Homophobia isn’t fear, it’s hatred – and it needs another name

Homophobia isn’t fear, it’s hatred – and it needs another name

France just became the ninth country in Europe and the 14th in the world to legalise same-sex marriage, but only after months of violent street protests and a rise in homophobic attacks.

Meanwhile, in the Ukraine’s capital Kiev, gay rights campaigners are determined to stage a gay pride march next week despite a sharp rise in the number of attacks on homosexuals in the city. A recent Amnesty International report found ‘endemic discrimination’ by both the Ukrainian authorities and members of the public towards the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community and the government is proposing to make it illegal to promote “propaganda” about homosexuality in the arts.

These are just two items that have been reported in the last couple of days. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find hundreds more about homosexuals being denied basic human rights, persecuted, flogged, imprisoned and even executed.

I think it’s time to give the persecutors a different name.

They’re not afraid of homosexuals in the way that someone with arachnophobia is afraid of spiders or claustrophobia is afraid of confined spaces. They hate them, and their name should reflect this.

I suggest we start calling them misohomoists, using the Greek prefix which means ‘hatred’. It’s clumsy, but at least it says what it means.

Click here to read the case study on discrimination of LGBTI people in Ukraine, ‘Nothing To Be Proud Of‘ – by Amnesty International (PDF).