I live a kind of sheltered life, I guess. I listen to NPR, so I don't ever hear any news coverage that is overtly homophobic. I stay away from movies like I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry or whatever it's called. I read lots of books about queer theory, and I study theatre. There's heterosexism around, but there isn't a lot of outright anti-gay hostility. In fact, there's very little. I've chosen these things, this experience. I choose not to encounter homophobic hatred, and even in Tallahassee, that's somewhat possible.
Today I made the mistake of watching an Ann Coulter video while browsing on YouTube. It's Fox News, so Ann Coulter calling John Edwards a "faggot" was their top story. That, in itself, is laughable, of course. Coulter is a famous comedian, so I suppose when she uses an inflammatory word like that, it is a big story, but I would never have heard about it unless I had run across it on YouTube. The thing is, Coulter defended her use of the word. She said that the word "faggot" has nothing to do with homosexuals. I thought that was a little bizarre. She defends her use of the term by saying that John Edwards isn't gay because he's married and has children and so therefore the word isn't homophobic.
The term "faggot", of course, means homosexual. It's a pejorative term. Homosexuals have been called faggots for a long time (since the second decade of the twentieth century). So Coulter doesn't actually think John Edwards is gay, but she calls him gay, and she means it as an insult. She actually says that that's what she was doing. It's just all so homophobic! It makes me sad. And then I was reading the comments on the video on YouTube and someone named catarojo has posted: "People with morals and decency, who aren't brainwashed by Hollywood, realize how sick these fucking queers are."
Wow. I never expose myself to this kind of shit and I shouldn't have even watched this video. There's a good reason why I avoid people like Coulter and the people who buy her books: I'm scared of these people. They freak me out.