or a bigot”.

    We have heard comments like these  about “othodoxy” before.  Usually from creationists bemoaning the consistency with which scientists support theories such as gravity and evolution while rejecting their silly “young-Earth” claims.

    Does anyone beside me find this off-putting? The strictness of your
    politics is veering toward a religion in itself! Please don’t become exactly like the dogmatic cultists you so vehemently detest.

    As I said on another thread, you really should brush up on your reasoning skills. Rational challenges and explanations expected not smug ad-hom asides.

    If you walk on air out of a 15th floor window, you will plummet to an impact on the ground below.  I am prepared to be dogmatic about this, not because I hold some irrational belief, but because I have done my homework on gravity and am prepared to produce evidence to support my statements.

    You seem to have missed the point that many of the people here are VERY well versed in reasoning and science.

    If you have a point to make with supporting evidence on the topic, produce it, because drivel about “group-think politics”, and bigotry, has no credibility.  It merely illustrates your failure to contribute or grasp the points being made. 

    Most people here look at the posted articles and quite often research background information and links too.

    The result here is not an intellectual discussion of the ethical fine points, but, apparently a very nasty personal attack on this guy Carvarth or anyone else who may hold a different opinion, for whatever reason. I did comment, but being “late to the party”, it went unnoticed.

    This is a reference to another discussion, but you contributed no reasoned reply or comments on ethics or safeguards:-
    http://old.richarddawkins.net/

  20. It is none of my business what goes on in the intimate lives of others.  with the caveat of  mental illnesses like psycopathy I kind of give a darn about because of my survivival instincts.  I do not want to be a victim of a violent crime. There is no reason that I can think of why we can not just live and let live. If most people realized how special it is just to have our genes survive this long and get to experience life they may be able to come to terms with thier own lives and stop trying to control others. I love the “if you spot it you got” sentiment expressed by whomever that was.

  21. Aha! Coming back here I found my entry published. Thank you Mr Alan for taking the time to carefully reply to my (2) comments.  I will think about your points, look around and read other topics here, and perhaps I can then explain myself a bit better, or modify those impressions that I wrote about.

    Cheers,
    Barry

  22.  lcdlover: Your comment totally betrays the fact that you didn’t even come close to doing due diligence in reading up on the discussion before commenting. I was preparing to make similar comments to Alan, but unlike you I decided to fully research the articles and comment sections related to your post, and so I know before even commenting that it would be pointless and repetitive to do so. I hope your reply to Alan’s reply shows you are more capable of having rational discussions than you’ve otherwise shown so far, and that when you next join us you bring your best rational arguments rather than such half-baked first-impressions.

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