Homophobia

Personally, I've never been abused because of my sexual orientation, but I know several people from my closest social circle who have suffered a lot.In what ways could we attract homophobia to our experience? I do agree it's usually an attraction, but why is it such a strong pattern with some people? What do you guys think or have to say about this?

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  • I have not had much experience with homophobia, except a little from my family. I never was very public about it. But, as to the genetics that was talked about in the clip below, I can say that me, my mother and my sister are all bisexual. My mom is now deceased, but was bisexual when alive. 

  • Oh definitely on the women's hardships. In fact, we should give a lot of thanks to the women's movements in the 60's. Apparently they're closely tied to the Gay Rights Movements, especially with our lesbian counterparts. I eventually would love to publish something on how homosexuality, especially male homosexuality is a challenge to masculinity in this culture. Lots of parallels to giving more power to women and taking away power from straight, white, upper class men.

    I think a lot of the main problems within the lack of understanding is the idea that we can choose our sexual orientation. My straight friend thought he could choose to be gay and actually tried it out, but turned out to be totally straight whereas I tried to be straight at one point and it just caused more problems than needed. I came across this cartoon that is humorous but it seems to have a lot of interesting facts related to the idea of choice.


    You know, I was wondering about that very thing a few days ago... being a gay social worker. I might head out into that field of work eventually. What's it like?
    • Gods Peter, sorry for being confrontational, but I can't help feeling hurt when I see all the not-a-choice propaganda. I believe I have the right to share my feelings about the video, just like you had the right to publish it. Freedom of expression!

      First, the Freud part is a total absurd. I did a long monograph on Freud and Psychoanalisis at university and for some good years I was all passionate about everything that decended from his work. Freud was probably the first groundbreaking investigator of Human Sexuality that publically stated many, many times, over and over again that homosexuality is not a disease and shouldn't or don't have to be "cured". You can look for very clear information all over his extensive works, but I wanted to refer you especially to a letter he wrote while living in London at the end of his career in reply to a mother who wanted her son to be treated because he was gay. Freud stated very clearly that there was no need to "fix" the boy, that if he was okay with it, then there was no need to worry. Also, at the end of his life, when he was already retired, he gave a long interview in which he mentioned among other things that he couldn't be held responsible for the future unfolding of his work. He was merely the discoverer of a new continent--the human subconscious and its scientific study--, not the last word on the subject. And remember that even Jung, his main collaborator and disciple, said that whatever happened after he was dead, he'd hate to have "Jungians" distorting his ideas and misusing his theories like "Freudians" did. Easy to understand now when you think of several thinkers and spiritual leaders of the past who had their words used to hurt people and cause more pain.

      The younger brother theory is actually lame. I can't think of a single male gay friend of mine who have more than one older brother. I am a firstborn, my fiancee is a firstborn, all gay guys I know that come to mind right now are either firstborn or have an older sister.

      I do agree that you cannot CHANGE sexual orientation, though. But I think you choose early on in life.

      My friend Aster, who is very, very gay and has no siblings whatsoever, published in his blog the other day a newspaper article stating that it was "finally proved" that homosexuality was biological. If you just googled the name of the institution who did the research and the scientists' names, you'd get to the actual scientific report. It basically said nothing more than that the gay guy's brain was configured like a straight female's brain (both groups had symmetrical brains, unlike lesbians and straight guys). It also made very, very clear that this was only "perceptional differences", not something that explains the reason why, you know.

      Here's the abstract: http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/0801566105v1

      Now, I understand that all this make-believe that gays are victims of genes, hormones and birth order variables might be a very important step to acceptance and self-acceptance. But for some reason I feel it will cause trouble over the long haul. People are insane, and I remember seeing once a doctor advertising genetic engineering services that could create a "straight" fertilised egg. He basically sold parents the opportunity to choose their child's sexual preference. That is insane. And that is the kind of industry, behavior and "perceptional" understanding is fostered by the idea that we don't have a choice about what to do with our bodies.

      We need self-acceptance, self-love and self-support URGENTLY. Thinking that we're victims of some play of nature, IMO, won't help at all.

      End of rant. :D
    • Lol, nice rant. Sorry if it hurt you, what you're saying is true though. I don't know too much about Freud other than the fact that he brought about some revolutionary ideas and needed changes, so be my guest and tell me everything you know relating to him.

      As for the younger brother idea. Someone really needs to do more statistics on that, or if anyone else who's reading this should stumble upon anything relating to birth order disproving it, that would be cool because I'm the first born too and I am totally attracted to men.

      I think what they're referring to however is the amount of resources dedicated to a fetus when they're in the womb. I was watching a documentary on birth order in birds a while back and they were saying that the first born had the benefit of more of, I forget if it was hormones or just nutrients (I can't find the exact cite for this), but the point that the documentary was making is that in most species the more births a mother has each successive offspring will be notably smaller in size. The term feminization (if you look at feminization as weak and small) in that movie could be purely cultural and it seemed like whoever made that movie was also had cultural bias, if you look at the scientific community as it's own culture.

