I don’t understand homophobia. I never have. I mean, I get what it means, but I don’t understand how people can feel okay with being homophobic. The idea of hating someone because they happen to be attracted to someone of the same-sex or gender is just ridiculous to me. I’ve disliked people that my friends dated, but I never hated my friends for who they were with. And I didn’t dislike the people that they dated because of an inborn thing, I just disliked them because they were assholes.
I don’t get why Breitbart and other right-wing organizations and “think tanks”1 feel the need to criticize the mass marriage that took places last night; ceremonies that took place between gay couples and straight couples. I don’t understand how the mayor of Sochi can think that there are absolutely no gay people living within the city limits. I don’t understand why people keep pushing the idea of “curing” people of their orientation. I don’t get how parents and siblings can try to keep non-heterosexual family members from having rights equal to their own. Ignorance like this is just something that I don’t get.
Apparently, the most offensive thing to the right about last night’s Grammy celebration was the mass marriage ceremony. Christian Toto of Breitbart wrote, “For one night, an awards show understood what it meant to appeal to the masses. And then the 2014 Grammy Awards fired off a culture war missile aimed at those who believe in a traditional definition of marriage…Tonight, LL Cool J emceed another Grammys telecast aimed at the widest audience possible until rappers Macklemore and Ryan Lewis sang Same Love while 33 couples–both straight and gay–got married.” The last time I checked, masses referred to the majority, and the majority of Americans believed that marriage between same-sex couples should be recognized as valid, with the same rights and protections as “traditional marriage” and would vote for a federal law making it legal in all 50 states. That’s according to Gallup, but if Breitbart has another non-partisan poll that they would like to share that has differing results, then maybe they should do that…now.
Breitbart isn’t alone with the condemnation of the marriages last night. Rush Limbaugh, the person who loved getting married so much that he’s done it 4 times, called the marriages an attack on Christians and conservatives. Maybe he’s not the best person to judge whether a group of people should be getting married. Dana Loesch tweeted, “I always thought marriage was about making a covenant before God, not a Grammy audience.” So does that mean that she doesn’t like it when Atheists and people who aren’t of a Judeo-Christian background get married, too? If marriage is just a covenant between a person and his or her God, then it shouldn’t be legislated at all by the government. If it is just a religious thing, then we should abolish all laws pertaining to the legality or illegality of marriages because to do otherwise would go against the First Amendment rights of every person who doesn’t have the same religious beliefs.
I don’t understand why there were no real complaints by conservatives about the content of the other performance. I didn’t hear an outcry about the performance of “Drunk in Love” by Beyoncé and Jay-Z which openly discusses sexuality. And where were these family values people when the Robin Thicke/Chicago medley transitioned into the rape anthem “Blurred Lines” by Thicke. Oh, wait. Rape is one of those things that conservative pundits tend to write off as being the fault of the victim. There’s “Cop Car” which might give kids the idea that it’s cool to trespass ’cause you might fall in love. And the “Get Lucky/Le Freak/Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger/Another Star/Lose Yourself to Dance”, includes songs with references to sex, clubbing, taking drugs, and getting drunk. Also I’m still partly convinced that staying “up all night to get lucky” could be taken as a verse about priapism. I’m also pretty sure those are things that aren’t very family-oriented.
I don’t understand the issue that some Russians seem to have with homosexuality. I know that homophobia can be found all over the world. I know that I live in a haven for ignorance, but it seemed like, for a few years, Russia tried to better itself. Then came Putin and everything started getting bad again. Ignorant assholes seemed to start speaking out more and more and pushing for any progress that may have been made to be pushed back in favor of more Dark Age-like bullshit.
I really don’t understand their law that makes it illegal to promote homosexuality because I don’t get how one promotes something like that. Sexuality isn’t something that you can buy. It isn’t something that changes. You may not be “out” with others or even with yourself, but your sexuality is something that is fixed.
