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 email@example.com 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.
First of all, why can’t your friend do his own blog or is he scared of that too? Second of all, I laughed through this entire post and thought it was being written tongue in cheek because it’s comical. Even though I found amusing, the point made was clear. Fear, no matter how rational or irrational keeps us a prisoner and leads us to see the world thru a distorted filter. Truth is, your friend is probably WAY more at risk being emotionally and or physically abused by a straight woman. Abuse happens to all genders, races, sexual preferences etc. Abuse does not discriminate, people do. What the real crime is any human being suffering from abuse who are kept in silence from their fear of what would happen if they told the truth. Just because society doesn’t talk about it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Thanks for including his email, I will now proceed to inundate him w images of penises to help him get over his penis phobia 🙂
Yes, yes! He also has an irrational fear that his writing skills are terrible and that perhaps he is not motivated enough to maintain one all by himself, which is why he does not want to start his own blog. You are right about abuse though, it does not discriminate, but irrational fears defy logic, even if the person is a completely intelligent and aware of the irrationality. As far as my friend is concerned, do go ahead and inundate him with those images, will be fun! 😀
Hehe, nah I have better things to do than goggle penis pictures but that sure made me laugh. 🙂
I get how fear defies logic, I have a phobia of vomit. A therapist once told me the best way to get over a fear is exposure. It actually is kinda true, I now can watch puke on tv and I don’t completely freak my shit over it. It’s still so gross though…..
Your a good enabling friend, I’d be all….”dude grow a pair srsly, what’s the worst that could happen?”
Yeah, I used to be scared of snakes when I was a kid. This once they found a green non-venomous snake on our campus and our gardener was carrying it around, I decided it was high-time I got over it, so I asked him to give it to me and I held it for some time, its skin was so bloody smooth! It was slightly weird for the first few seconds, because I thought it was slimy, but then realized it was not. So from thereon I am not as scared of them. And I keep telling him to blog, he might start one eventually!