Extended Definition Essay

It is unfortunate that homosexuality is so looked down upon in our time and age. The definition “homophobia” was coined to describe a fear of homosexuals. However, the word is not used in the terminology it is meant to be used. I do not believe that people legitimately fear homosexuals as much as they are intolerant towards them. It is fear of abnormality that drives people to homophobia. In the 1970’s, George Weinberg coined the term homophobia to refer to the psychological fear of homosexuals and homosexuality.

However, that definition is limited in its definition as it ignores wider sources behind the unity of same-sex relationships and the ignorance toward genders or sexual preferences in society. In addition, this concept also includes the inner manifestations of self-hatred in LGBTQ individuals because of the disgrace associated with their sexuality or gender orientation. The main issue with any discussion of homophobia is the fact that some people believe homosexual behavior is a sin.

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Believing homosexuality is sinful isn’t necessarily homophobic, but often gets labeled as such when a person’s reaction might be that of sympathy toward intolerance. It is a difficult issue we face as a society, as some people are unwilling to approve of a lifestyle that they do not believe in or understand, but that does not make them homophobic. Nevertheless, there is a vast difference between one’s moral values and attempting to impose one’s values or judgment upon others. Homophobia includes bias against families that do not conform to hetero-normalcy.

One example of such prejudice was the warning by the U. S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings to cease funding of a PBS kids’ show ‘Postcards From Buster’ because of a controversial episode. The showing of the 2005 episode “Sugartime! ” was brought to a standstill because it depicted a lesbian couple and their family. Bias in the U. S. against same-sex marriage is also a form of homophobia. Other examples of homophobia subsist in the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policies used by the military to ban homosexuality.

Excessive forms of homophobia are also found in hate crimes and anti-gay violence. Recommendations for eradicating homosexual shaming suggest introducing homosexuality positively in education, giving students the opportunity to learn about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people and their families. By listening to their coming-out stories and experiences in schools, proper education could possibly help push for a change in the definition of homophobia and even maybe eradicate it all together.