When Sochi’s mayor claims that there are no gay people in his city, I have to wonder how he can be sure. There are over 340,000 people living in Sochi. Some experts think the number in a population would be about 2%. Most people accept the guess based on studies by Alfred Kinsey of 10%. In surveys done by researches from Ohio State University, 19% of participants said, when asked indirectly, that they did not consider themselves to be heterosexual; 11% identified that way when asked directly. This would mean that Sochi should have at least 6800 LGBTQ citizens, probably has 34,000 LGBTQ citizens, and may have as many as 68,000 citizens who are not heterosexual. Unless he has somehow managed to expel or exterminate those people, they still exist within his beloved city’s limits. I wouldn’t be surprised that Anatoly Pakhomov thinks that there are no gay people in Sochi. If I were living there and I identified as a lesbian or bisexual or any other non-heterosexual orientation, I would probably keep my sexuality quiet, too. When your mayor looks on being gay as being a “habit”, then you probably can’t exactly feel like it’s okay to be out.
Conversion Therapy & Homophobic Family Members
One of the things that squicks me the most in the world is when the subject of conversion therapy comes up. How do people think that it is okay to torture someone into becoming straight? This is not something that a civilized society does. This is not something that loving family members suggest. This is not okay.
Conversion therapy preys upon people in society that choose to believe that being gay is a sin or is unnatural. It validates their bigotry and offers a “solution” for families and individuals. The solution, or cure, doesn’t exist. You can’t de-gay-ify yourself. And allowing yourself or someone you love to go through conversion therapy can actually hurt them. According to Dr. Jack Drescher, a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, “Not only is homosexuality ‘not a choice,’ as most efforts to try and change a person’s sexual orientation fail, but some attempts to change can cause harm and damage to an individual’s well-being.”
Confusion about sexual orientation is not unusual during adolescence. Counseling may be helpful for young people who are uncertain about their sexual orientation or for those who are uncertain about how to express their sexuality and might profit from an attempt at clarification through a counseling or psychotherapeutic initiative. Therapy directed specifically at changing sexual orientation is contraindicated, since it can provoke guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation. — American Academy of Pediatrics
Same-gender sexual orientation cannot be assumed to represent a deficit in personality development or the expression of psychopathology. As with any societal prejudice, anti-homosexual bias negatively affects mental health, contributing to an enduring sense of stigma and pervasive self-criticism in people of same-gender sexual orientation through the internalization of such prejudice.
As in all psychoanalytic treatments, the goal of analysis with homosexual patients is understanding. Psychoanalytic technique does not encompass purposeful efforts to “convert” or “repair” an individual’s sexual orientation. Such directed efforts are against fundamental principles of psychoanalytic treatment and often result in substantial psychological pain by reinforcing damaging internalized homophobic attitudes. — American Psychoanalytic Association
Conversion therapy promotes the idea that it is okay to reject LGBTQ youth, to kick them out of their homes, to force them to hate themselves. Rejected youth are more than 8 times as likely to have attempted suicide, nearly 6 times as likely to report high levels of depression, more than 3 times as likely to use illegal drugs, and more than 3 times as likely to be at high risk for HIV and STDs. In short, being un-accepting and trying to force a change actually causes problems, instead of making anything “better”.
Some people are homophobic and they need to change that. Ignorance is not okay or acceptable or anything like that. Every time someone tries to justify their homophobia with religion or pseudo-science or the culture they’ve grown up in, they say that it is okay to be a bigot. How many times have you heard some version of the following: Being gay is wrong. It’s a sin and I’m expected to hate it. Love the sinner, hate the sin. If you believe that or accept that excuse, then you’re promoting homophobia. I’ve grown up in a culture that hates gay people, but I know that it isn’t okay to continue to promote or excuse that type of culture. It’s okay to be a little afraid of change, but it isn’t okay to try to impede progress.
If Susan B. Anthony hadn’t fought for women to have the right to vote, where would we be? If Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall, and Medgar Evers hadn’t been willing to risk their lives during the Civil Rights Movement, where would we be? Progress is a necessary part of civilization. Even if it’s messy and sometimes makes you feel uncomfortable, it is something that has to happen, so I don’t understand why anyone would actively try to stop it.
I also don’t understand how you can be a think tank if you’re promoting ignorance. ↩