Thursday, November 4, 2010

Have you caught it?: Why homophobia is a disease and being gay isn't

I'm not entirely sure what has gotten me thinking about this as of late.  I suppose its possible that it has something partially to do with the recent discussion about suicides due to the bullying/harassment of gay people, or maybe it has to do with the general tone of discussions from this new "conservative movement".  These are serious discussions of a serious topic and serious people need to be having them.  Sometimes....I count myself amongst those serious people.  I have at least tried to be a source of well-informed opinions on such matters in the past and I do have opinions regarding this issue (I may or may not overtly reveal those opinions during this post....but suffice it to say it won't be hard to guess them from the general flow of this post).  However, there has always been a funny undertone regarding the discussion of homosexuality that is also fascinating when you think about it.  The running joke in some circles is that some people don't want to be around homosexuals because they don't want to "catch the gay" as if watching an episode of Will and Grace will somehow make an adolescent boy/girl want to go out and become a cross-dressing deviant or something.

Become one of of us....

Why being gay isn't a disease

I do think this should go without saying but I'll go ahead and throw this out can't "catch the gay".  You can't be infected with it by enjoying the company of a gay person or having an affinity for musicals.  You can't come down with some sort of homo-ebola by having a homosexual as a close friend or feeling the need to finding the finding accessory to go with your scarf (if you are male) or having a shaved head and wearing pants (if you are a female). Whether or not you are born gay or choose to be gay (and it doesn't matter all), ultimately who you are is who you are.  Who/what you are attracted to simply just doesn't matter and you certainly can't somehow be tricked into it or "catch it" without severe indoctrination/conditioning that flat out never happens.  If we are being honest, you are actually far more likely to be trapped by fundamental Christians and indoctrinated into their belief structure and made a 14th wife than being trapped by a group of drag queens and forced to watch the "Sounds of Music" and "Mama Mia" on a loop.


I do think that there is entirely too much attention given to the "is being gay a choice vs. not a choice" discussion by both sides.  It doesn't....F***ing...matter.  As long as all parties are consenting adults, then why should anyone care? (FYI this is why comparing gay people to pedophiles and bestiality makes me so mad...the question of consent is simply the only thing that matters)  However, that isn't what I'm here to discuss.  I am here to discuss an epidemic that makes malaria, bird flu, SARS, bubonic super AIDS and gonorrhea combined seem...well...."gay".

Why homophobia is a disease

Oh yes, faithful readers, its true.  You can catch the "anti-gay".  Homophobia is just like the flu, except with less fever and more hatred.  Consider the following.

1.) Its contagious - Whether it be from your family who has long been subjected to the infection and yells at the TV every time they see an advertisement for "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" (in syndication) to even pundits on Fox News making tenuous connections between homosexuality and crime, if one is not careful and does not take the required vaccinations (for the purposes of this article, we will call these vaccinations "common sense", "rationality", and "intelligence"), you can catch homophobia.  Really, its worse than a simple air-born/water-born pathogens...because it can be caught via digital/electronic/radio mediums.  High-profile members of the infected include Christine O'Donnell, Rush Limbaugh, and Pat Robertson.

Gay people are the devil

2.) It is symptomatic - Now, this does at some level go without saying, but there some less noticeable symptoms of homophobia so we will explore it.  The obvious symptoms are fear/avoidance of physical contact with gay people, misappropriating religious doctrine to justify shitty behavior, appearing on or avidly listening to Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, or "The 700 Club" talk about social issues, voting for propositions that ban gay adoption/gay marriage/gayness, or, in severe cases, inflicting violence/vandalism/harassment on homosexuals or those who actively support homosexual rights.  However, there are less apparent symptoms such as feeling faint at the sight of rainbows/men dressed in pastels/women holding hands, recalling a summer camp experience as "just an experiment" followed by irrational outbursts about the state of American values today, nausea brought on by the thought of having to shake a homosexual's hand, and strong urges to watch hunting shows and Charlton Heston movies after watching "Say Yes to the Dress" for 5 minutes and finding yourself enjoying it.

"This happened because a gay person hugged me."

3.) There is treatment - Fear not, there is a cure....although it is a difficult treatment, is not 100% successful, and requires constant maintenance.  Its called "understanding that we are talking about people and not judging them".  So often in our long and storied history as human beings have populations determined that a certain subset of the population was undesirable and unfit to have the same rights as the majority or those in power (this has been based on race, gender, religious beliefs, etc) and it has never ended well.  Do I see something on the scale of the Holocaust or the Trail of Tears on the horizon for the gay community? No...I do not think that will happen...we as a whole have moved that far forward.  However, I do think that a lot of time and energy is wasted rallying against what is ultimately private behavior that could be used doing, oh I don't know, some actual good in the world.  Countless religious fanatics give millions of dollars and thousands of man hours to fight and rally against rights for homosexuals that could be going towards things like education and actual disease prevention.  In the end, the epidemic is ongoing and while the spread isn't as far as it once was, it is still ever-spreading, pernicious threat to, in my humble opinion, a more productive and, in general,  heightened societal well-being.  So until next time, as they say, a little understanding every day keeps the homophobia away.  I'll end with something I will now reveal the REAL homosexual agenda.  Be warned, your mind may be blown.

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