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This is a normal post homosexuals,
perhaps because they weren't seen as an "other" in the first place, homoeroticism was considered quite normal, for instance in ancient Greek culture. The temples of the near east used to keep male prostitutes. Seemingly it was ok as long as the one of higher social status went on top.
(, Wed 23 Jan 2013, 19:10, Reply)
This is a normal post But anything considered
'normal' is no longer 'other'.

I'm sure the ancient Greeks had very strict views on what was normal too, and many poor sods will have suffered as a result of being on the outside of that for quite random reasons.

Our idea of 'normal' mostly comes from the bible and is pretty strict, hence the homophobia.
(, Wed 23 Jan 2013, 19:35, Reply)
This is a normal post The question is,
why did our idea of "normal" change? Where does the (apparent) homophobia in the Bible come from, if not from some pre-existing concept of normality? Given that it was written by people and not actually by God. It's easy and fashionable to blame "the Bible" for everything we regard as retrograde but it distracts us from the real root of the problem.

The turn against homosexuals in particular seems to have massively accelerated lately. In Russian society, displays of passion between two men was seen as acceptable into the 20th century (see images I posted below). And now they ban two men kissing in public.

Putin doesn't speak for his people, though, he's very much in bed with the Russian Orthodox Church these days, I don't know what their history is on this.
(, Wed 23 Jan 2013, 19:49, Reply)
This is a normal post No, but I think the bible added to the longevity of it.
When I've seen Russians interviewed about their homophobia, they always seem to explain it as part of their religion.

I think the recent rise is in some parts a weird meme that being anti-gay = being Christian. Psychologically, it can't help that the homophobia of the church is so often used by atheists to knock it (probably guilty myself on that one). That is just going to confirm that belief in people's heads.

It is a dangerous meme, too, as it easily allows for scapegoating.

There is also the way that bigotries do seem to come and go in fashion. Look at the rise of Islamophobia in recent years.
(, Wed 23 Jan 2013, 20:04, Reply)
This is a normal post I think Islamophobia is all tied into it,
the trouble seems to have started with that whole 9/11 thing (or at least that really brought it out). There was a documentary someone posted here a while ago about the rise of American-style Christian fundamentalism in this country, and one of the guys interviewed seemed to be possessed of the motivation that, if we let go of our Christianity, the Muslims will take over, so we have to be extra Christian to counteract it.

The situation in Africa is also a concern, a lot of the African churches are now being essentially bribed by American evangelical benefactors to promote their ultra-right-wing agenda in the continent.

Russia is still coping with the fall of Communism and trying to create a new identity out of it. I guess it left an ideology vacuum.
(, Wed 23 Jan 2013, 20:11, Reply)
This is a normal post I don't think there's evidence that homophobia ever started to exist
Some cultures have the stigma, and some don't. Some come to adopt it and presumably some lose it. Just like other practices and weird prohibitions it seems like it tends to piggyback into new cultures on stuff like religion and political/technological influence. Attitudes about children, the elderly, gender roles, and all that stuff seem to vary that way.

I don't know. Is there a good reason to think that homophobia didn't exist at some point?
(, Wed 23 Jan 2013, 20:19, Reply)
This is a normal post Well.
I don't think that ancient cultures tended to think of some people as intrinsically "homosexual" as such, so they weren't identified as a minority group. Some men liked young boys, but then, some people like mushrooms. It seems to me to be part of the post-enlightenment obsession with classifying things. Even the concept of race was pretty fuzzy before then, as well.

What seems more common is a concern with men being cowardly, or "soft", or enjoying luxurious lifestyles a bit too much. Here's an interesting thing I found lately:
(, Wed 23 Jan 2013, 20:29, Reply)
This is a normal post Michel Foucault's books on sexuality are quite good in this debate.
He shows how ancient Rome and Greece were against homosexual acts but only as a guideline, an idea of best practice.
Abrahamic religions are against homosexual acts and feminine behaviour in men. But are also against what many would call 'masculine' behaviour - aggressiveness, sexual conquest, roughness.
The idea of homosexuality as an identity and even a 'race'/type of person does occur in pre-modern times, but this concept gains ground in modernity, along with racial theories and the idea of social classes.
This concept of homosexuals as fully and innately homosexual has the unintended consequence of giving political power to gay people, to provide a platform for political change.
I don't think we can ever point to the start of homophobia. Just to the origins of modern homophobia and how it has developed.
(, Wed 23 Jan 2013, 21:34, Reply)
This is a normal post I see
I guess I was thinking about attitudes towards homosexual activity, not whether there's a class of 'gay' people in the culture. I see what you're saying. I think that wikipedia article has some support for both our points. Now I'm going to be reading about medieval Scandinavian duels all night :)
(, Wed 23 Jan 2013, 21:52, Reply)