Twitter and homophobia and the UvA-Library

Nohomophobes, an initiative of the ISMSS Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta, keeps track of how often tweets include the words faggot, dyke, so gay and no homo, and is therefore «designed as a social mirror to show the prevalence of casual homophobia in our society. Words and phrases like “faggot,” “dyke,” “no homo,” and “so gay” are used casually in everyday language, despite promoting the continued alienation, isolation and — in some tragic cases — suicide of sexual and gender minority (LGBTQ) youth. We no longer tolerate racist language, we’re getting better at dealing with sexist language, but sadly we’re still not actively addressing homophobic and transphobic language in our society».


Whether we truly are getting better at dealing with racist and sexist language, I dare not say, and yet it’s just such academic initiatives as Nohomophobes that, even if ‘only’ by making us conscious of our casual discriminatory language, can help individuals and societies getting better.

As far as (discriminatory) language is concerned: should you want to know more about the origins, meanings and use of such terms as dyke, faggot and gay, take a look at the Encyclopedia of Homosexuality, freely accessible at Berlin Humboldt-University‘s site.

As far as scholarly research on homophobia is concerned: the UvA-Library has a growing collection of (e)books on the topic. Among the most recent additions to the collection are: Thomas Spijkerboer’s Fleeing homophobia: sexual orientation, gender identity and asylum (Routledge, 2013), Marc McCormack’s The declining significance of homophobia: how teenage boys are redefining masculinity and heterosexuality (Oxford University press, 2012) and David Murray’s Flaming souls: homosexuality, homophobia, and social change in Barbados (University of Toronto press, 2012)

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