The LGBTQ Revolution Will Not Be Minimized

There are two ways homophobes1 attack LGBTQ people: brutality and minimization.

Brutality is the most obvious form of attack. It can be overt or implicit, violent or passive, emotional or dispassionate. When two men are beaten for holding hands in public, that’s brutality. When state legislatures ban trans girls from competing in school sports, that’s brutality. When kids whisper hateful things behind an LGBTQ kid’s back, that’s brutality.

Minimization is harder for straight people to see — even our allies — but it’s just as insidious. The best recent account of minimization I’ve seen comes from Outsports:

From the article:

“The message from this small minority of homophobes is clear: If you are an LGBTQ athlete, stay in the closet. Keep your ‘secret.’ We don’t want your kind here.”

Cyd Zeigler, Outsports

As its name implies, minimization attempts to depreciate and denigrate LGBTQ people by asserting that their experiences don’t mean anything. It usually comes out as “I don’t care what happens behind closed doors.” Or, even worse, “I don’t care about someone’s sexual preference.” 2

Yeah, I know it all sounds innocuous, but it’s actually a form of erasure. It’s the LGBTQ equivalent of “I don’t see color.” Minimization tells LGBTQ people that our differences don’t matter, which is tantamount to saying our lives don’t matter.

Who cares when an LGBTQ athlete comes out? I do. You should. No form of anti-LGBTQ attack should be tolerated, no matter how harmlessly it seems to be worded.

1 Don’t get me started on how inaccurate the word “homophobia” is.

2 And these folks always say “sexual preference” and not “sexual orientation.” “Sexual preference” is one of the most loaded, anti-LGBTQ phrases in existence. I’m sure I’ll make it the topic of a future crazy rant blog post.