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Could homophobia merely be a desperate reaction to one's own sexuality.Yesterday, I was...

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elfgirl | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted May 25, 2012 at 8:02 PM via web

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Could homophobia merely be a desperate reaction to one's own sexuality.

Yesterday, I was watching a Youtube video of a rather camp preacher exclaiming against homosexuality. He was crying and losing his self control. He begged God to save all those lost sinners from their animal nature.

In the comments below, the most liked comment was, "Ooooh, the lady doth protest too much, methinks."

Homosexuality is a strong and extensive taboo in most communities. Is it possible that the outspoken homophobes are actually desperate, closeted homosexuals trying to escape their own sexuality.

Here's the vid...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fU4rncpXkmg

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 25, 2012 at 9:24 PM (Answer #2)

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There have been some studies that argue that there is such a connection as you mention.  A discussion of one of these can be found here.

However, this does not by any means prove that all people who are opposed to homosexuality are opposed to it because of fears of their own homosexual tendencies.

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 25, 2012 at 9:47 PM (Answer #3)

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This video has become a very hot topic of late. I agree with post 2. If hate was simple, it would be a lot easier to eradicate. There are a number of social, cultural, religious, and yes, psychological factors behind homophobia, and I suspect many of them are at work in this congregation.

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frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted May 25, 2012 at 11:04 PM (Answer #4)

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I believe the correct, post-graduate, scientific response to this question is...

1/2 Dur!!

Not all homophobes are gay. But all homophobes are terrified they might be gay, because they haven't had an honest look at their potential. How do you know if you're gay? If you've never been honest about your gay potential, then you don't know what's lurking under the surface. Unless you've been open about the fact that you might be gay, then you don't know what you are capable of.

Liberals are calm enough to have had a look into their deep sexuality and discover what they are into. Conservatives haven't been on that journey and they have a deep, deep fear that somewhere down inside they might discover something 'nasty'. Repression is an ugly thing and it leads to dysfunction.

Homophobes are people who are sexually repressed and who daren't look into their intimate sexuality. They might be gay, they might not be gay. But they are definitely chicken.

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 25, 2012 at 11:43 PM (Answer #5)

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So, the answer to the original question is, "Yes, that could be the case, but it isn't always so."

If a person has never dealt with his/her personal sexuality and hasn't worked through identifying his/her beliefs and preferences, is that person a "desparate closeted homosexual" or someone who hasn't progressed down the road to self-understanding and acceptance?

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catd1115 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted May 26, 2012 at 12:36 AM (Answer #6)

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Hate is always based in ignorance and fear. Whether the fear is of one's own sexuality is possible but we cannot judge what is inside someone else. Either way, homophobia, like all predjudice and hatred, caused by some kind of fear: fear of what it means to us (or about us), fear of something we don't understand, fear of something that is unfamiliar to us, and so on. Many prejudices and the fear that inspires them has been taught from birth. 

I think often those who rail the most violently against homosexuality are afraid of their own sexuality. This is not scientific or proven, it is just my opinion. And I'm not saying that all of these people are actually homosexual. What I am saying that they are afraid they might or of what would happen if they were. They are afraid of being different or judged, so they attack first before anyone can attack them.

I need to also said in post #4. Homphobia is not confined to conservatives. Nor are all liberals more self aware and tolerant. Anyone can be a homophobic no matter what their political leanings are. Anyone can be self realized no matter what their political leanings. Lets not add more judgement and division to a topic that is already cause for people to judge one another and divide the community.

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frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted May 26, 2012 at 10:11 AM (Answer #7)

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Hate is always based in ignorance and fear. Whether the fear is of one's own sexuality is possible but we cannot judge what is inside someone else. Either way, homophobia, like all predjudice and hatred, caused by some kind of fear: fear of what it means to us (or about us), fear of something we don't understand, fear of something that is unfamiliar to us, and so on. Many prejudices and the fear that inspires them has been taught from birth. 

I think often those who rail the most violently against homosexuality are afraid of their own sexuality. This is not scientific or proven, it is just my opinion. And I'm not saying that all of these people are actually homosexual. What I am saying that they are afraid they might or of what would happen if they were. They are afraid of being different or judged, so they attack first before anyone can attack them.

I need to also said in post #4. Homphobia is not confined to conservatives. Nor are all liberals more self aware and tolerant. Anyone can be a homophobic no matter what their political leanings are. Anyone can be self realized no matter what their political leanings. Lets not add more judgement and division to a topic that is already cause for people to judge one another and divide the community.

On re-reading my post this morning I realise that it is misleading. I wasn't referring to political 'liberals' and political 'conservatives'. I was talking about people who are sexually liberal and open-minded and people who are sexually repressed.

That said, I would be very surprised if people who support left-wing politics were statistically as homophobic as people who support the GOP. As a follow-on from Elfgirl's youtube preacher, did you see this 'charming' suggestion by an American Preacher to build concentration camps for the LGBT community?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2839yEazcs

I think you'd have to look very very hard to find a liberal who is prepared to publicly state that a good model to the 'problem' of homosexuality would be Nazi Germany.

Also, research does suggest there is a correlation between homophobia and repressed homosexuality. Obviously not all homophobes are gay, but there is a very long list of outspoken homophobes who have later been discovered as gay.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP4zr0agHSM&feature=g-hist

 

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larrygates | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 26, 2012 at 12:28 PM (Answer #8)

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I believe that the utter disdain in which being gay has traditionally been held in our culture and the contempt one hears heaped on gays (the minister mentioned in post one being a prime example) is so acute that many people have a terrible fear that this might, in fact be they. One post above noted that hatred is complex, which is true; but it is almost always based on fear. The hatred of those whose sexual orientation is not mainstream is based on that fear. Frizzyperm makes a good point that many homophobes are in fact gay themselves; hence the old adage that the best defense is a good offense.

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dano7744 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted May 28, 2012 at 1:00 PM (Answer #9)

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There is an old saying in detective circles that says...he who screams loudest about their innocence is guilty. Now, having said that, I don't believe that saying really holds water but we could perhaps apply it to your question. I really don't think we can say with any degree of certainty a person who is homophobic is necessarily a homosexual.

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wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted May 28, 2012 at 6:42 PM (Answer #10)

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I agree that a homophobic person might be terrified of their own sexuality but they might not.  It could be they fear being gay themselves.  It could be they fear a loved one or close friend is gay.  It could be a fear of the consequences of homosexuality.  It could also just be a fear of something they do not understand.  There was a time when people were very against and very afraid of interracial marriages.  Now, most people, consider this fear misplaced.  It is the same with a person who is homophobic.  Remember that not everyone who disagrees with homosexuality is homophobic and not everyone who is homophobic is a closeted homosexual.

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