I don’t like the word “homophobia” when it’s used to describe a dislike or hatred towards the LGBT+ community. I never have. I agree fully this Morgan Freeman quote:
“I hate the word homophobia. It’s not a phobia. You are not scared, you’re an asshole.”
I don’t know whether it’s genuinely a quote by him but regardless the point still stands. You can add transphobia and biphobia to that list too, as well as many others.
A phobia is an excessive or irrational fear of something. If you have a phobia, you might experience panic when you encounter the source of your fear. People with phobias often understand their fear is irrational, but they’re unable to do anything about it.
Now, I’m not saying people don’t have a phobia of the LGBT+ community. I’m sure somewhere in the world there are people who genuinely have an irrational fear of certain aspects of the LGBT+ community. I have a couple of irrational fears myself (moths, butterflies, toothbrushes – yes, I know!).
My issue is when people such as JK Rowling or Graham Linehan, and anyone else, get called homophobic or transphobic etc. See, I don’t for one minute think either of them are frightened of gay or trans people, instead I think they hate them. And yes, I know the word homophobia has been adapted to mean a dislike or hatred too but I don’t agree with it and I’d like to see it changed. In fact, you could say I’m homophobiaphobic but lets not eh?
The above mentioned people and many others have a dislike of LGBT+ people that comes from who knows where but this is just it, it’s a dislike and/or hatred, it’s not a phobia. They’re not scared of us, they just don’t like us and they’re both definitely TERFs!
I don’t care why these people don’t like us, it’s none of my business, but when that dislike and hatred comes out in a way it hurts me or my friends, or it takes away any of my rights and brings about inequality and injustice, then I’m going to shout up and I’m going to challenge their discrimination, prejudice, bigotry, bigotry, bias, intolerance… the list of words could go on but I won’t be using homophobia unless they can show me they actually are irrationally frighted of us – and even then I’ll need the following:
- A doctors letter saying you have homophobia
- Two independent psychology reports stating the same
- Evidence of six session with a therapist
- All the above must provide, in writing, evidence in support of your phobia claim.
Then and only then you’ll be put on a waiting list while I – yes me because this is my process and I feel like being this difficult– decide whether I actually believe you and all four reports or whether I think you’re still making it up and you are actually just an asshole.
I’ve always found it an odd word to use. Let’s just go with arsehole.