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"Through this material, today's youth can be stimulated to sexual activities for which he has no legitimate outlet. He is even enticed to enter the world of Homosexuals, Lesbians, Sadists, Masochists, and other sex deviants. The psychiatric terms for these unnatural sex acts are unknown to most decent adults in our country. But through these solicitous materials, these abnormalities are corrupting the minds and the hearts of our children. Perversion for profit!"

"Homosexuality is a mockery of the natural order. In that respect it is very much like sorcery. We, the Knighthood, are opposed to anything that is against the natural order!"
Orransong from Flipside, shortly before he gets punched out.

Ranging from physical violence to political hate-mongering in their war against sexual minorities, characters cast in the role of Heteronormative Crusader are a diverse lot. They can be anything from specialized Moral Guardians or Principles Zealots, to any bloodthirsty mob equipped with Torches and Pitchforks. Sometimes it is ideologues from one of the first two groups who use hate-mongering to bring decent people under their influence by turning them into the third group. Might use a bad kind of pity as one of their primary weapons, trying to impose a negative self-image on the non-normative characters.

In fiction, the wars on homosexuality and sadomasochism is more and more often played for laughs or as a way of highlighting how unsympathetic the antagonist is. Such an antagonist is likely to either be a Straw Hypocrite, who uses a rival's sexuality as an excuse to attack him, or a hypocrite of the Sex Is Evil and I Am Horny kind.

The latter kind is often a more or less sympathetic Anti-Villain or Anti-Hero, maybe even a victim of his own prejudice. Might perceive all homosexuals and kinky people as parts of Everyone Is Satan in Hell, or passionately feel that every woman ought to be a Housewife. If a Heteronormative Crusader of this particular kind is female, she's very likely to also be a Stepford Smiler. If religious, the character is likely to be sufficiently Wrong Genre Savvy to believe himself to be a Soulsaving Crusader. In certain works, the character might even be right.

For a character to be a heteronormative crusader, it's not enough to have heteronormative values at a heterosexist level. The character must also be aggressive, open or confrontative about these values. Indirect or mild sign of having a heteronormative worldview is not enough. The character may:

  • Condemn intersexuals and transsexuals for not being "real" men/women or for "practicing abhorrent behavior."
  • Condemn male homosexuals and bisexuals for being attracted to the "wrong" gender. Females are either condemned in the same way, or claimed to not really exist.
  • Condemn fetishists for being turned on by other things than people.
  • Condemn male-on-female and male-on-male BDSM as being physical abuse. Female-on-male and female-on-female BDSM is more often either claimed to not really exist or accused of being some kind of gender role blasphemy.
  • Condemn male asexuals for "not being real men." Women, on the other hand, are expected to be asexual but have sex with their man anyway.

Note that a Heteronormative Crusader is not necessarily unsympathetic. In some works, a father who disowns his child for being homosexual or otherwise "perverted" is likely to be heartbroken rather than villainous in spite of being totally misguided in his judgement.

Depending on the setting, compare or contrast Windmill Crusader. Same goes for Soulsaving Crusader. If a character goes Heteronormative Crusader against himself, it's usually Internalized Categorism or Boomerang Bigot. In many settings, a Heteronormative Crusader is likely to resort to Activist Fundamentalist Antics.

See also Armoured Closet Gay, which a Heteronormative Crusader is sometimes revealed to be. Today in the LGBT community and their close straight allies, it has actually become common wisdom that Heteronormative Crusaders are likely to be gay, because their extreme personal insecurity is a heavy Gaydar trigger. This is not to say that every Heteronormative Crusader is gay, but that it's increasingly anticipated by a gay audience. And scientific studies have shown that homophobes are more likely to also be having same-sex attractions.

This trope is practically absent in Anime and Manga (as their absence in this page's examples demonstrates), where the cultural priorities are fundamentally different—a person's sexual orientation and its perceived rightness is rendered almost completely moot by the more commanding question of filial piety and societal expectations. As such, the depiction of various sexual orientations has less stigma and more acceptance as simple Truth in Television, because ultimately love and chemistry do not necessarily have anything to do with a socially-acceptable traditional Japanese marriage.

No Real Life examples. They would only be Flame Bait.

