Opposing ALL Forms of Homophobia in Light of the Orlando Attack*

By Nick Pendergrast

It is horrible to hear what has happened in Orlando. This terrorist attack was inspired by homophobic outrage at seeing two men kissing. In order to address such extreme acts of violent homophobia, we have to tackle homophobia (and any form of queerphobia) all of the way along the spectrum of the ‘continuum  of violence’.

Continuum of violence (Hollomotz)

Image from Hollomotz (2013) in the book Disability, Hate Crime and Violence.

Whether it is homophobic language, attacks on important programs that support queer youth like Safe Schools, or mass acts of violence like occurred in Orlando, they are all based on the same homophobic thinking and all have the same effect in terms of keeping queer people marginalised.

I have been watching Malcolm Turnbull’s response to the attack and it is not enough to just condemn this violence at the extreme end of the spectrum, while supporting the attacks on Safe Schools that address issues such as social exclusion and stigma. To meaningfully stand against this attack you have to stand against all homophobia and queerphobia.


*This post has since been expanded into an article on New Matilda. Please check out the article there and share it around, thanks!

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