The Millions

Homosexual Panic: The Millions Interviews James Polchin

We tend to use the word “homophobia” loosely, as if it were interchangeable with the term “anti-gay.” But the root of the word points something more specific: fear. Were the men who recently attacked a lesbian couple on a London bus simply anti-gay? Or did the women scare them?

In her 1972 essay “Gay Is Good,” queer activist and Gay Liberation Front founding member writes, “The function of the homosexual is to

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