Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Homophobe Secret

I know a man who is eighty years old and positively vitriolic when it comes to gay males. In an amazing demonstration of the power of denial, he remains unaware of what everyone around him can plainly see but would never confront him for fear of what it would do. He's gay. For many years I believed he really did know (how could he NOT know?), but after some brutally humbling experiences of my own regarding denial (hint - used to be married), I now see how this can happen. I know personally that it is possible to repress and refuse to acknowledge an unwanted data stream bubbling up from below.

Acceptance of different sexual preferences will continue to grow along with our understanding of human sexuality. For example, we now know that although the boundaries are blurry, in general 4% of men and 2% of women are born genetically disposed to prefer their own gender. Acceptance is sinking into the mainstream. A recent Gallop poll shows that we may indeed finally be reaching the tipping point. In 2001, the poll asked whether gay / lesbian relations were morally acceptable or morally wrong, with results of 40% acceptable and 53% wrong. In the years since, a solid trend shows the numbers switching places, with the latest showing 52% acceptable and 43% wrong.

Far more striking, and resulting in a New York Times piece, are the demographics of this shift. Comparing against 2006 instead of 2001 shows the dramatic acceleration of this trend. From 2006 to 2010, responses expressing "morally acceptable" from Men 18-49 shot from 42% to 62%, and even Men 50+ climbed from 33% to 42%. Over 50 males accepting that gay is okay? The ladies on the other hand, while less opposed in 2006 (49%), have barely budged in the last four years, now at 51%.

Like the Catholic priests who take a vow of abstinence and then molest boys, the 80 year old gay homophobe doth protest too much. In what occurs to me as painfully obvious, when an individual is seething about a particular behavior, that says a lot. If a man starts an organization committed to legislation that outlaws sex dolls, we know what's in his secret room. Consider staunch anti-gay crusader Larry Craig (caught pursuing gay sex), anti-child pornography crusader Mark Foley (caught sexting teenage pages), anti-gay evangelist Ted Haggard (paid prostitute for narcotics and gay sex), Family Research Council's rabid anti-gay operative George Rekers (vacationed with young male prostitute obtained on, top gay persecuting Congressman Ed Schrock (caught using dating service for casual gay sex). Now straight people have their versions with Sanford, Ensign, Gingrich (Gingrich was actively having an affair when he called on Clinton to resign). Clinton strayed, but he didn't run the National Society for the Protection of Staff Interns. John Edwards didn't run the Association for the Promotion of Marital Integrity.

What I am distinguishing is a specific behavior that is rampant among homophobes. Why would a person have such a fervent opinion about such a personal matter regarding other people? The reference to the Bible is a lie. First, they are homophobes. Then they use the Bible to support their position. The Bible forbids a lot of things, but they skip over the Ten Commandments to focus on sexual preference, about which Christ said nothing. As the trend of acceptance continues, it will increasingly be the case that the remaining homophobes hate homosexuality not on moral grounds, but because they are afraid of it, and we know why they're afraid.


Blogger The Navigator said...

You are strongly suggesting what I have suspected for years but never thought further. There is a certain "lie" underneath a lot of the hostility towards homosexuality. It has that same dishonesty as some of the anti-abortion sentiment (the real driver is the desire to oppress and control women).

I don't think all homophobes are gay, but I bet what you describe is very significant, and it is amazing how many of the most vocal anti-gay politicians turned out to be not only having homosexual sex, but cheating on their spouses as they did it.

I definitely agree with your main point, which is that as the general public understands and therefore accepts that sexual preference is no big deal (which will continue), all of this will be easier to see.

6/06/2010 1:20 PM  
Anonymous Observer said...

As the readers of this blog already knew, children of parents who are gay (either adopted or otherwise put in their families) grow up JUST FINE.

Recent Study

Sexual preference is no more a choice than hair color. Straight children raised by a gay couple are straight. Gay children raised by a straight couple are gay.

This is a done deal. All that's needed at this point is for the geezers to die off. This post is right. If you're under 40 and all pinched up over gay people, you've got issues.

6/07/2010 1:32 PM  

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