Lately, I’ve been thinking about the phrase “the gay agenda.” What is it? What does it mean? Who uses it? How and why? But mostly, I’ve been wondering if the phrase is homophobic. Can someone use it seriously and then turn around and say that they are not a homophobe?
“The gay agenda” is primarily used as a term to mean that gay people are out trying to convert straight people into being gay. The phrase is often used by anti-gay activists to compel people into thinking that gay people are bad and into voting against gay rights issues. Common arguments against the concept include indicating the irony in how many religious groups do have an overt agenda to convert people to their religion, while most gay people just want the right to live their lives without actively trying to “turn” straight people.
When discussing “the gay agenda” with a few of my friends, one of them found the idea of someone believing that gay people have an “agenda” legitimately laughable. While I see her point, it is important to keep in mind, even living in such a liberal and accepting environment, that there are people out there who actually believe in the concept and are actively applying it to the lens of how they view the world. My other friend said that he thought that even if the term “gay agenda” is not strictly homophobic it is, at the very least, offensive.
I think that the phrase is definitely one that is coined off of a fear of something different and a lack of education surrounding queer issues. Most of the contexts that the phrase could ever be used in are ones with tones of homophobia. It brings into the conversation the concept of the reflective closet in how it uses the term “agenda” to describe how an openly gay person calls into question straight people’s own sexuality. I am still unsure whether or not that makes the term itself a homophobic one, or just that the phrase is generally used in homophobic contexts and now has homophobic connotations.
What do you think? Is the phrase “the gay agenda” a homophobic one?