The Center Voice
The Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Greater Fort Lauderdale, Inc.
April, 2000 (volume 7, number 4)
WHO’S ZOOMIN’ WHO?
I find it fascinating as we have entered this new millennium to reflect upon the centuries of injustices done to homosexuals. Given the painful lessons of the past that all people have experienced, it is an overt cruelty to realize that there are those who still find it in their hearts to hate us because we are attracted to others of the same sex. We have been demonized, tortured and put to death throughout the history of our specie, simply because of a crime no greater than nor less than love. Yet, in this century alone, two world wars, the Holocaust, and the African-American Civil Rights Movement have not been enough to make people understand that bigotry is wrong.
As a physician, I am particularly embarrassed by and ashamed of the role that modern medicine has played in facilitating and permeating this unjust bigotry others have towards us. Though the current medical establishment did not cry out for our heads, it did impose many injustices upon us which future generations will surely judge as forms of torture rather than treatment. Sadly, it was not until the 1970's that psychiatry stopped labeling homosexuality as a mental illness and doctors finally began to relinquish their role of being our modern day “inquisitioners.” However, up to that turning point, physicians deemed our very existence a disease that mandated a cure, whether we wanted to be cured or not. Everything from counseling, to incarceration, to shock therapy, to chemical and physical castration, and even lobotomies were employed by these sadistic saviors in white.
Today, thankfully, that is all behind us, though best not forgotten. We are no longer - for now - considered mentally ill simply because we have same gender affections. Yet, society as a whole did not and still refuses to follow the medical establishment’s lead. Our detractors continue to hold sway in public politics and policy. They, the homophobes, bellow their perpetual immoral rallying cry that we must be contained, controlled and converted from homosexuality, lest we spread our evil message of love to others. They, the ones who fear us, pass laws to deprive us of our rights and social privileges. They seek to build walls around us with rules and regulations that limit our existence to that of second class citizens who can only attain full citizenry by rejecting the very essence of who we are: love.
But they do not know us. The walls they construct against us are barriers that prevent them from reaching out across the sexuality divide towards us. At the same time they deny us our rights, they back away from the opportunity to understand us - for in understanding there is no need for fear, and without fear there is no need for persecution. But they choose to hide behind their walls, they choose to fear we who are not fearful, and they choose to use their ignorance as a justification to harm us. Why would anyone knowingly pursue such destructive behaviors? Why do they favor ignorance over understanding, fear over friendship, and persecution over social partnership? There is only one answer. It is because for centuries they - not us - THEY have been the ones who suffer from mental illness.
Homophobia is a fear of homosexuals that inhibits one’s ability to function in normal, daily, social activities with others who are known to be or are suspected of being homosexual. Their phobia prevents them from openly socializing with us, it prevents them from understanding us, and it prevents them from seeing how sick they really are. Their phobia is the true illness that spreads evil and harms others throughout the world, and, yet, we have been tortured for centuries because of their disease. Well, enough is enough!
It is time for modern medicine to turn its needles and probes upon the homophobes. It is time to rid them of their illness and to cure them of their phobia. It is time to remove generations upon generations of rancid and putrefied malice from their hearts so as to prevent them from doing continual harm to others. It is time that they undergo involuntary, psychological reprogramming to clean and clear their fetid minds. It is time that they be incarcerated to protect society’s innocent from their ignorant and evil ways. It is time that they endure electro-convulsive punishment to ablate their sadistic tendencies. And it is time that they persevere chemical and surgical alteration of their bodies - even their very minds - to achieve once and for all a total and triumphant treatment and cure of their maddening sickness. For they - not us - THEY are the ones who are and have always been mentally diseased and ill.
Though I loath to advocate an eye-for-an-eye philosophy, after more than two millenniums of malicious, unjustified persecution, you tell me - WHO’S ZOOMIN’ WHO?