That’s How Homophobia Works

The invisible workings of anti-gay discrimination

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(L) A poorly tuck-pointed brick wall. Photo: Gabriele Diwald on Unsplash; (R) A nicely tuck-pointed brick wall. Photo: Hayden Mills on Unsplash
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A “panopticon” is a modern prison that requires fewer guards to control prisoners. The outer and inner walls of prison cells are glass and guards are located in the central tower — meaning guards can see prisoners but prisoners can’t tell when guards are present. It is the anticipation of punishment — the internalization of control — that governs prisoner behavior, rather than direct physical force. In his book Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1975), the gay, French philosopher Michael Foucault famously used Jeremy Bentham’s 1791 design for a panopticon (seen here) as a metaphor for the way power operates in modern society. (Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons).
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Tower Grove Park (St. Louis, MO). Photo © Michael J. Murphy, 2017.
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Flag of the City of St.Louis (superimposed on the Gay Pride flag).

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Professional homosexual. Professor. Writer. Scholar. Activist. Husband.

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