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Op-Ed

Debunking 10 common misconceptions homophobes say

Peter Jones T. Dela Cruz writes about what he says as the “common bullshits that homophobes say”, adding that “yes, we have an agenda, and that is to inform people over and over that being gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, transgender, genderqueer, agender, and intersex is okay; to stop LGBT kids and teens from committing suicide; and to fight bullying, discrimination, oppression, and hate crimes.”

I was tempted to say “common bullshits that homophobes say,” but I want to play it nice and cool. Some anti-gay conservatives might share this with their online friends with their acidic commentary. If you’re one of those homophobes, I implore you to not misrepresent what I say. I know most of you are intellectually dishonest.

Let’s start.

  1. Homosexuality is unnatural.

This naturalistic fallacy just doesn’t die. What makes homosexuality unnatural? Is it because only a small percentage of the population is homosexual? Sure. But that only means gay and lesbian people make up a minority. Being uncommon or making up a minority doesn’t necessarily mean being unnatural, and being uncommon and being natural are not mutually exclusive―both can occur at the same time.

Also, homosexuality is observed in more than 400 species of animals, including mammals. Natural selection didn’t delete it throughout the course of evolution. Homosexuality keeps occurring in nature. One could argue that homosexuality is a natural variation of sexuality among humans or animals.

Supposing for purposes of argument we say it is unnatural, so what? Is it wrong because it is unnatural? The inherent goodness of something isn’t dependent on whether it is natural or not. Tornadoes and earthquakes are natural. Eyeglasses and smartphones are not.

  1. Homosexuality is a choice?

Again, so what? Being a choice makes it wrong? How exactly? Also, no scientific literature supports the idea that homosexuality is a choice. It’s mostly biological, and current research leads us to its epigenetic origins. Even if researchers don’t find the genetic or epigenetic factors that give rise to homosexuality, that still doesn’t mean it’s a choice.

  1. Accepting homosexuality will make kids go gay.

Preposterous! Can anyone from the conservative camp demonstrate how this can actually take place?

Accepting homosexuality will only make more gay men and lesbian women comfortable in expressing themselves. Kids may see more openly gay people, but that wouldn’t make them gay. You don’t learn being gay through imitation, in the same way gay people couldn’t learn to be straight around straight people. Sexuality isn’t something you learn.

  1. If everyone went gay, then humans would go extinct.

How would everyone go gay? This is another ridiculous “what if” argument, which is nothing more than an appeal to false consequences and a manifestation of severe paranoia. As mentioned, gay people are a minority. There is no evidence of gay people increasing in number in relation to straight people. And please let us check the population data again. Our straight folks are doing the job pretty well.

  1. Homosexuality spreads AIDS.

Anti-gay pundits like to point out that homosexuality is wrong because the most cases of HIV/AIDS occur in men who have sex with men. I see at least two problems with this argument. First, lesbian women have the least cases of STIs, including HIV/AIDS. Aren’t lesbian women homosexuals too? That makes the argument that homosexuality spreads AIDS inconsistent.

The most important counterargument for that spurious claim is that HIV/AIDS is spread via unsafe sexual practices, sharing of infected syringes, and childbirth via an infected mother. You don’t spread HIV/AIDS because you’re gay. You don’t spread it via gay sex per se.

You can spread it when you’re infected and you engage in unprotected sex, and it doesn’t matter if you’re gay, bisexual, or straight. Two HIV-free guys can have sex all night long, and the only thing they might suffer from is fatigue.

  1. Homosexuality can be cured.
Peter Jones Dela Cruz: "No one should suffer from discrimination because the right against discrimination is a basic human right. The government is supposed to protect the liberty and welfare of all its citizens regardless of gender, sexual orientation, social status, ethnicity, etc."

Peter Jones Dela Cruz: “No one should suffer from discrimination because the right against discrimination is a basic human right. The government is supposed to protect the liberty and welfare of all its citizens regardless of gender, sexual orientation, social status, ethnicity, etc.”

