Homophobia: Description, Development, and Dynamics of Gay Bashing

By Martin Kantor | Go to book overview

1
How All Homophobes Are Alike

In this chapter I will describe some of the cognitive and behavioral characteristics many or all homophobes have in common. Most homophobes tend to be dereistic. They live in a world all their own, where reality consists of myths substituted for facts and maintained in the face of evidence to the contrary. Some become convinced that all gays and lesbians are child abusers. Others think that because some gays have feminine and some lesbians have masculine traits, all gay men act like women and all lesbians act like men.

A homophobic psychiatrist equated homosexuality with feminine gender identity and that with weakness and passivity. He added that all gays and lesbians were infantile not only because of the "primitive sex they had in bed" but also because they refused to run their lives like heterosexuals. According to him, not only did gays and lesbians not get married and have children like responsible heterosexual adults, they were as irresponsible professionally as they were personally. But if he were right at all it was only in his private little world. For though he referred to all homosexuals at large, he was basing his beliefs on a limited sample of homosexuals: the small group of homosexuals who were his patients, many of whom came to therapy because they had relationship problems. This gave him a skewed version of what relationships were like in the homosexual community at large. In particular his belief that homosexual relationships did not last came about because he rarely heard from his patients about the ones that did last. While there are no good statistics available, so that no one knows for certain how homosexual relationships compare in stability to straight relationships, stable relationships are quite common in both gays and lesbians, and perhaps more so than generally presumed. Gays and lesbians do often stay together, are monogamous, and cheating may be no

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