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Essay

No queerphobia

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By Your Friendly Neighborhood Sociologist, RoxySaunders, Raladic, Some1, 0xDeadbeef, and others
This essay was recently the subject of quite some debate — a deletion nomination that reached nearly two hundred thousand characters of text, a deletion review, and a wide assortment of conversations on- and off-wiki. Opinions varied on the content and tone of the essay, and the essay itself changed quite a bit during the process of these discussions (including the addition and removal of material, as well as a retitling of the page itself, and a move into and back out of userspace). Ultimately, a consensus was reached that it did not merit deletion from projectspace.
In light of this volume of discourse, it seems condign that it should be made available to all who are interested. Here, the version posted has been adapted and slightly abridged from the full version at WP:No queerphobia; the authors with 10 or more edits are listed in the byline. J

Many people are drawn to edit Wikipedia in order to promote anti-LGBT views, mistakenly believing that their beliefs are protected by the WP:NPOV policy. Expressions of homophobia, lesbophobia, biphobia, transphobia, arophobia, acephobia, or general queerphobia are not welcome here. They disrupt the encyclopedia by promoting WP:FRINGE viewpoints and drive away productive LGBT editors.

The essay WP:HATEISDISRUPTIVE lays out why denigrating minorities is not allowed on Wikipedia and results in blocking and banning; others such as Wikipedia:No racists, Wikipedia:No Nazis, and Wikipedia:No Confederates lay out more specific guidelines for those forms of bigotry; this essay specifically serves to outline common anti-LGBT beliefs, disruptive manifestations of them, and the systems of recourse on English Wikipedia.

Context of this essay

Discussions have raged on for decades about how Wikipedia should write about LGBT people and topics. Gender and sexuality (WP:GENSEX) are currently considered a contentious topic (formerly "discretionary sanctions"), meaning that editors contributing to articles and discussions about these topics must strictly follow Wikipedia's behavioral and editorial guidelines. MOS:GENDERID and the supplementary essay MOS:GIDINFO contain the most up-to-date guidelines for writing about transgender people on Wikipedia.

Anti-LGBT editors frequently disrupt Wikipedia by promoting misinformation or pushing fringe viewpoints (particularly dangerous in medical articles), and create an unwelcoming environment for other editors. Editors who are unable to set aside their beliefs about the LGBT community when editing or who seek to promote WP:FRINGE viewpoints may be restricted from editing.

This essay outlines common queerphobic beliefs, popular misinformation about the LGBT community, and groups known to spread and support it, so that administrators and editors may recognize them, address them, and show queerphobes the door.

Beliefs, expressions, and actions

This essay and sister essays such as WP:NORACISTS, WP:NOCONFED, and WP:NONAZIS face a common criticism: "we should sanction editors for their behaviors, not their beliefs".

This is not an unfair argument so it bears exploration. The essay Wikipedia:Hate is disruptive addresses the issue like this (emphasis added):

This essay is based on that underlying principle, put succinctly as "your right to swing your fist stops where my nose begins". If you believe LGBT people are amoral deviants who need conversion therapy, but practice civility, never bring it up, and solely contribute to articles about entomology and highways, you have nothing to worry about and your contributions to Wikipedia are welcomed. This essay isn't about you. If you try to change the first sentence of LGBT to All LGBT people are amoral deviants who need conversion therapy...—or insist on talk pages that this is the case and Wikipedia needs to take your POV seriously—that is a behavioral issue and the focus of this essay.

Queerphobic beliefs

Queerphobia is the fear, hatred, or dislike of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and otherwise queer people. Queerphobes commonly believe that LGBT people and identities are deviant, and should be denied rights and protections.

Frequent anti-LGBT narratives include:

Overlapping with the narratives and beliefs above are more medically-related pseudoscientific/unevidenced proposals and typologies. The guideline WP:FRINGE addresses how to handle these in articles (we don't include them in articles on the broader topic, but if notable we can discuss them in their own articles while making clear they're fringe).

Queerphobic editors on Wikipedia frequently think:

Possible manifestations

These beliefs may manifest in various ways that damage the encyclopedia. Below is a non-exhaustive list of possible ones.

Aspersions

Casting aspersions of queerphobia (as well as -ist or -phobe aspersions) should not be used as a trump card in disputes over content or a coup de grâce on a noticeboard. They have the potential to permanently damage reputation, especially when the accused's account is publicly tied to a real-world identity. As such, unsubstantiated aspersions are a form of personal attack which may lead to the accuser being blocked.

Aspersions make the normal dispute resolution process difficult to go through and may create a chilling effect. Editors are encouraged to work through the normal dispute-resolution process when it comes to legitimate content disputes, such as disagreements on the interpretation or quality of sources.

What to do if you encounter queerphobia

You should always assume good faith and exercise civility. However, our social policies are not a suicide pact; we don't have to treat every harmful edit as the result of non-malicious ignorance.

