Are Homophobic Men Born This Way?

1026739-lady-gaga-born-this-way-617-409There are two kinds of homophobic men in the 21st-century West: (1) Hard-Core Homophobes, who have a serious hate-on for gay guys for some reason (e.g., their religion taught them to hate gays, they’re gay themselves and can’t face up to it, they were sexually abused as kids, etc.). Homophobes of this stamp are, thank God, in the minority at the moment (no more, I’d wager, than 10%). Far more common is the second type: (2) Born-This-Way Homophobes. At bottom, these guys are just grossed out by the thought of man-on-man action. This is, if you think about it, quite understandable. After all, at least initially, kids in our culture are grossed out by the thought of anyone having sex. I’ll never forget the look of shock and awe on my son’s face when I sat him down and had The Talk™. He was horrified. But, in time, like most kids, he got over it.

There are at least two reasons why most kids eventually get over their initial disgust vis-à-vis straight sex: (1) Most kids are straight (i.e., most of them are, by nature, heterosexual). So, sooner or later, they’re fantasizing about and/or engaging in straight sex. (2) Most of the representations of sex and sexuality in our popular culture are straightforwardly heterosexual. So, regardless of their sexuality, most kids get used to the idea of straight sex—because they’re bombarded with it! They don’t, as a general rule, get used to the idea of gay sex. But they can get used to it. With remarkable ease. For instance, I know a guy who was “cured” just by watching that great TV series Spartacus; I know another who got over his homophobia in prison; and I know yet another who got over his weirdness vis-à-vis homosexuality soon after his son came out. These examples, and others, have led me to conclude that homophobia isn’t the massive, intractable social problem many seem to think it is. Being grossed out by all forms of adult sexuality is the default-setting for children in our culture. As such, most of the homophobic men you know were, in a sense, “born this way”. But they don’t have to stay that way.

—John Faithful Hamer, The Myth of the Fuckbuddy (2016)

About John Faithful Hamer

John Faithful Hamer is a college professor who still can't swim, drive, or pay his bills on time. His sense of direction is notoriously unreliable, yet he'd love to tell you where to go. His lack of practical skills is astounding, and his inability to fix things is renowned, yet he'd love to tell you what to do. His mismanagement of time is legendary, as is his inability to remember appointments, yet he fancies himself a philosopher and would love to tell you how to live. He wouldn't survive in a state of nature, of that we can be sure; but he's doing quite well in the big city, which has always been a refuge for the ridiculous, a haven for the helpless, and a friend to the frivolous.

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