from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Fear of or contempt for lesbians and gay men.
- n. Behavior based on such a feeling.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Fear, dislike, or hate of homosexuals.
- n. A pathological fear of mankind.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A strong dislike or fear of homosexuals, especially to an unreasonable degree.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. prejudice against (fear or dislike of) homosexual people and homosexuality
Certain people have suggested that the term homophobia is inappropriate because it marginalizes those that are opposed to gay marriage.
The term homophobia, like the term xenophobia, has larger social implications than simply what is happening on the individual level.
This brings up the second problematic aspect of using the term homophobia to describe violent or prejudicial action towards someone perceived to be gay or who does not conform to cultural expectations of sexuality.
Indeed, homophobia becomes nearly synonymous with homosexuality, a realization that has spurred recent efforts to discard the term homophobia in favor of heterosexism, a political move that favors the materialist account over the psychoanalytic one. (emphasis added).
That is, the term homophobia was first used to describe the likes of Terry Mark Mangum.
Use of the term homophobia to describe prejudice against gays thus seems to imply that such prejudices arise from unfamiliarity or fear.
The term homophobia implies a fear of homosexuals.
Also, while I appreciate your reluctance to use the term homophobia to describe certain people who might be allies, I disagree with your argument here.
Yes, over-using the label homophobia can decrease its effectiveness.
The term homophobia describes the aversion of a person to