Being Bigoted Isn’t a Phobia and Yes, There is a Word for It

Our language needs to keep evolving to be inclusive.

It’s long been said that people aren’t scared of queer people, they’re really just assholes. However, our words haven’t really reflected that. Queer hate has typically been described as a phobia. Queerphobia, homophobia, lesbophobia, biphobia etc. etc.

This is not just inaccurate but plays into a load of old tropes that still are a force in society. In some countries, the ‘panic’ defence is allowed in cases where people are being tried for the murder of queer people. The ‘panic defence’ is where an accused person states that they killed a queer person because they were scared they were going to be hit on/’converted’/assaulted. Giving credence to the idea that hating queer people is a legitimate phobia and/or reason to panic then actually increases the hostile culture queer people face.

“People aren’t scared of queer people, they’re really just assholes”

It also ventures into the area of ableism. Many people experience anxiety and panic disorders. This has nothing to do with hating queer people. Mental health conditions are often stigmatised to the point that it deters people from seeking support or treatment out of a deep fear that people will negatively judge them. Bad people should not be excused from their bad behaviour or have it blamed on a mental health condition.

It is true that words do change in meaning, but it’s also true that new words are coined every day so that we can better express ourselves. So let’s stop calling a hatred of queer people a phobia because it simply is not. It’s a very specific type of bigotry and deserves recognition as such.

This was why queermisia and ‘to be’ queermisic were invented. These words take on the meaning that queerphobia is supposed to, but doesn’t slip into ableism and is more reflective of the actual hatred felt towards queer people. It holds queer-hating bigots accountable. Misia as a suffix simply means to intensely dislike something, which is a far more accurate statement than claiming bigots have a phobia of queer people.

Queermisics are simply assholes and our language should call them out.

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