In order to do this we need to first contextualize the word PHOBIA. The dictionary definition of the same is: “A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, usually defined as a persistent fear of an object or situation the affected person will go to great lengths to avoid. If the feared object or situation cannot be avoided entirely, the affected person will endure it with marked distress and significant interference in social or occupational activities.” On deconstructing this definition we can really get to the root of the various phobias that the LGBT community is subjected to, especially by the heteronormative societal pockets. The key words being DISORDER, FEAR, AVOID, and DISTRESS.
Why is there an anxiety about existence of people with sexual orientation other than the one accepted by the privileged hetero order? It is the fear of loosing control, the need to avoid any deviance from what they have set as the normative life pattern, intolerance and total rejection of anything that they may perceive as causing disorder and distress to their genteel and dear citizens. This makes us wonder, are they not the one who are suffering from an aberration? They who need to be cured of their phobia?
Once what was invisible, is now the unavoidable: homosexuals, lesbians, queers, bisexuals, trans*, the closeted, the out and the not so in; walking around freely for the heterosexual to see. And as the heterosexual world has been confronted with this, it has found itself reaching for a response: disgust, embarrassment, intolerance, the ick feeling, unaccommodating, confusion, and phobia!
Some phobias make total sense (flying cockroaches? oh yeah) while others seem so odd and misplaced. And then there are these hurtful phobias and prejudices against people who wish to follow the deepest desires of their hearts. Why is it so difficult to allow free will and choice? To attack a heart that makes a human a human seems cruel, and unjust. To us – this discourse is more than a cultural problem; in fact, it is even more than a political problem. Therefore we want to step back and see writings that explore it’s multifaceted layers and bring forth a narrative of fresh possibilities. To understand this more – we will be publishing personal narratives, fiction and non-fiction pieces, photo essays, podcast, visual narratives, and more all through the month of May to highlight the adverse effects of phobias experienced by the LGBT folks, challenge the heterosexist attitudes and create the possibilities of a just and fair world.
Wanna join the tide? Write to us, and share the voices you hear here.