Examples of Heteronormative Crusader include:


Comic Books

  • In the Grant Morrison run of Doom Patrol, an entire secret branch of the Pentagon existed as Heteronormative Crusaders wielding bizarre and Dadaesque technology. This naturally made them Straw Hypocrite villains as well.
  • In Lucifer, one side character starts out as a Armored Closet Gay nazi who beat an Indian man almost to death for flirting with him. The man gets disabled for life, but they end up as lovers anyway - once the first guy realized that Those Wacky Nazis wasn't such a good crowd to hang out with after all.
  • Discussed in Preacher (Comic Book), with the main characters taking a very negative stand on this kind of behavior and certain villains implying that they do some normative crusading along with their racist ditto.
    • As for the attitudes of our hero: At one point, Jesse Custer visits a party hosted by a guy specializing in decadence. This host gets to be surprised twice. First when the preacher approves of the kinky stuff between consenting adults, then when the same preacher beats the crap out of him for molesting children.
  • Played for Laughs and for Fetish Fuel in Small Favors: Only naughty people are into BDSM, and they deserve to be severely punished for it!
  • Chick Tracts: Several tracts are about homosexuals being possessed by demons or generically evil. Sometimes fetish clothes and BDSM tools are used to show just how "evil" the gays are. Heterosexual BDSM doesn't seem to exist in the world of Chick.
  • Mary Worth is rather infamous for this - anyone young who isn't married to someone of the opposite gender is quickly paired up by Mary.
  • Bitchy Bitch: One of the coworkers is a evangelical homophobe - who's prejudice only serves to infuriate Midge further.
  • Bitchy Butch: They are everywhere (but only some of them are real - others are Windmills in Butchy's own mind).
  • City of Dreams: The white prince, trying a little bit too hard at the Knight in Shining Armor routine and coming up as nothing more than a selfish, conceited, jealous, self-righteous, patriarchal... well, you get the idea.
  • DC Comics have been dropping clues about this over the last five years or so, with the accompanying crusaders. Probably most notable was Vandal Savage attempting to force Scandal, his openly lesbian daughter, to have sex with a suitable man to produce an heir. In a more general sense, Brad Meltzer has hinted more than once that there's a homosexual underground within the DCU villain community, and that being outed would result in being killed by some of the more dangerous racist villains. Unless you're so incredibly scary that even manly macho men are terrified of you, that is.
    • If that's true, its a wonder that Pied Piper is still alive...
    • In Vandal Savage's case, it may be less due to heteronormativity and more in the interest of building a dynasty (and a repository of body parts, maybe). He doesn't have a strong sense of morals to start with, so...
      • In the Villains United mini-series, Lex Luthor claims that Savage invented cannibalism. When a subordinate compliments him on a well told joke, he casually asks 'what joke?'. 'No strong sense of morals' might be a bit of an understatement.


Film

  • Show Me Love: Viktoria chose to assume this role, harassing her former friend Agnes for being homosexual. It's all a openly calculated plot designed to use homophobia as a means to gain popularity... And it backfires completely.
  • The SM Judge is all about this trope. The main character isn't even a sadomasochist himself, it's his wife who is a masochist. But his political enemies finds out, and uses it as a excuse to persecute him - claiming that he has "abused" her.
  • Preaching To The Perverted plays this trope for laughs. The main character is originally working for a bigot, who sends him out to infiltrate a BDSM club. It turns out that the bigot is a sadist himself, and the main reason he hates the club is that they are having all the fun that he has denied himself all his life.
  • The main character in Boys Don't Cry is a young transgendered man[1] who hangs out with some redneck homophobes who accept him as one of the guys. He even starts dating the sister of one of these new friends. Of course, when they discover that he is biologically female, they consider this relationship to be lesbian. Homophobic hate crimes ensue, ending in his murder.
  • Played for symbolism in Female Perversions: Eve, a bisexual sadomasochist, get attacked (twice!) by a very judgmental man. However, this man comes out of nowhere - in all likelihood he is not to be taken as a literal person, but rather as a manifestation of her anxiety.
  • The infamous Perversion For Profit from 1965 (see the page quote) isn't about homosexuality or sadomasochism. It's a general plea for the virtue of censorship and the evils of free speech. However, they assume that the audience has a unhesitating hatred for homosexuals and sadomasochists, and thus mention these minorities several times in order to make the attack on freedom of speech appear more legitimate.
  • Mary Brown, the director of the reparative therapy camp "True Directions" in But I'm a Cheerleader.
  • Janet's father in Shock Treatment. He expresses his hatred of Camp Gay and Camp Straight men in a musical number.
  • Anita Bryant plays this role through archival footage in Milk


