Comment: Are all homophobes gay?
PinkNews reporter Naith Payton writes on whether all homophobes really are secretly gay.
Every single article about someone being homophobic or anti-LGBT in some way is guaranteed to have a comment below it suggesting that person is secretly gay.
“Closet case!” “He looks gay.” “Come out already.”
Are all anti-gay people secretly gay or bisexual? Certainly some are. There’s enough stories about anti-LGBT politicians or religious figures being caught in compromising positions with men – it’s always men – to see it as a pattern.
There was that infamous study of self-identified straight men which showed those who were less accepting of LGBT people were more likely to have some level of same-sex attraction.
It can’t be all of them. If all homophobes are gay, then homophobia is the fault of gay people.
If all homophobes are gay, it absolves straight people of homophobia.
Even those who might be are still promoting and holding up straight relationships inherent better, more legitimate than gay relationships. That’s what homophobia stems from – the society wide perception of straight as better. Not gay people existing.
It might be comforting to think if all the homophobes just came out the closet, homophobia would disappear. But it won’t.
It might be easier to assume a person’s homophobia stems from self-hatred, not actual hatred to others. But the truth is – some straight people hate us.
There’s another side to those comments – laughing at homophobes because “they’re actually gay”. It’s funny because they’re gay – and being gay is inferior and shameful, so it’s OK to laugh at them.
Mocked-up pictures of Vladimir Putin in make-up are funny because he looks gay, queer, effeminate – shameful things that it is OK to mock – right?
And what about those who are? What about those secretly LGBT people who are so ashamed of who they are, so constrained by an anti-LGBT society that they lash out at the very people who would accept and support them?
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Condemn their harmful actions, by all means – but have a little compassion too.
There’s hardly an LGBT person alive who hasn’t said something anti-LGBT in the past, while closeted, out of fear, or because they believed it at the time.
Pity – don’t mock – the closeted homophobes for being unable to be themselves, but not for being gay.
And don’t assume all homophobes are gay. Some of them just hate us.
This article was originally published here.