How come we slander people who dislike homosexuality, but we don’t slander people who are against alcoholism? Being attracted to alcohol has more evidence of “running in the family” and being a genetic attraction, so why don’t we call people who get nauseous at alcohol “alcohophobics” or something? After all, what makes being attracted to having sex with someone any better than being attracted to alcohol? The effect accomplishes the same thing, satisfying your physical “itches” as it were.
They do have very different physical side-effects, alcohol destroys your brain cells, sex can get you STDs, and positively alcohol kills germs in water (that’s why it serves more of a purpose in Europe) and sex is reproduction and the continuation of the species (at least, when it’s male-female and we don’t tamper with nature and use drugs).
So, why stop at “homophobes”? Aren’t people who are naturally nauseous at alcohol just as bad as people who are nauseous at gay sex? Or, do we think letting “homophobes” get away will give us guilt about being straight or gay just for the moment and not for the relationship? Or, do we think that alcohol is wrong and being gay is right and we know everything there is to know?
Questioning in Lake Orion
Dear Questioning: For the sake of the column, I’ll assume that you are asking a serious question here. I believe we are talking about two entirely different subjects, neither of which is “slander.”
Alcohol does have negative physical effects and some people are sickened by it, and some have the genetic predisposition to the disease of the brain called alcoholism. People who are “against alcohol” or “against alcoholism” are not “phobic” or afraid of anything. Some people truly have this disease and others do not. And then there are some who just dislike the taste entirely. Homophobe is a term that describes someone who is uncomfortable (phobic)with part of the spectrum of normal sexuality in nature, including bonobos, penguins and other animals as well as people. The normal spectrum of sexual attraction ranges from no sexual attraction to anyone at all, to being attracted only to the same sex, being attracted to the same and the opposite sex, and being attracted to the opposite sex. Our culture has put a negative “spin” on same sex attraction, but not all cultures have and not all do. In fact, the latest research using brain scans shows that sexual “addiction” is not actually an addiction in the sense that alcohol is an addiction. It is just a person with heightened libido, and the addiction centers of the brain do not show any activity when someone is thinking about sex, as opposed to when an alcoholic drinks.
There is no cure, at this point, for alcoholism. There is treatment, and it is far from perfect. Alcoholism is a disease. There is a cure for homophobia, which is to educate yourself about the full range of normal human sexuality, and let go of the judgments that you have against some types of sexuality. Not all types of sex are for reproduction! You don’t have to be into every type of sexuality to be normal, but until you can be unafraid of seeing two men kissing or two women embracing, the only disorder going on in you is “homophobia”, a condition, not a disease.
Again, I do not think alcoholism and homophobia are comparable. They are just different. One is not better than the other, or worse. Neither is slander, but both describe human conditions. Alcoholism can be treated by not cured, and homophobia can be completely cured. I hope this helps you sort out your concerns. If not, write me again. Christine Cantrell
Christine C. Cantrell, PhD
1026 W. 11 Mile Rd,
Royal Oak, MI 48067
248-591-2888 Click here to email Christine.