Just as we expect our members to not suggest someone has a mental disorder for merely believing LGBT issues are not a lifestyle choice (innate), it's also expected that we not suggest members have a mental disorder for believing it is a lifestyle choice (not innate).
Some people believe the Earth is flat. Some people believe that the moon landing was faked. Some people believe that Elivis is still alive and well... And some people believe that sexuality is a "lifestyle choice"
The thing is... Science tells us otherwise.
Saying that these positions are equally valid, because folks believe certain things, is a great example of false equivalence
Not long ago, I argued with my shrink about the term "homophobic" because in my experience it usually presents as disgust and hate, rather than fear. She took the time to walk me through it, and she started by asking where that hate and disgust likely came from. The classic explanation is that the hate/disgust is rooted in fear about one's own sexuality. But there's more to it than that. Fear causes people to behave strangely.
Some people who are arachnaphobic will shriek and run from spiders, while some others will go out of their way to exterminate spiders. Are these people afraid that they are, deep down, spiders themselves? Most likely not. Are they afraid of being bitten by spiders? Some likely are. Are these people who are terrified of being bitten aware that the vast majority of spiders are harmless, and that some aren't even capable of biting humans? If they're being honest, probably.
That's the thing... Most people with a phobia at some level realize that it's an irattional fear. If you start pulling at threads some don't even know why they're afraid. While some others will cling to "rational" reasons trying to justify their irrational fear.
Homophobic people tend to have loads of rationalizations about why LGBT+ people are bad. Many cultures have deliberately provided and supported these rationalizations.
But much like the fear of spiders, science has been pulling at those threads for a while. Psychiatrists and doctors and anthropologists have pretty well concluded that these fears are irrational... Yet some people still cling to their rationalizations.
Homosexuality isn't contagious. Homosexuals have been shown to be every bit as productive, intelligent, and capable as their hetero conterparts. There isn't any credible evidence that they're more prone to crime, that they're any less capable of raising healthy, well adjusted children, or that they have a negative impact on society. Yet people still cling to those rationalizations... These are some of the more common fears that people bring up when the threads get pulled, when they're asked for the reasons for their disgust and hatred.
This leads me to conclude that homophobia is an irrational fear. Once you start to look benieath the hate and disgust, you find fear. Once you start to look benieath the fear, there's not really a rational explanation, hence an irrational fear.
If it wasn't obvious already... The terms homophobia and transphobia are accurate, their meanings are commonly understood and consistently defined in every dictionary I've seen. These terms should not be banned, edited out, or flagged as rude or abusive.
Definition of homophobia
: irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals
Dislike of or prejudice against homosexual people.
If you'd prefer a more interpersonal answer, take a moment to remember why these words exist...
While I'm sure it's unpleasant to be accused of homophobic or transphobic ideas or behavior, it's arguably much more unpleasant to be on the receiving end of those ideas and those behaviors. Most LGBT+ folks can relate some pretty horrifying stories about how it has touched their lives.
My best friend's partner lost his little sister in The Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, FL. When I think about homophobia, I remember that day. I remember my community collectively weeping.
I also remember going to a candlelight vigil a few days later, in a smaller central Florida city. LGBT+ folks, allies, friends, and family from all over the state had gathered to mourn in a local park. On the way into the park and on the way out of the park we had to walk past a line of Sheriff's deputies who were supposed to be there to "protect" the gathering, but could be heard cracking jokes and sneering at us.
I remember going on my first date with a non-cis person and seeing the other bar patrons recoil at the sight of us. I remember the bartender pointing me out and calling me a "faggot" the next time I went to play darts there on my own.
I remember my partner sobbing when their mother didn't want them to attend the family Christmas party.
I remember walking down the sidewalk holding hands with my partner and having someone throw a glass bottle at us from a speeding car.
I remember all the fights and taunting in parking lots after school.
I remember my good friend, that had the courage to come out back then, having the word "fag" painted on his car, by a co-worker, and him being told to "keep quiet, or look for a new job"
You probably don't want to be associated with something that causes so much pain in the world. But neither do I. Neither do we. It isn't just a difference of opinion, this really affects our lives. So, admittedly it's hard not to take offence when someone wants to make a semantic argument and, more or less, compare being called homophobic or transphobic to the experience of having to live under the weight of those things.
If you don't like the implications of being -phobic, try to understand. Try to empathize. Try not to make people feel awful for simply being who they are and loving who they love... Or, failing that, just try to coexist and leave us in peace.