How to Defeat Homophobic Arguments

Tackling Ideas About Gay Marriage, Gay Parenting, and Gay Sex

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At some point or other you are going to encounter people who want to argue with you about being gay. Maybe they are claiming that gay sex is "gross." Or that gay marriage is unnatural. Possibly they want to convince you that same sex parents are bad for kids and gay parenting should be banned, or they feel that you must be convinced that your sexual orientation is a choice. 

So how do you deal with these blowhards who seem to think it is fun to get down in the mud about something that may be not be a personal or emotional issue for them, but sure is for you? Here are a few suggestions.

Agree to Disagree

Just because you are queer, this does not mean you have to constantly be the communities spokesperson. You do not need to engage in every argument out their, nor do you need to be well verseed on every issue related to the GLBT community, just because you are part of it. It is perfectly fine for you to say, "You know what, it seems like we feel differently about this, so let's just leave it at that."

Educate Yourself

If you do decide to engage, you will fare better if you actually know about this issues. Arguments like, "the Bible says it's wrong to be gay," can be refuted pretty easily with just a little knowledge of what the Bible actually says (if you aren't a reader, check out the great documentary, For the Bible Tells Me So.) Similarly, arguments against gay marriage, or gay parenting, assumptions about HIV risk can all be dismantled pretty easily if you just know a few key facts.

Come Up With Some Quick Responses to Common Arguments

Here are some ways you can reply to common homophobic arguments. If someone says:

It's not natural. You can remind that person that same sex behavior has been documented across history among a wide range of societies. It has also been found among a huge number of animals. You might also want to add that legal unions, whether it is a gay marriage or a straight, are not inherent parts of the human condition, but rather rituals we have invented. And that while it is true that two men and two women can not "naturally" have a baby themselves, in a world of adoptions, foster parents, single parent households and assisted reproductive technologies  gay parenting is no less natural.  

It's gross. Look when someone says it is gross to be gay, they are often thinking about what two men do in bed and imagining anal sex. You can alway explain that a) not all gay men have anal sex, b) plenty of heterosexual couple do have anal sex, and c) most people who regularly have anal sex do it because it feels good for both people and with a few basic nods to hygiene and safety is no "grosser" than plenty of other sex acts most people don't freak out about. But really, anal sex is actually besides the point. There are loads of things that gross one person out that are completely acceptable to another. That's just life.

The Bible says it's wrong. Now even if you are a religious person, this argument doesn't hold a lot of weight. If someone tells you, "The Bible says its a sin to be gay," You might want to ask them if they also think the hundreds of other proclamations (don't eat shellfish, do marry your dead brothers widow, don't work on the Sabbath, do leave a sacrifice at the temple, don't touch a woman who has her period, do cut off the hand of a thief) are sins that should be met with the extreme punishments described.

Think of the children. Has anyone ever told you that gay men are child molesters and peodphiles? A lot of people seem to think this, but this is not based on any reality. In fact, the vast majority of pedophile identify as heterosexual men, regardless or the gender of their victim. Oh and to those who say that gay parenting or gay marriage is bad for kids, please check out this article, Hey Conservatives -- Gays Are Better Parents Than You.

Whether it is an argument against legalizing gay marriage or criminalizing gay parenting, a rant about gays in the military or a lamentation over how "hard" it is to be gay, dealing with someone who is trying to argue that an aspect of who you are is wrong can be maddening and painful. You sure don't need to engage, but it is wise to have a plan for these situations!