On throwing around queerphobia accusations

2021-08-19 | @andrea

One day we were having technical issues: the emails with login codes were being sent out as requested, but for many people they were ending up in the spam folder. That day we got the following email:

“Give me my new code ya homophobes😑”

Another thing that we see quite often in people's cards is a description like this one:

“It didn’t let me add paw/pawself and boe/boeself kinda transphobic”

Sure, policing someone's neopronouns would be transphobic. And that's why we don't do that. Paw can easily link to paw's pronouns by putting in all five grammatical forms (paw/paw/paw's/paw's/pawself), by using a shorthand notation for the nameself pronouns (:paw), or by using a generator that's available in the Pronouns section. We talk about it in the instructions in the card editor – if only people would read them before rushing to get angry…

But, oh well… It's not like it's a big deal for us personally. We'll roll our eyes and move on. But the issue is a bit bigger than that. How many times have you heard someone jokingly say something like “They've run out of my favourite pretzels, how homophobic!”? It seems to be a common joke in the community, isn't it?

Sure, it might be funny, it might help blow off some steam, or whatnot. But think about how it dilutes the meaning of the word. There's actual queerphobia destroying people's lives all around the world – but you use that word to describe a minor inconvenience completely unrelated to your gender or orientation?

Think about it… If you message a group of queer volunteers doing their best to create a free website for the community, and you call them “homophobes”, how do you expect allocishet people to take queerphobia seriously?