5 Homophobic Arguments That Are Seriously Dumb
Although the cultural attitude towards homosexuality is shifting, homophobia is wounded, but not dead. Whether you encounter it from a close friend, family member or a stranger on the internet, almost every member of the LGBTQ+ community will deal homophobia at some point.
Homophobic experiences are a lot like snowflakes — each one is unique. It might be a scathing comment from your co-worker or a full, blown-out brawl with your conservative Aunt at the family reunion.
Even if we can’t completely stop homophobia — or even always stand up to it, we can look at it from the other side. By that, I don’t mean we should all become homophobic homosexuals (although that probably would turn a few heads), but just that we should address the intolerant arguments often thrown in our faces.
There are, even with 72% of Americans in favor of protecting LGBTQ+ rights, still plenty of anti-gay myths circulating out there. By understanding these hateful arguments, we stand a much greater chance of disputing them (and maybe causing a few homophobic people to really think about their beliefs).
“People in the LGBTQ+ community are really just suffering from a mental disorder or psychological trauma.”
The idea that homosexuality (or any sexuality that isn’t straight) is the result of psychological trauma isn’t a new idea. Just take a look at what Joseph Nicolosi, one of the founders of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, had to say about it: “If you traumatize a child in a particular way, you will create a homosexual condition…Fathers, if you don’t hug your sons, some other man will.”
Along with Nicolosi, there are plenty of baseless studies produced by anti-LGBTQ researchers that try to promote the idea that homosexuality is learned rather than born. Walter Schumm, a Kansas State University professor, published a biased study in The British Journal of Biosocial Science that tried to prove this nature vs. nurture argument. The study’s conclusion was that homosexual parents produced more homosexual children than heterosexual ones. Of course, when examined under a microscope, the study was proven to be biased and inaccurate. (Silly, Walter! You can’t fudge the numbers.)
This toxic myth has been the foundation for conversion therapy — arguing that homosexuality is the result of psychological trauma suggests that it can be treated or cured.
There is no unbiased, scientifically-factual study that can link homosexuality to a mental condition or psychological trauma. The American Psychiatric Association removed “homosexuality” from the DSM in 1973 after they couldn’t find any kind of psychological cause for it.
Despite the attempts of anti-gay researchers like Nicolosi or Schumm to prove otherwise, those in the LGBTQ+ community aren’t suffering from a mental disorder or trauma. In the words of Lady Gaga, we’re all “born this way”, and your sexuality is not influenced by your environment.
“LGBTQ+ People can choose to ‘leave’ the homosexual lifestyle behind.”
If you’ve spent a lot of time around nutty, religious organizations that are trying to “help” you, you’ve probably encountered this argument.
Some homophobic people, whose intolerance stems from their religion, believe that homosexuality may not be a choice, but is a sin — and it’s got to be stopped. You’ve probably seen this kind of reasoning plenty of times on the internet. It’s the kind of people who say things like, “God only intended for men and women to be together,” and, “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”
Their belief is that, unless you can leave homosexuality behind like a bad breakup, you aren’t going to make it onto Heaven’s VIP list.
The homophobic people who argue this are often in support of conversion therapy, or religious counseling. Unfortunately, those don’t work — according to the American Psychiatric Association, conversion therapy is not only ineffective, but it can lead to self-hatred, depression, and anxiety.
Exodus International, formerly one of the biggest ex-gay ministries (whose tagline was, “You don’t have to be gay!”) has since shut down and offered an apology to the LGBTQ+ community. The director, Alan Chambers, has admitted that his same-sex attraction has not disappeared. (If that doesn’t tell you that conversion therapy is useless, I don’t know what will.)
I will say that there is some truth to this argument. Technically, those in the LGBTQ+ community could choose not to participate in a “homosexual lifestyle” — but doing so wouldn’t change how they felt. All they would be doing is submitting themselves to a lifetime of celibacy, self-loathing and depression.
“Same-sex couples should not have children — kids need a mother and father.”
Because heterosexual couples tend to be in the majority, some homophobic individuals believe that kids need both a mother and father to develop normally. Without a masculine influence in his life, there’s nobody to take Timmy fishing on the weekends, or teach him “how to be a man”.
A peer-reviewed analysis of 19,000 studies published by University of Oregon and University of Colorado professors, Ryan Light and Jimi Adams, has debunked this myth: their findings show that there is no difference in children raised by same-sex or opposite-sex parents.
There is also a study published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics that focused on the behavior of children raised by opposite-sex parents, and female same-sex parents. Their findings mirrored Light and Adam’s: there wasn’t any difference.
Beyond the scientific evidence that demolishes this argument, I’ve also found it odd for another reason. If same-sex parents produced terrible kids, wouldn’t single parents also? After all, kids with single-moms or single-dads also lack masculine or feminine influences.
Kids without male or female parents aren’t as unusual as homophobic people may believe — and they aren’t limited to the LGBTQ+ community.
And, in today’s current culture, their inability to procreate doesn’t stop same-sex couples from having kids. It might not be as easy as throwing out the condoms and birth control, but it’s still possible.
“Homosexuality isn’t natural, and it’s just a fad.”
This argument tends to go hand-in-hand with religious homophobia, and these people tend to use the fact that it takes two people of the opposite sex to procreate as evidence.
But, this reasoning isn’t solely used by religious homophobic people — someone who has only ever been around heterosexual people (at least, that they know of), may feel that homosexuality is a social construct. Either way, there’s plenty of historical evidence to show that homosexuality isn’t just a fad.
An essay written by Bonnie J. Morris for the American Psychiatric Association details how homosexuality has appeared in every documented culture — from Ancient Greece to Native American tribes.
The current United States is on a slow ascension towards LGBTQ+ acceptance, but they are light years ahead of countries like Iran or Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality is punishable by death.
Which, of course, begs the question: why would someone living in one of those places “choose” to be gay? Why would they endanger their lives to participate in a “fad”? I don’t think they would — unless they couldn’t help how they felt and were risking their lives to be with someone they loved.
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans people have been around since the beginning of time. They have endured persecution, discrimination, and attempted conversion — all for the right to love who they want.
“Homosexuality is gross, and I don’t want my kids exposed to that.”
This argument tends to stem from the idea that sexuality can be influenced by our environments. Some homophobic people fear that exposing their children to LGBTQ+ media or people will “confuse” their kids, or even “convert” them into the homosexual lifestyle.
To these people, homosexuality is like an infection — if you aren’t careful, you might catch it. The only defense is to forever shelter your children from any and all things gay.
As I’ve previously talked about, there isn’t any scientific evidence to support the claim that sexuality is attributed to your upbringing. You are, quite literally, born with it. Of course, that doesn’t mean you figure your sexuality out immediately — you might not realize it until you’ve been divorced twice, and have three kids.
I can’t tell you what you should expose your children too — nobody can. If you don’t want your kid to interact with a gay person ever, I can’t do a thing about it. That’s on you.
That being said, I do think that talking to your kids about the LGBTQ+ community (such as reading them a book about a same-sex couple) is a great way to normalize homosexuality and teach tolerance. It won’t affect your child’s sexuality, but it will impart the message that they should respect all people — regardless of sexual orientation.
You also never if your child will grow up to be part of the LGBTQ+ community. By normalizing homosexuality, you could be preventing any confusion or self-hatred they may feel later on.
When we encounter homophobia, we don’t always know how to react. The first emotion we tend to latch onto is anger, but that isn’t always the best emotion. By disputing common homophobic arguments we hear from other people, we can educate them and promote a society that accepts everyone regardless of sexual orientation.