George Weinberg, the man who coined the word ‘homophobia’ dies at 86

George Weinberg, the man who coined the word ‘homophobia’ dies at 86

The psychotherapist, George Weinberg, who coined the term ‘homophobia’, has died aged 86.

He invented the word after observing the discomfort of his colleagues around gay people in the 60s. Weinberg discussed the word with gay activists who then used it in a column for Screw Magazine in 1969. Then TIME magazine used it in a cover feature on ‘The Homosexual in America’ months later.

Needless to say, the word has gone on to become an essential part of the LGBTI lexicon.

Dr Weinberg died in Manhattan on Monday. His widow Dianne Rowe attributed the death to cancer, according to the New York Times.

The publication adds Weinberg got thinking about homophobia after his colleagues asked that he disinvite his lesbian friend from a dinner party.

He spoke about the word to Gregory M. Herek, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, in 1998. “I coined the word homophobia to mean it was a phobia about homosexuals,” he said.

“It was a fear of homosexuals which seemed to be associated with a fear of contagion, a fear of reducing the things one fought for — home and family.”

He furthermore added: “It was a religious fear, and it had led to great brutality, as fear always does.”

He wrote passionately about the word, and the continued prevalence of homophobia, for Huffington Post in 2012.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Previous BLACK AS DARKNESS, WHITE AS DAY
Next “After Praying For Me, The Pastor Had Gay Sex With Me.” | TIERs Presents ‘Veil of Silence’, A Documentary On The Lives Of LGBT Persons In Nigeria

About author

You might also like

The Happenings 3 Comments

European LGBT rights activists fear setbacks without UK’s ‘voice for progress’

European LGBT rights network ILGA-Europe has expressed sadness that “the UK will no long be a voice for progress in the European Union”. The UK narrowly voted in a referendum

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
The Happenings 6 Comments

The Trailer For James Franco’s ‘King Cobra’ is Finally Out

Since the project was announced nearly a year ago, there’s been a lot of talk about King Cobra, the murderous tale of lust, greed and crime set against a wholesome

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
The Happenings 48 Comments

‘If You Don’t Like Watching Gay Sex On TV, Change The Channel.’ Michael Urie To Billy Crystal

While promoting his upcoming new FX series, professional Oscars host Billy Crystal recently launched into a homophobic tirade about all the icky gay sex happening on TV lately, telling Television

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Comment

  1. Mandy
    March 25, 07:13 Reply

    Rest in peace, George Weinberg.
    And thank you for doing the world the favour of recognizing a sickness — homophobia.

Leave a Reply