Monday, April 9, 2012

Today In Obvious News

From Science Daily:

Homophobia is more pronounced in individuals with an unacknowledged attraction to the same sex and who grew up with authoritarian parents who forbade such desires, a series of psychology studies demonstrates.

The study is the first to document the role that both parenting and sexual orientation play in the formation of intense and visceral fear of homosexuals, including self-reported homophobic attitudes, discriminatory bias, implicit hostility towards gays, and endorsement of anti-gay policies. Conducted by a team from the University of Rochester, the University of Essex, England, and the University of California in Santa Barbara, the research will be published the April issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

“Individuals who identify as straight but in psychological tests show a strong attraction to the same sex may be threatened by gays and lesbians because homosexuals remind them of similar tendencies within themselves,” explains Netta Weinstein, a lecturer at the University of Essex and the study’s lead author.

“In many cases these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turning this internal conflict outward,” adds co-author Richard Ryan, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester who helped direct the research.

Gee, ya think?

I do understand the tough spot a lot of these people are in, and I am not going to minimize the trauma of coming to terms with being gay and acknowledging it. Being gay is not for sissies. (And yes, there is a difference between being homosexual and being gay.)

But I also think it takes a lot of fear and self-loathing to turn your inner demons loose on a whole community of people and, in a lot of cases, work against them by running for office and proposing bills that deprive them of their basic rights as citizens and as people just to suppress the unsuppressible.

I feel sorry for them. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t call them out when they work against me or get caught in a hypocritical situation with a rent boy. All that does is reinforce the stigma and perpetuate the idea that there is something wrong with being gay. What’s wrong is being ashamed and humiliated by who you really are.