      I read similar abstracts about the structure of the brain of gay men in relation to the other sexes and orientations. They tend to leave out bisexuals though, so more bias and exclusion. My intro to LGBT Studies professor had us read an article relating to homosexuality in terms of the X chromosome. It was saying because males have only one copy of the X chromosome, and because the majority of the genes that make up our brain are on the X chromosomes, male behavior is more erratic and unstable. Here again though, it was saying that homosexuality is the result of instability and therefore a disease, so that outlook doesn't look too promising. They're also looking into that as a cause of the serial killer behavior, who tend to be males but I believe that's more of socialization coupled with an instability. Haven't heard of gay serial killers so the correlation between this XY factor and homosexuality seems to be weak not to mention the fact that it doesn't explain lesbians.

      The spirituality of it, not in the Christian sense, but in a more worldly sense takes on a different approach to it and is a lot more accepting. The idea of two spirits inhabiting the body and causing you to feel this attraction, the idea of a female soul in a male body and vice versa, the idea of the third gender being healers. Spirituality is the likeliest bet for our "salvation," to put it mildly.

      If we tie down homosexuality to a physiological and genetic basis then that means we can have a eugenics movement going (something we all fear) and eventually genetic discrimination, like the movie Gattaca. At the same time though, eugenics has been tied to Nazism so I don't think people would want to touch that.

      I just wanted to show the movie to help you all not to hurt, a lot of my ideas about homosexuality are still forming and is why I really want to read as much as I can, so send articles you have this way, I'm going to have a boring summer especially with gas prices here in LA.
  • There's actually a story about a gay man who was attracting homophobia in the movie "The Secret." You should take a look at it if you get a chance. It basically says that the guy was constantly thinking how he's gay and how everyone hates that he's gay but he eventually changed his mindset and forgot about the people that harrased him which in turn led to their eventual disappearance from his life because of various reasons like their getting fired or them having to move. All he did was focus on everything else and gained some inner security, I forget how though (watch the movie).

    I've never personally experienced homophobia myself either but I have a friend who was physically abused when she told her mom that she's bisexual. She has a habit of playing the victim (attracting the victim circumstance) as well attracting really bad stuff to her almost as quick as she thinks it up and doesn't even realize it.

    I'm curious about your mindset as a whole versus your friends', do you go out constantly thinking that you're gay or do you think of yourself as just you? What are your friend's thought patterns like? Is being gay or lesbian their whole identity or is it just part of their identity?

    Personally, I don't constantly think about it. Actually, sometimes I'll forget that I'm gay, which is nice when I was studying for finals; less of a distraction in public places :-p. I don't make it a huge part of my identity and I made sure my friends knew that, but I do like to study it a lot from a sociological perspective and read the articles relating to it. In fact, I noticed a lot of people tend to take on an identity a lot and attract the stereotypes that come along with it. I try not to do that either, for example I'm Asian but I don't constantly think about it, so I don't really attract asians to me, I tend to attract a mix of different people (with the occasional big black lesbian women for some reason; maybe because I think they're cool people... haha). I wonder if that's the case with everyone else (not the lesbian women but in general).
    • Actually, yeah, being gay is about half of what there is to "social" me--but not really the nightclub, D&G, bodybuilder, sun-tanned type, not at all!! But see, I play an online superhero game and I lead the gay team there, this gay group was the first one I joined here in Powerful Intentions, I am part of a Buddhist/yoga group for Gay men, I joined last month a therapy group for Gay men, too, and I live a stable, monogamic relationship and everybody in my neighbourhood knows we're a couple and even comment on it with us with great naturality. I'm lucky enough to live in Madrid, Spain, but even when I lived in Brazil I never really got bullied, except for elementary and high school--which doesn't matter. Brazil, just for curiosity, currently holds the world record in homophobic murders.

      However, I do agree with LouLou. I'm also a stutterer, and I have problems accepting that, even having a laugh with it. It makes sense that because of that, stuttering makes my life a nightmare. That's something I have to work on...

      Last but not least, I LOVE THE SECRET!!! In 2006/2007 I watched it EVERYDAY! I even bought a portable DVD player to watch it in the train, bus, picnics, travels, etc. :D
    • You know what, now that I think about it I really didn't have any male gay friends at all before when it wasn't on my mind much, but ever since I started thinking more about especially at school with my papers they started coming into my life more.

      I did not know that about Brazil. Thanks for fulfilling my curiosities.. :-p I'm curious if it's related to the transgendered prostitutes that I've read about?

      Guys, don't sell yourself short because of your personal beliefs. Just let go and find that inner self/strength, that spark of light and let it grow and shine. I used to stutter a lot too but mainly because I was obsessive compulsive when I was a kid. It was like I was trying to say the word correctly and perfectly so I repeated it. I eventually just back up and slowed down my speech but eventually sped up my speaking once the stuttering stopped. I'm not sure if that'll help with you.

      The way I think of it, why would we want to conform to a society that doesn't accept us as we are? We should look for those in this society that support us. My professor for example is heterosexual, but she's raised her daughter to be a huge supporter of the LGBT community. In fact, her daughter (who is straight also) is the president of the LGBT club at her high school. There are vast numbers of supporters out there who aren't gay, lesbian, bisexual... etc themselves and growing especially with the way media is these days.

      Have you noticed how cartoons are these days (well, in the US anyway, I'm pretty sure in Europe as well)? Major gender benders, very subtle so parents don't get shocked or even notice but enough to let kids think it's ok.
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