As my good friend, Don Charles wrote on his blog, “Christ, The Gay Martyr,” regarding “Machismo” as being a taken for granted fact of life that underlies much of homophobia and transphobia: “In a culture dominated by Machismo, there is no room for persons of blended gender! We undermine the gender fascism that Machismo preaches. We contradict the world view that demands dominant men and subservient women. We will always be perceived as a threat to the concept of “pure” masculinity; our sexual orientation alone guarantees that. As I’ve stated before, all it takes to qualify as a gender outlaw is to be a man-loving-man or a woman-loving-woman.”
Gay people and people of blended gender threaten the man-made construction, the fiction, of sexual and gender polarities as being “normal,” as being “the way things are meant to be.” Hence, the homophobic and transphobic rhetoric emanating from the pulpits in most of the institutional Church, justifying such unchristian rhetoric and discrimination in the names of “the Bible,” “morality,” “tradition,” “family values,” “for the good of the children,” etc.
And, often to help “sanitize” the rhetorical victimizing of Gay and transgender people by many professing “Christians” is to appeal to the Bible and to God, as irrational as are those “justifications” to those who have even a scintilla of spiritual sense! For the homophobic and transphobic, any person, group, or event that brings to consciousness the realization of a threat to his avowed sexuality (particularly male heterosexuality) results in a profound threat to those whose very unconscious lives put the lie to “the normality” of sexual and gender polarity; the fiction of the homophobe’s “avowed heterosexuality” which, as a defense, he has selected as the core part of his avowed identity.
Hence, his felt need to suppress his sexual feelings by projecting his anger onto any person or group that exhibits any attributes that bring to his consciousness, or even highlight, his repressed sexual feelings. And when that core part of his identity is in any way threatened by bringing to his consciousness the reality of his actual sexuality and/or gender status, he feels the need to engage in Reaction Formation by victimizing “the other” whom he has spent a lifetime trying to hide and avoid within himself.
Hence, homophobia and transphobia often results in the murder of that “other” that, in reality, is unconsciously (and sometimes consciously) experienced as the desperately unwanted and resented part of the perpetrator’s self. So, the victimizer or murderer is in a very real sense futilely seeking to murder that very part of himself that he terribly despises, and that he has projected upon that very person or group that has brought to his consciousness the reality that he can’t bring himself to acknowledge, even to himself.
So the terrible irony of much of the dynamics of homophobia and transphobia is that many of those who are most phobic regarding sexuality and gender performance are very likely to be those who are most threatened by those very features that they, themselves, resentfully (and often unconsciously) possess!