I have a phobia and I can’t find the name for it. I’m a man and I’m afraid someone from the LGBT community might sexually abuse me. No, before we jump the gun, it isn’t homophobia. The following are a few definitions of homophobia:
- Merriam-Webster: irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals
- Oxford:Dislike of or prejudice against homosexual people.
- com: unreasoning fear of or antipathy toward homosexuals and homosexuality.
- Wikipedia:Homophobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). It can be expressed as antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, or hatred, may be based on irrational fear, and is sometimes related to religious beliefs.
Here’s the difference: I have no problem with anyone being homosexual. I do not dislike anyone based on their sexuality, I do not have an aversion to or wish to discriminate homosexuality or homosexuals. I support the LGBT community maybe not in a rally but in thought. I believe everyone should have the freedom to express their individualism and their sexual preference should be their choice alone. I am all-in for any “consensual” intercourse (the quotation and this parenthesis is just to highlight the word “consensual”).
The argument, if any, probably lies in the question of the fear being rational/irrational. To the few I have been able to openly admit this, have claimed that my fear is irrational. The reasons: That I’m not good looking enough, or that gay men are incapable of sexual assault, or there is very little chance that it can happen. While I can answer and prove how horribly stupid these arguments are, usually I end up with a response in the lines of: K Really?
Before labeling me as insensitive, or crazy or cry-baby or a stereotyping chauvinist (I don’t see the relevance of the last label but someone has called me that while talking about this so I put it here), before calling me any of that, just reverse the gender and the claim and gauge your own response. I’m a woman and I’m afraid of being sexually abused. (I will explain why I have made a few typographical changes to the original line a little later) This statement or a similar version of this statement is seen almost everywhere, with focus on keeping a woman “safe”. The problem is we have defined this role of woman as the person who can get abused, therefore needs safekeeping. The man, as he is the abuser doesn’t need to fear being abused. You have to understand, the society we live in, has been taught this and functions on similar lines. Case in point: According to Section 375 in The Indian Penal Code: It is only possible for a man to commit rape to a woman. The reason I’m bringing this up is even my fear is partially guided by this. I fear being physically abused by all, I don’t fear being sexually abused by straight women as much, because society has taught me that straight women aren’t interested in sexually abusing me. I realize the stupidity in that argument, I just want to point out that instead of thinking of me as a single person, think of me now in a generalization. A man doesn’t believe he can be sexually abused by a straight woman (because he thinks she is not interested) but isn’t sure of a member of the LGBT community because he is not sure what they are interested in. The said man, being manly (by society standards), can’t admit his fear of the community and decides it is best to banish them on the whole. The same person goes to say: “I’m afraid of a tiger eating me, I do not think it should be killed”. Why not: “I’m afraid of someone from the LGBT community sexually abusing me, the solution is not banishing/ punishing/ discriminating against them”, because if that is not the case, then the “gender-equal” analogythen would be, if a woman was afraid of being raped by a man, the solution should then be to castrate all men. So, I just want to come out and say, while I do support the LGBT community and wouldn’t discriminate anyone, I am afraid of them.
People with a fear of heights stay away from the higher levels of skyscrapers. My fear keeps me away from penises. Simply put, I am averse to the sight of any penis other than my own. I don’t like seeing them at public restrooms, movies, or anyone who feels the need to flash their bodies all of the sudden. I don’t particularly enjoy all gay movies either (exceptions being movies like Milk (amongst many others)) not that I can’t watch them, just that I’d rather not see as many dicks flying about. For two reasons: 1) Excessive visibility of penises reinforces my fear and 2) I find penises of other men aesthetically displeasing from a design point-of-view (full disclosure, this might partially be because of reason 1 too). So, to my dear friend who enquired on my discomfort at seeing popular actors play gay roles, your answer is this. As long as they are not having too much “sexual contact” I have no problem, even admire a few of them like Leonardo Dicaprio, Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, EricStonestreet for their gay roles.
This is a guest post by a friend who goes by the pen name Mr Tall Dark and Clumsy, you can mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org for feedback or just leave a comment here. Needless to say I (Sneha) had enquired about the writer’s discomfort and you just read the response.