Sunday, July 25, 2010
Over dinner last night, the topic of conversation touched upon HOMOPHOBIA.
Even in the 21st century, this word has still found meaning to the idiots who are homophobic.
Wikepedia (seems that Webster's is not the main reference material for Google fans anymore) defines Homophobia as "negative attitudes and feelings towards homosexuality and people identified or perceived as being homosexual. Definitions refer variably to antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, and irrational fear."
The third sentence in the definition - homophobia is observable in critical and hostile behavior such as discrimination and violence on the basis of a perceived non-heterosexual orientation - explains the fact that those who are homophobic perceive their sexual orientation to be heterosexual.
Of course, I will not go into the psychiatric imbalance among people who believe that homosexuals have no place on the earth, lest to say that these people have a past relationship that has probably hurt them or a distorted religious belief that only heterosexuals have a place in the sun or an upbringing that is full of hate and bigotry.
There may be friends who will read this blog and feel differently about my opinion and the contents I will discuss, but it is my opinion and you are free to leave a comment - for or against my opinion.
I will not attempt at justifying homosexuality or gay people. Sexual preference, after all, is a personal affair. And while homosexuals do not cast the first stone at heterosexuals who have multiple affairs, are unfair to their spouses, beat up their children or even perform lascivious sexual acts upon them - let us not go into the trivialities of being holier than though.
The irony here is that society seems to accept that gay men who are in show business or media are fit for their jobs on screen or behind the cameras. It is alright for a gay person to be a beautician or a hair stylist or a talk show host or even a fashion model or doctor or nurse but it is not okay for someone gay to be the president or a congressman or cabinet member in government. It's also a no-no for a policeman, fireman, golfer, basketball player, jock, athlete, soldier, navy man, marine to be gay. And since when, did the job description for someone with a personal sexual preference define his or her being fit for a job?
In 1998, civil rights leader Coretta Scott King noted that "Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood."
Homophobia is manifested in different forms, but call it what you may, it is a personality disorder. And while psychiatrists may not label it as such, bigotry and racism definitely has seen the worst of homophobics - from social homophobia to egodystonic homosexuality.
I remember the late Dr. Robert T. Walter, my professor in psychiatry whom I did one research study on teenage homosexuality with, elaborating the problem on egodystonic homosexuals. Egodystonic (internalized) homophobia refers to a negative feeling of oneself because of homosexuality. The person cannot reconcile in himself the conflicting conscious and subconscious sexual desire to the same sex. This is brought about by distorted teachings and orientation from society or religion or family. The research study Bob Walter and I did in 1990 showed that about 30% of teenagers who thought they were homosexuals were egodystonic and 60% had thoughts of suicide. They repressed their feelings, they engaged in unprotected sex, their discordance created an internal struggle that would scar them for a lifetime. This was definitely NOT a good way to raise your children.
Then there are the social homophobics. This is a distorted perception of a supposed heterosexual that he/she would be approached by homosexuals for the main purpose of sexual adventures. These perceptions are deeply rooted in an individual's fear of being identified as gay. Among men, social homophobia is highly associated with their insecurity of their masculinity. In order to maintain the macho image, they resort to a disproportionate resentment of anything and anyone that is outrightly OUT with their sexuality.
Which brings me back to the topic of discussion over dinner. What do you do with a boss who is homophobic?
Essentially, nothing. Nothing can be done to someone whose ego is scarred or distorted. There is nothing that can be done to someone who has a personality disorder that aggrieves the working environment. I guess that is the problem with the HR department and is essential in the screening process not only of workers but of administrators and bosses as well. Not even the boss should be exempted from being screened as a good leader. Homophobia, after all, is a precursor to a climate of prejudice. If your boss is homophobic, what can assure you that he has no biased outlook on single unmarried women, or men who practice polygamy, or short people in the working environment?
If the merits of a man in the work environment is based on competence, integrity, personality, work ethics and leadership quality, then the homophobic fails in the latter and must not be promoted or given a position at the top of the ladder. They do not, after all, qualify and have no place in the administrative pool as they pose problems in the work environment.
There is something very wrong in the workplace when you allow homophobics to exist.
This is, after all, the 21st century and people like these who belong to the stone age, must stay in the stone age.