I’m running out of interest in the ongoing debate in the comments here, now. It was fun for a while, but David’s showing no signs of developing interestingly. timberwraith is still doing sterling work responding to his nuttiness, though, so feel free to cheer her on if you still want to get involved.
I will make a couple of brief points though. Firstly, David doesn’t seem to know what homophobic means. He’s uncovered the Greek derivation of the latter half of the word and decided he’s got it all figured out. But nobody actually uses the word “homophobia” to refer to a phobia or fear in the same sense as, say, arachnophobia. That’s just not how anyone uses the word. The word refers to a prejudice against homosexual people, and it’s a tangential semantic argument anyway.
Also, one of the things David bleats about in a few different ways is the old “shoving it down my throat” canard. He doesn’t “go around with [his heterosexuality] on his sleeve”, like gay people do. His straightness doesn’t define him, like gay people’s sexuality does.
timberwraith takes this one down very nicely by introducing David to a little thing called heteronormativity, and the way in which heterosexuality is assumed as the default mode in many, many, many aspects of culture. If someone’s homosexuality stands out, maybe it’s less to do with how gay they are, and more to do with how overwhelmingly hetero the world around them tends to be.
And even if gay people do want to define themselves by their sexuality, and make it a primary part of their identity, what the hell business of that is anyone else’s? Maybe it’s an attempt to stop themselves feeling like an individual, isolated, lone freak, because they feel different than everyone around them acts. And because people like David are telling them that the love they want to express is wrong, and hiding it in a flimsy veil of loving the sinner but hating the sin.
Final observation: The poem that kicked all this off was about a lot of things. Proselytising. The teaching of evolution. Witchcraft. Politics. Secular responses to expressions of religious opinion. And homosexuality. But the ensuing discussion quickly became really, really gay.
Now, this may not have been entirely David’s fault. Although his was the only voice of dissent, it might be premature to lay all the blame on him for steering the conversation homo-wards.
But clearly a major button was pushed for him. And the impression I get is that, once David knows that somebody’s gay, that’s the only thing he’s really capable of seeing about them. Which says something about how much importance he places on something that he claims not to really care about.
Okay, maybe I’m not completely bored with this yet.