Doing away with dominant homophobic narratives

Disproving the many theories that speak to LGBT people ‘choosing’ this life

There is no scientific evidence which suggests LGBT+ people have such a different biological make up to warrant the discrimination that we have decided to accept in our communities

A Facebook comment once had a user question what LGBT+ rights are. It queried why people should try to “force the unnatural”. The world has progressed, has become enlightened, and yet people still continuously dismiss anything to do with LGBT+ issues and rights.

The concern here is less about the private thoughts the public has which result in the bashing of the LGBT+ community. Instead it’s the realisation of the myriad of false and misinformed conclusions on why the community even exists.

The naturalist theory

One of the longest-serving presidents on the African continent, Robert Mugabe, has been on record for likening the LGBT+ community to animals – dogs and pigs to be precise. He has used high-level meetings and conferences to make his position clear that gays and lesbians have no space in Zimbabwe.

(Article courtesy of: OSISA)

His influence has had a clear impact on how most people have decided to comprehend any sexuality that is different from what they deem normal or natural. There is no scientific evidence which suggests LGBT+ people have such a different biological make up to warrant the discrimination accepted in many communities. What’s worse is that most people disregard any explanations that may enhance their understanding of LBGT+ issues. Instead the false assertions that reduce and liken LGBT+ persons to animals are accepted.

Besides the alienation of LGBT+ people the other downside is that such assertions often tend to grow and find a permanent place in society; continuously haunting those who are affected. With the status quo not being questioned future generations will likely maintain these hurtful ideologies making it more difficult to transform society’s attitude towards the LGBT+ community.

The economic gain theory

(Article courtesy of: NBC News)

This has also been thrown in as an attempt to explain what some would call the growing trend of homosexuality. There is a belief that a lot of money has been set aside by development partners for the LGBT+ sector. That the direct beneficiaries of this money in turn will receive plenty of it for their partner organisation. So, money being funnelled into these communities, majority of whom have their identities criminalised in the majority of countries on the continent, still decides to become lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in order to cash in. This, as a result of so many people facing economic hardships, that they resorted to claiming these identities to gain access to the so called “money pot”. This theory reduces the lives and experiences of the LGBT+ community to a farce resulting from greed or the need for financial gain.

There is so much negativity encompassed in the daily lived experience of the LGBT+ community which proponents of these various theories decide to overlook. The biological and psychological experiences of people within the LGBT+ community play a vital role in highlighting how one gets to a point of accepting that they are different and embracing that which makes them unique. These struggles, human rights violations, and psychological traumas at the hands of homophobic attitudes which have become normalised are ignored and reduced to the love of money. The idea that people would willingly choose – sign up for a lifetime of stigma, discrimination and abuse with the off chance that it could mean some extra cash in their pockets.

There is no LGBT+ demon

(Article courtesy of: Herald Zimbabwe)

In churches homosexuality is often demonised – likened to some type of spiritual uncleanliness. The religious hypothesis argues that the LGBT+ community is possessed by demons, with carefully selected verses used to emphasise the point. This is another theory hoping to deny the LGBT+ community their place and equal rights within society.

The flipside comes with subtle homophobia with groups that pretend to accept the LGBT+ community even with their superficial understanding. They often appear more accepting even though their beliefs are also based on a heteronormative understanding of the world and so an equally biased system of beliefs that can’t apply to everyone.

There multiple theories that exist within our different community based on various cultural, traditional, and religious beliefs. Most often they aim to dismiss the LGBT+ community as outside of the norm. Homophobia exists in different scenarios and on different levels. Homophobic legal frameworks may be overtly more brutal in the way they speak against and criminalise homosexuality, but the more subtle homophobia in the academic and religious contexts, in schools, communities, on the sports field, in health care – everywhere, can be more harmful because it is so subtle. And so, it not easily identified letting it remain entrenched in our society for years, and perhaps even generations to come.

Doing away with dominant homophobic narratives

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