- Parushni Jathar
Evolution of Homophobia throughout the Years
The term ‘homophobia’ is often used to show intolerance toward the LGBTQIA+ community. It is a feeling to invalidate the pride community and to showcase that their sexuality isn’t a part of the spectrum. Homophobia is often born out of ignorance, conservatism, fear and, in many cases, immaturity. Homophobia isn’t always obvious either. Being ignored or not being treated with the equal respect a heterosexual person would be still under the umbrella of homophobia.
Homophobia was evidently present from our forefathers' times. The abuse, the discrimination, the hatred, the ill-treatment, the hostility and the sense of the society being repelled by just the thought of homosexuality was often apparent. Policing in the 80’s and early 90’s was virulently homophobic, whipped up by hysteria around AIDS and ‘Gay-Baiting’ newspapers like the Sun, Daily Mail and News of the World.
Before 1960’s, Gay men had to sleep in separate beds ridiculed with the fear to be arrested and subjected to inhumane treatment. Individuals who identify themselves as heterosexual could’ve been detained for just loving someone, a person, a human. It was a heinous crime.
After the 60's the sands soon began shifting; Two men, who were in love, could share a bed. But that consent was justified for the people above the years of 21. Any relation was to be kept private or face the shame which the society has established against them.
Yes, the times after the 1960's were revolutionising. But is there a necessity to legalise the idea of loving someone? Was it legalised for heterosexual people to love? Homosexuality doesn’t require consent or approval, it lacks acceptance. The ideology of ‘Homosexuality is abnormal, but heterosexuality is normal’ is cultivated from a young age, just because homosexuality wasn’t accepted or normalised the people are feeling unacceptable, unwanted in their own home, their family aren’t accepting them. Their simple silence can shout out their disappointment.
We cannot believe how the times have drastically changed. Our current generation i.e. “Gen-Z” has learnt the true essence of acceptance. They have completely changed and revolutionised the concept of acceptance. The fact that this generation feels comfortable to open up about their sexuality and talk about it freely lacking guilt can truly be considered as a victory and inspiration for the LGBTQ+ community. Unfortunately, there are still people out there who are chained to their closet, with medieval beliefs, but this can be considered as a first win and as every parent imparts their values, knowledge to their child in the same way the quality of acceptance is going to continue and as the years pass-by, things will turn to be better and better.
People think that today’s generation is dilapidated and cannot conserve and protect their culture and ethics. They believe that social media is a platform which is the root cause of “bad influence” on their children. But what culture are we supposed to conserve? Are we supposed to follow the dreams that they have set for us? Are we supposed to be as unacceptable towards the people who have the courage to open up and believe in themselves and their sexuality, who know that love has no boundaries, that the society’s gnomes of having a “normal” life is not meant for them? Social media has its assets and liabilities but it hasn’t failed to give those who are deprived of their rights a platform to voice their opinion. It is an outlet for the people who feel the aloofness in their homes for being themselves, social media is a way of finding those who know how you feel, find people of your age who can lend a shoulder for support.
Being parents of the current generation is a way of accepting or in other words “being okay with it”. Sadly, not all parents have the same ideology. Being ok with their son/daughter being part of the LGBTQ+ community doesn’t mean they are accepting. Being accepting means talking about their sexuality, about the person they love and ensuring their children that a person’s sexuality doesn’t determine the person’s values.
LGBTQIA+ is a part of our society. They are humans just like others, and if loving a person is a crime then so be it. Times have changed, we all know the significance of freedom of speech, freedom to live and choose and that right is applicable to every homosexual person as much as it is for a heterosexual person. If a person has to hide themselves in public from being who they are and owning up to their sexuality, then that is on us. It is our negligence, our hostility, our silence and our ignorance that has encouraged behaviours such as homophobia. Every person has the right to be their own true self to be a person who can feel comfortable about being themselves and it is upto us to provide them closure and assurance that they are protected whether we are straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, queer or anyone who has their heart in the right place.
Photo by Rosemary Ketchum from Pexels