Literature

  • Very self-consciously averted in The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the chapter on pirates and wenches. This main text of chapter takes for granted that Pirates (the chosen people!) are male and heterosexual. However, little footnotes exclaim that women can be pirates too and that same-sex relationships are entirely okay in His eyes.
  • Parodied in The Illuminatus! Trilogy: One of the theories on why Atlantis was destroyed is that the Illuminati hated the civilization's Free-Love Future enough to nuke it back to the Stone Age.
    • Turns out that this story was false from start to finish later on in the book, however. Atlantis wasn't a paradise, and the Illuminati at the time wasn't pure evil - in fact it and the Discordianism were essentially the same for a quite long time. There are plenty of conservative religious organizations with amusingly acronymic names in the book however, mainly playing the role of a Butt Monkey, or underlying reason for the protagonists' embrace of the counterculture in their backstories.
  • The Turner Diaries use public acceptance of fetishism, sadomasochism and homosexuality as a example of why society is decadent and has to be destroyed.
  • Stationery Voyagers has a heteronormative premise; but the heroes make it clear that they do not endorse instigation of violence to address the interests of non-hetero/pro-BDSM types. By contrast, the Crooked Rainbow openly revel in being rabid homo-non-normatives and terrorizing anyone who interferes with pro-gay political causes. Enough so that the Closeteers team up with religious groups that mistrust them to keep the Voyagers safe from Crooked Rainbow riots.
  • This highly amusing tract on the supposed deadly results of masturbation.
    • These were widespread in the 19th and early 20th century. They were produced by doctors who witnessed deeply disturbed mental patients masturbating chronically, and mistook cause and effect rather thoroughly.
    • In this case the doctor appears to have not noticed the individual was suffering from syphilis. Masturbation can't give you syphilis, seeing as it's a sexually transmitted disease.
  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex: But Were Afraid to Ask.


Live-Action TV

  • Law and Order Special Victims Unit often plays with this trope, with detectives reminding themselves and each other that bruises aren't necessarily caused by abuse, they could also be caused by BDSM. In some episodes, the trope is played completely straight.
    • In one episode, a homosexual suspect gets his career destroyed because he was surrounded by heteronormative people who started crusading against him after Olivia accidentally outed him.
    • In one episode, a shoe fetishist kills a woman for her boots. Dr Huang insists that fetishism is a harmless sexual variation, and a very tragic story is gradually revealed. It turns out that the murderer's mother hated her son for being sexually "abnormal." She tried to "cure" his fetishism by beating him in the head with frying pans and other hard objects, and eventually this abuse caused him permanent brain damage that made him unstable enough to kill the woman by mistake.
    • Both played straight and inverted in an episode where Kathy Griffin plays a militant lesbian activist. She's placed under police protection when she seems to be the next target in a string of crimes targeting lesbians. Played straight because the criminal turns out to be a guy who just really hates lesbians and inverted because the first man the police catch trying to sneak into her home turns out to be her male lover - and she's afraid to exonerate him because of how her lesbian supporters might react if they think she's heterosexual (for the record, the episode is vague as to whether she's bisexual or a lesbian in an If It's You It's Okay relationship with a man, but never suggests she's actually straight).
    • Probably one of the better examples of playing with this trope was the episode "Doubt", where a woman accuses a former lover (also her college professor) of raping her, while he alleges it was consensual and she simply likes it rough (thus explaining the bruises). Cue numerous instances of "He said, she said" leads, and the episode ends with the credits rolling before the verdict given, asking instead for the audience to decide which was the case. For the record - they decided not to convict the man.
  • Subverted in the Law and Order episode Panic: a man claims he shot his wife’s lesbian lover because he was this, however it turns out their teenage daughter was actually the murderer and did not like the fact another person was sleeping with her mommy. Once this revelation was made, the man chose to plead guilty rather than let his daughter go to prison, much to McCoy's chagrin.
  • Parodied in True Blood: The intro features the infamous Westboro Baptist Church slogan "God hates fags," modified to "God hates fangs."
  • Worf of Star Trek the Next Generation and Star Trek Deep Space Nine can occasionally stumble into this, but generally only in out of character episodes such as "The Outcast" and "Let He Who Is Without Sin...", wherein he is used as the resident conservative strawman.
    • Consider that normal Klingon sex is pretty kinky and violent by human standards. Or from Worf's perspective, human sex is pretty gentle.
  • Parodied Up to Eleven in one of the most popular episodes of the Swedish comedy show Grotesco have a protestant preacher blaming "bögarnas fel" ( = "the gay's fault") for everything bad including earthquakes, going beyond Westboro Baptist Church style by even blaming the war in Afghanistan and the dictatorship in Iran on the gay men. He is quickly joined by a Muslim, a Jew and a Catholic nun, who all agree that "crazy fundamentalism" and all conflicts throughout history (including all religious wars - especially all religious wars) are indeed the gay men's fault.
  • While the Inside Scoop episode Ban Left Marriage in itself is pure Windmill Crusader, it's also a parody of Heteronormative Crusader.
  • In the Criminal Minds episode "In Heat", the UnSub was a gay man motivated by the abuse his Heteronormative Crusader father subjected him to. He became convinced that he was "dirty", and began killing men and stealing their identities to escape his own.
  • The character Stephen Colbert strays into this not infrequently.


