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"There are no homophobes, they're in the closet gays"

**helen****helen** Mod malarkistPosts: 9,235 Listening Ear
Someone said this in chat the other night and it seems ripe for discussion:

To kick off, here are two takes:

1. "I'm not sure that's true and as a sweeping generalisation, it's unhelpful."

And

2. "I think some of the people who are proper nasty to me are in denial tbh its almost like they r so obsessed with it they r hiding something."

Discuss...

:thumb:

BTW - I've taken out names as what's said in chat stays in chat - if the people who made the comments want to out themselves, then of course they can.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Is chat like vegas now? Except you watch what we're doing? I said it was a sweeping generalisation that I didn't think was helpful.
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    Is chat like vegas now? Except you watch what we're doing?

    :yes:

    AND now you get the opportunity to expand on your statement...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fine, well frankly I don't think its true. I don't think that the majority of homophobes are secretly gay and that's why they lash out at gays.

    I think homophobes lash out at gays because they're ignorant.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah it can't be true of all homophobics. A lot of it is ignorence. But if a person were vehemently homophobic then I would have a suspician that they hadn't come to terms with their sexuality and were angry about it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I have never had that suspicion. Not once
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    nor have i really. i was thinking mostly about a tory mp (cannot remember name) who saw being homosexual as against 'family values' and then years later came out as gay himself. i shall try google
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think 'homophobes = closet gay' has always just been a 'hit em where it hurts' reaction. Schoolyard stuff.

    Also as an aside I wish we had a better vocabulary when it comes to bigotry in its various shades. Some people are hateful of homosexuality, some people prefer not to see it but 'don't mind what people do in their own privacy' and some people don't really care.

    There's a similar problem with a lot of the social sciences which as problematic as it is at an academic level, means that for laymen such as me we only have one word to use in a lot of cases which could cover a whole host of definitions. Homophobia doesn't even make sense, it implies you have a phobia of gay people and go into shock and fear and start quivering when someone with good dress sense walks in the room.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As with all things in life, if you put enough homophobic people in a room, there very well might just be the odd few that are still in the closet. However, on a wider scale I don't think its a useful statement to make as a generalisation (though when are generalisations ever truly decent). It doesn't stop the fact that homophobic people in my eyes at least are people which are usually quite ignorant. Sometimes educating people can help, as some people might well be that way purely from the kind of people they hang around (as in idiots). Though there are and will continue to be mean and nasty spiteful people in the world, which whilst we can do a lot to try and combat, will unfortunately never quite go away, even as much as I wish it would.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This claim wasn't the result of someone thinking it would be a funny response, you know? It was the result of an actual scientific study in which male, college-aged students in America were given a survey and their attitudes to homosexuality were judged. They were then shown gay pornography, during which their arousal levels were measured. And the results showed that those who gave the most homophobic answers in the survey tended to have the highest levels of arousal when watching the pornography, and were also most likely to deny that they were aroused. Does this mean that it can be generalised to all homophobic people? Of course not. But it does point to a clear trend.

    I think it's particularly the case in places where homophobia is more culturally normal, such as conservative areas of the US. It's no different from the politician who is having an affair and massively espousing family values to overcompensate or remove any suspicion from himself. If you're gay in an overtly macho or homophobic culture (perhaps one where you actually believe that your feelings are sinful), then you'll do anything you can to avoid raising suspicion. As such, I think it's likely to be less common in most of the UK, where I think people are less likely to have the same sort of social pressure as elsewhere.

    And of course, if you consider the possibility that sexuality is more fluid than a simple gay/straight coin toss, then you add into the mix not just people who are gay and in denial, but also people who are unsure, or straight but have had the odd doubt. I think that confusion about ones own sexuality could obviously be a contributing factor.

