From the comments at Feministing

My discussion with NoName…

I don’t know if he fears homosexuals (I always thought homophobia was a politically loaded, inaccurate term), but he definitely seems to dislike them. Either way, Bush is an ass and people should be able to marry whoever they want (assuming they are of age).

I reply

And seriously…when can we stop debating homophobe? Since when did we actually give the oppressor the choice of names that we’d label them by? It’s like the insipid “i’m white and i benifit from priviledge and systematic racism, but i’m nice to black people so i can’t be a racist” claptrap. yes, fear reactions are not exhaustively explanatory of all anti-gay rhetorics, but they do form the core of this oppression, and to drop the term because people don’t like being called on their shit…

would be cowardly and wrong.

The discussion proceeds from there. But the outline is in place. NoName, and others, decry the “loaded” and “inaccurate” nature of the term, and are certain that phobia has nothing to do with the anti-queer sentiment they run across.

First of all, as i said there, the liberation community is under no obligation to share, discuss, or agree upon terminology with our oppressors. The language of compromise here, as it is so often, is one of equivocation and concealment. Anti-queer violence comes from somewhere. We know this. In order to kill or harm, you must first see someone as a non-person. Homophobia, and it’s ugly cousin, Transpanic, is that process of dehumanization…from person to threat. (The adjective ugly, btw, is in reference to the continued legal use as an affirmative defense.)

It isn’t just that. In a large number of conversations I have been a part of, I have heard subtle to overt suggestions that being gay is a threat to children. A church I was a part of as a child made the decision not to become openly welcoming to queer persons, in large part due to the concerns of parents. As someone who has worked in childcare for many years, I have often been told that parents would feel more comfortable hiring me if I remained closeted.

This is fear. Fear of the individual. Fear of the group. Fear of the change queerness might represent.

Oh, i’ll be mincing no words.

It’s homophobia.

-sly

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