Categorism focused on targeting the category of homosexuals, usually including other non-heterosexuals such as bisexuals and pansexuals. (In Swedish: homofobi)
Homophobia is a sub-foci both of paraphobia (categorism against sexual minorities) and of Queerphobia/LGBTQ+-phobia/DMRSG-phobia (categorism against the spectrums of minorities which relates to gender and sexuality.)
Expressions of homophobia
Examples of how homophobia can interact with various expressions of categorism.
- Biased Balance: Not standing up for the right for gay people to have their relationships in peace as well as the right for religious people to worship in peace, but instead standing up for a balance between the right for gay people to have their relationships in peace versus the “right” for religious people to persecute gay people.
- Categorist Slurs: Using words like "gay" and "faggot" as generic insults or as describing some bad way of being silly and pathetic.
- Dehumanization: Talking about gay people as if they were animals in heat.
- Malpractice: Lets say that a guy named Mark visits a therapist namned Carl. Mark's boss is forcing him to work overtime almost every day, and his mother just died. Mark is getting more and more frustrated with his life. However, Mark also happens to be gay. The therapist takes Mark's money, but refuses to address his actual problems in a serious manner. Instead, Carl keeps droning on about Mark's sexuality. Carl expects Mark (who payed a lot of money to Carl, not the other way around) to spend the therapy time educating Carl about the minority group Mark belongs to. Carl also keeps trying to make a connection between Mark's sexuality and the death of Mark's mother, ignoring Mark's testimony that these events are unrelated. This malpractice works on many levels...
- Individual Level: Carl is prejudiced against the sexual minority Mark belongs to. Maybe he has no positive role models for that group, getting all his "knowledge" on the subject from bigoted theories.
- Group Level: Carl's co-workers at the clinic are willing to back him up. If Mark complains to them, they will simply tell him that he should accept Carl as the authority and put the blame on himself.
- Systemic Level: Homophobia is so wide-spread that Mark may have a hard time finding a good therapist anywhere. He may give up trying to find one at all. Or simply get a new therapist and try to evade the subject of sexuality. This therapist is very likely to correctly see that Mark is having a problem with sexuality, but far less likely to realize that this is because of how Mark has been mistreated by another therapist in the past.
- Structural Level: Homophobia is deeply entrenched in the mainstream of the culture in which Mark and Carl (as well as other therapists Mark may encounter) lives, thus creating a foundation for the malpractice.
- Discursive Level: Language which belittles homosexuals and other sexual minorities is widespread. Calling them "sick" or "sexual deviance", thus creating a false impression that they are something a therapist should treat. The concept of sexual deviance doesn't make any distinction between what is done alone or with a consenting adult partner and what is done as sexual abuse against a child, thus creating a false sense of urgency.
- Dogmatic Level: Outdated scientific hypotheses turned into pseudoscience dogma, there's a lot of psychology literature defining various versions of the alleged "true nature" of sexual minorities. Carl and his colleagues are likely to have read some of this during their education to become therapists.
- Law Level: If this story takes place in Russia 2015 or any similar place & time, Carl may worry that he might be breaking the law against gay propaganda unless he cracks down on Mark.
- International Treaties Level: If the encounter between Mark and Carl happened in the sixties, then we must realize that Carl's reaction was rooted in the WHO's ICD (World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases), which still included homosexuality at this time.
- The “gay panic defense”, constructing straight men as blameless and justified in beating up gay men.
- Teaching kids that they are not at fault for bullying the children who's parents are homosexual (or sadomasochist or whatever), instead putting the blame on the parents for “causing” the bullying by not being mainstream.
- Stigmatization: Portraying gay people as being "unclean", "perverted" or "unhealthy".
- Unbalanced Alleged Incompetence: A new engineer is hired at a company where almost all engineers are very openly heterosexual. Coworkers keep asking the new engineer if he has a girlfriend or is looking for a girlfriend. When he eventually admits that he has a boyfriend, some coworkers starts scrutinizing his job performance and are very eager to report any faults they can find. The same fault is often treated as much worse when the gay guy does it than when someone else is doing the same, but people are still quick to learn that they can get in trouble if they do the same error as the gay guy at the same time as he's doing it. Doing the same error at another time is much safer, since rules which are enforced equally for everyone whenever the gay guy breaks them won't be enforced at all when only heterosexual employees break them.
Homophobia in example texts
- Adam's homophobia: A guy named Adam expressing many facets and levels of homophobia.
- Mr Garrison's Homophobia: A teacher holds a brief speech packed with many facets of categorism against gay people.
- Kyle's contexts: A guy named Kyle living in different social contexts with different views one sexuality.