Are Yaoi-Haters homophobic?
This isn't flame bait; it's an essay.
I've been adamantly anti-yaoi for a long time now. When I started off getting into various fandoms, I honestly didn't care much about the yaoi aspects and just ignored or went along with it. But over time for various reasons, I grew to dislike it, and eventually became flat-out disgusted by it.
And it bothers me, because as much as I hate yaoi, I am very much supportive of gay rights. I have many gay friends who I care about, and I believe that they deserve the equal rights in marriage, adoption, and everything else as much as any straight couple gets. Yet the idea of two men having a sexual relationship, even just KISSING, makes my stomach churn.
The hell is wrong with me? I'm a straight female and an atheist with no moral influences against it. And it's only yaoi too; I'm utterly neutral to yuri and lesbian relationships. It doesn't disgust me, but it doesn't turn me on either.
It makes me wonder about something that worries me. If I support gay rights but am disgusted by the idea of gay relationships, am I actually homophobic and thus a hypocrite?
Right now I'm active in an online role play community (based on Final Fantasy VII) where the majority of the members are gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that... but it often becomes frustrating. I love the community, but as one who hates Yaoi, when stuff I don't like appears before me I have to pretty much look the other way or grit my teeth and bare it. Every once in a while someone sends me a picture or a RP log that makes me want to puke a little. I really wish I could say "You know, I really don't wait to see this..." but I'm afraid of the backlash and accusations I'll get.
One of the leaders of the community is a gay man who is extremely sexist against women. He likes to talk trash about them behind their backs and exclude them from things. I'm one of the people subject to this, and every time he does an assholeish thing to me, everyone tells me that it's not because of something I did, it's because I'm female. He acts the same way towards the lesbians in the community, too. Everyone in the community allows it and no one really considers it a bad thing, just this guy's "quirk".
Really, prejudice against women by gay men being accepted by a community that preaches equality wasn't something I ever imagined before. I guess there are all kinds of people in this world.
The gay rights movement is a strange thing. Even though the main drive is love, equality, and peace, there's this hidden aspect of counter-bigotry that sometimes shows up. I think it's most obvious through all the hatred put out by rabid yaoi fans over shallow things like anime pairings and smutty drawings, but there's more to it than that. When a group of persecuted individuals gets big enough, they become quick to defend themselves by attacking back.
I'm trying to be very careful about what I say here because I don't want people to get the wrong idea. It's like walking on eggshells, really. I can't really understand my reason for being disgusted by yaoi, because I'm a woman and I'm non-religious. When you consider a straight man who's uncomfortable around a gay man, what pops into your head? You usually think of the straight man as being a closed-minded, dangerous homophobic religious bigot, or some kind of goofball flailing around comically while trying to affirm his masculinity. When you think of a straight woman uncomfortable around a gay man, you usually think of a homophobic religious mother worried that the gay man will touch her children or spread teh ghey to them. Oh, and gay men and lesbians just have a fabulous time with each other with no problems whatsoever.
But those are all stereotypes and real life does not work that way.