We Are Gay UK

COMMENT | Is the gay community homophobic?

For a community that has a history of persecution, horror, and division it will always shock me that even to this day, the gay community remains deeply divided and discriminatory to itself.

In this article, a bit more of a serious one for a change, I want to explore some examples of this discrimination and my thoughts as to why I think this is so.

To start, I will freely admit that I am a white gay man 32 years of age (middle class if that means anything) with an average upbringing. I was not bullied at school for being gay, I was bullied for looking like Harry Potter long before HP was ‘cool’.

My family, until recently, has been fairly stable and while I have been through a lot professionally and personally in my own life since I was 18, most of my views and experiences come through the eyes of others. Having spent a number of years working with social care cases my empathy and ability to see your own pain and map of the world is something I treasure. And something, for this piece at least, gives me some insight that I hope you find relatable.

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In this article, I don’t have time to go into the racism, ageism and various other ‘ism’ issues in the community but I will acknowledge them for the moment. I have no doubt all are linked, but racism and ageism isn’t necessarily a sexuality thing as straights have the same issues. We’ll get to them in another article. For the moment, I want to focus purely and simply on gay men hating other gay men for their sexuality.

The dictionary defines homophobia as a;

“dislike or prejudice against homosexual people”. There are many different definitions out there, including one that defines it as “a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards or people that are perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender”.

But let’s start with the simplest one as I prefer simple arguments. A “dislike or prejudice against homosexual people”. For this article, I am going to focus on gay men vs gay men. There are plenty of documented cases of gays vs lesbians, gays vs bisexuals and gays having a bash at transgender. The level of disgusting hate I see on F2M people’s profiles aimed at them from other gays is just an embarrassment on us all.

Now, this is not to say that all gays despise other gays. Far from it. But, there is enough evidence from all our experiences and local communities to say that there is an issue with gays hating and discriminating against other gays for being gay. Or rather, a version of gay that they don’t agree with.

A good example of this is the ‘straight gay’ hating on the ‘camp gay’.

Camp gays are widely seen by a number of other gay men as loud, annoying, embarrassing and a hangover from a day when gays were just seen as loud, camp and annoying. When they look at pride marches all they see is the camp gays and automatically assume all pride are this way and pride, the scene, and gay culture is geared solely for the camp gay. Think back, at least one of your friends that don’t really do the scene or rolls their eyes at a young camp gay guy has these opinions. And the fact that they will actively avoid the scene and prides is evidence of these underlying prejudices and resentment that fuels their preferences today.

Now, many of you will say ‘so what?’.

If someone wants to avoid the gay scene and community that should be their right and freedom right? And yes, you are correct. As someone that believes in free will you would be correct. But it doesn’t just stop there though does it? Take a look on social media, many of them go on little tirades of hate towards the scene and anything gay doing a job even Mary Whitehouse would be proud of. If you want to disconnect from the community and reject your history that is absolutely fine, but this online hate that is aimed at anyone daring to be ‘loud and proud’ is nothing short of homophobia.

If a straight man/woman did it we would accuse them of it, so why is it different because another gay man does it against a gay man?

In straight men at least, often such a phobia comes from their own fears and issues around their sexuality. How many staunch anti-LGBT people do we see be revealed to have secret gay hook-ups or eventually come out as gay when that hate runs out and what you are left with is a realisation. Therefore can the same logic be applied to the gay man that rejects his gay brothers? If things like pride, camp behaviour, ‘loud n proud’ are visual ‘in your face’ reminders of their sexuality and are therefore something to be avoided?

I can’t say that as I believe homosexuality means different things to different people and everyone expresses that differently. But this ‘hate’ comes from something. Otherwise, why would another gay man attack another gay man in such a fashion when they are plenty of straight people out there that would happily do it to us anyway?

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I have no answers to this just some insights that it does happen and casual homophobia is everywhere. Maybe if we start to accept it for what it is, and start challenging it when we see it, maybe (just maybe) the gay community has a cat in hell’s chance of being the inclusive community it professes itself to be.

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