thanks for your tags on the gwen araujo post. i know the history of gay/trans panic but i hadn't connected it to how it's used in (many many) fandoms, that is a very good point, thank you
Thanks, @whatdoesthistellyou. “Gay panic” gets so, so terribly misused in fandom. Even as many times as I’ve seen it used to mean “someone is panicking about realizing that they’re not straight,” it’s not something I’ve gotten used to.
To review (bc this is something I never feel like we can say too much):
The principle behind the defense is that learning that someone is gay or trans, and particularly men realizing that they might be attracted to a man or transwoman, is so very horrific that murder is an understandable and acceptable reaction.
“Gay panic” and “trans panic” are about as deeply homophobic, transphobic, cissexist, and horrific as it gets. They are the legal embodiment of the idea that gay and trans people’s lives don’t matter. They are the legal embodiment of the idea that being LBGTQ is repulsive and disgusting - so much so that someone might be legally justified in stamping out the existence of gay and trans people.
When people use the terms “gay panic” or “trans panic” in shipping lgbtq characters to refer to a moment of difficult realization, they are, in fact, evoking a horrific history of homophobic abuse of LGBTQ people.
If you can know what “gay panic” and “trans panic” mean, what they are, what they do, and still use them for your lighthearted shipping fun, it is perhaps time for a long, hard look in the mirror.