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Queer Eyes are seeing Red.

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Knowing that I live in a blue state and work in the entertainment industry, one might conclude that I tend to lean to the left politically and socially. You would be correct. Growing up in L.A. I knew that certain celebrities were gay and assumed that the rest of the country knew it as well, only to be stunned over the scandal created after that celebrity came out. Especially Liberace. Come on, how could you not know? But I’d like to make a pragmatic observation. I, like many of my friends, both gay and straight, were surprised to hear that on election day voters in 11 states (Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Utah and Oregon) approved constitutional amendments limiting marriage to a man and a woman. When you look at the ratings for shows like Will and Grace, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and to a smaller extent The L Word, Queer as Folk and Six Feet Under, one would think that our collective tolerances have evolved over the last few years.
Some conservatives will blame the “Liberal Media” (by the way I believe that the media is only as liberal as the corporations who own it) for undermining family values by presenting an immoral life style as acceptable. Well, somebody was watching these shows and I tend to believe the Nielsen TV Ratings more than I believe the pollsters. Is it morality or hypocrisy when people are in essence saying, “Sure I like seeing them on TV, but I don’t want them getting married and moving into my neighborhood”.
There have been times when I’ve used the word “Homophobic” to describe people’s behavior, only to hear in response, “I don’t like that word”. Hey, I don’t like “Couch Potato” but if the shoe fits…

Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defines homophobia: ho·mo·pho·bia Function: noun: irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals

There is a fear that same-sex unions will weaken the institution marriage (would someone please tell me how?). People have used the so-called liberal media to scare citizens with stock footage of the most outrageous moments from Gay Pride parades and say, “This can happen in our town”. Instead of trying to find ways to overcome their fear, they just prefer that I just not to use the word “Homophobic” in describing them. Fine, I’ll stop using the word “Homophobic” when you stop using the word… Actually there are several words and I don’t want to dignify them in this column.
Let us all live by The Golden Rule “Do onto others as you would wish them do onto you.”

To quote Jerry Sienfeld, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that”.

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

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About Tony Figueroa

  • Homophobic Pride

    Let us all call them as we see them.

  • Steve S

    wow, the online dictionary now refers to homophobia as possibly nothing more than discrimination. The Right’s going to love that.

    The Right to Marry is part of a bigger cultural war, granted it’s one of the biggest battles in the war, but there’s a bigger picture.

    It looks to me like the amendments last election were reactionary. The Right got to send out messages to it’s flock (marriage is under attack), and the Left didn’t counter the message with one of Justice. So people reacted on something that happened very fast. If things had happened differently, the amendments might still have passed in some states (probably not others like Oregon), but they wouldn’t have passed by as much, I’m sure.

    Amendments can be repealed and when the time comes in the not too distant future when American and fundamentalist Islamic nations are the only ones left that ostracize gay people so much, then people will realize this is just another historical stain on America’s treatment of it’s minorities, which started with the Indians and continues on with other minorities to this day.

  • Dave Nalle

    Which online dictionary has that definition, Steve? That’s moving pretty far from the accepted definition. I checked several and they all basically agreed it was an irrational fear of or hatred of homosexuals.


  • Steve S

    The bold type in the post says this:

    Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defines homophobia: ho·mo·pho·bia Function: noun: irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals

    I did not go to the site to verify.

  • Steve S

    I agree it’s moving pretty far from what I have always known homophobia to be.


    That is the definition you get from the online site
    I suppose the discrimination would result from fear or hatred, why else?

  • Steve S

    Perhaps because it’s become such a common term when referring to discrimination, that MW has decided to include it in the definition. I know when words change meanings over time, the dictionaries will update the definition rather than stick with the original.

    I try to never use the term homophobia unless I TRULY believe it to be on display and I think it should only apply to hatred and fear. I think when people use it so trivally, it waters down the meaning.

    A lot of people will say that discrimination can also result from disgust or religious belief. What these people fail to realize is that disgust is a subcategory of fear.

    As for religious belief, I think that would fall under bigotry, or an unwillingness to tolerate. If it stems from religious belief, I don’t think it’s hatred or fear, but definitely irrational.