Homophobia and Homosexuality

I hate the word “homophobia.” Why? Because it is a recourse to an insult to win an argument. I believe arguments should be won on the merits not by twisting language into pretzels. Basically, the word “homophobia,” when taken apart means “fear of homosexuals.” Why would someone be afraid of homosexuals? I read on Facebook once that homophobic men are afraid of homosexuals because they are afraid of being raped. The analogy used in the post was how women might be afraid of men because the men are capable of using force to gratify their sexual desires. So men will be afraid of other men because those men will have the strength to gratify their sexual desires against the former men. In my opinion, that misses the counter-argument/s entirely. Not to be macho or anything, but I’m 6’3”, 250 lbs., and I have a black belt. I don’t get intimidated by other men easily. I’m not afraid of homosexuals.

Anyway, I can’t speak for other Christian (or Jewish or Muslim) sects, but by my understanding the Catholic Church is not opposed to individuals being homosexual, they are opposed to the homosexual act. That may not be fair—expecting homosexuals to go through life without ever having homosexual sex—but that’s the position of the church as I understand it. I don’t necessarily endorse that position, but I believe the Church should be represented fairly in discussions like this.

When dealing with the homosexual issue, there seem to be two different ways of approaching it. One, is the intellectual argument. For example, if one claims that homosexuality is some sort of biological dysfunction since there is an obvious function of the human reproductive system that is not met by a homosexual reproductive system, one is making an intellectual argument. There are other relevant intellectual arguments as well—like the effect on the family in society, etc… Anyway, these arguments are characterized by an appeal to some kind of logical, rational discourse. They are usually cold and impersonal. Alternatively, there is the emotional argument. In the case of the homosexual this is, basically, this is my friend; he’s a homosexual; and if you are going to get on his case about that, you are going to tick me off as well because I have accepted him as he is and I still love him as a friend.

For many years, psychiatrists and psychologists considered homosexuality a form of mental illness. Nowadays, most of them have reversed that opinion. I am neither a psychiatrist nor am I a psychologist so I don’t know which opinion to endorse officially. My own views have changed with time. When I was young, I agreed with the Catholic Church. Then, one day I saw on TV a homosexual man grieving for his partner who was dying from AIDS and I realized he truly did love his partner, and my position on homosexuality and homosexual marriage softened. I became a quiet supporter of the movement. Then, there was the transgender movement and the demands for public access to restrooms and showers by members of the opposite sex. Upon reflection, I’ve decided that I think transgenderism is a form of mental illness. Once I came to that conclusion, I began to rethink my conclusions regarding homosexuality; I am currently up in the air about that. However, before parting, I will point out that if you are getting all upset by labeling homosexuality a mental illness (which I am not sure is the correct move anyway), the next logical question to ask is: what do you have against those with a mental illness? It’s not like mental illness is their fault (although in my case, mine—if it is that—is: but mine is an unusual case and that’s a long story). Those who are mentally ill deserve respect and acceptance, and, indeed, love, too.

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