Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Homophobia

Greg and Tim are eating lunch together and having a discussion.

TIM: I'm sorry, Greg, I have to disagree with you on that point.

GREG: Oh, give me a break. Everyone knows it's true!

TIM: Sorry, I don't buy it. Laverne and Shirley are not lesbians!

GREG: Gimme a break, Tim! Think about it! They work in a bottle factory, they live together, and in the opening credits, they both come out of closets!

TIM: I know what you're talking about, but those doors belong to their bedrooms, and not their closets.

GREG: That's even worse.

Ann walks up to them.

ANN: Hey, guys. What's up?

TIM: Hi, Ann. Greg here was just educating me on the subject of homosexuality and television.

GREG: Yup. The fags and dykes of prime time.

ANN: Lemme guess. . .the "Laverne and Shirley are dykes" argument?

TIM: Yeah! How did you know?

ANN: I've heard it all before. Greg, get off it! I thought by now you'd be talking about Ellen!

GREG: Ellen who?

ANN: Ellen DeGeneres.

GREG: Oh, her! She's gay?

Ann and Tim stare at Greg in disbelief:

TIM: Hello! She only came out on her show, went on Oprah with her girlfriend, and was on practically every magazine in the country!

GREG: How the hell was I supposed to know?! She doesn't wear Birkenstocks, I've never seen her with a cat, and she doesn't play tennis.

ANN: Well, Greg, I play tennis.

GREG: Yeah, but you're not a homo--you're too good-looking. Plus, women don't find you attractive anyway!

ANN: What?!

TIM: Greg, would you like some salt to go with that foot?

ANN: So, if I were ugly, I'd be a lesbian?

GREG: Well, I guess. . .

TIM: How about some pepper as well?

ANN: Oh, Greg, get off it! So, I suppose all gay men have limp-wrists, talk with lisps--

GREG: Know how to dress, always have their shirts tucked in, wear penny loafers, and work in flower shops!

TIM: Um, Greg? Your shirt's tucked in! More salt for your foot?

GREG: Shut up! I ain't no fag!

TIM: You know, Greg, you need to--

Paul walks up.

GREG: Speaking of fags.

ANN (hits him): Greg!

PAUL: Hey guys. What's going on?

ANN: Oh, nothing, Paul. We were just discussing lunch and....

GREG: Faggots in America, Paul. What do you think of them? All these parades, TV shows, marches. What do you think of queers?

PAUL: Well, I don't think they're any more queer than you!

GREG (mad): What?!

PAUL: Greg, look. The word "queer" means strange, and to me gay people aren't strange--they're just like you and me.

GREG: Yeah, but what they do--it's disgusting.

PAUL: See, there's something you don't or can't understand, and that's exactly why you feel the way you do. You don't understand it, so you're against it. It isn't about who you sleep with, Greg--it's about who you love.

Paul walks away.

GREG: Now there goes the biggest queer I ever saw!

ANN: What would make you think he's gay? Because he just embarrassed you?

GREG: No.

TIM: Okay, then what makes you say he's gay?

GREG: I've been to his house.

ANN: Oh, so you've been over to a guy's house because you think he's gay? Well, isn't that interesting?

GREG: Shut up! No, I've been to his house before....

TIM: And?

GREG: The boy has track lighting in his room, ok? You can't get more gay than that. Plus, his name is Paul.

ANN: Very good, and your name is Greg. What are you getting at?

GREG: It's such a gay name.

TIM: Oh, this is getting ridiculous. Tim, you're really sounding stupid now. I don't care if a person is gay or straight, if they treat me with respect, they'll get the same from me.

ANN: Same here. What has a gay person ever done to you?

GREG: They exist.

TIM: Dude, you're nothing but a big homophobe!

GREG: No, I'm not. I'm not scared of queers, I just don't like them.

ANN: Well, you know what? Why don't you come talk to me when you're able to show some respect for people who are different than you are. You might as well hate black people for being black!

GREG: They didn't choose to be black.

TIM: So you think gay people choose to be gay?

GREG: Yeah.

TIM: Ok, that makes sense. So, let me get this straight. Gay people would rather be something that could cause them to lose their jobs, fear their families and friends, and have a lot of stress. Oh, you make soooo much sense!

Tim and Ann walk away.

Happy Ending

GREG: Speaking of fags!

ANN (hits him): Greg!

PAUL: Hey guys! What's going on?

ANN: Oh, nothing, Paul. We were just discussing lunch and....

GREG: Faggots in America, Paul. What do you think of them? All these parades, TV shows, marches. What do you think of queers?

PAUL: Well, I don't think they're anymore queer than you!

GREG (mad): What?!

PAUL: Greg, look, the word "queer" means strange, and to me gay people aren't strange--they're just like you and me.

GREG: Yeah, but what they do---it's disgusting.

PAUL: See, there's something you don't or can't understand, and that's exactly why you feel the way you do. You don't understand it, so you're against it. It isn't about who you sleep with, Greg--it's about who you love.

Paul walks away.

ANN: Do you see? Do you understand what Paul said?

GREG: Yeah. It's true. I don't understand it because I don't feel that way. Just like I guess gay guys don't understand why I like women.

TIM: Exactly.

ANN: Look, Greg, many people feel the same way you do. They hate gays because they don't understand. All I'm saying is that gay people are people, too, and deserve to be treated like human beings. Many people forget that.

GREG: You're right. I may not understand it, but it's here.

TIM: And you accomplish nothing by putting down people because of it.

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