Homosexuality is a mental illness that needs to be cured. Wait! If it were a mental illness, how come it was a choice? Schizophrenics didn’t choose to have schizophrenia.

No, it can’t be cured. You can insist by showing me anecdotal accounts of ex-gay men who really just went back to the closet. That’s not curing them. That’s brainwashing them into going back to the closet only to watch gay porn at night when everyone else is asleep.

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We’ve already seen ex-ex-gay men who had to come out again and tell the world gay conversion therapy is a psyche-damaging scam! Many gay conversion therapists are abandoning the practice, which is frowned upon by leagues of psychiatrists in the western world because of lack of evidence for its effectiveness and an overwhelming evidence for its damaging effects on the victims.

You can show me a few psychiatrists who treat gay people, but let’s look at the consensus among psychologists and psychiatrists regarding gay conversion therapy, and then let’s talk. You can’t fool everyone with your cherry-picked articles from websites run by anti-gay conservatives.

How do you cure homosexuality anyway? Prayers? Can prayers cure acne or hair loss? Let me know when they can. So what do the therapists do? Order psychotherapy sessions coupled with drug therapy? Are these methods backed up by peer reviewed scientific research?

Also, why does homosexuality have to be cured? Is it a disease? If so, what qualifies it as an illness? The distress it brings upon the people experiencing it? Sure, when you put these people in a society that tells them being gay or lesbian is wrong, then they would be in distress. The distress doesn’t stem from their sexual orientation but from society’s intolerance.

Put the gay teens in families and societies that support diversity of sexual identities, and the distress, depression, and anxiety all go away. Go figure!

  1. Gay activists are bigots.

I’ve been attacked by conservative Catholics who called me a bigot because I criticized their opinion about SOGIE. This is really funny. Psychologists call this projection. Projection is when you attribute or transfer your traits to someone else. It’s like accusing someone of something you are actually doing. That’s what these people are doing. They project their bigotry and intolerance onto their outspoken victims. They try to scare away people who support the LGBT advocacy by calling them names as if calling us names would keep us from pushing through our “agenda.”

Yes, we have an agenda, and that is to inform people over and over that being gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, transgender, genderqueer, agender, and intersex is okay; to stop LGBT kids and teens from committing suicide; and to fight bullying, discrimination, oppression, and hate crimes. Now if you wish to put a lid over this good, humanistic agenda, then you’re on the wrong side of history!

The bigots are calling people on the other side bigots in a dishonest attempt to appeal to hypocrisy. Well, let’s look at both sides’ “bigotry.”

One side’s bigotry involves oppressing LGBT people, telling them they’re not normal, telling them to conform to the archaic understanding of sexual orientation and gender, discriminating against those who don’t conform, and demonizing their “lifestyle” and “choices.” This kind of bigotry results in LGBT people leading unhappy lives and, worse, LGBT teens suffering from serious depression and sometimes committing suicide. This bigotry involves mauling, killing, and raping LGBT people as well as passing laws that harm the welfare of LGBT people.

The other side’s “bigotry” opposes the LGBT oppressors, does protests on the streets, lobbies for LGBT rights, and fights LGBT hate, bullying, and discrimination.

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Now tell me honestly which bigotry is socially deplorable and needs to be stopped. Let me know if any anti-LGBT nut has had to endure depression and commit suicide because they were oppressed by Gay Pride marchers.

  1. We’re not homophobes!

Homophobes say they’re not homophobes because hating gay people is not tantamount to fearing them. A quick Google search for the meaning of phobia would’ve educated them. Phobia means fear or aversion. So when you dislike gay people because they’re gay―because you have vivid images of them going down on men or getting penetrated in the rear―you’re a massive homophobe.

You don’t think the term fits you because you really don’t care about gays and lesbians, but you just don’t want them to have the same rights as you do? You’re not homophobic because you like gays, you just don’t like their “lifestyle”? I have news for you. You’re still homophobic. What lifestyle are you talking about? You like gays, but you don’t like them to be gay? You cringe at seeing two men holding hands on the sidewalk? You should sort out your cognitive dissonance.

