Linda Harvey, notorious homophobe and anti-gay Christian crusader, has written a book. It’s called “Maybe He’s Not Gay: Another View on Homosexuality”, and in it she addresses the critical issue of whether or not it’s right for young people to come out as gay (just FYI, she thinks it isn’t). It’s short and compact and doesn’t pull its punches in telling young people that “no one is born gay”: the perfect kids’ stocking filler for fundamentalist Christian parents across America.
In “Maybe He’s Not Gay: Another View on Homosexuality”, Linda takes the role of a kindly mother explaining to the children of America that they must not listen to the “experts, celebrities, professors, government leaders, even some recognized Christian pastors” who nowadays bombard them with the message that it is “a person’s right to be respected as ‘gay'”. But even more importantly than not listening to these liars, Linda explains to the children of America that they must never listen to their inner voice if it one day starts to tell them that they themselves might be gay. This is because their inner voice is based purely on feelings and not facts, and the facts are that Linda says being gay is wrong. And Linda is always right. Especially when it comes to being gay.
Linda’s book is full of useful advice and anti-gay arguments for any teen questioning their sexuality. Amongst the most useful is the assertion by Linda that homosexuality is proven to be unnatural by the fact that our ancestors thought it to be unnatural. How unfair, Linda writes, to view all of the gay-hating, flat-earth-believing, female-oppressing civilisations that have come before us as primitive. They invented the wheel and circumnavigated the globe, for goodness sake! Not to mention tied people to stakes and burnt them for not sharing the same religion (Tudors), sacrificed healthy people to serve government officials in the afterlife (Ancient Egyptians) and invaded and conquered already-inhabited countries to claim them as their own (almost any Western power you care to mention). We must not make “sweeping condemnation[s] of those who paved the way in history before us”, especially on the gay issue, mainly because on the gay issue they agree with Linda. And Linda is always right. Especially on the gay issue.
[And, by the way, if any gays or their supporters think it is big or clever to follow the logic of Linda’s above argument by suggesting that if we’re going to subscribe to our ancestors’ take on homosexuality then maybe we should follow their take on slavery too, Linda has short shrift for them. Eschewing the hard facts of history (sometimes known as the truth) so as not to confuse her young readers (and, presumably for the same reason, providing no academic references for her own unique take on history) Linda tells them that in fact “most people hated slavery” (especially the 12,000,000 Africans ripped from their homes to work for nothing in America and the Caribbean one would imagine). And, what’s more, many slaves could become ex-slaves and once they did “everyone – even their former masters” recognised their new status, which, despite sounding at first glance like completely made up facts, clearly proves that nobody really liked slavery in the first place, even the slaveholders. A bit like homosexuality, which nobody likes either. Least of all Linda. And Linda is always right. Especially on homosexuality and how much she hates it.]
You won’t be surprised to hear, I’m sure, that Linda’s little book has received some stellar reviews (she helpfully includes a few at the start), including one from “former homosexual” Stephen Bennett, who praises Linda’s book as one that can “truly transform any life”; and one from the renowned Diane Gramley, who is pleased to see a book that “addresses many of the lies that today’s youth are being told from adults who, in most cases, know they are misleading them”. Shockingly, however, and much to Linda’s chagrin, the book has also received some less than favourable reviews. The most common words used to describe the book by more than a hundred reviewers on Amazon are “drivel”, “inaccurate”, “trash” “dangerous” and “evil”, and it would appear (according to a member of Linda’s staff on Mission:America’s website) that “vicious” bloggers have also been reviewing “Maybe He’s Not Gay: Another View on Homosexuality”, and rather unfavourably. Their reviews are described as “bullying”, mainly because they don’t agree with Linda’s positive evaluation of her book. And Linda’s positive evaluations are always right. Especially when it comes to the quality of anti-gay hate books.
Now I feel a bit sorry for Linda being got at by “vicious” bloggers, after all she’s only telling a truth that contradicts all of the actual facts of science, nature and human experience, which is not an easy thing to do (or believe). And it’s not as if she actually says gay people should be killed or anything. In fact, it’s well-known that Linda knows that there’s no such thing as gay people (“There’s no evidence there are different humans called LGBTQ people, these are sinful behaviors, not in-born identities”), so how can they be possibly be offended by what she says if they don’t exist?
That said, however, despite Linda not actually advocating the elimination of gay people, I do feel that she and her book suffer from a little PR problem (and this may be where her many, many, many, many critics take issue with her). In this enlightened day and age, a book called “Maybe He’s Not Gay: Another View on Homosexuality” and an author who regularly says things like: “Out and proud homosexuals should not have jobs that involve children”, risk sounding just a teeny weeny bit homophobic. And we all know homophobia is completely and utterly wrong.
