I can’t count how many times I’ve heard the accusation thrown at me.
“You’re homophobic!” says the gay, or lesbian.
“You’re transphobic!” says the transgendered.
This assumption usually comes smack dab in the middle – or if they’re lazy, at the beginning – of an argument against the latest in the long line of you-will-be-made-to-care attempts at bringing the culture at large to heel. Sometimes, the accusation is thrown out – not to silence an opponent in an argument – but to no-platform someone who they feel needs to be silenced before he or she even opens their mouth.
When it was announced that I would be writing for the popular website, The Escapist, leftists and social justice warriors poured over my every public utterance to find something damning, and settled on a tweet I had said in the past about transgenderism. The internet exploded, and numerous sites, and message boards got the word out about how The Escapist was hiring on the most transphobic man since Hitler. Go ahead and google it. There’s even an entire NeoGaf page dedicated to me.
But how accurate is the label of homophobic, or transphobic when thrown at others, and the public at large when they, like me, resist the agenda? Not very. Sure there may be some who are so disgusted by the idea of gender bending, or homosexuality that it sends them into a quivering mess of fear and anxiety, but I don’t imagine they are very many. In fact, I imagine there are more people out there actually suffering from gender dysphoria than there are “transphobes.”
The dictionary defines a phobia is “an extreme, or irrational fear of something.” A good visual example would be someone’s fear of snakes, dogs, or heights. The person, upon being introduced to the very sight of these things, is reduced to something like a cornered animal with his or her primal fight-or-flight instinct hammering at the mind.
You can see how the “phobe” accusation is a ridiculous one. “Phobe” hardly fits those who disagree with homosexuality or transgenderism, or it’s activist community’s agenda, but that’s not the point. The point is to paint the opposition as irrational, and/or hateful. This way the opposing person, or persons, is viewed with an initial level of contempt, and their words and points are automatically worth less, or not even up for consideration.
Somewhat humorously, many people with the label leveled at them are accused of being phobic as they share friendships, and maybe even strong familial ties with the LGB, and maybe even the T. I know my LGBT friends would find the accusations leveled at me surprising.
So if it’s not phobia (id est, hatred or irrational fear), then why would we resist the LGBT community’s march on the culture? The answer is simple.
We’re not a part of that culture.
Reports differ, but the LGBT community makes up something like less than 4% of the total population in America. It has its allies, but outside of this small bubble, the rest of the country at large has little interest, or investment, in the LGBT community.
And we can’t be blamed for this. The hard truth about humanity is that if someone can’t relate, then they have a hard time investing in the cause or issue. A straight person should be no more expected to interrupt his or her life for the LGBT community, as a lesbian should be expected to for the local frisbee golf league. Unless she’s into that sort of thing, of course.
The American culture at large is very accepting of the LGBT community. Gay and lesbian characters are in movies and television are somewhat common, and some of the most popular programs have had gay or lesbian leads as characters. Modern Family, Will and Grace, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, just to name a few. Ellen DeGeneres is openly lesbian, and has one of the most famous talk shows in America. This live and let live mentality toward homosexuality is generally pretty static.
But every now and again, the LGBT activist community will attempt to force itself on the culture at large by injecting its issues into places where it doesn’t belong. A very recent example came in the form of a hashtag campaign called #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend, where the community rose up to declare that the “fans” wanted Steve Rogers to have homosexual urges, preferably for his longtime friend, Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier. The hashtag was celebrated by all the usual media suspects, such as E Online, LA Times, and even TIME.
Naturally there was a resistance, and that resistance was labeled with all the usual “phobes” and accusations of hate and disgust. But the resistance wasn’t there for any of those reasons. Once again, it comes down to the simple issue of relating, or finding common ground. People across the nation love Captain America because he is the quintessential American archetype. He’s straight, a Christian, and a patriot. He hates fascism, nazism, and communism. He loves freedom, etc etc etc. He is who many of us aspire to be.
Only a small fraction would relate to Cap if he suddenly became concerned with closeted homosexuality, or his relationship with his former war buddy. Hell, judging by some of the responses in my Twitter feed while this hashtag war was raging, even a fraction within that fraction wouldn’t want to see a Captain America concerned with homosexuality because they think the concept doesn’t fit for Cap either. Despite the media’s overblown reporting, very few people want to see a Captain America concerned with identity politics, and this applies to all characters, and even other media.
Even the channel known as Logo, which was aimed directly at the LGBT community, began introducing content that didn’t focus so much on the identity issues of the community because they found out it’s viewers were less interested in shows highlighting their identity. If the LGBT channel doesn’t want it all that much, why would the general public?
Remember that this issue concerns, at most, 4% of us. Naturally, when a demographic this small tries to force its concerns and views on everyone else, there’s going to be resistance. But this isn’t because of hate, it’s because it’s not our view or concern. In fact, when it’s made to become our concern is when you generally see a fight erupt.
And the fight is tiring. Every attempt to strip freedoms – like being able to fine someone exorbitant amounts of money for misgendering someone – or every attempt at pirating pop-culture – like injecting social justice into movies and video games – results in someone like me having to rise up and stand athwart. The more I resist and fight, the more they can stack the “phobia” argument against me, until they have so many examples of me resisting the LGBT agenda that I do indeed look like I’m hateful. I worry that even my friends may start to think I view them darkly with every article I write.
And that’s what really happens when the LGBT community forces itself on everyone. It causes division, when it was an attempt at bringing forth acceptance. A forced attempt to get more acceptance, but the acceptance nonetheless.
But the vast majority of us aren’t the LGBT community. We’re not concerned with it, nor should we be expected to. We don’t deal with their problems in our everyday life, nor do we wish to. We can be friends, and family members, and we may care for their happiness, but that doesn’t mean that our world has to become theirs.