here were thousands of comments in response to my last piece at Slate, in which I lashed out against Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy’s policy of funding anti-gay causes. I tried to dip in and out of the comment thread as often as I could while they were piling up, scanning them for interesting points (of which there were many). But I quickly lost track and had to get back to work on other projects.
Then a reader sent me a link to a discussion of my article at the popular conservative website Free Republic. It’s pure masochism for someone like me to wander such halls; I don’t need to read their posts to know just what ultraconservatives think of my “homosexualism” and me. But curiosity got the better of me. And my, my, my, they really do hate us queers over there. It’s not just Free Republic, of course. Similar anti-gay sentiments are a staple of many gathering places online, not to mention those in the real world.
People are free in this country to say what they will, nasty though it is, about gays and lesbians. What to do about it, then? I believe that treating bigots as scientific specimens is the best way to disarm their hate. I can’t tackle all such propaganda in a single article (I won’t be able to cover the all-gay-men-are-pedophiles argument, the-all-lesbians-just-hate-men argument, or the next-thing-you-know-we’ll-all-be-marrying dogs-and-horses argument), but for now I’ll dissect some of the other common rhetorical devices deployed by those with an anti-gay mindset.
So without further ado, let’s put these mean bastards under the psychological knife.
The homosexuality-as-choice argument: Those who repeatedly make this claim are actually revealing something about their own sexuality: they are bisexual. Since human beings use a form of mental analogy whenever trying to understand another person’s behavior, the “choice” argument reflects the reasoning process of an individual who has experienced notable arousal to the same sex in addition to the opposite sex, but has chosen to act only on that inspired by the latter. A true heterosexual, by contrast, has never experienced meaningful same-sex desires and understands that one cannot choose to act on what is simply not there.