It doesn’t matter whether you disagree that you’re a homophobe. You’re still on the wrong side of history. You’re part of the problem that the LGBT people have to deal with.

Besides, if you don’t like the term homophobe, then maybe an “anti-gay as*hole” will do. That is not an ad hominem fallacy, because I’m not saying your opinions are invalid because you’re an as*hole; I’m saying you’re an as*hole because you insist your opinions, which are invalid and fallacious.

  1. Gay rights are special rights.
Peter Jones Dela Cruz: "Yes, we have an agenda, and that is to inform people over and over that being gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, transgender, genderqueer, agender, and intersex is okay; to stop LGBT kids and teens from committing suicide; and to fight bullying, discrimination, oppression, and hate crimes."

Peter Jones Dela Cruz: “Yes, we have an agenda, and that is to inform people over and over that being gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, transgender, genderqueer, agender, and intersex is okay; to stop LGBT kids and teens from committing suicide; and to fight bullying, discrimination, oppression, and hate crimes.”

Maybe gay people need special rights because they are at risk of facing hostile situations that straight people don’t. Maybe they need special rights to protect them from homophobes. Straight people don’t get discriminated against because they’re straight. Straight people can marry who they want to marry.

Have you tried applying to a job and being told by the hiring officer they can’t hire you because you’re straight? Has a bakery ever declined baking your anniversary cake because they don’t bake cakes for straight couples? Have you been refused hotel accommodations because you said you’re hosting a gay engagement party?

Think about it this way. You don’t suffer from any of the problems mentioned. LGBT people shouldn’t suffer from any of those either. No one should suffer from discrimination because the right against discrimination is a basic human right. The government is supposed to protect the liberty and welfare of all its citizens regardless of gender, sexual orientation, social status, ethnicity, etc.

Asking the state to legalize same sex unions or amend the Family Code to extend adoption rights and cohabitation rules to same sex couples is not asking for special rights either―when without these rights, gay people enjoy no alternative at all.

By the way, telling gay men they have rights to marry women is a intellectually dishonest. There is nothing rightful about telling a gay man to marry a woman or a lesbian woman to marry a man. That is asking them to do something they don’t like. That is asking them to conform to what is heteronormative. That is asking them to stop being gay or stop being lesbian. It is again blatant oppression.

Telling LGBT people to just find welcoming schools, shops, stores, hotels, or offices encourages discrimination, instead of solving it. Governments are supposed to put an end to all forms of discrimination and not tolerate and encourage it.

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  1. No one discriminates against or bullies LGBT people.

Gay rights advocates are just playing the victim and crying discrimination when there is none―say the dishonest conservatives.

In 2010, the Commission on Election rejected Ladlad’s application for Party List accreditation on the grounds of morality.

In 2008, a video of hospital personnel removing a canister from a guy’s rectum became viral online. The video clip showed the hospital workers making fun of the patient.

Last year, a Christian school expelled two male students after a video of them kissing while wearing the school’s uniform was uploaded on the Internet.

A lesbian couple were denied accommodations in a hotel because they were planning to hold marriage ceremonies there.

Just last month a gay father was told by hosts of a noontime show to go back to the closet. The gay dad was told to conform to the norm to stop kids from bullying his children in school. A senator, a public servant tells a gay person to conform instead of addressing the real issue. The saddening part is that many, if not most, of the comments from netizens are in favor of the “go back to the closet” quip.

There are many unreported cases of LGBT discrimination and bullying because the victims think these are something they have to endure for being different. Ask any gay or transgender person around you the last time they were ridiculed in public restrooms or were denied entrance to commercial establishments.

We have to be honest about this. These ugly things (bullying, discrimination, and hate crimes) that some people do to gay or transgender people are still happening, not as frequently as they used to happen in the past, but they are still LGBT people’s problems. To say these are not happening or are no longer pressing problems of this minority is a showing of denial, selective observation, or gross ignorance.

Many gay people still have to go discreet and “act straight.” Why do you think so?

What else did I miss?

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ALL PHOTOS FROM THE 21st METRO MANILA PRIDE MARCH
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