ASK A MAN #104: ABOUT HOMOPHOBIA
“Why are so many men homophobes? Why do they feel so threatened by gay men?”
“It can only be seen as funny that demagogues give speeches denouncing men who insert their penises into other men’s anuses – and then go home to insert their own penises into their wives’ vaginas!”
I hail from the Bible Belt where we don’t cotton much to sexual education. Everything I know about sex I learned from Japanese cartoons and Sunday school. Penis monsters don’t want to ravish schoolgirls but they just can’t help themselves and Baby Jesus comes down and sends them all to Heck for doing it. Then the schoolgirls will summon the penis monsters back out from Heck on the night of the full moon. This is because the girls are actually werewolves and won’t be able to do their homework on account of they have to be running around on all fours in their sexy schoolgirl outfits all night. At first the demon ghosts of the penis monsters will try to help out with the advanced trigonometry but invariably end up in an accidental orgy of hyperbolic werewolf schoolgirl rape. The next day the headmaster becomes enraged because none of the girls have done their homework and he has to tie them up for discipline and the rope makes him break out in hives so he gets even madder and he takes out his whip but he must be allergic to that as well because his hives get worse and worse and worse until he turns into a penis monster. Then Baby Jesus comes down and sends everybody to Heck, even those of us who were just watching the cartoons for educational purposes.
So really the marital act in all its many iterations and permutations is just a bunch of horrifying hairy gooey swollen abominations that make Baby Jesus cry unless it takes place in the sanctity of the marriage bed. There, in the marriage bed, the same miracle of transubstantiation that turns saltines and grape juice into the body and blood of Jesus Christ also transforms the smelly gruntings, the swellings, the humid orifices, and ungainly herky-jerks of animalistic copulation into the soft-focus roseate sunsets, the burgeoning orchids, the smooth jazz, and delightful conversation over brunch at one of the better hotel restaraunts that’s known as lovemaking. This is why there have been so many crazy weather disasters lately: God is pissed because we haven’t married up enough gays. Having all the gays and lesbos running around and living in sin distracts God from the important work of inventing new guns for us to shoot the French with.
But none of this answers your question about the homophobia. Here’s the deal: we’re not really afraid of the gays. We’re afraid of being gay or, worse, being mistaken for gay. Because for many straight people gayness is the grown-up version of cooties or herpes. There aren’t necessarily any symptoms but once you have it you can never un-have it and if people find out you have it or just think you have it you’re subjected to fear, revulsion, and humiliation. As every kindergartner knows tolerance of people with herpes is the fastest way to get herpes yourself so whatever you do don’t be nice to the gay kid with cooties and herpes.
Also because when you’re chilling with your bros, drinking beers, farting, and cracking dick jokes while watching a bunch of animated penis monsters running amok in the all-girl werewolf high school, having a gay dude there would just make things weird and uncomfortable.
© 2011 Anthony Robert Russo