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May 10, 2010 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]


Whattaphobia? You don’t hear this a lot, do you?

Unfortunately, this is such a long rant that I cannot fit it into one week’s column. Soz. Well I personally had always kinda assumed that ‘heterophobia’ was around and about, hanging out with its more familiar sibling, homophobia, and I never really gave it much thought (the term heterophobia is in fact, only two decades old, much younger than ‘homophobia’, which dates back to about 1958), but this strange cultural dynamic was brought to my attention more recently.

First of all let me note that I didn’t realise that the existence of heterophobia was a debatable issue. Certainly, like a good little uni student, I did some research and learned that heterophobia is often used by anti-gay groups. They believe that giving LGBT people equality will lead to heterophobia; I’m not entirely sure if this is true or even makes sense, but I read it somewhere, I swear. These groups often claim that the LGBT groups want to destroy heterosexuality, not be equal to it, so anyone that is opposed to joining mainstream heterosexual society can be construed as heterophobic. It has even been claimed that feminists are heterophobic for not wanting to be the ‘doting wife’. WTF.

But anyway, putting that aside—I do reckon there is heterophobia in our gay community.

I was talking to a lovely first-year queer, who wishes to remain anonymous, but for the sake of this article let us call him Gerald. Gerald told me that he went to huge extremes to ‘fit in’ to the gay community, and when I asked him why, he replied: “Sometimes you think [when you are coming out] your sexuality is who you are. It defines you because it’s such a big thing to come to terms with… You think ‘I’m not [heterosexual]’ so you place yourself at the other extreme.” He then went on to talk about how it can be a way of advertising yourself as queer to other potential queers, but how it not only required a lot of effort but also distanced him from all of his straight friends and family, and he found himself not wanting to do things that seemed remotely ‘straight’.

I myself had a stint with heterophobia with one of my ex-girlfriends, who couldn’t even watch a guy and a girl make out on TV. This proved extremely annoying, as we couldn’t get through a movie without her cringing, covering her face with a pillow, and yelling “Ewww, fast forwaaaard! Dumb-balls.”

To be continued fellow queerbos…


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