Owen Explains How Challenging Homophobia Benefits Straight Men Too

26 November 2017, 15:55

Homophobic abuse doesn't just have permanent, lifelong consequences for gay people - it hurts straight people too, Owen Jones says.

Owen Jones has eloquently illustrated how homophobia damages straight people as well as gay.

The journalist made a convincing case, linking male mental health, suicide and the role homophobic abuse has to play in both.

He was quick to point out that "gay" is used as a term of derision for straight men all too often.

"The word gay is bandied around so much that almost all straight men have been on the receiving end of homophobic abuse," Owen Jones said. "If you don't conform at some point at what it is to be a man, people start using homophobic terms of abuse against those men as a way to police what it is to be a man."

"I don't know, you're not getting into enough fights. 'Are you not going to go and clock him? You big gay.'

"Whether it be talking about women in a degrading way, whether it be not being athletic enough, maybe studying too much.

"The biggest killer of men in Britain under 50 is suicide. What does that have to do with anything? I think it has to do with this.

"If you open up about your feelings, your emotional distress, as a man, often you'll have people saying things like 'man up' or homophobic terms of abuse, because it's seen as somehow a bit gay to talk about your feelings.

"And that causes many straight men to not get the help they need, and I think that can tragically drive them to suicide."

Watch the clip at the top of this page.