While those who support LGBT equality sometimes innocently engage in stereotyping of gay men, it is ultimately those who promote heterosexist and homophobic agendas who are the most likely to draw on myths and stereotypes in their efforts to rationalize discrimination.
In the file was a letter from my mother to her cousin, written in November 1992. She stated, "We are now convinced that Rob was born with a handicap and all we can do is love and support him in the same way we would with any other kind of handicap." Handicap? Really?
That is exactly what author Amber Lee Parker and illustrator Hannah Segura have done with the release of their children's book God Made Dad and Mom. The colorful picture book seems pleasant, but the point of the story clearly is to deride LGBT families.
Although the increasing visibility of LGBT people and gains in equality may be associated with short-term rises in homophobic violence, these changes are merely triggers. We must move beyond superficial and individualistic analyses of such heinous events and target their root causes.
Luckily, we haven't run into any outright bigotry with any of our wedding vendors, so we feel very fortunate. But every time I see a form or am asked for the name of my soon-to-be wife, it's another conversation to have.
When we fail to honor, respect and celebrate our community's diversity, the enemy is us. Last year, a troubling story came to my attention, a story that illustrates the perils of becoming too concerned with acceptability by heterosexual standards and conforming to so-called family values.
Given the AP Stylebook's decision to discourage the use of the word "homophobia" by journalists, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at "heterosexism," what it does and doesn't mean, and why it (along with "anti-gay") cannot exactly replace "homophobia."
For the majority of my grandfather's generation, homosexuality was, frankly, just plain gross. This disgust has played an important role in the efficacy of the LGBT rights movement. Our early activists were fighting more than ideas; they were fighting a deeply ingrained gut reaction.
The AP revealed recently that its stylebook will no longer include the word "homophobia" in political or social contexts. Oddly, and for entirely different reasons, I agree that the terms like "homophobia," "biphobia" and "transphobia" are imprecise at best, so I, too, find them problematic.
Last week ultra-right-wing rabbi Noson Leiter referred to Hurricane Sandy as "divine justice" for the state of New York's 2011 legalization of marriage for same-sex couples. Conservative Christian leaders have long held LGBT people responsible for natural disasters.
Reflect on your relationship, your most tender romance. Think of the moment when you realized that you were in love with someone and that person loved you back. Now ponder what it would feel like to be asked to make all that a deathly secret, hide it away and cloak it in shame.
Steven shared a few stories with me, and I was surprised by how often he actually deals with heterosexism in the entertainment industry. It seems as though he deals with it almost as much as I and my actress friends deal with ageism and sexism on the casting couch!
I want femme lesbians to be recognised for who we are, to be acknowledged, accepted, and respected. I do not want to be seen as my partner's sister, and I do not want to be viewed as not truly belonging to the lesbian community.
Today, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are targeted. Tomorrow, they may come for you. Everyone, therefore, has a self-interest in actively working to dismantle all the many forms of bigotry, including heterosexism.
I've taught classes on the sexual orientation resolution process; I studied the Kinsey Report; I know the current sexual orientation scholarship. Some of my gay friends say I know more about the subject than they do. Yet I am a recovering homophobe.