For a new editor, understand that they are likely ignorant of Wikipedia systems and standards. Point them toward relevant guidelines and policies. If they are editing material related to gender identification, make them aware of the GENSEX topic restrictions via the {{Contentious topics/alert/first|gg}} or {{Contentious topics/alert|gg}} templates. If they are arguing against the guidelines, make it clear that you can't change the guidelines in an article discussion and direct them toward where such discussions can take place.

If an editor consistently and chronically disrupts the encyclopedia by promoting queerphobic opinions/viewpoints, you should collect relevant diffs and report them. If an editor was already made aware of the GENSEX topic restrictions, then you can request enforcement at WP:AE. Otherwise, request administrator attention at WP:ANI.

Editors brazenly vandalizing articles or using slurs may be immediately blocked. Wikipedia has zero tolerance for such behavior. If an edit is grossly insulting, degrading, or offensive, it may be subject to revision deletion. If an edit breaches someone's privacy, you should request Oversight.

It can be very tempting, especially in article talk pages, to debate or rebut anti-LGBT talking points on their own merits. However, remember that Wikipedia is not a forum. Stick to source-based and policy-based discussions which serve to improve articles. If a conversation is blatantly unconstructive or off-topic, then consider collapsing, refactoring, or moving it so that you and other editors don't waste others' time.

