It's very fashionable to condemn homophobia these days, but I don't think anyone has ever clearly articulated the very good reasons why some of us are terrified by homosexuality. Not all of us, of course, but not all of us have as much to lose.
It's all very well for ordinary people to be tolerant. They have nothing to fear at all. They can just live and let live, because whether or not someone is gay really doesn't affect how they can get along. It's none of their business.
But me, I'm a very handsome man. I'm unspeakably charming, witty and just generally attractive beyond all description. So naturally, if homosexuality is to be openly accepted, I'm going to have men hitting on me all the time. ALL THE TIME. You just don't know what it's like, if you're not as stunning as I am, and you probably aren't.
This is more than a mere inconvenience. If it were simply a matter of saying "No, thank you," and being done with it, then I'd be fine with it, as simply part of the cost of being so fabulous. We all have our burdens to bear, after all. But as we know from movies and novels, it's never simply a matter of just saying no and being done with it. No, as a general rule, we know that once a man sets his sights on a woman (or a man, I assume, though I haven't seen a lot of movies where a man chases a man romantically), he just has to be persistent, and in the end the girl will realize she's in love with him, and they'll live happily ever after. As the cliché goes, her lips may say no, but her eyes say yes. Eventually, anyway. Right?
Oh, sure. I'm heterosexual, not sexually interested in men at all. The idea of being intimate with a man in that way, well, it even kind of creeps me out a little, no offense intended. But if you pay attention to the movies, that's not really much of a factor. The woman often starts out even being actively disgusted by the man, but over time she is no match for his relentless, determined pursuit. And in fact, it even helps if he's kind of unpleasant in a way, if his charm is unconventional and hard to perceive. It's just a matter of time before she discovers that she he's the man she's always wanted, even if she never thought she wanted a man at all. And so, well, I think I don't want a man, and I'm even pretty sure of it, but I don't think there's a defence against romantic persistence. Not in any of the movies or novels I've seen, anyway. Eventually he'll win me over in spite of myself, and I really don't want that to happen.
So you see, the reason I'm so frightened of homosexuality is because, like many homophobes, I'm such a delightfully attractive and wonderful human being. And we let you know we're homophobes because otherwise you'd have no way whatsoever of knowing how intensely desirable we are.