So in order to help Linda with this PR problem I have decided to offer her some advice that may help her to silence her many, many, many, many critics. In an homage to Linda and her latest work of fiction, I’ve decided to call this advice “Maybe She’s Not Homophobic: Another View of Homophobia”, and in a further homage I have decided to use her chapter headings to help structure my words. As you will see, I have amended these headings slightly. I have also paraphrased some of her ideas in an attempt to replicate the saintly, patronising tone that Linda adopts in her book. In a novel departure from Linda’s style, however, I have decided to base my advice on facts, which are sometimes called the truth.
Maybe She’s Not Homophobic: Another View of Homophobia
Chapter One: Feelings and Facts: A Head-On Collision
Sometimes people feel they are a certain way.
“I’m a racist” says Bobby over there in the corner. “I don’t like anyone whose skin is a different colour from mine.
“I’m a chauvinistic pig,” says Walt, “Women are not as good as men.”
And in the corner there’s Linda. “I’m a homophobe” she shouts loudly. “That’s just who I am”.
But what is being a “homophobe”? Where does Linda get that notion from?
She feels she is a homophobe because of the homophobic things she says and does. And the facts back this up: Linda is a homophobe.
Chapter Two: The Revolution No One EVERYONE is Talking About
A revolution is when something turns around or changes. Or when a group of people in a country get together and overthrow a cruel and despotic regime. Or when, over time, the views of a nation or people change according to new and enlightened ways of thinking.
There is currently a revolution taking place in many countries concerning homophobia. Many countries are starting to view it as a terrible thing. Except the homophobic ones.
Chapter Three: Why No One is Born Gay HOMOPHOBIC
You were born with blonde hair and blue eyes (unless you weren’t) and apart from that (and your organs, bones, blood and other types of goo) you were an empty vessel, waiting to be filled with knowledge, love, thought and feelings. You were not born hating peanuts, or “The Godfather III”, or other human beings who love people of the same sex. You were simply taught to hate those things as you grew older by adults who had been taught to hate them as they were growing up. Although you may have felt feelings of hatred towards homosexuals for some time, take heart, there is no evidence whatsoever that people are born homophobic, and there IS a way out.
Chapter Four: FRIENDS Don’t Let Friends…Be Gay HOMOPHOBIC
Friends are people who love you for who you are. You may have some. Or you may not. A friend sticks by you and looks out for you. Part of looking out for you is telling you when you are completely and hideously WRONG. True friends tell you, when you are being homophobic, that you are completely and hideously WRONG. If you have friends who DON’T do this then they are not true friends and you need to ditch them because nobody needs friends like that. Friends who don’t call you out on your homophobia are friends without the R (that spells “fiends”, which are bad things/people).
Chapter Five: Parents, Family and other People (They Say) You Can’t Trust
Homophobes are often told that they cannot trust anyone who does not agree with them. This can leave homophobes feeling isolated and lonely, especially if they come from a family and a circle of friends that is inclusive and accepting of all people regardless of their sexuality. The best way to stop feeling lonely and isolated is to stop being a homophobe.
Chapter Six: Entry and Exit: What’s a Young Person LINDA Supposed to Do?
Linda, you’ve made a whole life out of hating gay people and wanting to see gay people stop being gay. This makes you a raging homophobe. It can be hard to come to terms with being that way sometimes. Many much better people than you throughout history have tried to be homophobic but given up, deciding that loving people for who they are is simply the right thing to do. And you can give up too, Linda, it’s so easy. Remember, no-one is born homophobic, regardless of what the fundamentalists might say. There is hope for you yet. All you need to do is love. There’s a book I know you adore that is all about love, the Bible, and maybe you should read it properly some time. Disregard the outdated parts that say that homosexuality is wrong, just as I know you have already learnt to disregard the parts that say that slavery is acceptable, that women should never enter a church without a head covering, and that anyone who criticises their parents should be stoned to death, amongst others. If you read it carefully, you’ll see that it says that the greatest of all things is love. [NB. If you read the Bible eliminating the outdated parts you might find you have to disregard so much of it that it barely constitutes a book any more. In which case, I recommend ditching it and just sticking with the love].
And there you have it, my little guide to Linda on how to overcome her PR problem. If she could just lose the homophobic tag then everything would be so much better for her. People might actually start to like her, instead of vilifying her and the tripe she publishes. So, next time you hear Linda say horrendously offensive things about gay people, spare a thought for her and professional homophobes like her; it’s not easy hating for a living. Before you write to her and tell her how very wrong she is (which you must), be a friend and point her in the direction of this blogpost and maybe, just maybe, she’ll realise she doesn’t have to spend the rest of her life being homophobic. Maybe she’ll become…an ex-homophobe.