References

  1. ^ a b "APA Policy Statement on Affirming Evidence-Based Inclusive Care for Transgender, Gender Diverse, and Nonbinary Individuals, Addressing Misinformation, and the Role of Psychological Practice and Science" (PDF).
  2. ^ a b c o'Connor, Aoife M.; Seunik, Maximillian; Radi, Blas; Matthyse, Liberty; Gable, Lance; Huffstetler, Hanna E.; Meier, Benjamin Mason (2022). "Transcending the Gender Binary under International Law: Advancing Health-Related Human Rights for Trans* Populations". Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics. 50 (3): 409–424. doi:10.1017/jme.2022.84.
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  • Not sure what nonsense exactly you're pushing here. Plenty of personal characteristics are inherent and biological in nature. Hence why they are frequently protected characteristics in legal systems around the world. Sexual orientation and attraction is inherent and while some amount of specifics of attraction might be socially determined, such as liking larger or smaller body types, there isn't evidence that the gender of who one is attracted to is socially influenced. There is literally decades of scientific research showcasing this. So, again, not sure what sort of fringe nonsense you're arguing for here. SilverserenC 17:36, 8 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • No, there isn't "decades of evidence" to show that sexuality is "inherent". There's evidence to show that there's a genetic *component* to it, but you wouldn't argue that gender is something inherent to one's biology simply because it's highly correlated with one's biology? Yelling "fringe" seems to be the theme of this essay, but much of it's not supported by any actual evidence. Pulling up Springer, the first result on the subject I got: If in the past the scientific interest revolved around the question of “nature or nurture,” the current theories of sexology, which are placed in a sociological, biological, psychological, and social perspective, recognize the multifactorial nature of sexual orientation.Sexuality and Sexual Orientation in the Twenty-First Century. A far cry from "there isn't evidence that the gender of who one is attracted to is socially influenced". TryKid[dubiousdiscuss] 18:22, 8 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • My head boggles at the idea that someone could argue that the gender one is attracted to does not have a social component, while also arguing that gender itself is somewhat/largely social determined, or that it is a purely social concept. This is absurd a priori, before any "scientific evidence" needs to be called upon. Oh well. TryKid[dubiousdiscuss] 18:30, 8 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • You’re confusing multiple topics to try and make your argument. The social component of attraction is obviously separate and quite often maladaptive to the individual, so the argument you’re making is having the opposite result of what you intended. Nobody wants to hear personal anecdotes, but I will share them anyway. When I grew up in the 1970s, gay men and women would often marry and have families with straight men and women because they were forced to hide for their own safety; this was also the only way they could have children at the time. It wasn’t until the late 1980s in the US that people started coming out of these marriages, and it wasn’t until the late 1990s that it was accepted. By the 2000s, the right wing began formulating their aggressive attack on gay people to force them back into the closet. Your argument, whether you intended it or not, appears to support this position. Viriditas (talk) 23:03, 8 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • This is discussed at length in the BBC article in the first post and this paper, whether certain beliefs about the nature of homosexuality lead to greater acceptance or not. The conclusion seems to be that it doesn't matter much one way or another. But I don't think any of that is relevant here: Wikipedia isn't meant to be the propaganda arm of a social justice movement, righting great wrongs. What opinions one should express, what content one should add to articles should be based on what the sources say, not what is beneficial to the social justice movement, or what "plays into the hands of rightwing movements" etc etc.
    The essay seems to call for disallowing anyone to express something that is now widely recognised in academia: that there's a social and personal component to sexual orientation. This kind of ideological rigidity and gaslighting of anyone who doesn't want to fall in line ("fringe!!!") in the face of obvious evidence cannot possibly be good for something that is meant to be an encyclopaedia. TryKid[dubiousdiscuss] 00:45, 9 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I think you misunderstood the 2007 paper you cited. I don’t see how it has anything to do with this subject. Regarding the essay in question, you wrote, "The essay seems to call for disallowing anyone to express something that is now widely recognised in academia: that there's a social and personal component to sexual orientation.". I don’t see anything in the essay saying that, and the social and personal component you pointed to in the paper is not the one we are discussing. Not sure if you are intentionally misreading and misunderstanding or if this is on purpose to push a POV as others have said. Maybe take a step back and review the recent literature. Viriditas (talk) 00:54, 9 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • It's not clear to me what you're trying to say, if you want to make a point, just go ahead and say it. The 2007 paper is investigates the connection between the etiology of homosexuality and public acceptance of it. In some polls and studies of heterosexual people's attributions for homosexuality, it has been demonstrated that when individuals believe that homosexuality is a matter of personal choice, their attitudes toward gay men and lesbians tend to be more negative, whereas more positive attitudes toward gay men and lesbians are associated with attributing homosexuality to something people are “born with”. I assumed this is the point you were trying to make: that implying homosexuality can be a choice is akin to wanting to force gay people "back in the closet". If this isn't what you meant, I apologise.
    The first response to my comment asserted that there isn't evidence that the gender of who one is attracted to is socially influenced and implied that any assertion otherwise is "fringe". The essay seeks to smear as "queerphobic" and thus disallow this, or at least the more specific assertion that being LGBT can be a choice (at least for some people). But the scientific evidence does not support this claim. My opposition is to this part of the essay. I hope I'm being clear. TryKid[dubiousdiscuss] 01:34, 9 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • why would you want to make a "this user thinks some queer people are that way by choice" userbox in the first place? whether there is or isn't an environmental or social factor in being gay (which still doesn't mean being gay is a choice), what purpose does such a userbox serve except to be pointed and controversial? userboxen should be for info about you (or for comic relief, and none of this seems remotely funny) Wilhelm Tell DCCXLVI (talk to me!/my edits) 06:42, 13 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I hate getting into the specifics of a gender theory argument but.... "Preset, unchanging humans born a certain way" I've seen you bring this up a few times, with a very obvious flaw (I will charitably assume you are not intentionally trying to be intellectually dishonest). Supporting "nurture" in the nature v. nurture argument is not the same as saying being LGBT is a conscious choice. As I said, noting that society can play a factor in someone's gender ID in no way logically justifies saying "trans people choose to be that way", because just like genetics it's not like people have much conscious choice in the society that they grow up in either. In other words, even if "gender = nurture" is not fringe, "being LGBT is a conscious choice" very much is.
  • Anyways, that is mostly irrelevant to the main problem with such userboxes - an editor putting up such a userbox is using a well-known queerphobic trope with absolutely no context, whether they are actually being queerphobic or whether they're "just asking questions" or "just stating facts" or whatever. Our articles should reflect RS and should thus neutrally present the nature v. nurture arguments, but editors should not be going around telling other editors they are LGBT by personal choice. This harms collegiality, which is detrimental to a collaborative project - which is why I will ask you to stop justifying such userboxes further, and get back to editing articles. Wilhelm Tell DCCXLVI (talk to me!/my edits) 18:07, 16 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I obviously do not anywhere say that a "social factor" alone would mean that homosexuality is a choice. Both of the above quotes deal explicitly with homosexuality as a choice, and "social factors" and "choice" are nowhere conflated. I brought up "social factors" only in response to Silverserene's false claim that Sexual orientation and attraction is inherent and while some amount of specifics of attraction might be socially determined, such as liking larger or smaller body types, there isn't evidence that the gender of who one is attracted to is socially influenced. There is literally decades of scientific research showcasing this.. And this isn't about anyone "going around telling other editors they are LGBT by personal choice", it's about someone putting generic opinions on one's own user page. It's hardly a "well-known queerphobic trope", as something accepted by LGBT people themselves now and even in the past; nevermind that "trope" usually implies something is false, which this isn't established to be. At last, one can hardly believe these attempts at enforcing some kind of restriction on expressing an opinion that even many LGBT people or "allies" would agree with is about "collegiality"; it can and has only resulted in the opposite, as is clear from the talk page of the original essay. regards, TryKid[dubiousdiscuss] 19:01, 16 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Do you understand the purpose of a userpage? Wilhelm Tell DCCXLVI (talk to me!/my edits) 07:45, 17 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Comments here are likely to repeat some arguments from previous discussions about the essay. Not sure if there is a good summary available somewhere, but one starting point might the "endorsers" (currently 15) and "non endorsers" (currently 13) !votes at Wikipedia_talk:No_queerphobia. Regards, HaeB (talk) 18:27, 8 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Friendly reminder that everyone is also allowed to work on creating and improving content instead. Choose wisely. Polygnotus (talk) 02:07, 13 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]





       

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