Let’s get rid of the word “homophobia.” The word “phobia” comes from the Greek word for “fear.” That’s why the fear of enclosed spaces is claustrophobia, the fear of spiders is arachnophobia, and the fear of the number 13 is triskaidekaphobia.1
Homophobia isn’t rooted in fear. It’s rooted in hate. Fear doesn’t explain the denigration of an entire group of people or the denial of equal rights. Hate does these things.
Fear is anxiety. Hate is anger.
Fear is apprehension. Hate is hostility.
Fear is a reaction to the unknown. Hate is active animus.
I don’t know what word or phrase should replace “homophobia,” but I know this misleading term needs to be thrown out. The sooner the better.
1 A fear of Nabisco wheat crackers should be triscuitaidekaphobia.