Tabletop Games

  • Scarred Lands: The Lawful Neutral god Hedrara and Lawful Evil god Chardun are both merciless bastards with harsh and arbitrary laws condemning love, sexuality, and, well positive emotions in general. Hedrara is the one most prone to discriminate against homosexuals and promiscuous people. The laws of Hedrara's holy city Hedrad have the death penalty for homosexual love and heterosexual promiscuity. It even has strict punishments for public hugging. Granted, this city also kills monogamous heterosexuals who enter relationships without getting the blessing of the church first. However, as a monogamous heterosexual, you can get the blessing of the church, while homosexuals and promiscuous people cannot. Storytelling-wise, the blatantly homophobic etc. laws of Hedrad are used to highlight that the god Hedrara is in fact NOT a good god.


Web Comics

  • This strip of "I Drew This" features a Straw Hypocrite who want gay marriage banned but claim that "I'm not against gay people, I'm just for traditional marriage"... quickly followed by a flashback of historical guys who are against women and black people being allowed to vote but claim to simply be "for traditional gender roles" and "I'm not against black people, I'm just for traditional slavery!"
  • Penny and Aggie's Xena starts a loud rant about "sexual perverts" needing to be "quarantined" at Aggie's mere mention of having gay friends (Ironic since Fred had mistaken Xena for closeted) .
  • Homosexuality is one of many, many things that Seymour from Sinfest (seen in the page picture) considers inexcusable.
  • This may be the character type of Doctor Heteronormative, the "main villain dude" from one of Jimbo's Romance Novels in Questionable Content.


Video Games

  • Slave Maker: The state religion is strongly against homosexuality and BDSM. It doesn't seem to have anything against slavery, however. It is quite okay to buy a human being as property against her will, exploit her economically and push her into heterosexual sexual relationships (including pimping her out). But tying up a lover in bed? Oh Noes, that would just be immoral.


Web Original


Western Animation

  • Stan Smith from American Dad, though he gets better through Character Development mostly relating to his gay neighbors Greg and Terry.
    • This is notable for being the only lesson that Stan learns which actually sticks, as he's notable for Aesop Amnesia, which he lampshades in one episode by stating he "doesn't learn lessons". And even then, learning to accept gay people and accepting that they have the right to have children and start families was the focus of two separate episodes.

Notes

  1. There's some debate as to whether Brandon Teena suffered from Gender Identity Disorder, which can only be positively diagnosed by extensive psychiatric evaluation, or was a lesbian who chose to pass for a young man.
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