    But I think the other main cause of homophobia (other than the influence of the Abrahamic religions) is simply the disgust factor. People tend to have this reaction to the thought of any two people they don't find attractive having sex. Think about your parents having sex, or even your grandparents. That yuck factor is what has been harnessed by society over centuries to create the sort of intense homophobia you get in the West and is only just beginning to be rolled back. But since it's a pretty basic biological reaction, it's never going to disappear completely. We'd all like to think that we're all open-minded, modern people, but the reality is that if I was to show you some gay porn now, your reaction is unlikely to be one of complete neutrality and not being bothered that you'd like to think it would. I suspect that if you're straight, you'd find it quite uncomfortable to watch. I'd be interested to know how gay people feel when they see a straight sex scene.

    So in conclusion, both of the comments in the OP are probably right.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    I have never had that suspicion. Not once

    I have, on a few occasions.

    Perhaps not that the person was gay, but that there was something in themselves that they didn't like (a fleeting, past crush on a mate of the same gender or something) and it scared them, and was part of the root of the prejudice.

    It's not as a simple as, "They must be a self-hating closet case", but sometimes it's a thing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This claim wasn't the result of someone thinking it would be a funny response, you know? It was the result of an actual scientific study in which male, college-aged students in America were given a survey and their attitudes to homosexuality were judged. They were then shown gay pornography, during which their arousal levels were measured. And the results showed that those who gave the most homophobic answers in the survey tended to have the highest levels of arousal when watching the pornography, and were also most likely to deny that they were aroused. Does this mean that it can be generalised to all homophobic people? Of course not. But it does point to a clear trend.

    Aye, I've heard about this. But the only link I can find is in French. I'll look again later!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    piccolo wrote: »
    Aye, I've heard about this. But the only link I can find is in French. I'll look again later!

    From the top of my head it was a more recent study, the 'homophobes are closet gays' thing has been going around a lot longer.

    But referring to the original question I feel that the majority of homophobes are not in the closet ; but perhaps those who are in the closet become homophobes because of it.

    But logic 101: If some As are Bs, that doesn't mean all Bs are As.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    From the top of my head it was a more recent study, the 'homophobes are closet gays' thing has been going around a lot longer.

    That study wasn't exactly a revelation though. Scientists tend to study reported phenomena, and so before such a study, there will inevitably be a large amount of anecdotal claims. There have certainly been more than one high profile examples of extremely anti-gay preachers in America being caught engaging in sexual activity with members of the same sex.

    And incidentally, while it's obviously not the case for many people, I have no problem with people emphasising the link between homophobic behaviour and closet homosexuality. If you establish and publicise the link between homophobic behaviour and homosexuality itself, you will create a situation where homophobes are increasing suspicion about their sexual orientation by acting in a homophobic manner. Since this is exactly the opposite of what many homophobes want, you might actually make homophobic abuse less likely to take place, homophobic views less likely to be aired in public and homosexual teenagers less likely to end up in the same situation themselves because they're not growing up hearing such things regularly.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think it's more people have a problem drawing a conclusion on a single study, a stretch of logic, and their own desire for a bit of schadenfreude. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a link but don't think there's enough evidence to draw an overwhelming conclusion.

    I also don't think it combats homophobia in any significant way.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    **helen** wrote: »
    Someone said this in chat the other night and it seems ripe for discussion:

    .

    I know that someone, gosh! I should visit boards often. :p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't think all people who are homophobes are in the closet gays and in fact a majority of them are just Naive or hateful and use things like religion or beliefs to try and support these opinions.
    I do know a couple of people who are homophobes who i've thought they might be closet gays or coming to terms with their sexuality.
    and i think some people might just me jealous of others ability to be out and proud when they feel they cant?

    But tbh i hate the word 'homophobia' generally because its not a person being scared, its them being an arsehole..
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Phobia<br>
    1. A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous.
    2. A strong fear, dislike, or aversion.

    In my head its right to argue the point that perhaps homophobia might not be the right word to use, in the sense that a lot of the time it is just people being inconsiderate asshats. However, for whatever reason they might have (right or wrongly), I suppose it is still applicable if you take point 2. into consideration and look at the "strong fear, dislike, or aversion".

    Though if I'm being brutally honest, we can have discussions all night long till the cows come home, still doesn't change the fact that some people in this world are disgustingly horrid, and how we define their issues bears little resemblance to the need to combat their hatred etc.
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